Rider Review: Kastel Denmark SunShirt

I posted this review last year but given all of the reviews popping up on sum shirts again and that I wanted to republish it this now seems like the perfect time. 

I am a long sleeves are only for the winter kind of girl. I am typically very heat sensitive and the thought of wearing a long sleeve shirt outside during the summer has always appalled me. I have looked at/ felt many different brands of sun shirts trying to convince myself that I should get one to avoid any more sun damage or potential skin cancer… Since you know some discomfort is better than the discomfort of skin cancer… But I never bit the bullet until I felt these shirts at a horse show. All of the other sun shirts that I touched seemed to have very thick fabric, scratchy mesh, or just looked unattractive. Yes, I am a bit vain… (some of the other brands include Tailored Sportsman – $65EIS – $85Bette & Court – $75 ).

I also have grey with a purple accent

A from 900 Dollar Facebook Pony wrote a great review which helped encourage me to try out the shirts and when I saw them in the Willow Tree Equestrian trailer I knew I had to try one on. It amazes me that more people haven’t tried these shirts out and shared them with the rest of us!

The fabric is probably most comparable to the Bette & Court sunshirts. It is light, smooth, and the shirt features a very soft mesh panel under your arm. I only planned to get ONE shirt but there were so many great colors that I almost bought three… Before I knew it I was walking out with 2 shirts (see I can compromise) and a hat in my hot little hands… Self control and moderation have never been one of my strong suits. Onto the details!

side note: don’t know if it was Kastel or the individual retailer offering free hats but props to you! I LOVE FREE THINGS. And I wear hats all the time – free marketing!

Price: $75

Review: I was so excited about this shirt that even though I wasn’t riding I wore it the next day at the horse show. I will admit that the idea of wearing a long sleeve shirt in the sun/ heat did not settle with me right away. I was fidgeting with my sleeves and overall just trying to determine how I felt about the shirt. That said when I did sweat or get the shirt wet it felt amazing. The shirt also wicked the moisture so despite having sleeves I didn’t feel muggy and disgusting. Something else to figure is that I really didn’t feel as hot because with sleeves the sun wasn’t burning my skin and I didn’t have to constantly reapply sunblock (which I hate).

Another serious benefit to these shirts is that they wash up very well. It is no secret that barns aren’t always the cleanest places. Being around horses can get messy. At the show I somehow managed to get a fairly substantial smear of blood on my sleeve (don’t ask how because I couldn’t tell you)… It was very much dried by the time I was home and could wash the shirt. I ran it under some water in the sink and the stain came right out. After I washed it you couldn’t even tell it had been worn let alone smeared with blood.

The real test was riding in this shirt. I was very skeptical as I am pretty picky and do NOT like to be uncomfortable – no one does but I was prepared to stop and change if I didn’t like the shirt. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t give these bad boys enough credit. The cuffed sleeve helps keep the shirt in place while out of the way of gloves, the half zipper allows you to decide how modest or not modest you want to be while allowing some air, and the fabric in general (the shirt and the mesh) is a perfect combo. The fabric almost has tiny little vents all over it – unfortunately not easily photographed. I am not sure I own a softer shirt.

Bottom Line: I want to buy all of the colors. If you are worried about sun damage, don’t like the feeling of sun on your skin, or just in general are looking for some good summer gear you should give these shirts a try. I really like that I could probably comfortably wear this shirt into the fall and during the spring as well. I sometimes find the temperatures during those times of year to be just warm enough that a normal long sleeve athletic shirt can be uncomfortable so I feel like this would be a great compromise. I will have to check back in with that review though in a few months.

Like A I felt that actual AC with one of these shirts on when you were still damp with perspiration was actually kinda chilly! I have now gotten to test the shirt out on ridiculously hot days and while I sweat profusely (I would have done that regardless of the shirt) I stayed pretty comfortable. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this shirt out to the barn on one of the hotter days when they happen. I feel like this is a shirt that will be working for you in many ways. First they protect you from the sun, second they cool you down and wick away sweat, and third THERE ARE SO MANY COLORS! I want them all. At $75 this is the most expensive shirt that I have worn to ride in besides a show shirt but I think it was worth every penny. I hope to be able to buy more colors soon!

If you have been considering a sun shirt I would definitely recommend trying Kastel Denmark’s Sunshirt first. 🙂

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