ExOfficio SOL COOL Collection Review

Travis GneitingReviews

History of ExOfficio

ExOfficio was founded in 1987, introducing a whole new generation of high performance apparel for travelers and those with an active lifestyle. The first to market with climate control apparel, ExOfficio reinvented active wear. ExOfficio was the first to introduce convertible performance clothing from versatile convertible pants to compact-able jackets ideal for traveling.

ExOfficio has made it their mission to provide adventure seekers, travelers and outdoor enthusiasts with lightweight, wrinkle-free fabrics that offer complete protection from the elements. Protection against sun, pests and water – be comfortable and fashion forward wherever your adventures take you.

ExOfficio has been a leader in technical innovation. With fashion forward designs that offer form and function – ExOfficio incorporates smart features that enhance performance. ExOfficio apparel is constructed with patented technical fabrics that provide better climate control and sun protection than any other fabric on the market. From vented sleeves to hidden pockets, every stitch of ExOfficio apparel is engineered to perform under any conditions – whether in the backcountry or travelling across the country.

Sol Cool Technology Protection

Sol Cool is a line of high performance apparel that offers unparalleled cooling and sun protection. The Sol Cool collection is constructed with patented Icefil® technology. The Sol Cool products are the highest ranked garment for blocking harmful UV rays with 50+ UV protection.

Better than sunscreen, the Sol Cool Collection provides high performance climate control, sun protection and style.

The Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody is the poster child of the Sol Cool collection, for the amazing sun protection, fit and performance. Keeping you cool and comfortable in the hottest climates. Save the sunscreen, because you will actually stay cooler and be more protected wearing the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody or Sol Cool Long Sleeve. The natural compounds in the Sol Cool collection actually cool your skin up to 5 degrees. The cooling effect and sun protection make the Sol Cool collection a contender to sun screen, or even going shirtless. Utilizing a natural compound found in Birch Trees, Xylitol is woven into fabric. When the Xylitol contacts moisture, such as sweat, it creates a cooling sensation. Xylitol can cool the skin surface up to 5°F enabling you to perform better and be more comfortable while you’re at it.

The flattering fits, fashion forward colors and modern design is fit for the trail or the streets. The fabric is soft and smooth, and looks and feels high quality. The Sol Cool protection is available for men and women. Styles come in the SOL COOL™ TEE, SOL COOL™ ULTIMATE HOODY, Sol Cool™ Long Sleeve Shirt, SOL COOL™ HOODED ZIPPY, Sol Cool™ Neck Gaiter for extra sun protection, Sol Cool™ Gloves, Sol Cool™ Arm Sleeves.

The Sol Cool performance fabric moves perspiration and moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. It works by absorbing and spreading moisture out across the fabric to increase the evaporation/drying rate. Specially engineered flat yarn fibers enable for high-performance fabric that is soft, comfortable, breathable and wicks away moisture for the best climate control garment on the market.

Icefil® Technology

Prolonged exposure to the sun UV rays carries severe risks. Over the years, too much time outdoors can put you at risk for wrinkles, age spots, scaly patches called actinic keratosis, and skin cancer.Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on April 06, 2015, www.WebMD.com

ExOfficio is a market leader in performance travel apparel. Their smart and versatile designs have always helped travelers keep organized and comfortable. ExOfficio has a serious track record of innovation. The most recent is the Sol Cool product line with Icefil technology. ExOfficio® Sol Cool™ Ultimate Hoody Received the prestigious 2014 Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award.

When ExOfficio introduced the Sol Cool collection of sun protective apparel, the Ice-Fil® technology with xylitol performs unlike anything else on the market. Keeping you dry and cool when you are pushing yourself to the limits, ExOfficio is redefining active wear, and giving the competition a run for their money.

What is all the hype? The best wet wicking, breathable performance gear WITH sun protection that acts like an air conditioner. It’s moisture wicking on steroids. The Sol Cool protection collection is constructed with xylitol, a natural compound found in white birch trees. The innovative fabric does more than keep your skin dry and breathable, it actually lowers your body temperature. The Ice-Fil technology converts your sweat into a brisk mist as the material quickly absorbs and disperses perspiration. This creates a cooling effect, that also keeps you dry.

The Sol Cool fabric is constructed with flat polyester mycro denier yarn. The flat yarn aggressively pulls moister away from your skin and distributes the moisture on the fabric to evaporate more quickly. Traditional yarns are round. In Sol Cool fabric, the yarn is flat. This is the difference between a rope absorbing water into the core, versus ribbon – which dries much faster due to the larger surface area. This larger surface area enables quick moisture wicking abilities, and release of body heat. Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody, Tees are engineered for a seamless fit that moves with you, while creating a barrier between you and the elements. This means no more sweaty pits, or sweaty back. The sweat evaporates almost as quickly as you make it.

The ridiculously breathable material dries quickly – and resists body odor no matter how intense the workout. The sun protection combined and unmatched climate control makes the ExOfficio Sol Cool collection perform better on so many levels compared to other active wear. The fitted design, high performance and fashior forward colors make the Sol Cool collection literally, the Coolest apparel out there for anything under the sun.

An experiment was conducted to test the performance of IceFil technology fabric compared to traditional high performance active wear fabrics. Tested side by side in running/high aerobic activity -the garments both contained excessive amounts of sweat immediately after the workout. Both were tested after 30 minutes. The traditional fabrics were still retained a substantial amount of moisture, while the while Ice-Fil fabric had none. (Source:http://www.exofficio.com/about/press-releases/sun-protection-collection-exofficio-sol-cool)

Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody


The poster child of the Sol Cool product line is the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody. Featuring the best sun protection fabric on the market, the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody exceeds the the high performance standards you would expect from active wear shirt. Quick drying, odor resistant, and breathable – on top of that the IceFil technology actually cools your skin up to 5 degrees. This is the only fabric that actually cools your skin. Add this to sweat wiking, good looks and comfort – why would you spend your money on anything else.

Probably the best thing about the Ultimate Hoody is it’s substitute as sunscreen. Instead of lathering on sunscreen, you can go on a quick run, or go on an outing around town without breaking a sweat or getting a sunburn. On a hot day, the Sol Cool collection keeps your temperature lower than wearing nothing at all.

If you have any IQ at all, you know how critical it is to protect yourself from UV rays. Yet let’s face it, sunscreen is a real pain. Applying it is a hassle. It’s expensive. You have to reapply it every few hours. On top of it – how may times do you end up getting sun burned any way even when you do take precautions? Why slather on stinky messy sun screen when you can wear sun protection? It’s smarter, easier and more effective and attractive. Plus, with the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody – the streamlined design is slimming, and the fashion forward colors are street worthy and better looking than any t-shirt or polo you’d wear around town.

The Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody is light weight, and compact-able. We used is mountain biking and threw it into a small camelback, it condensed into a ridiculously small pocket. Even more than compact-able, the hoody is resilient. When we pulled the hoody out of the little pocket we stuffed it into, within a few minutes the resilient material regained it’s shape and didn’t show any wrinkles or creases.

What is so amazing about the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody? For on thing, it has such broad performance. It seems that with active wear high performance in one area means compromising in another. Many running shirts are breathable and sweat wiking, yet the light weight material is thin, sometimes see through and doesn’t provide sun protection. For women, having shirts that are any level of transparent is not flattering. You don’t want the color of your sports bra to show through your shirt.

Most active wear garments excel in one area, and fall short in others. For example, if a shirt is marketed for it’s breath-ability – it is often somewhat see through, which means minimal sun protection. On the flip side, if it does have sun protection it usually will have thicker/less breathable material and act like a zip lock bag sealing in your sweat when you are working out. On the other hand, other garments with high sun protection are thicker, make you hot, and retain more moisture. The Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody has found the perfect balance, exceeding in both both breathe-ability and sun protection.

Comfortable Sun Protection

We testing the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody in a variety of activities to see if the cooling effect actually lived up to it’s name. From mountain biking, hiking to running. We wore the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody in 85 degree weather hiking, and 80 degree temperatures when running, and 80 degree weather downhill biking. Typically most people would turn to a tank top to exercise in these conditions. Yet exposing your skin to the UV rays puts yourself at risk for skin cancer and sun damaged skin. For women who are conscious of youthfulness and protecting your complexion – the Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody protects from creating more freckles and dreaded sun spots. Just a quick fact for women, one sign that others perceive as aging is not wrinkles, but damaged skin.

The first thing you’ll notice about the ExOfficio Ultimate Hoody is the quality. It is pretty unbelievable that for the light weight it provides such unsurpassed sun protection. The material also feels very durable, with some stretch. Unlike other light weight material, you don’t have to worry about this snagging against Velcro or other rough materials.

It has a pretty incredible fit. It fall nicely off the shoulders, for men – even gives the appearance of broader shoulders. For women, the consensus was it was comfortably loose. Yet the cinch ties on the side made it agreeably adjustable for different activities. After all, skin tight clothing never was comfortable, or flatting on the general population.

The first test we did was wear it hiking in 85 degree weather – wearing a pack. Amazingly I forgot I was even wearing a long sleeve, and wasn’t distracted by the heat – and was enjoying the view. On the other hand, my friends ended up with sunburned shoulders, because in 85 degree weather your first impulse is to wear a tank top and reapplying sunscreen is all too easy to forget. All in all, the Sol Cool Collection is the best thing since sunscreen. Comfortable, cooling and fashionable, the cooling sensation definitely lives up to it’s name. The Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody served as exercise gear and as street wear. Perfectly packable for travelling and exploring new cities. Money well spent. My other long sleeve workout shirts will be staying on the back of the shelf.