Review Wednesday is here again featuring the Kerrits Ice Fil shirt and Kerrits Ice Fil sleeves. This is the third summer I have used this combination, and I have to say that it’s become a summer staple for me. The three shirts I originally bought are still going strong, and one I bought in the last year and a half has yet to show any wear.
The short of it is – this is absolutely perfect for those wicked hot summers – be they humid or dry and I really love these shirts. My favorite aspect is just how light they are. They never get bogged down with your sweat and feel heavy like some sunshirts. They’re airy and kind of holey, but they’re solid and don’t need any other type of shirt underneath them. They are described as using your sweat to cool you, and they absolutely deliver on that account.
My second favorite thing is the collar. It’s really saved the back and sides of my neck from getting too much sun, especially since I’ve been wearing a helmet more and my western hat less. I was worried that the collar being too tight after you zip them up, but I haven’t felt like these were too tight at all. I’ve had absolutely no issues with the collar.
The fit is pretty true to size. I like a slightly larger shirt, mostly because I have very broad shoulders and don’t like to feel restricted so I usually buy a medium in these shirts. However, if you want a bit of a closer fit, then go a size down. The black shirt I’m wearing is a small, and you can tell that it’s not too tight but a slimmer fit than my shirts in medium. In either size, I think the shirts are very flattering.
The other thing I like about them is that they are short sleeve. I’m not sure about anyone else but I dislike wearing anything long-sleeved for extended periods of time. The option of wearing them with or without sleeves is perfect for me. The sleeves slip on underneath, and they actually stay there! I was very skeptical at first of them staying up my arms, but they did just fine. They do slip a little, but definitely not as much as I was anticipating. When I get back in the shady barn, I can just peel them off and now I’m just in a short sleeve shirt. I like it!
Since Vegas has an abundance of hot summer days as well as that energy-sapping dry heat, I like to wet down my sleeves and the top of my shirts. The reason for this is that the temperature is so hot, and the air so dry, that your sweat pretty much evaporates before the shirt and sleeves can really use your sweat to cool you. I have also had a nasty bout of heat stroke, so it’s imperative that I stay cool when I’m outside – especially since it can be almost 100 degrees before 8 am. The water on the sleeves and the shoulders and neck of the shirt act exactly like sweat, and it has an amazing cooling affect as you ride.
When I rode in Texas, even without wetting my sleeves or shirt these worked just as well. I did need to add some water at times since it was northern Texas and a little drier, but an excursion to Kentucky proved that with a lot more sweat these shirts never change – they always keep me cooler than any other shirt I’ve owned.
One shirt does have a nick in it from when I didn’t turn them inside out to wash them, but otherwise, these things have been pretty indestructible. I’ve worn them nearly every day for three summers, washed them a ton and they still come out looking great, they haven’t faded, I’ve worn them for hiking or yard work – anything outside where I’m going to be working hard and sweating a lot. They’re a really great all around shirt. I also love that they come in lots of colors. Even the black one I have keeps me cooler than a plain, light-colored T-shirt.
These retail for around $50, about the same price as most other short sleeve sunshirt brands. The sleeves retail for approximately $20. You can find the shirts at Amazon, RW, and Smartpak (free shipping!), and the sleeves at Amazon and RW among others. Either way, for how long I’ve had them, for how hard I’ve used them, and for how well they’ve held up to the abuse, I believe they are an excellent investment. I actually just bought two more shirts – sale at Riding Warehouse!
I give them 5/5 stars – something that I will always buy for as long as they make them.