“Wow, you look great” my wife said, as I tried on the new Kadem Henley short-sleeve shirt for the first time. This may be the perfect all-around hiking and casual technical shirt. The Kadem is great for just about any warm weather activity, or just wearing around town. Best of all you can unbutton the collar to allow enhanced venting on hot days or during sweaty activities. We love it!

Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Overview

Just because you’re deep into the backcountry doesn’t mean you can’t still look great. Far from it, actually – the best hiking gear is often the best looking, too. The Kadem Henley shortsleeve shirt is a lightweight, technical summer hiking shirt that looks just as good around town as it does on the trail.

The best part of this shirt is that on the mens version you can unbutton the collar, to allow greater venting on hot days, or when you’re pushing up a steep hill.

Kadem Henley SS Iliad
Kadem Henley SS Iliad
Kadem Henley SS Iliad
Kadem Henley SS Iliad

When to use

The Kadem Henley is designed for summer hiking, where it performs like a champ. But you can wear it virtually anywhere, and it looks quite put-together when hanging out before or after the trek. You can even pair it with a flannel or button-down shirt for heading out to eat.

Kadem Henley SS Robotica

Pros

  • The Buttons. Have you ever noticed people wearing cycling jerseys while hiking? They do this as they want a technical shirt that they can unzip and vent heat and moisture, and there aren’t many (any) good options out there for hiking. The Kadem Henley shirt now solves this issue, allowing the wearer to open the buttons to let out heat and moisture. If you get hot while hiking, this shirt could be a game changer for you.
  • Breathable Technical Fabric. This shirt uses their Phasic LT fabric, which is lightweight and breathable, and wicks away and moisture on both hot and cooler days.
  • Good Looks. Classic Henley looks right here. Hike in style or wear it around town without feeling “dressed down.”
  • UPF 50+ Protection. Hiking at altitude, the sun can be deceptively strong. Strong UPF protection is a no-brainer.

Cons

  • Expensive for a hiking shirt. This shirt is priced around what merino hiking shirts cost. Is that too much for a hiking shirt? Your call.

Breathable Phasic LT Fabric

Phasic is Arc’teryx’s baselayer fabric, made from 100% polyester. The LT weight is the lightest and thinnest – a super soft fabric that is extremely breathable and allows sweat to evaporate quickly, keeping you comfortable in summer and warm when the temperatures start to drop. Overall very good at thermoregulating. And it truly is light – each Kadem shirts weighs about 3.9 ounces all-in.

We find it supremely comfortable on even the hottest days. When it gets a bit chilly at the top of the mountain or as night falls, we’ll just throw on another layer. The fabric dries fast enough that we have no fear of getting too cold, and paired with a light jacket you could likely wear this comfortably down to the 40’s or 50’s.

Worth noting is Arc’teryx’s Durable Anti-Odor (DAO) finish, which helps ward off nasty smells after a long day (or more) of hiking. We wouldn’t say it keeps the odors at bay as well as merino wool does, as polyester and other synthetics almost never will. But it helps.

Classic Henley Styling

Most baselayers and lightweight hiking shirts look like just that – hiking shirts. But the Kadem Henley shirt is a henley, which were all the rage a few years back for striking the perfect balance between casual and dressy. We’ll wear it around town before the hike without looking like we’re on our way to the gym and feel smartly casual when we’re grabbing drinks or a bite to eat. Throw a sweater or flannel shirt over it and look instantly sharp.

Looks are fleeting, sure – but who doesn’t like to look good on the trail?

Strong UPF Coverage

Sunburns suck. And when hiking 8,000, 10,000, almost 13,000 feet high, they can be a real problem – even up north here in Canada. The air might be cool and breezy, but the intense sun can still cut right through the thin, light hiking clothes a lot of us wear up there.

The Phasic LT fabric packs UPF 50+ protection – so even if it is thin, you’re not thinly protected. This is essential for all alpine hikers – and especially those in hotter sunnier climates (like the Sierra or Southern Rockies), this is essential. Just don’t forget sunscreen for exposed skin.

Final Verdict

There’s not much to this shirt, but what’s there, we like. Casually stylish, comfortable, ultralight and breathable – and rated to UPF 50+ protection. What’s not to like? We wear ours all the time, so far more often around town.