Review by Arnie P
Columbia Blood ‘N Guts Super Light LS Shirt
The Blood N’ Guts super light LS shirt was provided by Columbia for the purpose of this review.
The Columbia Blood N’ Guts long sleeve shirt is part of a high-performance fishing gear series. By no means my father’s fishing gear, this classy light weight shirt is stylish and comfortable. The shirt is made with 100% polyester ripstop fabric. The Omni-Shield sun protection has a rating of UPF 50. A flip up collar helps protect more of your neck from the sun. A fishing rod holder located just above the left shirt pocket has a hook and loop tab for easy access to your fishing rod. The radial sleeves increase mobility for reducing the effort while casting. The shirt is vented in the back where one is likely to become sweaty on a hot day. The shirt has two large pockets with hook and loop style fastening. There is a second set of smaller open pockets in front of the other pockets. The sleeves can be rolled up and secured with a button tab at the elbow. There are times when I do not need the sun protection and would prefer to have my arms bare. This model shirt comes in five colors: Gulf Stream, Fossil, White, White Cap, and Cane. I received the Gulf Stream which is almost the same color as my blue eyes.
I will be wearing this shirt hiking and will be experiencing the sun protection, lightness, and coolness of this product. I like the sturdy feel of the material as the trail tends to be a tough environment for clothing. Since I often get blood on me from scratches or insect bites, I am looking forward to wearing this stain resistant shirt.
Update for 5-23-10
I now have been wearing the Columbia Blood N’ Guts shirt for about a month and it is performing better than I expected. I have worn the shirt on 4 local hikes, 5 hikes in the Franconia Notch area of New Hampshire, and almost everyday for other activities. It has been an unusual spring where the day temperature has been as low as 35 F one day and as high as 80 F the next. When hiking on a cooler day, I wore a silk first layer, followed by my Columbia Blood N’ Guts shirt, then a light jacket. This combination allowed me to remove the jacket if I got too warm or keep it on if I needed it. On warmer days, the jacket would be in my pack in case of rain or cold. Generally, when the temperature is above 65 F, I eliminate the first layer and just wear the shirt.
With this shirt, I feel well protected from the sun The shirt also protects me from getting scratched by branches or bushes and does not get caught on the bushes. We are now into the buggy season and I am hardly bothered by insects. I think it has to do with the shirt. This is the first shirt I have been able to roll up the sleeves and actually secure them in the up position. There are times when you just want to have your sleeves rolled up and more importantly to stay rolled up.
Dealing with the heat
When it is cold, one can always add layers for warmth. However, when one is hiking in humid weather with a hot sun beating down, it is important to have sun protection without getting overheated. I am finding the shirt is loose and ventilates very well. The only place I get sweaty is where my pack is against my waist. I wore this shirt almost a month without washing it and did not notice any unusual odors. It had some stains on the front and inside the collar. The stains inside my collars usually never go away in the wash, they just get darker with time. All stains on this shirt were removed in the recent wash. I will be writing more in my next report.
I have used the pockets with the hook and loop style fastening to carry the following items singly; cell phone, camera, folding knife, and compass. I use the smaller open pockets for very temporary storage of small items. I don’t use the smaller pockets very much, but it is nice to have them when needed.
During the week I spent in New Hampshire I wore the shirt almost all the time. Since the weather was good, I hiked almost every day. The shirt is serving me well. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the Columbia Blood N’ Guts shirt
Columbia Blood ‘N Guts Super Light LS Shirt a last look
Because in the past month, we have had an above average rainfall, I have worn the Blood’N Guts shirt primarily off-trail. I have worn it almost every day except when I was working on roofing my house.
On the trail
When it was not raining, I hiked in temperatures as high as 92 F. I was warm and did sweat, but I was not uncomfortable. This is the time of the year when the insects are out in full numbers. I noticed a few but did not need to use any form of insect repellent. None of the clothes I have been wearing have any repellents on them. I have done some bushwhacking and have not gotten caught in any branches or bushes. I am really enjoying the advantages of a well-ventilated shirt that also is providing excellent sun protection. This shirt has replaced my long sleeve silk first layer shirt in the hot weather, with the added benefit of pockets. I have been using the pockets to carry any 2 of the following items; camera, cell phone, pocket knife at the same time.
I am not a fan of air conditioning. I have lived in New England all my life and spend the hot weather there or in places further north. I have very seldom felt the need for a/c. My car does get quite hot and when shopping some stores are very cold compared to being in my car. With this shirt I have been able to make the change with minimal discomfort. I am protected from the cold and the heat. It seems that at a lot of the meetings I attend, the temperatures vary greatly and I am better able to adapt with this shirt on. This shirt has been helpful in the volunteer work I do for nonprofit organizations where budgets are very low and room temperatures tend to be high in the summer. Some rooms I work in have no a/c and I have no problem working in a room with or without a/c.
I am very happy to have discovered a shirt to wear in summer that is better than the one I have been wearing. The shirt has held up well to being worn for many hours without getting ripped or stained. I am looking forward to wearing the Columbia Blood’N Guts for a long time year around. I wish to thank Columbia and 4alloutdoors.org for the opportunity to test this shirt.