Karen doesn’t wear dresses often. Back when she was holding down a “real” job editing magazines in New York City she’d occasionally wear a dress or skirt to the office, prompting co-workers to ask if she had a job interview. She’s in a dress even less often when traveling. However, lately she’s begun to search for some bit of travel gear to wear when shorts are too touristy and casual and showy but it’s just too damn hot for pants.

ExOfficio Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress waterfall

Karen in her ExOfficio Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress at the La Paz Waterfall in Costa Rica.

ExOfficio offered to send something from their Sol Cool line of clothes made with fabric which contains Xylitol, a scary-sounding name for something that occurs naturally in birch trees. When added to clothing, Xylitol cools you off by up to five degrees when the fabric comes into contact with moisture (like sweat), which is then wicked away. The Sol Cool fabric also gives you SPF 50+ protection.

Karen decided to take the plunge and requested an ExOfficio Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress. Now you can barely get her out of it.

Meet Karen’s new favorite travel dress

ExOfficio Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress Costa Rica waterfall

  • You cannot wrinkle it.
  • Or snag it.
  • It rolls up neatly and easily in a flash for packing.
  • It’s super comfy–loose in the right places (ie, hips) but fitted properly in the bodice.
  • It never gaps open when you sit or bend over.
  • The sleeveless/tank cut reliably covers bra straps (though it’s too bad the fabric is just a tad too clingy to go braless).
  • The fabric is lightweight but has enough heft to it so that it doesn’t fly up in the breeze.
  • The black color, in particular, can be dressed up or down.
  • It works great over a swimsuit.
  • The tank straps are wide enough to accommodate backpack straps so you can carry a  pack without rubbing your shoulders raw.
  • It’s easy to hand wash in hot or cold and dries quickly on a hanger without stretching out.

The only (small) complaint are the enormous ExOfficio logo printed on the back of the dress and the teeny, tiny pocket. Still, Karen likes the Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress so much she’s going to buy one in a different color, doubling the number of dresses on the Trans-Americas Journey.

ExOfficio Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress Costa Rica

That big ExOfficio logo is one of the few complaints Karen has about her Sol Cool Sleeveless Sun Dress.

ExOfficio supplied one Sol Cool dress for us to use and review


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