The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie Review

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!
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Price:  $78 List | $49.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent coverage, comfortable and stretchy, flattering cut/fit
Cons:  Dark colors, stiff around zipper
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 11, 2018
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80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort & Fit - 30% 9
  • Sun Protection - 25% 10
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 5
  • Style - 15% 7

Our Verdict

Our reviewers love lounging in this comfy shirt from Mountain Hardwear, in the sun or out. The Butterlicious was only recently ousted from its top spot by this year's new Editors' Choice award winner, the Crater Lake Hoody, also from Mountain Hardwear. It boasts soft, stretchy fabric that we find 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) are happy wearing this shirt. Coming in medium and dark colors only, this shirt may not be your top pick for a hot day in the desert, but it is still one of our favorite overall sun shirts we reviewed.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie is a super stretchy 100% polyester shirt with a hood and thumb holes. It boasts a 50 UPF rating and has an open-top hip pocket and a quarter zip.

Performance Comparison


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

Comfort & Fit


We immediately love the soft and silky feel of the Butterlicious Hoodie. The seams and hems are even comfortable to wear all day. The fabric is astoundingly stretchy, which adds to the overall comfort of the shirt. This level of fabric and hem comfort and stretch allows even our reviewers with self-proclaimed 'monkey arms' to be comfortable using the thumb holes for hours on end - 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. The sides even have two seams sewn parallel to each other off-center from the side of your torso, which we think makes the shirt even more comfortable!

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 is on, our reviewers like the fit and feel of the Butterlicious. However, we do find the neck zipper to be the least comfortable part of this shirt. It adds stiffness to an otherwise flexible shirt. Even the hip pocket doesn't close with a zipper like many 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 makes us more inclined to choose this shirt for casual everyday wear.

Two of our 5'4" gear testers sporting a size S
Two of our 5'4" gear testers sporting a size S

Sun Protection


Along with the Crater Lake and Patagonia Sunshade Hoody, this top offers some of the best sun protection. It has a high UPF rating of 50 and so many additional features we love that give it great coverage. The extra long sleeves paired with the hood help keep the sun off your neck, ears, and hands. Uniquely among hooded shirts we tested, the Butterlicious features an angled cut across the backs of your hands that provides coverage all the way to, and including, your knuckles.

Exceptionally stretchy sleeves with comfortable hems around the thumb holes and maximal coverage make this shirt an easy favorite among our reviewers.
Exceptionally stretchy sleeves with comfortable hems around the thumb holes and maximal coverage make 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 Crater Lake or Outdoor Research Echo. 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 love what it adds to the comfort of the shirt), we're unsure how this affects 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.

Though this shirt has an underarm seam (not ideal for paddling)  we still find this stretchy shirt extremely comfortable!
Though this shirt has an underarm seam (not ideal for paddling), we still find 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 this shirt stacks up against some of the other hooded sun shirts we reviewed  on our 5'4"  117lb 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 this shirt stacks up against some of the other hooded sun shirts we reviewed, on our 5'4", 117lb 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 quarter 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 closure  we are amazed that the pocket on this shirt is big enough to fit an iPhone 8+ no problem!
Though it doesn't have any closure, we are amazed that the pocket on this shirt is 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 super breathable OR Echo instead.

Value


Retailing for $78, this shirt is on the higher end of the price range we tested. However, we think the comfort, coverage, and versatility of the Butterlicious is well worth the cost. If this style and function appeal to you, then we think it's hard to go wrong with the purchase of this top.

Conclusion


The Butterlicious provides incredible coverage from the damaging rays of the sun. It's also 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