The First Lite Wick Hoody – a sun shirt for shooting in.

If you live in NZ, you should understand by now that the sun down here is rather brutal. NZ is the one country I have ever been in where it seems you can literally feel the UV radiation on your skin. As such, we need to be aware of our sun exposure and take active steps to manage it.


I have had several people in my family have melanomas cut out of their bodies – and – given that I get a decent amount of prolonged sun exposure some days, and, doubled by the fact I have close to red-headed and covered in freckles (two things that make you rather sensitive to sun exposure) I thought it might be time to get a decent sun shirt.

I already have the UF Pro Combat Shirt – and while it’s an awesome top – to be blunt, it’s getting a little too tacti-cool for my liking. I wear the UF Pro HT Striker pants as well – and at some point, it just gets a little ott for wearing in public. At least, that’s how I feel sometimes.

So, a lightweight option, long sleeves was on the cards.

Merino to the rescue

I wear a lot of Merino already, specifically, Icebreaker T’s and tops. I recently starting switching over my socks purchases to the First Lite options – and have loved them, so thought I would also give their tops a go as well.

The First Lite Wick Hoody was the one I settled on. I ordered one from Cam at Points South and within a couple of days, it turned up, and promptly got worn nonstop for the next week (yay for the non-odour holding properties of Merino!)

I was interested to see how the Aerowool that First Lite talks about felt and worked. While I love merino – I do know it is normally a bit more delicate than other materials – and most of my shirts end up developing holes around the belt buckle area (metal buckles under waist belts mainly).


Initial thoughts – it is instantly comfortable, seems to regulate temp like only Merino seems to do (never too hot, never too cold) – but – I have noticed it has pulled in a few places already. This is not unexpected – but – I also haven’t really used it ‘in the field’ much either. I don’t think this would fare well against Bush Lawyer. I do intend to wear this both for shooting and hunting and I generally hunt in the bush – so it will get tested.

However – so far – for its primary purpose – protecting my skin without overheating me in the process – it looks like it is going to do its job well.

But why the hood?

Well. Because I have a neck and ears that often get burnt as well.

In addition, for a layering system, I like hoods. This will be worn while in the bush, likely all the time – so it’s another layer I can put over my head during cooler nights where I have the duvet instead of the full mummy expedition sleeping bag.