The Tough FORLOH Insect Shield Hooded Long Sleeve is ideal for fishing

As much as we love the hot weather that comes with summer, we hate the avalanche of mosquitoes and other flying insects that come with it. When the mosquitoes get thick you have a few choices left, stay indoors, treat it smart or slather yourself in heavy chemicals. We’re not really fans of the latter option. Fortunately, more and more companies are developing wearable technology designed to protect us from insects. We recently had the chance to test FORLOH SolAir Insect Shield long sleeve hooded shirt. I ended up pitting this shirt against the first swarms of biting pests in Michigan and the more established ones in the jungles of Costa Rica on a media fishing trip.

At the end of the day, I came away quite impressed with this shirt not only repelling most bugs, but also its superior sun and heat protection abilities. I really put this shirt through its paces and tested just about every advertised capacity, finding it to be more than adequate for the tasks at hand. So much so that I may have a new favorite shirt for all my summer activities. Here’s how the FORLOH Insect Shield handled two drastically different environments at the start of summer.

FORLOH Bug Shield Specifications

At first glance, this shirt looks a lot like other long sleeve polyester spandex fishing shirts on the market these days. It’s also a bit more expensive than some other $99 options. The main selling point here is their odorless “Insect Shield” insect repellent. We’re not entirely sure of the chemistry, whether it’s a stronger form of permethrin or some other compound. FORLOH says the protection will last the life of the shirt.

This shirt also has a “Brrr Pro” cooling system that helps the fiber wick away moisture to stay dry. FORLOH says they’ve incorporated a Polygiene antimicrobial odor control system to help the shirt stay fresher. It might even help protect you from the noses of big game if you were to go hog hunting or something in the warmer months.

I will say this is the most comfortable long sleeve shirt I currently own. I’ve bought dozens of long-sleeved shirts over the past few years because they better protect someone with pasty skin like mine from the sun’s harmful rays. The sleeves of the SolAir shirt seem a bit longer than most of my shirts and have thumb holes which help cover and further protect my hands when I move around. It’s a small touch, but one that is greatly appreciated.

Finally, there is the hood. It is lightweight and completely and comfortably covers my head and ears. I’m starting to lean more into these hooded long sleeves lately simply because of the extra protection they provide for my ears and back of my neck, two areas that are very prone to getting burned.

How the FURLOH Bug Shield fared in the field

FORLOH Bug Shield

Travis Smola

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve probably subjected this shirt to more abuse than any other product I’ve ever reviewed before. I started out simple, using it on a few bike rides on dirt trails near my house, just when the bugs appeared. It did a great job of keeping me cool on a particularly hot day. Everything they put into the fabric of the shirt works to keep bugs away.

I found this to be especially true when I took the shirt to Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica for a media saltwater fishing trip. The resort where I stayed was literally located in the rainforest. Complete with crocodiles in the creeks and chattering macaws as they fly through the thick jungle canopy. I came home with lots of itchy bug bites on my legs and ankles after this trip, areas that weren’t protected by the FURLOH. If it’s good enough to handle the jungles of Central America, it’ll be more than enough for most US states.

However, the area where the FORLOH really shines is in sun protection. It was very hot in Costa Rica, but this shirt kept me cool and kept me from being roasted to a full crisp on my last day fishing there. I can get burned in the winter if the conditions are right, so the UPF 1000+ aspect of the shirt is welcome. Despite the humidity of Costa Rica, the shirt also did a great job of keeping me cool all the time, especially when we were offshore without any shade protection.

On the last day of fishing, I pushed the FURLOH to the absolute limit when our captain spotted a pod of spinner dolphins feeding. They feed on baitfish with large yellowfin tuna, and it didn’t take long for my group to hook up with 40 and 50 pound fish. When you catch a tuna this size and pose for a photo, there’s often not much you can do but hug it and hold it for life when it starts to crumble. It happened more than once that day. By the time I got back to the resort this afternoon after six or seven fish, my new FORLOH was completely soaked in tuna blood and some of the worst fish slime an angler could encounter. My clothes positively reeked of fish, to the point that I had to throw everything I was wearing in a plastic garbage bag for the flight home.

It took two washes, but I ended up getting most of the fishy smell out of it. However, it should be noted that FORLOH handled this task better than the others. This anti-microbial material did a hell of a job reducing that fishy smell that caused some of the other anglers in my group to shed their clothes entirely.

The bottom line is that the FURLOH Insect Shield is a first class long sleeve shirt for hiking, camping, hunting and fishing in the warmer months. It might even be the best I’ve ever worn. The jury is still out on that for now, but that’s up there. If you’re looking for a tough shirt that’s resistant to bugs, heat, and sunlight, this is the one for you. FORLOH makes it in digital camo pattern or white color. Check FORLOH website for more information.

For more outside content from Travis Smolabe sure to follow him on Twitter and instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outside with Travis YouTube Channels.

LEARN MORE: RESEARCH PROJECT REVEALS KEY SCENTS AND COLORS MOSQUITOES USE FOR HUNTING

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