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Patagonia Sunshade Hoody - Women's Review

Good coverage and breathability but not ideal for long-armed women
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Price:  $79 List | $79.00 at Backcountry
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, 2020
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 3
  • Sun Protection - 25% 8
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Patagonia 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. 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 breeze — like on the water or a mountaintop. However, we find its comfort to be a bit lacking, and it's far from our favorite hooded option we tested.

Compare to Similar Products

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


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.

Comfort and 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 the face, staying put in the breeze even in a breeze. 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 120 pounds and fits well in the XS.

We like the revamped version of this shirt and think it fits much better than the previous model we tested.
We like the revamped version of this shirt and think it fits much better than the previous model we tested.

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 that lack this strange and uncomfortable feature. These cuffs make pushing the sleeves fairly uncomfortable, as the hem around the hand is relatively tight and leaves uncomfortable red marks on the arms.

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

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  but it certainly stays up in a stiff breeze!
Not the most stylish hood, but 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 relatively lightweight. 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.

Versatility


The new version of this shirt has a more flattering fit than the previous version, and the color selection is nice. That said, with a hood and thumbholes and its asymmetrical design, our reviewers feel this shirt is less versatile than some of the other shirts in our 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.

The Sunshade (far right) compared to some of the other hooded sun shirts we've tested through the years.
The Sunshade (far right) compared to some of the other hooded sun shirts we've tested through the years.

Durability


This shirt is made of double-knit 100% polyester with many reinforced hems and stitching and treated with polygiene odor control technology. Like most of the other sun shirts we tested with this treatment, we don't find it to make much of a difference once the shirt has soaked up sweat. 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 do lend some durability.

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.

Features


In addition to the hood and thumbholes, 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.

Value


With a fairly specific purpose in mind, 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, our reviewers feel the breathability and coverage this shirt provides to be worth a little extra cash.

Conclusion


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

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

Maggie Brandenburg