Prana Eileen Long Sleeve Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Prana Eileen has a 50+ UPF rating. It's made of 86% polyester and 14% spandex and has a zippered hip pocket.
Comfort & Fit
The Prana Eileen has a feminine cut that's a bit more pronounced than the other sun shirts we tested. It's not overly tight, with a relaxed, flattering fit. Our 117 pound, 5'4" main tester wore the XS and found the sleeves to be slightly shorter than she wanted but only just. The torso is long enough for most standing activities, though not our first choice for something bent over like biking. The polyester/spandex blend is a bit thicker than we were expecting, and the contrast seams sometimes felt rather oddly placed and a bit scratchy. On its own, we think this shirt is fine, but compared to the supreme comfort of more stretchy models and silky models, we aren't impressed.
A UPF rating of 50+ puts the Eileen among the top contenders for sun protection. However, lacking many features that aid in protecting your skin, the Eileen ends up falling short. It has no hood or collar or even tall neck to keep you from burning. It also has no thumb holes to keep your hands protected, and depending on how you move you could also burn that painful strip across your lower back.
We found the Eileen to be in an odd spot when it comes to breathability. The light colors (we tested white) help keep you cool, as does the quick dry fabric, which was one of the fastest models to dry in our testing. When you look closely, the shirt also appears to be covered in teeny tiny holes, which help keep you cool. But at the same time, the fabric feels a bit thick to us and is heavier than many other shirts we tested. At the end of the day, we found ourselves frequently pushing up our sleeves as soon as we started to sweat - which means sunscreen on the forearms!
We also had issues with the durability of the Eileen. The flat stitched seams appear similar to many other shirts we reviewed, but several of them started coming loose during our several month testing period. We also discovered a snag on the front of the shirt, from normal wear, which doesn't give us a lot of hope in its longevity through years of yard work, exercise, and washing. And yet our least favorite feature we discovered is how easily this shirt stains. Of course, any white shirt is bound to get dirty, but the Eileen seems to hold onto that dirt. We picked up several unnamable marks on the front of the shirt and the white seams quickly turned to an unfetching yellowed color.
This is the place where we think the Eileen is likely to please most people. The feminine cut and simple design make it easy to wear this shirt for gardening or a weeknight dinner with the inlaws. Lacking many of the technical features of most the other sun shirts we tested, the Eileen then becomes a more fashionably versatile piece. Though it might not be formal enough for your office, we think it certainly works well enough for coffee with your girlfriends.
While the Eileen's lack of features is both a fashionable asset and a sun protection detriment, it does have one important feature. A zippered hip pocket lets you store a few valuables on your person if you so choose.
The Prana Eileen is a decent option for everyday wear. Without many of the techy features of its competitors, the Eileen is better suited to blending into the crowds of society, while still keeping you covered during an adventure. If you're looking for a shirt with more coverage and even more ready for adventure, we recommend the Mountain Hardwear Crater Lake Hoody, our Editors' Choice award winner.
Retailing for $60, the Eileen is about in the middle of the price range of shirts we tested. If you're in the market for a fashionably versatile shirt that can still take on the odd adventure, the Eileen might be right for you. However, if you want to spend your money on something that will keep you better protected and be more comfortable to wear in the baking sun, we think you'd be better off checking out something like the OR Echo Hoody.
We aren't blown away by the performance of the Prana Eileen. We think it's a fairly average sun shirt with a simple design and minimal features that could be a good fit for those front country sunny days.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More