13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Extended use review of the BEST outdoor button-down shirt,
This review is from: ExOfficio Men's Air Strip Lite Long Sleeve Shirt (Sports Apparel)
EXPERIENCE: 8 years of ASL use as a scout leader, baseball coach, and dad. I own 15.
TEMPERATURE: Hot Houston. High humidity with heat indexes 100+.
OTHER SHIRTS OWNED: Patagonia Cap, UA Heatgear & Flats Guide II, Easton skinz II (w/bamboo), Magellan Laguna Madre, Columbia Perfect Cast, various cotton & linen.
BEST PERFORMS: In sun or shade with movement and/or wind. Higher humidity worsens performance.
WEAKEST ABILITY: In stagnant conditions with high humidity.
WEIGHT: Lighter than any other button-down outdoor shirt on the market.
DRY TIME: Unreal. Fully soaked after a dunking booth and I was dry again in 45 minutes.
IN FULL SUN: ASL performs best. My other shirts feel "on fire" with direct sun, especially UA. Being L/S with a collar, you can still be reasonably comfortable even with sleeves rolled down during extended time in full sun.
IN HUMIDITY: All the shirts have challenges here. With some air movement, ASL performs as good as can be expected but its tight weave versus the micro mesh on the stretch fabrics means Capilene I/Silkweight and my Easton Skinz II win here.
IN STAGNANT CONDITIONS: Because of the tight weave, body heat feels trapped despite the excellent venting. However, as soon as you move, or have some air flow, the heat is dissipated.
FIT: I'm 5'10" with a 45" chest and 40" waist. The large is too tight across the chest and causes the lateral edge of the pocket flaps to bend over. I wear 34/35 arms for dress shirts but the large ASL is little short on reach. The length is also short flashing my abs when reaching up. In contrast, the XL is a bit baggy and a little long. HOWEVER, this makes it perform BETTER and COOLER for outdoor activities. Additionally, when stretching up, the extra length conceals whatever I carry on my belt. In contrast to a proper dress shirt fit, notice the Ex Officio models wear it baggy (the top of the armholes are over the side and not the top of the shoulder and the rolled sleeves are below the elbow). For work or non-active travel you may want the smaller size.
LOOK & DESIGN: While a button-down looks more formal than a T, they are far more versatile. If your arms start sizzling, roll the sleeves down. The collar protects your neck. And when the heat is on, unbutton the shirt for maximum venting and still retain the sun protection for your back and shoulders. The fabric is softer than any other button-down Poly/Nylon shirt around, doesn't have a "plastic" feel and doesn't pill like my UA shirts. The shirt is generally wrinke-free, but the pocket corners need to be pressed periodically. Unfortunately, the pockets are a little low and sag with contents. Color selection is subdued to promote use at home, office, or travel, but I wish they would offer more "bold" colors for fishing/beach activities in the bright pastels or tropical hues. The ASL color durability seems a little weak and is easily bleached/stained. I also think the sleeve tabs are too low as I would prefer them to roll up above and not below the elbow.
SMELL: I don't find they retain smells, but the tight weave holds an individual's own scents worse than a mesh type shirt.
OVERALL COMMENTS: I'm addicted to these shirts. I washed it each night and wore it daily at Disney and Sea World during the hottest summers and remained reasonably comfortable. Not perfect, but HIGHLY recommended if you can find a sale.