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Apparel Review

Quite Possibly the Ultimate Fishing Shirt : Simms' Solarflex Hoody


Date: 2/27/13
Apparel Type: Shirt
Manufacturer: Simms
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.67 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!

Everytime you turn around there's a new specialty garment made to protect you from the elements. Whether its wind, rain, or sun, clothing manufacturers are putting the tech into fabrics and producing pants, shirts, jackets, and full blown suits to help protect us from harsh outdoor conditions. My introduction to technical fabrics as we like to call them here at TT HQ led to our January 2010 article on Under Armour's Flats Shirt - a long sleeve, button down collared shirt with UPF 30 protection. Since that time, I've added UPF pants and neck gaiters to my fishing wear arsenal, and today we look at a garment from Simms that puts two of these pieces of clothing together as one. Introducing our look at Simms' Solarflex Hoody.


Simms Solarflex Hoody Specifications

Material Simms COR3
Sizes S - XXL
Colors Wasabi, Ash Grey
Features Built in Gaiter/Hoodie, Thumb Loops, Mesh breathable panel, flat seams
Origin El Salvador
MSRP $49.95


Impressions: Since completing my review early in 2010, I've been a big fan of the UPF rated long sleeve, button down shirts like Under Amour's Flats Guide shirt. Shortly thereafter, I added Buff's neck gaiter to my sun protection arsenal and loved it because in combination, they reduced the frequency with which I had to apply sunblock. Only trouble was there was always that small patch of skin between the bottom of the Buff and where I started buttoning my shirt that was exposed and susceptible to being burnt. To mitigate, I'd wear a t-shirt or my TT Jersey underneath my button down but not only did that complicated matters when it came time for photographs, it just wasn't very comfortable on hot days.


Introducing the Simms Solarflex Hoody with a built in neck gaiter.

Earlier this year, I caught wind of Simms' new Solarflex Hoody - a long sleeve pullover shirt with an integrated neck gaiter. I ordered two right away to check out. This long sleeve shirt features finger loops like a cycling shirt, a gaiter with a meshed breathing panel, and UPF 30 sun protection. Simms' proprietary COR3 fabric is a wicking and anti-odor material that keeps you cool when it's hot, but what some may not realize is it can also act as a base layer when it's cold.

The gaiter is flexible enough to be worn as a hoody hence the garment's name.

Field Tests: The Solarflex Hoody became available in Spring of this year and I've been fishing it pretty much from early spring through the summer. The first big test for the SolarFlex Hoody would come in late May during our trip with Okuma to El Salto Lake in Mexico. I had already started to wear this shirt on trips to Clear Lake, but during those trips, it served as a base layer because temperatures never really reached a point where I could test the shirt as a standalone garment.

Another feature are the thumb loops to ensure the sleeves stay down over your arms for maximum sun protection effect.

Base Layer Comfort: Simms' Solarflex Hoody is made of a thin, synthetic fabric very similar to the current generation thermals or base layers. So it's a natural for base layer applications. During late spring where the skies were blue but the air still cold and crisp, this is exactly how I wore it. It was comfortable and non-restrictive beneath tshirts, button downs, and of course, my TT jersey.

Out on the water, the Solarflex Hoody is comfortable as a standalone garment.

Next Section: Sporting the Solarflex at El Salto









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