Looking for discreet Tops with serious Tools

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We've researched over 60 different sun shirts in order to find the top 13 for in-depth, hands-on testing in this review. Then, to determine the best, we wore them for months in all manner of climates and terrain. Protection from the sun is critical during long adventures, so we knew shirts made with added UPF protection had to be a key requirement. Other optimal characteristics we looked for included synthetic materials, ample coverage, and breathability. We tested a range of des, such as the hooded pullover and the baggy button-down.

Whatever activity you may be doing, we've ranked an incredible selection of high-performance shirts for you to choose from. As the sun peaks over the horizon for yet another day of adventure, the Mountain Hardwear Canyon is the shirt we love to grab. Whether you're planning to work in the yard, commute on your bike, or run on a beautiful trail and then grab some beers and tacos with friends, this shirt has you covered. It's versatile enough to excel at all these mini-missions while still looking stylish, keeping you cool, and — most importantly — keeping you protected from the sun.

Durability is also top-notch, making the Canyon a true all-around winner. The Canyon pulls off this brilliant equilibrium using a few tactics. It has a looser fit than a regular shirt and employs a tough dobby weave fabric with a UPF 50 rating that's still light enough to be attractive and comfortable. It also has many features you'll find useful: buttons, pockets, and sleeves that can easily roll up and stay in place with the help of discreet tabs.

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Add your favorite wide-brim hat, and you're ready for wandering all over on your own canyon adventure. Columbia calls it "a more modern take" on a classic de, and we agree. This shirt looks as good as it functions, protecting against burns without making you look like a safari guide.

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The sleeves offer ample length below the wrists when needed, and the hem does the same, laying flat under backpacks and, in general, staying in place when it's supposed to. As a travel shirt, the Silver Ridge packs a bit larger than others in our review but makes up for it in comfort. The pocket de is also smart; roomy without being bulky, and supportive enough to hold a passport or minimalist wallet with ease. Shoppers will find the Silver Ridge has a couple of slight drawbacks, such as the annoying sleeve capture tabs being difficult to fasten with one hand and the fact that, without the collar button attached, the suprasternal notch is open to sun exposure.

However, this means that the collar doesn't feel restricting when buttoned up, allowing easy and natural movement. Yes, this shirt is a bit big in fit, but that's a natural byproduct of its de to beat back the sun. If you're looking for a lot of shirt for not a lot of bucks, this is definitely worth a gander. Read review : Columbia Silver Ridge Lite. Proper protection from the sun shouldn't be the last thing you remember to do before setting off on your next adventure, but often, it is. If your budget is already stretched to the breaking point, the Baleaf UPF 50 Hoody has literally got you covered.

Sure, it's not the most fashionable accessory — the fit is quite relaxed — but knowing that you're avoiding a sunburn while out on the water or on top of a mountain is a great feeling indeed. There are a few details about the Baleaf we wish were more thoughtful. The hood tends to fly off in a slight breeze, and the fabric is thicker than most any other shirt we've tested, making it a little less breathable.

There's no anti-microbial treatment either, so you'll want to wash this shirt regularly, but don't worry: it's made of tough enough material to survive regular washings.

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When it comes down to value, this one is hard to beat, and we think you'll be pleased. In one word: it's the fabric! The Alpenglow Hoody may not have all the features found on other hooded sun shirts, but we had to ask ourselves: does it even need them?

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The hood stays on without an extra button, the shirt is breathable enough without needing a zipper, sleeves are long enough to reach well past the ends of our fingers if we need them to. And, on top of it all, this is a handsome-looking hoody, with minimal logos and good colorways.

Grab this layer if minimalistic gear speaks your language. Read review : Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody. If you're looking for sun protection on the beach or in the water — especially if you're going swimming or surfing — you're looking for the Patagonia R0 Hoody.

Unlike the other tops we tested, the R0 is adapted first and foremost to aquatic life. The skintight and stretchy fabric hugs your entire upper body, and the cinch-able hood with a built-in brim will get you halfway prepared to shred with the dolphins during the next break. The other side of the coin to extreme specificity is a lack of versatility, so be aware that the R0 will look and feel a little out of place once away from the waves. Wearing it while on a coffee shop date or the local group trail run made us feel a little goofy, although we enjoyed the humourous takes by our buddies on our porpoise-like appearance.

Nevertheless, Patagonia knows what they're doing when it comes to functional surfwear, and the R0 is no exception. Once suited up and on our SUP, we blended right into the colorful local cacophony. Read review : Patagonia R0 Hoody. Justin Simoni is a Boulder, CO-based athlete, adventurer, and backpacking guide.

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He specializes in ultra-long distance, self-powered, and self-supported challenges in the mountains of the American West. Simoni has put these shirts to their limits while wandering all along the Front Range of Colorado on long bike rides, trail runs, outdoor workdays, and at the crag. He has been working closely with outdoor gear for over a decade, bringing his experience and expertise to the table.

Our testing process began with extensive research on the hundreds of sun shirts currently available on the market. We then hand-picked the strongest candidates and purchased them at full retail. From there, we spent weeks wearing these shirts for every imaginable activity. We ran, hiked, biked, climbed, scrambled, wandered, slacklined, and napped — all under the eyes of the glorious sun. We even took our sun shirt picks on job sites and lumberyards to see how well they worked while we worked. We noted each shirt's strengths and weaknesses in different scenarios and, with that data, came up with some great advice to help you pick the best product for your needs and budget.

The primary job for all these seemingly simple shirts is to protect the wearer from excess exposure to the sun, be durable enough to make it through life's adventures, and offer enough breathability that it's realistic to wear in the hottest of situations. Versatility is also of importance — if one shirt can fulfill multiple roles, it's one less piece of gear that you need to pack, which delights pack-weight-conscious folks. This is also important when you're trying to pack a suitcase with everything you'll need for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We made sure to use each of the shirts in this review as thoroughly as our testing period would allow — read on to learn about what we discovered.

We believe value to be of great importance and something we pay mind to when testing. Ultimately, we want to make sure you're investing in your gear wisely. But since it's a subjective factor, it doesn't factor into our performance evaluations of each shirt. With some gear, the more you pay, the more you get — but that's not always true for sun shirts. Sometimes you're just paying for features that aren't really necessary. So, which shirts showed a great value? The Baleaf UPF 50 is sold at a hard-to-beat price and bestows upon you a durable shirt that will last for many of your future adventures.

While it doesn't quite compete with the more technical and feature-rich options from the big brand names, it's still a solid choice, especially if you're shopping on a budget. The Silver Ridge is a traditional button-up, and the Tropic Comfort is a thin, smooth, and comfortable hoody. The Mountain Hardwear Canyon is just a bit more expensive but provides the best performance in our lineup. Probably the most critical facet of any sun shirt is how it feels when it's on.

After all, UPF protection won't mean much if the article of clothing it covers doesn't feel good to wear. The shirts we selected for our test largely all did well in this category. Given how expensive the shirt is — by far the most expensive shirt in our lineup — it would be a shame to ruin such a stylish piece of gear just by getting lost on a trail and having to find a "shortcut" through some brush.

We'd only suggest the River Run as a casual lifestyle piece or for high-altitude adventures where having a little bit of extra warmth from wool is ideal. We were more impressed by both the Canyon and the Silver Ridge Lite — two button-up shirts that feature an updated cut of a classic idea. Generally, this means that the cut is a little more fitted than the almost smock-like options that usually flood the market. Both these felt great while wearing them, which just made us want to wear them for everything. This shirt works really well where mobility is tantamount.

Gymnastic climbing moves at the crag are a place where this shirt excels.

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You can now also find this same stretchy fabric used in the Astroman Sun Hoodie.

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