Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Sunshade Hoody - Women's Review

Price:  $69 List | $69.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great breathability, light colors, good coverage
Cons:  Sleeves a bit short, stiff hip zipper
Bottom line:  While we loved the breathability and coverage of this shirt, it wasn't our choice for most comfortable thumb hole details.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
Sun Protection Level:  50+
Coverage:  Long sleeve, hood, thumb holes
Features:  Hood, thumb holes, hip pocket (zipper)
Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Women's Sunshade Hoody is a lightweight, highly breathable sun shirt with excellent coverage. With an asymmetrical design and a fitted hood with a small opening, it might be just the sun shirt you're looking for. Billed as a warm-weather fishing shirt, it sports a zippered hip pocket and reinforced hems in accent colors. While it's a little bit of a stretchy shirt, its sleeves are not nearly so stretchy - long-armed women be aware!



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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We tested this shirt in particular against the two other shirts in this review that also have hoods, the Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie and Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody to see which we liked best for various activities.

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 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.

The Sunshade Hoody  size XS on two 5'4" women.
The Sunshade Hoody, size XS on two 5'4" women.

While the material is a bit stretchy, it's not enough to allow the sleeves to stretch long enough to accommodate a long-armed woman. Our reviewers reported that with long arms, using the thumb holes was pretty uncomfortable and pulled the shirt tight across the front of her neck. We also found that pushing the sleeves up on this shirt was challenging, as the hem around the hand is relatively tight. So once our reviewers pushed that sleeve up higher, it uncomfortably dug into their skin. The Sunshade was not the favorite of our reviewers with a high ape index. Overall we give it a 6 out of 10.

Sun Protection


This shirt offers some of the highest sun protection; 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, if you tend to find yourself on the long-armed end of the spectrum as some of our reviewers do, keeping the thumb holes on to protect your hands might not be a comfortable option. Additionally, we found that compared to the Butterlicious Hoodie, the sleeves on this hoodie didn't cover quite as much of our hands. We scored it a 9 out of 10.

Not the most stylish hood  but it will stay up in a breeze. Don't forget the face sunscreen or hat though!
Not the most stylish hood, but it will stay up in a breeze. Don't forget the face sunscreen or hat though!

Breathability


The Sunshade is made of highly breathable fabric that's lightweight and 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. We give it an 8 out of 10.

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


Made of double-knit 100% polyester with many reinforced hems and stitching, we found this shirt to be reasonably durable. Our reviewers didn't have any issues during our testing, though a few loose ends were sticking out of the shirt we received. We gave it a 6 out of 10.

The hand coverage provided by this shirt is not quite as much as that of the Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie  nor nearly as comfortable  we thought.
The hand coverage provided by this shirt is not quite as much as that of the Mountain Hardwear Butterlicious Hoodie, nor nearly as comfortable, we thought.

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 felt this shirt was 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. It earned a 5 out of 10 for style points.

See how the Sunshade compares to the other two hooded sun shirts included in this review. on our 5'4"  115lb 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 the other two hooded sun shirts included in this review. on our 5'4", 115lb 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 if you're looking for a breathable sun shirt with great coverage.

Value


Retailing around $70, 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, we found that our reviewers either loved this shirt or could do without it. So much of this depended on overall style desire and how well the shirt fit. If this shirt is your style and your arms aren't ape-length, this could be a great shirt for you!

Though this wasn't our favorite hooded shirt we reviewed  we still appreciate its silky feel and breathability!
Though this wasn't our favorite hooded shirt we reviewed, we still appreciate its silky feel and breathability!

Maggie Brandenburg


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

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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