The team behind Santa Barbara clothing company Horny Toad seems pretty cool – they make comfy clothes out of sustainable or recycled fibers, ship all their orders through an environmentally-sound transportation company, and – according to their company web site – occasionally have grilled cheese contests at lunch. I can get behind all of that.

They don’t necessarily make hiking clothes, but some of their employees were swearing their shirts were great for warm weather hikes, so they sent me their short-sleeved Airbrush shirt to test out for myself.

Again – this is not technical hiking wear – it’s a button-down, short sleeved, 100% organic cotton shirt, so you don’t want to take it onto a hike where you’ll be encountering cooler temperatures or on an overnight backpacking trip, but the shirt does work as a light day hiking shirt in mild to warmer temperatures.

Horny Toad describes the Airbrush as being “like fresh air held together by organic cotton yarns,” and I’d have to say I agree. This shirt is extremely light. It feels like it doesn’t weigh anything and it’s easy to forget your wearing it at all. Breezes were able to penetrate the fabric easily, making cooling down a cinch (although, the shirt being cotton, the sweat that DID make it into the shirt did linger there a bit longer than I’m used to).

hornytoad

Because the shirt is so lightweight, the fabric itself is almost translucent – so sunlight can very easily make it through, too. If you’re fair-skinned or tend to burn easily, don’t think this shirt is gonna give you any sort of extra sun protection – so use a bit of sunscreen underneath just in case. The fabric is so light that I’d actually be a little worried taking this on a trail where I’d have to crawl through brush or low branches – it seems like this could tear fairly easily in more rugged outdoor conditions.

That said, unlike most of your hiking shirts, the Airbrush is a shirt you can actually wear into town when you’re done with the trail.

The Airbrush retails for $59, which is an ok price for a local, sustainably made garment. Short sleeved button-downs from Patagonia run about $75 but also have more traditional outdoorsy benefits like sun protection or synthetic wicking fibers. However, the Airbrush is on sale right now for $29, which is a pretty great price for a light everyday shirt that could also work on a short trail.

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