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Apparel Review


A Better Fishing Shirt, the Under Armour Flats Guide II (continued)

Comfort & Effectiveness: Under Armour’s Flats Guide Shirt has two built in vents providing comfortable, cross ventilation without sacrificing the aforementioned contemporary styling. This is accomplished by concealing the vents within the seams on either side of the shirt instead of going with one large flap across the back.

And an inside mesh for next to skin comfort.

The synthetic fabric of the shirt is designed to provide a UPF30 level of protection from the sun as well as wick moisture away from your body. Wicking fabrics are quite common in today’s day and age. Much in the way that Gore-Tex is the name brand fabric that comes to mind when looking for wind and rain protection, coolmax is a name brand fabric that popularized moisture wicking performance in everything from socks to technical outerwear. The material in this shirt is not coolmax but behaves in the same way moving moisture away from your skin to keep you warm when it is cool, and cool when it is warm.

A closer look at the back vent and inside mesh of Under Armour's Flats Guide Shirt.

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a relatively new rating system designed to communicate the effective ability of a fabric to absorb harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. UVB rays are strongest during the summer months when the sun is stronger, but UVA rays are present year around and potentially more dangerous to your health than UVB rays. A UPF rating of 30 indicates the respective fabric blocks somewhere between ninety six to ninety seven point four percent (96% - 97.4%) of the sun’s harmful UV rays. The current, highest UPF rating is 40 – 50 indicating protection from ninety seven point five to ninety eight percent (97.5% - 98%) of the sun’s UV rays.

For those super hot days, you can roll up your sleeves and have them held in place with this internal strap, but of course, then you forego the UV protection on your arms.

So how does this all translate to real world comfort and protection out on the water? On one of the very first field tests out on the water, I had taken off my Under Armour Shirt in favor of my TackleTour jersey to prepare for a photo-opportunity. After photos were taken and the fish released back into the water, I resumed fishing for a bit without putting the Flats Guide shirt back on. The sun was high and it was getting quite warm. The thought occurred to me I had better put some sunblock on and then I remembered the shirt. In true TT testing fashion, I picked up my shirt off the deck of the boat and put it back on – over my TT jersey.

The Under Armour Flats Guide shirt not only looks good...

What I immediately noticed was how much cooler I felt with the Under Armour Flats Guide shirt back on and I was quite surprised. Since I had my TT jersey on underneath, this was no wicking effect I was experiencing with this shirt, but rather, it was the effect of the UPF protective fabric. Had I put regular cotton shirt on over my jersey, I may have received a small degree of protection from the sun simply for having covered my skin, but there’s no doubt in my mind I’d have felt warmer, not cooler.

... it's comfortable to wear while fishing.

In fact, a common white t-shirt only provides a UPF factor of seven (7). If you want UPF protection from regular fabrics, color is your best bet and can increase a t-shirt’s UPF rating to maybe ten (10). Your actual best bet is to put on something thick and dark like a denim jacket that will offer one hundred percent (100%) protection from the sun, but that’s hardly something you want to be wearing on a hot summer day.

Extremely breathable and lightweight feeling

Availability: So how do you get one? The great thing about Under Armour is their product is widely available and can be found in local sporting goods stores as well as direct online or, conveniently enough, through TackleWarehouse.com. Sizing of the Flats Guide shirt is pretty standard so if you know your dress shirt size in terms of small, medium, large, etc., order with confidence that the Under Armour product will translate into a familiar fit.
 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Under Armour Flats Guide II Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Under Armour makes a quality product 9
Performance Definitely keeps you cool on a hot day even with the sleeves rolled all the way down AND another shirt underneath 9
Price Quality comes at a price 7.5
Features UPF30 rating, non-wrinkle fabric 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Contemporary styling 9
Application Suitable for just about any outdoor activity 9

Total Score

8.67
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus

J Comfortable to wear even with a high, hot sun L Not all colors are available everywhere
J Built in protection from the sun L UPF30 is good, but UPF50 would be great
J Wash and wear convenience (no wrinkles)  


Conclusion:
The Under Armour Flats Guide shirt is also available in short sleeve as well the long sleeve version has provisions to hold the sleeves in a rolled up position. Considering our interest here was to find a comfortable, long sleeve, collared shirt that provides protection from the UV rays, the short sleeve version was of little interest and I did not wear the long sleeve version with the sleeves rolled up at all. I will say that at no time did I notice the little straps underneath the sleeve rubbing against my arm – something I can’t quite say from other shirts I’ve had in the past with similar features. Lastly, one of my favorite features of this shirt? Because of its synthetic fabric, it’s wash and wear ready so it’s great for extended trips and last minute washings where you may not have the time or interest to pull out an iron.

Of course, Casey has her own way of wearing this shirt as well.

Only two things could make this shirt more perfect for my needs and that’s a UPF50 option together with a TackleTour logo somewhere. There are many occasions where I’d much prefer to have a couple of these shirts as our “work” shirts rather than our tournament style jerseys. Nevertheless, the absence of these two features is not enough to preclude my overwhelmingly positive experience with this product and the inevitable award of “Editor’s Choice”. Thanks Under Armour for making such a sensible product, styled and featured especially for fishermen.

Looking for Under Armour gear?

Try TackleWarehouse and MonsterFishingTackle.com.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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