Trucker couture meets ultrarunning!  Patagonia’s Long Haul Western shirt lets you rock that 1970’s cool while providing all the outstanding comfort and performance you should expect from modern fabric technology.

Patagonia Long Haul Shirt Features:

  • Fabric: 2.5-oz 100% all-recycled polyester woven plain weave, bluesign approved fabric
  • UPF 25 sun protection
  • Polygiene permanent odor control
  • Knit fabric neck lining for comfort and moisture management
  • Gusset construction and eyelet venting in underarms for comfort and range of motion
  • Bar tack venting across back yoke
  • Locker loop for hang drying
  • Slim fit
  • Weight: 133 g (4.7 oz)
  • Two color options
  • MSRP $89
patagonia long haul shirt

Mile 33 at Leona Divide; temps in the 90s

Digging In for the Long Haul

One thing you need to know before wearing Patagonia’s Long Haul Western shirt in an ultramarathon: you’re going to get a lot of comments.  That was my experience at April’s Leona Divide 50-miler, where over the course of nine hours I heard comments such as the following:

“I’m surprised that someone can run in a collared shirt like that.”

“You look way too casual out here!”

“You can probably wear that shirt to dinner after the race.”

“That’s brilliant – you can really keep cool in that!”

The last comment was the most telling, because the race was held on a scorching hot day in Southern California that inflicted a lot of heat-related misery and dropouts.  And through it all, the Long Haul shirt was absolutely perfect for the occasion – for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious to the untrained eye.  You may look like a casual retro hipster, but you can perform like a hardcore athlete (provided you do the training, of course).

patagonia long haul shirt wet

After a hot 25-miler; the front of the shirt is saturated, but color is very similar to the dry shoulder areas.

For starters, the fabric is super thin and lightweight; at a mere 133g, the Long Haul is comparable to most race shirts on the market.  It also feels very soft and comfortable against the skin, is highly effective at wicking moisture away from the skin, and dries quickly when soaked or immersed in water.  Running for 9 hours in 90 degree heat, I had no skin chafing or irritation, even when frequently dousing the shirt at aid stations.  Another nice element is that the fabric discoloration (darkening) when wet isn’t dramatically different than the dry color of the shirt, so you can still look cool even when sweating like a maniac.

Day 2 in the Grand Canyon

Day 2 in the Grand Canyon

In addition to hot ultras, I’ve also worn the Long Haul as a baselayer under a jacket for cool 20-mile training runs, and for overnight backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon.  In all of these situations, the fabric’s comfort against the skin is equivalent or better to my best performance fabrics.

No irritation from chest snaps, even when wet or when using sternum straps.

No irritation from chest snaps, even when wet or when underneath sternum straps.

Apart from its fabric construction, the design of the Long Haul is indeed rather brilliant and very functional on long hot trail days.  The front fastens with snaps that also ride comfortably against the skin; initially I was concerned about irritation from the snaps, but I haven’t experienced any, even when wearing a hydration pack with chest straps.

The snaps are very easy to fasten or open with a single hand, and allow you to ventilate your torso to any degree you’d like.  Most of the time I run with two snaps open, which ventilates significantly better than a crewneck collar shirt.  However, when conditions heated up at Leona Divide, I dropped the third and sometimes even fourth snaps, running in full-on Bee Gees mode with my entire sweaty chest exposed.  (I’ll spare you the close-ups of that one.)

Multiple back vents for cooling.

Multiple back vents for cooling.

When breeze blows into the shirt, it doesn’t billow up, thanks to back vents across the shoulder blades that let air pass through relatively unimpeded.  Even when the shirt is fully buttoned, the back openings provide good ventilation to keep you cool in hot conditions.  The slim torso cut also helps prevent billowing, as the shirt isn’t excessively baggy to start with.  On a related note, if you like your shirts a little bit loose on the trail (as I do), consider sizing up with the Long Haul.

As far as the collar goes, it’s not nearly as much of a concern as you might think.  Because the material is so thin and lightweight, it doesn’t feel excessively warm or bulky against your neck.  It also feels very comfortable inside a jacket.  One novel feature of a full collar is that it provides you the option of standing it up to help prevent sunburn on your neck if necessary; however, the flip side of that is on breezy days, the collar can flap up from time to time when you don’t want it to.

patagonia long haul back

Still cool in the homestretch

Finally, one more outstanding benefit of the Long Haul is its utilization of Polygiene permanent odor control.  Polygiene is a treatment technology that uses silver salt as an anti-bacterial agent woven into the fabric; this prevents odor-causing bacteria to settle into the material, so your clothes won’t stink.  You really can wear the Long Haul out to dinner after your race without offending the other restaurant patrons, or you can wear it for repeated workouts without needing a wash.  The technology is eco-friendly, safe on your skin, and is guaranteed for the life of the garment.

The Good

  • Lightweight, breathable, highly comfortable fabric
  • Unbeatable ventilation
  • Outstanding odor control
  • Trucker style – need we say more?

The Bad:

  • Collar is unpredictable on windy days
  • It’s hard to go unnoticed in a race!

Bottom Line:  Patagonia Long Haul Western Shirt

You can’t beat the combination of stylishness and performance of Patagonia’s Long Haul Western shirt, which has become the new favorite top for our warm-weather ultrarunning exploits.

Buy Now: At Backcountry.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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