If I could, I would practically live outdoors all summer long. As it is I spend as much time as humanly possible soaking up the sun. I spend plenty of time laying out on the beach, or parking myself by the nearest pool.
But I also find that the summer season means that I’m logging a lot of hours in the saddle. The long days mean that I have plenty of time to spend my evenings riding after a day at the office. Which is why I find myself riding pretty much every day!
In recent years, I’ve taken to wearing long sleeve performance tops for much of my summer riding. Before I tried wearing my first ‘sun shirt,’ I thought the concept of long sleeves was a bit far fetched. Long sleeves? In 80 or 90 degree weather? Hilarious.
But surprisingly enough, the right combination of fashion and technology does the trick. Lightweight fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin and are fast drying perform very well, especially when they have ventilation technology working on their side.
PC: Lorraine Peachey.
This season, I’ve been riding in the Sunstopper 1/4 Zip and Polo tops from Ariat’s Heat Series. The AriatTEK Heat Series is a collection of performance apparel that was designed to keep riders cool in warm temperatures.
So what’s in a name? The Sunstopper tops are designed using Sun Protection Fabric technology, which helps to provide protection from harmful UV rays. The Sunstopper tops feature a lightweight pique knit fabric. The fabric also boasts Ariat Moisture Movement Technology, which helps it to pull moisture away from the skin quickly. Plus, it also evaporates quickly, which helps keep the rider dry and comfortable.
Both the 1/4 Zip and Polo tops feature breathable mesh sections as well, in order to promote air circulation. The design of the 1/4 Zip includes the mesh underarm as well as additional paneling. The Polo includes the mesh under the arms only.
The other major difference between the two is the obvious styling detail. The 1/4 Zip features a mock collar, with a 1/4 zip front. On especially warm days, I like to leave the front mostly unzipped to allow additional airflow. The 1/4 Zip also includes a stock tie loop.
For a bit of a different look, the Sunstopper Polo offers an alternative styling. The front features six snap buttons up the front, which can easily fastened / unfastened in order to get just the right look. The polo collar also offers a crisp and clean appearance.
One of my favorite things is just how quickly the ultra light fabric dries. I hate feeling slightly soggy after I end up sweating buckets during a ride, and my top usually ends up soaked. With the Sunstopper tops, the fabric dries quickly, and which helps me to feel comfortable.
Both the Sunstopper 1/4 Zip and Polo tops are available from Ariat. Both styles retail for $49.95 for solid colors, and $54.95 for prints. You can find the 1/4 Zip top here, and you can find the Polo top here.
Go Stylishly Cool Summer Apparel. Go Ariat. Go Jumping.