We are in the dog days of summer; the hottest, most humid days of the season. And on top of that, we are in full-fledged show season. To combat being miserable at these outdoor horse shows, you need to have a wardrobe full of technical fabric shirts and breeches. Something that makes you look classy, but also keeps you cool.
Something like the Ariat Sunstopper Quarter Zip Top.
This top has a classic look that is acceptable to wear in the show ring when coats are waived due to the heat, or under a coat if preferred. This shirt is a part of Ariat’s Heat Series AriatTEK line that features MMT technology, sun protection fabric, and VentTEK technology.
There’s a lot that goes into this shirt, so I’ll break it down for you. First there’s Ariat’s MMT fabric technology. According to the Ariat website, “MMT or Moisture Movement Technology, is designed to pull moisture away from the skin and transport it to the fabric’s outer face for quick evaporation.”
Next is the VentTEK technology, which Ariat describes as, “body mapping that enables air flow to regulate body temperature.” In combination with these technologies, there are mesh panels under the sleeves as well as mesh strips on the back-shoulder area. Breathability + Moisture Wicking = A Cool Ride. This ideal performance riding top not only helps you stay cool, but it also offers protection from the blistering hot sun. And if you’ve been following my reviews, you already know this is a huge PLUS in my opinion (terrible sunscreen applier).
This is listed as part of Ariat’s English collection, but I tested it out while riding western, pairing it with my Kimes Ranch Betty Jeans. Riding is riding no matter what discipline, in my opinion. If I were to have worn it to ride English, I would’ve paired it with the Ariat Women’s Olympia Regular Rise Front Zip Full Seat Breech.
I rode Bentley for about 45 minutes outside in 80-85 degree weather mid-afternoon; it was really hot. I didn’t want to push her too much, so I will admit we took several long walking breaks. Despite how hot it was, I stayed cool and comfortable. There was a little bit of a breeze to begin with and once we started moving I could really tell the difference. This shirt was so airy; the breeze was just flowing right through it. The mesh panels on the underarms and little strip on the back really helped with staying dry too. The fabric is so lightweight that it didn’t even feel like I had a long sleeve shirt on.
I like that this shirt is functional AND flattering. It has a tailored fit that works for any body type. I read other reviews saying that it runs small and then read others that said it runs true to size. In my case it fit true to size. I got a size medium, it was loose fitting and that’s exactly how I wanted it. I think a small would’ve been too tight in the arms for me. It all just depends on what kind of fit works for you. If you like it to be a little loose during those hot days like I do, then go with a size up. Even though I stayed cool, Bentley was a sweaty mess. I gave her a nice, cool bath afterwards….which of course means I got a bath too! I was beating the heat to the max that day.
One Stop offers the Ariat Women’s Sunstopper Quarter Zip Top in white and navy eclipse (pictured) in sizes XS-XL for $49.95.