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Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve - Women's Review

From spending the day hiking to meeting friends for dinner, this soft shirt from Columbia is sure to keep you protected and stylish!
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Price:  $50 List | $38.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Soft, comfortable fit, stretchy, ripstop material, classy design for versatile use
Cons:  Large fit; tricky to size, dark colors
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 11
  • Comfort & Fit - 30% 6
  • Sun Protection - 25% 6
  • Breathability - 20% 9
  • Durability - 10% 8
  • Style - 15% 7

Our Verdict

A soft, comfortable, classy shirt, the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a versatile sun shirt that we feel has a lot of reasons to be a part of your wardrobe. This shirt came close to winning our award for Most Versatile, which went to the REI Co-op Sahara. Sporting a classically feminine cut with longer front and back tails, ripstop material and a hidden hip pocket, the Silver Ridge Lite packs a lot of features into its design. If you seek an excellent all-around sun shirt, this shirt fits the bill!


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a soft, breathable shirt with a collar and buttons. It's made of 100% ripstop polyester and has a UPF value of 40. This top features two velcro chest pockets, a zippered hip pocket and button tabs to roll up the sleeves.

Performance Comparison


Lightweight and breathable  this shirt keeps you cool and protected from UV rays.
Lightweight and breathable, this shirt keeps you cool and protected from UV rays.

Comfort & Fit


The Silver Ridge Lite is made of a very soft, lightweight material that our reviewers love the feel of. The fabric is also slightly stretchy, adding to its overall comfort. We found this shirt runs fairly large while sporting a relaxed-fit, and a feminine cut. Our 5'4", 117 pound main tester tested both the S and XS and found both to be very large and flowy, though the XS is a better fit overall. Sleeve tabs hold rolled-up sleeves to about the crease of our elbows, and as this shirt is made of softer, more flexible material than the REI Sahara or The North Face Boreaz, we found that the sleeves don't stay up quite as well without using those sleeve tabs. When rolled down, the sleeves are long enough for even our long-armed tester and the back of the shirt is longer than the front.

A size S on two different 5'4" women.
A size S on two different 5'4" women.

Sun Protection


With a UPF of 40, this is only one of three sun shirts in this review with a UPF less than 50. The other two, the Outdoor Research Echo Hoody and REI Sahara, have UPF values of 15 and 35 respectively. We tested two versions of this shirt. The older version we tested was a dark purple, which we found to be difficult to keep the sleeves rolled down on a hot day. The new version we tested is nearly the same in every way but is a much lighter color and as you'd expect, it is much easier to keep wearing with the sleeves long. Though if you do roll them up, don't forget the sunscreen!

This shirt features two velcro chest pockets and can be comfortably buttoned up all the way to protect your chest from the damaging UV rays of the sun.
This shirt features two velcro chest pockets and can be comfortably buttoned up all the way to protect your chest from the damaging UV rays of the sun.

Breathability


Of the four button-up shirts in this review, this one is made of the most lightweight, breathable fabric. Helpfully for hikers and backpackers, the Silver Ridge has the back vent opening on each side of the shoulders, meaning it retains at least some of its venting abilities even when you're wearing a backpack. This shirt also sports moisture-wicking technology and dries quite quickly.

With a large back panel of mesh covered by a side-opening vent  this shirt helps promote air movement.
With a large back panel of mesh covered by a side-opening vent, this shirt helps promote air movement.

Durability


Made of 100% ripstop polyester, this shirt gives our reviewers a sense of comfort that it isn't immediately ruined by a chance encounter with a cactus or thorny bush. The seams are also double stitched, and the fabric is treated to be antimicrobial (to help prevent that four-weeks-on-trail smell).

This shirt has long enough sleeves even for our reviewers with a self-described high ape index (aka really long arms)
This shirt has long enough sleeves even for our reviewers with a self-described high ape index (aka really long arms)

Style


With large front and back "tails" and feminine cut, our reviewers feel that this shirt is not quite as universally stylish as the Sahara. However, we like the low key chest pockets and many color options that are available. The SIlver Ridge has an overall classy design that, while we don't like its details quite as much as the Sahara, we still felt it's a highly versatile shirt.

The REI Sahara (left) in size XS and the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (right) in size S on our 5'4"  117 pound main tester.
The REI Sahara (left) in size XS and the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (right) in size S on our 5'4", 117 pound main tester.

Features


This garment sports tab sleeves, back vents, and two chest pockets. It is also the only button-up shirt in this review to have a hidden zippered hip pocket.

The Columbia is the only button up sun shirt we tested with a zipper hip pocket.
The Columbia is the only button up sun shirt we tested with a zipper hip pocket.

Best Applications


As a runner-up for the most versatile sun shirt in this review (which went to the REI Sahara), the main reason the Silver Ridge Lite didn't get that award is the seam placement in the armpits. While we don't have an issue with this during regular wear, it does cause some discomfort during paddle sports. We feel that this shirt is a great hiking and backpacking shirt, with the bonus of being classy enough to wear out on the town.

Value


This shirt retails for $50. If you're looking for a versatile on-trail shirt, but don't want to fork out the $60 for the extra-versatile REI Sahara, we feel that this shirt from Columbia is also a great option to suit a wide variety of needs.

Conclusion


The Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a well-rounded sun shirt. Our reviewers like it for both hiking AND a day at the office. Worth trying on before you buy, this shirt is soft but comfortable and might be just the right style for you. However, if you want a versatile button-up shirt that's better suited to paddle sports, consider the REI Sahara.

Enjoy life without having to bathe in so much sunscreen.
Enjoy life without having to bathe in so much sunscreen.


Maggie Brandenburg