Otte Gear Shade Shirt: Keep the Sun Off Your Back (and Arms)

Released in 2022, the Shade Shirt SPF 50+ by Otte Gear provides much of the outdoor functionality from the company’s apparel line, with new fabrics intent on limiting outdoor and sun exposure in the days of fall and winter.

Made from a blend of 88% polyester, 12% spandex the Shade Shirt fabric is designed to provide the wearer UPF 50 sun protection to the upper torso areas, to include the neck and arms. Each cuff includes pass-through thumb ports to extend sleeve protection to the top of the hand as well.

The fabric also includes anti-microbial and moisture wicking patterns to rapidly eliminate sweat and odor.

Made with built-in stretch features, the Shade Shirt also includes a large front breast pocket secured via polymer zipper (to avoid corrosion) for flat or smaller admin items.

The over-sculpted hoodie is designed to enclose a ball cap, hearing protection, or other headwear to protect the overall head.

The Sun Slayer Hoodie is available in Flint Grey (featured), Light Khaki, Mosstone, and POW Vintage and comes in sizes XSmall to 5XL.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): With its list price of $59.00, the Shade Shirt provides a breathable, flexible material that protects the head, neck, and arms for those experiencing the outdoors in the late summer and fall. In comparison, the Zone Full-Zip Hoodie ($50) from 5.11, the Midweight Basic Hoodie ($50) from Rogue, and the Fallback Shooter Hoodie ($65) from Viktos all illustrate that amid the market of direct comparable the Shade Shirt is appropriately (or of average) priced for the consumer.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect the Men’s Shade Shirt material had a very smooth and flexible feel on the arms and shoulders, though somewhat tight in the forearms (as per design). This was consistent to the elastic cuff material at the wrist, which kept out and heat was appropriately retained. This material proved further benefit in the cool, damp fall mornings but was easily modified with sleeves rolled up as the day’s heat increased. The breathable and anti-microbial fabric also minimized sweat and helped to keep down odor despite several days of being worn under a plate carrier during drills, and not washed. The only downside is the pattern is clearly designed around the average body type, so those with above the average height may find that their longer arms may not fit as appropriate.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): Durability wise, the Shade Shirt was made from a blend of polyester and had an appropriate (or average) durability as expected from most outdoor base clothing. There were instances during the evaluation where hook-and-loop (male) material from gear or gloves would pull and fray some of the superficial threading around the cuffs and sleeves, so over long-term wear this could possibly cause further issue. However, during the evaluation, no friction compromised the fabric around the neck (from rifle slings) and torso (from plate carriers). It is recommended that end-users consider using a layered approach with the Shade Shirt, with the shirt as a base layer to provide the best overall use.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Shade Shirt did an excellent job as a base layer to defray early morning chill and moisture. The sleeves could be rolled up when the temperature rose and the body needed more cooling surface. With the UPF 50 sun protection, the hoodie was worn throughout the day and no sunburn was experienced despite continual direct sunlight. The hoodie and high neck fabric had no drawstring and negated any friction from rifle sling or other gear. Other elements like the thumb pass-through cuffs were good during rain or damp mornings to further keep the hands warm, if gloves were not available.
  • Weight – Good (4/5): At just 10.2 ounces (for the evaluated XL size), the Shade Shirt was very lightweight and served as an ideal base layer for the cooler temperatures of fall or winter. The added hood and long sleeves gave added protection against direct elements over longer periods in the field or range. In contrast, the Zone Full-Zip Hoodie (7.2 ounces) from 5.11, the Midweight Basic Hoodie (8.25 ounces) from Rogue, and the Fallback Shooter Hoodie (12 ounces) from Viktos all illustrate that material/fabric choice can play a decisive factor to overall weight and that the Shade Shirt is as a good light weight amid the market of alternatives for the consumer.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

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I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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