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Sunshirts- enlighten me please

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  • Sunshirts- enlighten me please

    So I'm deciding I better get on the bandwagon with sun shirts... but there are SO many.

    Where do I start? Long sleeves for sun protection but after that...?

    Favorite brands or features and why you love 'em... enable me! : )

  • #2
    I was gifted one sold by Dover Saddlery. It's white with breathable fabric and mesh armpits running down the arm. I still wear tanks and sunscreen in the summer, but have come to love this shirt in the fall/spring. It's so comfortable and breathable.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


    • #3
      I almost always ride in sun shirts and have tried many different types. Kastel is by far my favorite, particularly when it is hot. I live somewhere with very hot, low humidity summers (often triple digits).


      • #4
        IMHO the Kerrits IceFil ones are the coolest. There is no mesh under the arms but entire fabric has tiny holes. They come in nice patterns that change every season (as well as solids, but I prefer patterns because they hind random barn stains better and are more fun). Good because variety and the old ones go on sale. Bad because you want the new patterns.

        Of the others that I've tried, for coolness, Kastel is probably the best followed by Ariat and then Dover and then the variety of Romfh that I ended up with.

        When it's actually chilly, my go to is the Kerrits Fleece HalfZip. It isn't particularly fleecy, but the inside has a bit of a nap and the fabric is thicker. I can generally ride with one less level of outerwear than everyone else. So if everyone else is wearing a vest, I'll have just the shirt. If everyone else has a jacket, I can get by with the shirt and a vest.
        The Evil Chem Prof


        • #5
          My favorite is SanSoleil. They have nice prints and I find them well made and very cool. They're on the pricier side, but they do have good sales.

          I find the Kastel a little too clingy.

          Smartpack has its own brand; they're not as tissue-weight as the others, but if it's not super-hot and you're mostly worried about UV, they're a great option. They're cut a little bit roomier as well.
          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


          • #6
            I love sun shirts. My favorite are Noble Outfitters, Ariat and Kastel.

            I recently spent six straight hours on a south Florida island beach wearing my Noble Sun shirt and didn't have even a hint of sunburn.


            • #7
              I LOVE my sunshirts. Over the last year I've acquired around a dozen and wear them year round. Even now I'm wearing them most days with a light jacket or vest because I'm in the south and tend to run hot once I'm in the tack.

              Least to most favorite:

              Horze brand - very economical but a bit heavy and lower quality zip. I find them nice in the spring and fall. They are totally fine for the summer but not what I reach for in July.

              Dover - These have a material closer to the Kastel but I find the sleeves a touch short and one that I got on clearance had a twisted arm so that the mesh runs over the side of my arm defeating the sunshirt benefit. I think sizing up may have been a good idea for me because I find the length a bit short although it isnt too tight through the body.

              Ariat - This one is probably the "coolest" because it is a stiffer fabric and it tends to stand away from the skin a bit. The cut is a touch boxy but not too bad, I just like a fitted waist.

              Kastel - Insert 100 heart emojis. They are feather light with nice long sleeves and stay tucked in. They will show every lump and bump but they feel like air on my skin. Full priced is more than I want to spend on something that my pony will use as a tissue so I look for them on sale. I managed to find a charcoal and navy for $35 from Riding Warehouse on Black Friday


              • #8
                I wear 'regular' ones, not riding specific, all the time. I've had enough bad burns that I don't need any more sun exposure.

                LL Bean Tropicwear are my favorites.

                Columbia are okay, but the pockets are tiny and useless.

                If you have Academy stores, their Magellan brand is also good.

                ... and Patrick


                • #9
                  Kastel are amazing. My goto! So pricey. I always wore them when I was working/riding in California. They held up well.


                  • #10
                    All I wear are Kastels. Every day for four years, so far the same five shirts I first purchased. THE BEST.


                    • #11
                      Love my Kastels. As others have said great for summer but I also love them as a layer until it gets really cold. Pretty easy to find them on sale but they are a very good product I’d pay full price for. I also have a merino wool zip jacket from Kastel that is the bomb with a vest for winter clinics.


                      • #12
                        Ariats are my favorites, and I have some Icefils that I like as well. I add one to the collection every once in a while to manage the cost. They have proved very durable so long as I'm not out in the brush where they can catch and pull the threads.

                        I feel so much cooler in the sunshirts. They have added a couple of hours to my tolerance for being out in the sun.

                        And of course my skin is not being fried.


                        • #13
                          I have Ariat sunstoppers in almost every solid color and a few of the polka dot prints. They're my absolute favorite sun shirt that I've had so far, and they're reasonably priced. My show shirt is also the show version of the sun stopper.

                          They don't cling, they're a good length so they tuck into breeches well, they wash nicely, and they've been very durable and not paper thin for me. I will say they run large, so size down. I normally wear S in shirts, but I wear XS in sun stoppers. They're fitted without being tight or restrictive.

                          I got a Kastel shirt on sale a few years ago. It's nice looking and washes fine, but it's not nearly as cooling and the fabric is very clingy and feels cheap. I was disappointed after reading how hype everyone was for Kastel because I just don't think they're that nice, especially for their normal full price.


                          • #14
                            I haven't tried one yet. I do have some Tees that are of a "technical fabric" that are fairly cool but dont offer sun protection. I haven't gone to shows and my budget doesnt runt to $50 - $100 shirts for everyday! And I have been weenie enough when riding to ride in the indoor if the sun is really brutal!


                            • #15
                              I buy men's button front sunshirts for a couple reasons. It's hot here, so I wear tank tops when I'm driving out, or in the barn or in stores and the like. I toss on the sun shirt only when I'm in the sun. Tie it at the waist when using quickly on/off. When I ride, I button the top buttons so my neck is protected.

                              I roll up the cuff normally, but if I'm working in the sun (in the garden, for instance) I can unroll the cuff and it covers most of my hand. My Columbia sunshirt has a vented back yoke which is nice.

                              I can also soak them quickly in a bucket and put them on wet when it's *really* hot. Cools me for most of my hour ride.


                              • #16
                                I've also found the Ariat Sunstopper to be the best to stay tucked in, but not the very coolest I've had. That goes to the EIS shirts, but again they are pricey. My biggest complaint with them, as I'm not super tall at 5'9", is that they are consistently too short in the sleeve and body for me. They cool well, but always would hike up out from my waistband, even sizing up to a large.
                                Leap, and the net will appear


                                • #17
                                  I like Kastel, but they run small so I size up. I also like the Horze brand- they are a great price and since I wear these daily, price is a huge factor for me. I have a few Kerrits icefil and I rarely wear them. I find that they stretch easily and they are awful for getting stained. Definitely cool, though.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Wow! As usual, COTH comes through... thanks everyone for your thoughts.

                                    Sounds like Kastel is the overall favorite with maybe Ariat in the reserve champion spot... I better get shopping!

                                    Let me ask a different question- what do you wish was out there in a sun shirt that doesn't exist?

                                    Maybe there's something magical from the mainstream sports world we're missing.. ?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Miss Motivation View Post
                                      Wow! As usual, COTH comes through... thanks everyone for your thoughts.

                                      Sounds like Kastel is the overall favorite with maybe Ariat in the reserve champion spot... I better get shopping!

                                      Let me ask a different question- what do you wish was out there in a sun shirt that doesn't exist?

                                      Maybe there's something magical from the mainstream sports world we're missing.. ?
                                      Oooo this!! Ok, so Duluth makes a Sol Survivor shirt that has a really flattering (IMO) high, sun-shielding collar. It’s able to be folded down and snapped secure, also.

                                      I love this feature! Always protects my neck when I am helmeted, because my hair is now short and my nape is always exposed. I can’t zip my other sun shirts up all the way- IDK, maybe I have a manly neck or something, but they suffocate me!!

                                      I’m surprised that no one mentioned Tailored Sportsman’s Icefil shirts. I love them a lot. I also like my less-pricey Riding Sport cooling shirts- I have a tank top that will make me shiver! I wear it, along with Columbia PFG shirts, for schooling at home. You can get Columbia shirts new, on eBay, for seriously 5-10 bucks.

                                      I have a couple TS and Noble sunshirts for lessons and outings where I feel I want to be more polished. I think that both brands are effective and flattering.

                                      Lastly, there is a style shirt that both Romfh and Irideon market, that is a quarter-zip, short sleeve. It has some UV protection, and TBH I really love them. I’ll have to find a photo. I have three. I really like them for early rides, or late afternoon, or of course- indoors. They tuck well and they wash really nicely.


                                      • #20
                                        My absolute favorites are IBKUL. Harder to find and a bit expensive but worth it. So light and breathable, great sun protection and the fabric doesn't snag nearly as easily as Kastel.