Sun protection should be of paramount concern to any outdoors person, but I'm constantly surprised (and frankly kind of irritated!) that some folks don't seem to take the concern seriously. For those of us that don't take excessive UV exposure lightly, there's thankfully no shortage of sun-protective products available to us. The Sport Fishing lineup from Grundens offers some nice options in this realm, with their Deck Hand hoodies being a relatively new addition to this quality collection.
Material: 95% Polyester/5% Elastane
Protection Rating: UPF 30
The Deck Hand hoodie is comprised of a polyester/elastane combination which gives it a very smooth and soft feel to the touch. It also has a decent amount of stretch in all directions which always adds to the overall comfort factor. Utilizing chemical-free COOLCORE technology, this fabric is marketed as one which "employs the body’s own moisture to cool the garment as you sweat."
This is a really attractive top that looks fresh and vibrant in the tested "Deep Water Blue" color scheme. There's a large Grundens logo on the front center and a small COOLCORE one down below, but there's no other labeling to be found. It also seems to be a well-made garment with a quality feel and precise stitching throughout.
If you require a shirt that offers generous skin coverage then you shouldn't be disappointed here. The hood is large and roomy, and the sleeves easily span all the way down to my hands for maximum arm protection. While the hood is easy to get on and comfy to wear, when worn it does cause the front of my shirt to ride up a bit (see first pic above). When out for any substantial length of time, I still prefer wearing a full mask for both head and face protection, however the hood is still a nice option to have even if just worn casually!
Photo by Dave McKenzie
With hot summer Florida weather arriving soon after I received the shirt, I've been able to test the shirt's design and capabilities in extreme temps and humidity.
First is the comfort which I'd rate as very good. It's slightly loose on my frame, but not baggy and doesn't get in the way while casting or moving around in general. Next is the quick-drying ability. Whether dampened by sweat or a soaking splash from a wave, the material doesn't stay wet for long. One evening after yanking on big false albacore for a few hours, the shirt was pretty stinky so I washed it off in the hotel room shower so it could be worn again the next day. After a thorough wringing-out, I spread it out to dry overnight. By the following morning it was nearly dry—impressive after sitting in the dark overnight.
Did the Deck Hand Hoodie feel too warm in those insanely-hot conditions? Nope! It remained pleasantly cool and I never had any thoughts of swapping it out for another shirt. With that said, the material feels slightly thicker and heavier than other similar shirts I own or have tried. On my scale, the Grundens Deck Hand weighed approximately 9.6 ounces while a comparable Simms SolarFlex hoodie I own weighed about 6.27 ounces.
I sure hope Grundens continues to expand the Sport Fishing lineup with garments like this. While there are certainly ample clothing choices available for anglers, I say the more the merrier—bring 'em on! One can never have too many options, and the Deck Hand Hoodie is a good one. With summer currently in full swing, don't get burned!
Grundens Deck Hand Hoodie