Editor’s Note: This Fieldsheer article was originally published in Overland Journal’s Spring 2023 Issue.
With your head in a helmet, your body wrapped in protective gear, and heavy boots on your feet, staying cool on a motorcycle in triple-digit temperatures can be a challenge. Add the exertion of piloting a heavy bike over rough ground, and you could be on the road to mental or physical fatigue, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Every degree shed from your core temperature will help you ride more safely and comfortably. Staying hydrated and elevating electrolyte intake are keys to this process, as is cooling your skin.
Fieldsheer, formerly known for its high-quality leather gear, has pivoted to keeping riders safe from overheating with their new line of Mobile Cooling gear. Their catalog includes shirts, hoodies, vests, skull caps, neck gaiters, and more for men and women. The men’s long-sleeved shirt and unisex neck gaiter reviewed here are both sewn from Fieldsheer’s drirelease [“drirelease”] fabric, claimed to reduce skin temperature by up to 7 degrees while providing UPF 50+ UV protection. Woven from 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent spandex, the fabric has no chemical coatings. It is light and comfortable on the skin, much more so than other UPF shirts I’ve tried. Fieldsheer asserts that drirelease aids cooling by evaporating sweat faster than more common fabrics. That’s hard to verify, but after wearing the same shirt for several days in a row, I can attest to their Odorsheer and Sweatsheer technologies preventing odor from accumulating.
Comfort is king on a long ride, making the crew-necked shirt’s raglan sleeves (think baseball jersey) a big plus. Flat-lock seams make the garments easier on the skin, and the shirt’s slinky, ventilated mesh on the back and sides improves air movement. The lightweight fabric did tend to bunch up when putting on my riding jacket, a small annoyance. I rode comfortably in over 100 degrees with the jacket vents open and just the shirt and neck gaiter underneath. Wetting the neck gaiter chilled me further.
As a further test, I wore the Fieldsheer garments on a two-week dory trip through the Grand Canyon, where July temperatures hit 115°F. They provided excellent protection from the sun as well as cooling. And neither garment came home with the pink Colorado River tint my other clothing picked up. Both are machine washable and have kept their shape through washing and wearing abuse—slept in, swam in, stuffed into a gear bag or under a life vest for hours—though the shirt does wrinkle. Hiking the side canyons protected by such light, loose garments was a pleasure.
$40/long-sleeved shirt, $18/neck gaiter | available on their website.
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