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Patagonia Sunshade Hoody - Women's Review

While we loved the breathability and coverage of this shirt, it wasn't our choice for most comfortable thumb hole details.
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Price:  $79 List | $79.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great breathability, light colors, good coverage
Cons:  Sleeves a bit short, stiff hip zipper
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Comfort & Fit - 30% 6
  • Sun Protection - 25% 9
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Style - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Women's Sunshade Hoody is a lightweight, breathable sun shirt with excellent coverage. With an asymmetrical design and a fitted hood with a small opening, this shirt will stay put even in a stiff breeze. Billed as a warm-weather fishing shirt, it sports a zippered hip pocket and reinforced hems in accent colors. If this shirt is your style, great, but it is our least favorite hoody in this review. The Mountain Hardwear Crater Lake Hoody scored the highest in our testing and is our 2019 Editors' Choice award winner.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Sunshade Hoody is sold as a fishing shirt for women. It's made of 100% polyester and has a hood, thumb holes, and a zipper hip pocket.

Performance Comparison


Hike comfortably in this breathable sun shirt from Patagonia.
Hike comfortably in this breathable sun shirt from Patagonia.

Comfort & Fit


With a relaxed fit, this silky smooth shirt feels good on the skin. The fabric has a bit of stretch to facilitate easy movement and is thin and highly breathable. The hood easily fits over a low ponytail or hat and tightly frames your face, staying put in the breeze you hope is blowing. Sporting a classically feminine cut, this new version of the Sunshade is much truer to size and flattering than the previous version. Our 5'4" main tester is about 117 pounds and fits well in the XS.

Size XS on two 5'4" women.
Size XS on two 5'4" women.

We tested an older version of this shirt, in which the sleeves were too short for our long-armed testers. The new version has slightly longer sleeves that allow for much more comfortable usage of the thumb holes. However, the thick reinforcements around the cuffs are still less comfortable to use than other sun shirts we tested, like the Crater Lake. These cuffs make pushing the sleeves up on this shirt fairly uncomfortable, as the hem around the hand is relatively tight and leaves uncomfortable red marks on our arms.

Sun Protection


This shirt offers some of the highest sun protection in this review. With a UPF of 50+, a fitted hood, and the hand protection offered from the use of the thumb holes, you can figure your added sunscreen usage will be minimal if at all. However, this shirt is the thickest hooded model we tested, so you might have a tough time keeping those sleeves all the way down on a hot day.

Not the most stylish hood  it certainly stays up in a stiff breeze!
Not the most stylish hood, it certainly stays up in a stiff breeze!

Breathability


The Sunshade is made of breathable fabric that, while being the thickest and heaviest hoody we tested, is still lightweight in comparison with some other options we tested. It's light-colored and dries quickly. Though it has no vents, our reviewers never found themselves wishing it did. The loose fit allows the breeze to sweep through and keep you cool while the shirt protects you from the sun, though the tight fit of the sleeve cuffs and hood stifle that a bit.

Though it has flat seams  they're still located under the arm which doesn't bode well for a long paddle. Perhaps best to stick to hiking and everyday adventures.
Though it has flat seams, they're still located under the arm which doesn't bode well for a long paddle. Perhaps best to stick to hiking and everyday adventures.

Durability


This shirt is made of double-knit 100% polyester with many reinforced hems and stitching and treated with polygiene odor control technology. We found a few loose ends sticking out of the shirt we received, and the material picked up a few snags from normal wear and laundering. As a thicker shirt, it also takes longer to dry than most the others we tested. The thick, covered cuffs that we aren't super fond of when it comes to comfort, lend some durability to this shirt.

The newly redesigned version has longer sleeves  but still a fairly uncomfortable cuff compared to the competition.
The newly redesigned version has longer sleeves, but still a fairly uncomfortable cuff compared to the competition.

Style


Though the new version of this shirt we found to be a more flattering fit than the previous version, there are few color or pattern options available from Patagonia. With a hood and thumb holes and its asymmetrical design, our reviewers feel this shirt is less versatile than some of the other shirts in this review. Unless you work for a trail organization or other outdoor company, we don't think it's a great fit for an office or a night out with anyone other than your fishing crew or college buddies, etc.

See how the Sunshade compares to some of the other hooded sun shirts included in this review. on our 5'4"  117lb reviewer  from left to right: Black Diamond Alpenglow (size XS)  Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious (size S)  Patagonia Sunshade (size XS).
See how the Sunshade compares to some of the other hooded sun shirts included in this review. on our 5'4", 117lb reviewer, from left to right: Black Diamond Alpenglow (size XS), Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious (size S), Patagonia Sunshade (size XS).

Features


In addition to the hood and thumb holes, this shirt features a hidden zipper pocket on the left hip. Wider on the bottom, narrowing to a point on the top, this triangle-shaped pocket is the reason for the asymmetrical seam on the front of the torso of this shirt. But it's useful! This pocket is large enough to fit an iPhone 8+, though our reviewers decided they'd rather just put their phone in a bag or pants pocket to avoid having such a heavy brick on their hips.

Reinforced seams around the thumb holes help add durability.
Reinforced seams around the thumb holes help add durability.

Best Applications


This shirt is a great option for warm-weather fishing, as Patagonia advertises it for. We also feel it can easily be used for hiking and other outdoor activities, especially if you need coverage that stays put in a stiff ocean breeze.

Value


Retailing for $79, the Sunshade Hoody isn't the cheapest sun shirt in this review by far. However, if the style and fit match what you're looking for though, our reviewers felt the breathability and coverage this shirt provides to be worth a little extra cash.

Conclusion


Overall, our reviewers either love this shirt or could do without it. So much of this depends on overall style desire and how well the shirt fits. If this shirt is your style and especially if you need sun protection on windy days, this could be a great shirt for you!

Though it's not our favorite hooded sun shirt  we do appreciate how well it keeps you protected even in a stiff ocean breeze.
Though it's not our favorite hooded sun shirt, we do appreciate how well it keeps you protected even in a stiff ocean breeze.


Maggie Brandenburg