The 100% recycled Silver Ridge shirt from Columbia is tailor-made for trail adventures under the summer sun, and is packed with functional features that make hot-weather walking much more comfortable, and even safer. But it’s also very versatile, and handsomely designed too, so you can wear it in all sorts of social scenarios.
Light and comfortable
UPF 50 sun protection
Poppers and velcro for easy use
Made with recycled material
Offers little thermal protection
No padding on shoulders
May accumulate odors
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Columbia Silver Ridge: first impressions
Made entirely from recycled polyester, and available in six sensational, trail-cross, plaid-patterned colors, the Columbia Silver Ridge is full of features for the summer hiker, including a large vent on the back panel that lets in fresh air when you’re walking in hot weather and puts it right up there with the best hiking shirts around.
• List price: $70 (US) / £75 (UK)
• Sizes available: S-XL
• Center Back Length (men’s large): 76cm / 30in
• Weight: 174g
• Materials: 100% Recycled Polyester
• Colors: White / Night Wave / City Gray / Dark Stone Collegiate Navy / Stone Green
Offering excellent protection from the sun, the material itself has a rating of UPF 50 and the collar can be put up to shield the back of your neck, minimizing the risk of serious heat stroke. The Silver Ridge is long at the rear, which stops it riding up when you wear a hiking backpack, protecting your lower back from the sun.
The cuffs and main front section are fastened with buttons, but the top two are replaced with snap holders that can easily be popped open when you need some extra air to get in or, conversely, popped shut to keep the breeze out. The sleeves can be rolled up to let the sun on your forearms, and a pair of straps with snap holders pop on to an attachment point on the bicep area to keep things tidy and in place.
There are two useful pockets, ideal for stashing a credit card or some cash – one that shuts with a popper (on the right side of your chest) and another that has a side opening and a velcro fastener (on the left).
Columbia Silver Ridge: on the trails
I’ve been wearing the Columbia Silver Ridge plaid shirt during a series of mid-summer walking expeditions that have taken me through the countryside and also on some urban trails.
The fit and next-to-skin feel of the shirt is fantastic – it’s both comfortable and cooling to wear on warm days, and the back vent works really well (even when wearing a daypack). The ability to pop the top two buttons open in seconds means I can get rid of extra heat very quickly when walking up steep hills, and I like the fact that rolled-up sleeves can be kept neatly in place, and aren’t left flapping around. Personally, I think poppers on the cuffs would also make sense, making it quicker and easier to adjust the sleeves.
The long-cut back effectively prevents the shirt riding up when I’m walking with a pack on, which stops the small of my back getting sunburnt, but a tiny bit of extra padding on the shoulders would help stop backpacks rubbing my shoulders over time, and improves the longevity of the shirt.
The Silver Ridge wicks moisture away very effectively, but being thin and lightweight (by design) it doesn’t offer too much in the way of thermal protection. Also, since it’s made completely from synthetic material (albeit recycled polyester) it might accumulate a little bit of odor over time.
Overall, this is a very versatile, great-looking shirt that can definitely be comfortably worn both out on the trails and also in the pub garden at the end of the day – or anywhere, really. It looks as smart as it is fully functional.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.