It has been a marathon season on Montana’s Missouri River. I am a month away from wrapping up my documentary project here, and looking back at the past six months, the summer seems to have been a blur of trout, fly fishermen, drift boats and caddis.
Days typically start at 0500h and go hard until 2300h or so. I’ve worn through a pair of sandals, a set of tires on my Subaru and enough water purification tablets to kit out a military unit for a week in the field.
With full days in the brush country of Montana, I’ve needed clothes that can—and will—go the distance. I may be interviewing for a photography contract on Skype one moment, mingling with scruffy fly fishing guides the next, and then suddenly find myself aboard a drift boat floating down the Missouri.
One piece I have reached for time and time again is ExOfficio’s BugsAway Lumen Hoody. The lightweight polyester/nylon blend keeps me cool under the unforgiving summer sun but offers another layer on cool mornings and evenings. A kangaroo pocket is a convenient home for stray lens caps, and a roomy hood with drawstrings, when teamed with a Buff, offers full sun protection.
Thumb loops and gloriously long arms (this is the first piece from any brand with arms long enough to allow me to utilize the thumb loops) prevent burned wrists when I’m on the oars of a boat, and the hoody is long enough to function as a cover-up over a bikini if required.
Documentary work in a fly fishing village means a lot of time spent amidst bugs. Caddis. Tricos. Grasshoppers. Midges. Mosquitoes. Flies. They are everywhere. Some mornings and evenings we wear Buffs not for sun protection but to minimize the amount of extra protein garnered by breathing in bugs.
The Lumen Hoody is permeated with Insect Shield, an invisible, odorless and long lasting Permethrin-based insect repellent. The treatment lasts approximately seventy washings, and noticeably repels an assortment of insects.
Even though caddis do not bite, they become rather annoying when large numbers are crawling all over one’s body.
While the Lumen performs admirably on the river, it has quickly become a go-to travel piece as well. It’s easily washed in a small sink, resists wrinkles and is soft enough for multi-day wear on the road.
ExOfficio has once more come to play with a piece that performs while looking feminine.
The Lumen Hoody comes in reef (a turquoise) and white, in ladies’ sizes XS – XL. It retails for $60.
For the gents, the BugsAway Chas’r Long Sleeve Crew Tee offers Insect Shield protection in a similar cotton / poly blend. The tee retails for $50 and is available in a plethora of colors, from grey heather to yam – a rich orange.