Monday, April 6, 2015

Dover's Riding Sport CoolBlast Shirt

One of the things I regret not doing during my childhood is taking better care of my skin in the Southwest desert sun. I've had more than my fair share of sunburned arms and glove tan lines from riding over the years and I can only wonder how much aloe gel I could have saved myself if I had access to the great assortment of sun shirts on the market today.  Walk into any sporting goods store, tack shop, or outdoor specialty shop and you'll see a wide variety of gear dedicated to protecting you from the sun. I've tried a few different versions of these sun blocking, moisture wicking sport tops and I keep coming back to the CoolBlast tops by Riding Sport and Dover Saddlery.

The CoolBlast tops are made of 92% nylon, 8% spandex fabric and have a mesh lining under the arms to provide extra circulation.  This particular blend of fabric is known as IceFil and is the same combination that you'll find on the EIS shirts. Tailored Sportsman also has an IceFil shirt with a 91% nylon and 9% spandex blend.  

This fabric has a brushed pattern on the inside that wicks away sweat and brings it to the fabric's surface. This distribution of moisture throughout the light and breezy fabric makes your skin feel cooler as air passes through.  Many of these shirts claim that you'll feel 5 degrees cooler but I don't know a real person who can accurately measure that feeling while simultaneously focusing on inside leg to outside rein. 

What I can tell you is that the Riding Sport CoolBlast shirt is so light that you hardly notice it.  That's kind of a big deal for a long sleeve shirt on a hot sunny day. They have a great amount of stretch with a fit that is not restricting.  This is also where I'd put the Dover house brand on top of some of the other offerings on the market. The CoolBlast shirt is cut a little wider throughout the bust and hangs straight from shoulder to waist with a generous length that stays tucked in.

This shirt comes in nine solid color choices and for 2015 they're offering combinations with contrasting zippers and even ombre and print styles.

I own two of these tops in the long sleeve version but Dover also sells a short sleeve and sleeveless shirt made from the same IceFill fabric.  As you can see by the labels, Riding Sport has kept up with the higher priced sun shirts and they do it at a much more friendly price point. The CoolBlast shirts are listed on the website for $64.00 for the special edition prints and the long sleeve will run about $60.00. Then again, if you get your Dover sale catalog or keep an eye on the clearance section of the website you can pick them up for much less. 

Next week I'll be reviewing the Sticky Seat Eventer Tights. Until then, happy riding!

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