[Cdt-l] desert shirt

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 29 20:27:55 CST 2011

Nylon "desert" shirts are typically warmer and less comfortable to wear than polyester, hence all the mesh vent ports and associated complexity. I think the makers of UPF clothing are preying on unfounded fears that the standard, loose-weave and thus highly breathable poly shirts one would otherwise wear by choice are somehow going to allow enough solar radiation through to burn the skin. I've never heard of this happening; certainly it's never been an issue for me on desert hikes, and I'm burn-prone.

The sun's UV rays are primarily of concern from around 10am to 3 or 4pm. I can't justify dedicating a special article of clothing for 5 or 6 hours' perceived benefit only when the sun is out. Even a long-sleeved shirt seems like an unnecessary compromise, when a short-sleeved shirt is often more comfortable to wear. Rather than carry two redundant base layers, I pack along sun sleeves and use these in conjunction with a single poly tee. When the sun ceases to be a concern, the sleeves come off or slip down to the hands as I keep hiking. I butchered an old Railriders sun shirt for this purpose, as the nylon sleeves offer good protection against brush, and modified it by adding an elastic hem at the armpit ends as well as hide-away coverings for the hands at the wrist ends, with an elastic 'stirrup' for the palms that holds it in place. You can also purchase commercial solar sleeves online, which are usually form-fitting and low denier like bicyclist's

- bf

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