Vapor Apparel Solar Long Sleeve - Women's Review
Cons: Wider neck exposes skin, holds onto body odors easily
Manufacturer: Vapor Apparel
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Solar is a simple sun shirt without a hood, collar, or thumb holes. It's made of moisture-wicking microfiber and is rated with 50+ UPF protection.
Comfort and Fit
The Solar has a fairly relaxed and flowy fit. Not nearly as loose as the button-up shirts in this review, but with stretchy fabric, it doesn't need to be. All the colors available through Vapor are also pastel or light colors, helping to keep you cool even if direct sunlight is beating down on you while you trail run through the high Sierras (we know; we tried). The fabric is soft, malleable, and not constricting and helps you forget you're wearing a long sleeve shirt. While our reviewers with a high ape index (AKA long arms) think the sleeves could be a tad longer, most of our reviewers found them to be just right.
The high UPF value (50+) of this shirt allows you to breathe easy, knowing that your skin is well-protected. The lack of hood or thumb holes means you still need to reapply that SPF cream to your neck and hands, but if you're gardening with gloves and a big floppy hat, you may be glad to be rid of that extra fabric. Our only real concern with the protection this shirt offers is that the neck is a bit wide compared to the other shirts we tested, leaving larger exposed areas of skin than any other shirt we tested. However, if your race is just a short 5K, you may not mind this short time of extra sun exposure.
With a nice flowy fit and light color choices, this shirt does a great job allowing breezes to cool you off on a hot day. The material is quite thin and dries very quickly, which lets all that evaporating sweat do what evolution intended — cool you off! While you may not enjoy running in a long sleeve shirt or wearing one to build that trail (that you'll later run on, in the same shirt!), this shirt is light and breezy enough to perhaps change your mind.
The fit of this shirt is easy and relaxed. It may not be featured on a fashion runway anytime soon, but our reviewers also found it difficult not to like. It's meant to have a relaxed fit that's comfortable to wear, recreate, and sweat in. As it comes in a plethora of colors, you can choose the one that best suits your style. Just like some of the other laidback-looking and specific-use shirts we tested, we don't recommend this shirt for a night out or around the office on Monday, but it may work as an underlayer on a cold winter day.
Made of 100% microfiber with touted moisture-wicking technology, our reviewers are left with no doubts about this shirt's comfort and breathability. However, the thin material does have us questioning its durability. While it didn't catch any snags during our testing, we're not so sure how it might hold up to trimming the rose bushes or playing with the new puppy. Yet our reviewers' biggest complaint is how it holds onto smell. If worn for more than a couple short, 3-5 mile runs without being washed, it develops an odor that's sure to deter those with sensitive (or maybe existing?) noses.
This shirt has no additional features; it's a simple, straightforward design.
This is one category that the Solar does well in. For less than 20% of the cost of some other sun shirts, you can save your skin and wallet the burden of rubbing all those sunscreen chemicals onto the largest organ of your body. Hard to beat that!
The Vapor Solar Long Sleeve is an easy to wear, breathable sun shirt with a good price tag. It does tend to get a bit stinky if you're sweating a lot in it, and your friends may call you out on it. However, if you don't have a specific activity in mind, and just want to be saved from the sun (and yucky, sticky sunscreen), this shirt is a good choice for you.
— Maggie Brandenburg
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