Product Review: Budget Sunshirts from TuffRider, Ariat, and Tailored Sportsman

A little over a month ago, as you may know if you follow us on Twitter, I made an order on Riding Warehouse, since there was a great coupon code (and also they had Trophy Hunters on a major sale!). It was my first time using the site and I just want to give a major shoutout to RW for being so great – their customer service was wonderful and ordering was super easy, so thanks, Riding Warehouse! With summer impending I decided to try out a few different sunshirts, but, since I am a poor amateur, I went with some of the more budget-friendly options. If you’re looking at investing in a sunshirt or two, read on to see what I think! (Please excuse the pictures; I took them while I was getting ready for bed at night!)

picture of Amanda Lee wearing a black TuffRider sunshirt TuffRider Ventilated Technical Long Sleeve Sport Shirt
$39.95 at Riding Warehouse

I’ve had good experiences with TuffRider products in the past and this shirt is at a terrific price point when compared to most sunshirts on the market, so I wanted to at least try it. Fit-wise, this is a pretty boxy type of shirt – it’s cut away from the body, so if you want to hide anything, this will probably work for you, but I am personally not a fan. If anything, this shirt runs a little large. I ordered the XS expecting it to be on the smaller side, but it’s actually a tad bit baggy on me. My biggest problem with this shirt, though, is the fabric. It’s a thick fabric but the weave is wide, so if I’m wearing a white bra, it shows through. The actual cooling properties of this shirt are great, or so I’m told, but see-through fabric is not something I can deal with, so I am returning it. (If you don’t care about slightly sheer fabric, then absolutely buy this! It’s a great deal.)

picture of Amanda Lee wearing a navy blue Ariat sunshirtAriat Sunstopper
$49.95 at Riding Warehouse (I paid $39.95)

This shirt is cut with princess seams, making it very flattering and body-skimming (which is what I personally prefer). The fabric is nice quality with a nice, tight weave and a good amount of stretch. I would say that this runs true to size. Of all the sunshirts I tried, this one is my absolute favourite. I wore it on a 70F day and was cold. I wore it for a second time in Tryon on a day with temperatures in the mid 80s, and I was very happy with the results! I never felt hot or like I had to push my sleeves up, in the shade or in the sun, and I was cool but not uncomfortably cold when I was indoors. If you get wet a lot (such as if you’re bathing lots of horses every day!) the fabric of this shirt dries quickly. One thing you may not like about this shirt – there is a mesh “window” on the back/shoulder which, at least for me, sometimes shows my bra strap (shown here). However, I can deal with this for the shirt’s other great qualities!

picture of Amanda Lee wearing a navy blue Tailored Sportsman sunshirtTailored Sportsman IceFil Quarter Zip
$64.95 at Riding Warehouse (I paid $54.95)

The fabric on this shirt is so soft – it reminds me of something you might find on a pair of really, really nice yoga pants. This shirt is not as fitted as the Ariat Sunstopper but it’s still a flattering cut, and it’s very long so it’s easy to tuck in, even if your pants have a low rise. However: I didn’t feel like this shirt was particularly cooling at any temperature above 75F or so. When the wind is blowing, or when I’m cantering around over fences, I felt fine. But just walking around on horseback didn’t make a difference, and when I tried working in this shirt I was so hot – even early in the morning when it was still dark and relatively cool – that I had to roll the sleeves up, and even then I was still pretty hot. Perhaps it wasn’t hot enough for the IceFil to kick in, or something; I’m not really sure. But I didn’t find this shirt to be cooling at all; it felt like I was wearing a regular long sleeve shirt. Caveat: I have this shirt in a very dark navy colour, so that probably made it hotter. I also think it’s absolutely fine in lower temperatures, so if your location doesn’t often go over 80F, this shirt will probably be fine for you. It absolutely feels the most luxurious and ‘high end’ of all the shirts I tried.


  1. I’m on the hunt for a sunshirt as we speak, so your timing is perfect! I definitely want to give the Ariat a try- I tried on a couple last weekend and they were all super annoying boxy.


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