LTR - Outdoor Research Men's Sentinel L/S Shirt - Coy Boy
- Hello Kathy Waters...(I think you are the monitor)
here is my LTR for this excellent shirt! Thanks in advance for any edits and or comments. Enjoy!
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Long Term Report: November 29, 2010
pic of shirt during race.
Locations and Field Conditions
I used now used the Outdoor Research Men's Sentinel L/S Shirt a total of 6 nights while camping and on literally dozens of day hikes since getting it. During this last phase of testing I used the Sentinel three consecutive nights while car camping in southwest Mississippi and one more night here in the woods near home in northeast Alabama on a 9 mile (14 km) overnight backpacking trip. The three nights/four days in Mississippi saw lows of around 50 F (10 C) each night and highs of around 80 F (27 C) each day. I only wore it during each night except for the race It did not rain at all but the winds were fairly brisk each night. My last nights use here close to home saw a low of 38 F (3 C). It did not rain during the night but did rain and sleet some while I was hiking the following day. The elevation at the camp ground in Mississippi was around 150 ft (46 m) and the elevation for the campsite near home was approximate 1000 ft. (300 m). Most of my day hikes have been in mild fall weather but the last couple saw pretty cool temperatures at around 45 F (7 C). These hikes ranged from 2 to 4 miles (3 to 6 km) depending on how much time I had available to hike.
Long Term Testing Results
This part of my review will focus on the last four nights use plus the day hikes during the same time period and then summarize all my uses. Wearing the Sentinel L/S Shirt has been more pleasant during the last couple of month due to the cooler fall like temperatures. This same cooler weather has meant that bugs have not been as bad. However, I did see quite a few biting insects during some of my training paddles leading up to the Phatwater Challenge and then during the three night stay in camp in Mississippi for the race. Shortly after that the weather cooled off enough that I really haven't seen many bugs.
I basically used the shirt as my sleep shirt during the stay at the campground in Mississippi. It worked very well with my arms exposed about half of each night. Then as temperatures dropped I would pull them inside my bag for the rest of the night. On the 42 mile (68 km) paddle it was a rather chilly 55 F (13 C) at the start of the race but warmed up to around 80 F (27 C) by the time I finished some 5 hours and 47 minutes later. I did not sweat too bad in the shirt during the race and took it off for the rest of the evening. I wore it again for the last night (third night) in my sleeping bag but it was beginning to develop an odor. Let's just say that upon returning home it was ready for a trip to the washing machine. I have worn the shirt on a couple of more local paddles since the race but to tell the truth, paddling has not been high on my priority list lately.
I did use the shirt on one more overnight backpacking trip but this time the temperatures were cool enough that I dd not see any insects. I hiked about 2 miles (3 km) before setting up my camp on a chilly and rather breezy evening. I wore a pair of sweat pants and the Sentinel bug shirt over a light performance top (basically a synthetic long sleeve t-shirt) and some thick wool socks to bed. It was 44 F (7 C) when I turned in and the low for the night was 38 F (3 C) when I checked it at around 5 AM. I hiked a little over 7 miles (11 km) the following morning and it was rather cool for the entire hike. In fact it rained lightly several times and even sleeted a couple of times. I would add my rain jacket over the Sentinel and performance top as needed but most of the time I hiked without the rain jacket. The shirt proved to be warm enough for these conditions but I did overheat a little on a few of the steeper climbs and got a little chilly on a few of my rest stops. However, this is pretty much what hiking in these conditions always presents for me and is not really a poor reflection on the shirt. . Here is a photo of the shirt being worn on this hike.
pic of shirt during last overnighter.
I did not see many bugs on most of my recent day hikes but the shirt has remained comfortable and provided good warmth on some of the chillier hikes. In fact, I wore a light jacket and a pull over sweat shirt over the Sentinel on my last two day hikes. Then I would pull off layers as needed and even ended up in just my t-shirt on my last hike. Of course it warmed up to 60 F (16 C) and I sweat going uphill in just about any weather.
Long Term Durability
The Sentinel is holding up rather well considering the numerous wearing and washing it has seen. I have not kept up all that well but I estimate I have washed the shirt at least 25 times so far. I will admit that when paddling the shirt was not exposed to all that much abrasion but on several of my hikes I got the shirt hung up on briers and scrubbed it on many limbs and rocks.
Overall, the shirt does what it is supposed to do (keeps me from getting insect bites). It is a little warm for the hottest weather in mid summer but even then, it wicks well enough that I was able to wear it without too much discomfort. I could roll up the sleeves to help cool down but of course this left my arms exposed to the sun. Fortunately, the bugs left my exposed arms alone. My one concern is that the bug protection is said to only last through 70 washes. This may be considered the normal life of a garment but I am approaching at least 25 washes and my shirt still looks like it has a lot of miles left in it. I do tend to keep clothes until they are threadbare and I'm sure I go way past 70 washes for most items. Anyways, I did not have the Sentinel early during the summer when bugs were already bad. In other words, I could easily see washing it 35 times or half the life of the insect repellent in one full season. An option for sending the shirt back for re-treatment for a modest charge might be a nice touch for Outdoor Research to consider. But other than that, I would have to say that the shirt is good for general outdoor use anytime bug protection is needed. The sun protection is a nice bonus.
This concludes my testing of the Men's Sentinel L/S Shirt. I would like to thank Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this very nice shirt!