Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
If you would have told me that I would wear long sleeve shirts to go out riding in during summer months, I would have laughed. Right in your face. Seriously. Summer temperatures can get pretty warm here in Pennsylvania, not to mention humid and muggy.
So the last thing that I could have possibly imagined was wearing a long sleeved, well, anything. Up until last year, my traditional riding attire in the summer heat was generally a sleeveless tank or tee, preferably made out of some sort of wicking fabric.
Of course, after I got changed and pulled on my boots, I still had to grab my helmet, grooming tote, tack and some horse cookies before heading to the barn. And somehow, I always seemed to forget to put on some sunscreen. Burn. And I do mean that literally.
When I started wearing my very first long sleeve riding shirt, I was pretty much shocked at the concept that I could stay protected from the sun and still stay cool. Novel concept, right? All it takes is the right combination of performance fabrics and ventilation.
Since my introduction to the wonderful world of long sleeve performance riding tops for warm weather, I’ve tried a number of them. One such shirt that I’ve been riding in this summer is the Charlotte Signature Shirt from Kastel Denmark.
The quarter zip mock neck design of the Charlotte shirt brings together a combination of tradition and simplicity. And this clean, crisp design comes in a number a color options. And I do mean a LOT. I seriously counted over 25 different colors when looking at the Charlotte on Kastel Denmark’s website.
I (really) like that there seems to be a color for every preference because it really is a great way to show off the personality behind the rider. Colors offered are range from bright bold hues to pretty pastel shades. And while some shirts contain an embroidered logo on the chest, others feature a sleeve logo.
You might well be able to guess what color combination I gravitated towards. Of course, that would be the navy blue with red trim! The deep navy is a rich color, and it is complimented beautifully by the contrasting red zipper and collar lining.
Additional contrast is provided by the white under the sleeves. And what’s even cooler (and again, I mean that literally), is that the white coloring is actually a mesh material that stretches along the undersides of the sleeves.
So while stylish, the mesh material also functions to help the rider cooler. When I first picked up the Charlotte Signature Shirt, I found the material to be lightweight and smooth. Upon pulling the shirt on, I also really liked the stretchiness of the fabric, which is an 88% nylon / 12% spandex blend.
When following the sizing chart, I found the Charlotte shirt to run true to my normal size. I also like that the fabric is comfortably stretchy, without feeling too tight. Plus, the fabric offers UPF 30 ultra-violet protection (which means I don’t so entirely terrible when I forget sunblock…though I still try to remember it).
I also like that the sleeve cuffs of the shirt are fitted to my wrists. This does help the sleeves to stay in place without slipping back on my wrist. And a pretty neat feature is the antibacterial odor reduction properties of the fabric. Because who wants to feel like they smell after a ride?
I find that the Charlotte Signature Shirt both wears and performs beautifully in the saddle (and around the barn). The length of the shirt is long enough to comfortably tuck into my breeches, or if it’s a ‘casual day’ I might leave it untucked, in which case, it still offers a nice amount of coverage.
I’m definitely comfortable wearing the Charlotte shirt even on warmer days, because the lightweight fabric feels breathable to my skin. Plus, the additional ventilation of the mesh underarms does a really great job to help me feel like I get cool air flowing through.
Sweating isn’t a huge deal, because the fabric of the shirt does help to keep me from overheating. But when I do inevitably start to warm up, the fabric is breathable enough to help me from getting overheated. Plus it does seem to dry quickly!
I also do notice the very pleasant lack of odor on the Charlotte shirt. Not that I don’t work up a lovely ‘woman of the barn’ aroma after coming back in from a sweaty ride. But my oh-so lovely aroma doesn’t seem to linger around on the shirt. Points for antibacterial odor reduction!
The Charlotte Signature Shirt is available in…well, I’ve lost count of the number of colors. But it is available in a wonderfully wide range of colors from Kastel Denmark, with a retail price of $75.00. You can view the entire collection here.
Go Staying Cool, Riding in Style AND Smelling Fresh. Go Kastel Denmark. Go Eventing.