Hands-on Gear Review

Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:  $78 List | $44.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Excellent coverage, comfortable and stretchy, flattering cut/fit
Cons:  Dark colors, stiff around zipper
Bottom line:  If what you seek is to let as few rays from the sun touch your skin as possible, check out this sun shirt from Mountain Hardwear!
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sun Protection Level:  50
Coverage:  Long sleeve, hood, thumb holes
Features:  Thumb holes, partial zip, hip pocket, hood
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear

Our Verdict

Our reviewers loved lounging in this comfy shirt from Mountain Hardwear, in the sun or out, so it's not surprising it scored the highest out of all the sun shirts in this review. It boasts a soft, stretchy fabric that we found to be flattering and protective in all the right places. While many shirts with thumb holes are challenged to find the right sleeve length, even our reviewers with a high ape index (aka really long arms) were happy wearing this shirt. Coming in medium and dark colors only, this shirt may not be the top pick for a hot day in the desert, but it was still one of our favorite overall sun shirts we reviewed.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Sun Protection Shirts for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Maggie Brandenburg

Last Updated:
Wednesday
April 11, 2018

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There are quite a few shun shirts with thumb holes and hoods out there to choose from, so how to find the one that's right for you? We found the Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie to be our favorite choice for everyday wear - particularly for folks who typically struggle with sleeves with thumb holes not being long enough. Read on to find out why we liked this shirt.

Performance Comparison


We loved this soft  stretchy sun shirt from Mountain Hardwear  and it certainly stood up to the Equatorial sun of the Galapagos Islands!
We loved this soft, stretchy sun shirt from Mountain Hardwear, and it certainly stood up to the Equatorial sun of the Galapagos Islands!

Comfort & Fit


Straight from the store, we enjoyed the soft and silky feel of the Butterlicious Hoodie. We found the seams and hems were even comfortable to wear all day. The fabric is astoundingly stretchy, which added to the overall comfort of the shirt. This level of fabric and hem comfort and stretch allowed even our reviewers with self-proclaimed 'monkey arms' to be comfortable using the thumb holes for hours on end, which if you too have long arms, you know what a big deal that is! All seams aside from the ones up the underside of the sleeves are sewn flat, which boost the comfort level of this shirt while moving around (you know, like when you're outside in the sun doing things). The sides even have two seams sewn parallel to each other off-center from the side of your torso, which we thought makes the shirt even more comfortable!


We even liked the hood on this shirt more than the other two shirts we tested with hoods: the Patagonia Sunshade Hoody and Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody. This was because the zipper allows you to give the hood a more relaxed fit both on and off. Even with the zipper all the way up when the hood was on, our reviewers liked the fit and feel of the Butterlicious Hoodie best.

However, our reviewers did find the neck zipper to be the least comfortable part of this shirt. They felt it adds stiffness to an otherwise flexible shirt. Even the hip pocket doesn't close with a zipper like many other similar shirts, keeping the stretch and flexibility around your torso uniform all the way around. That being said, the ability to open up the neck and breathe made them more inclined to choose this shirt for casual everyday wear.

Two of our 5'4" gear testers sporting the Butterlicious Hoodie in size S
Two of our 5'4" gear testers sporting the Butterlicious Hoodie in size S

Sun Protection


Of all the shirts in this review, we found this one to have the best sun protection. It has a high UPF rating of 50 and so many additional features we loved that give it great coverage. The extra long sleeves paired with the hood help keep the sun off your neck, ears, and hands.


Compared to the two similarly designed shirts we tested, the Patagonia Sunshade and Black Diamond Alpenglow, the Butterlicious covered the most skin. Because of the high level of coverage and high UPF rating, we gave it a 10 out of 10 for sun protection.

Exceptionally stretchy sleeves with comfortable hems around the thumb holes and maximal coverage made this shirt an easy favorite among our reviewers.
Exceptionally stretchy sleeves with comfortable hems around the thumb holes and maximal coverage made this shirt an easy favorite among our reviewers.

Breathability


The Butterlicious has excellent moisture-wicking properties. Its loose fit also allows a breeze (if there is one) to filter through the shirt. It also boasts antimicrobial properties and our reviewers didn't complain of it collecting body odors too quickly, even after being sweat in all day.


However, it's not as thin or light in color as the Patagonia Sunshade or Black Diamond Alpenglow sun shirts. Also, the hood and thumb holes understandably hold in more heat than some of the more well-vented, breezier models in this review.

Protect the back of your neck with the zipper down for added ventilation  or zipper up for maximal coverage.
Protect the back of your neck with the zipper down for added ventilation, or zipper up for maximal coverage.

Durability


This shirt is 100% polyester shirt and extremely stretchy. While our reviewers didn't have any issues with this during our review (in fact, they loved what it added to the comfort of the shirt), we're unsure if this would affect its longevity.


One issue that did arise during testing was some visible wear on the thin hem of the expansion fabric around the thumb hole. We gave it a 5 out of 10 for durability.

Though the Butterlicious has an underarm seam (not ideal for paddling)  we still found this stretchy shirt extremely comfortable!
Though the Butterlicious has an underarm seam (not ideal for paddling), we still found this stretchy shirt extremely comfortable!

Style


Depending on your personal preference in style (if you like long shirts and hoods), this shirt might be exactly your kind of shirt.


It has a relaxed fit with a traditionally feminine cut that we felt just screams 'cool and casual'. However, if you seek something easy to dress up as easily as dress down, a hooded sun shirt might not be the right choice.

See how the Butterlicious stacks up against the other two hooded sun shirts we reviewed  on our 5'4"  115lb gear reviewer. From left to right: Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody (size XS)  Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie (size S)  Patagonia Sunshade Hoody (size XS).
See how the Butterlicious stacks up against the other two hooded sun shirts we reviewed, on our 5'4", 115lb gear reviewer. From left to right: Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody (size XS), Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie (size S), Patagonia Sunshade Hoody (size XS).

Features


The Butterlicious Hoodie has many features that make this shirt useful. Not only does it have a hood and thumb holes for maximal sun protection, but it also has a hidden hip pocket that while open at the top, is narrow and deep to hold your credit card, chapstick, or even a big iPhone 8+ in a pinch! The half zip also lends this shirt an extra layer of versatility as you can unzip it to cool off (don't forget where you have/haven't put sunscreen though!), or zip it up tight to block out those harmful UV rays.

Though it doesn't have any fastener  we were amazed that the pocket on the Butterlicious was big enough to fit an iPhone 8+ no problem!
Though it doesn't have any fastener, we were amazed that the pocket on the Butterlicious was big enough to fit an iPhone 8+ no problem!

Best Applications


If you're looking for a sun shirt that gives you ultimate skin protection, then the Butterlicious Hoodie will surely make you happy! With its extra long sleeves that protect your hands all the way to your knuckles and the hood to cover your neck and ears, you're unlikely to need any extra sunscreen - this shirt covers it all! However, if you're seeking less intense coverage that is more breathable for more intense activities, you might consider the Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody instead.

Value


Retailing between $40-$80, this shirt isn't as cheap as many of the others in this review. However, we found the comfort, coverage, and versatility of the Butterlicious to be well worth the cost. Our reviewers think that if this style and function appeal to you, then it would be hard to go wrong with the purchase of this sun shirt from Mountain Hardwear.

Conclusion


Out of all the shirts in this review, the Butterlicious provides the most coverage from the damaging rays of the sun. We also found this shirt to be intensely comfortable with a casual style and quite a bit of versatility. If you're seeking a casual all-around sun shirt with phenomenal coverage, the Butterlicious fits your bill!

The comfort of this hoody from Mountain Hardwear made some of our testers leap for joy!
The comfort of this hoody from Mountain Hardwear made some of our testers leap for joy!
Maggie Brandenburg


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Most recent review: April 11, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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