hydroskin shortsleeve shirt

Anyone have one of these? I recently bought one and am trying to figure out whether its 1) hideously uncomfortable, 2) maybe just too small, or 3)the way it is supposed to be and I should just adjust.

I’ve used a hydroskin vest and shorts for a long time and been very happy with them. Figured the shirt would be a useful addition to my paddling wardrobe, so I picked one up, an XL (I’m about 5’11, 195). It seems way too tight across the chest and shoulders, and I can’t really imagine paddling with it on- the abrasions and chafing would be awful to behold.

I guess my question is whether anyone else has had this experience at first, but found that it loosened up over time and become acceptable for paddling? Or is it just too heavy a material to be comfortable for serious exercise?

I suppose I could try a 2XL, but I’m not really that big a person- I’ve never had a 2XL in anything, ever.


no one will see the tag

If you don’t like it now, trade back …
not sure about the newer generation ones but mine seemed to ‘shrink’ over time … NOT from me growing, washing it in hot water etc … just seemed to ‘tighten up’.

Speaking of that … the snug fit never bothered me but did seem feel a little warm @ fitness pace before getting wet.

Used a L.S. in a race in low 40’s air / 60s water and still felt a little warm with just my Birdwells on under the skirt.

They run small
I have one and it runs so small I had to go up a full size from what I would normally wear. It is so tight that I wonder if I could have gone up one more size. It should be very snug, but certainly not uncomfortable.

that was kind of what i thought. i’ll try the 2xl before just returning it altogether. it seems a little crazy though- i’m not really a very big person.


Me too
I had to go up one size as well.

It fits quite snuggly but is not uncomfortable.

The material relaxes a bit when it gets wet.

Reminded me of my H.S. retail days …
When I always had to tactfully say to women " Its only a number." Or “Don’t go by the numbers, they are always wrong.”


I have a few of these. They all seem to run small. I have a 2XL and even then look like I’m ready to rid Gotham of evildoers. The material doesn’t chafe me at all (no Band-Aids required) though and is pretty breathable-the right mix of warmth and comfort. Plus, as you age, it may function as a manssiere. :wink:

Same problem with NRS FarmerJohns
I have the same issue with my NRS farmer johns. The bottom half fits well, but the top is too tight. I have to wear it unzipped. I now wish I ordered the XL, but have always been fine with L. I am sure the XL legs would be too long and bunch up.

To be fair, I think the NRS catalog mentions the need to upsize. Unfortunately I orderd mine through LL Bean and did not have the same level of sizing information.

I think I remember NRS offering a different cut for larger torso men. They call it the “Bear” cut or something like that. I think it is available in limited sizes and for a limited number of items. My stockier build requires a Bear cut in Large.

NRS must use high school kids as their models. I had the audacity to go to Abercrombie & Fitch and try on one of their shirts. One of their XL shirts fit me like a M. Either I am getting an old man’s body or the sizing standard are scaling downward.

Short Sleeve - Why?
I noticed that NRS offers a lot of paddling shirts as short sleeve. I really do not understand that. I have always preferred no sleeve for summer paddling and long sleeve when its a bit cooler or I want more sun protection.

I just ran into a young couple wearing the NRS Hydrosilk short sleeve shirts. They looked like nice shirts, except for the short sleeves.

A short sleeve paddling shirt will restrict shoulder movement, perhaps chafe or bind, and even more importantly, leave terrible tan lines.

My favorite paddling shirts are cheap synthetic tank tops made by Reebok, Nike, Champion, etc… that you can find at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for like $9 each. Even the lycra Under Armour style shirts are also really good if you have the body to pull it off.

These types of shirts don’t do much other than act like a quick drying chafe shirt to wear a PFD over. You can usually find the same style shirts in long sleeve. I have a mostly white long sleeve Nike DryFit runners shirt that has been in heavy rotation for 10 years. When I get home I wash my paddling shirts and shorts right in the shower with me and hang them up to dry. Even if you paddle every day, you can get by by rotating only 2 shirts and 2 shorts.

Anyway, is there an advantage to the short sleeve shirts that I am missing?

short sleeves
well, i hate having anything over my elbows, so i paddle with my capilene all bunched up over my elbows when it’s cold enough to have to wear it. most of the time i go shirtless or just wear a synthetic tank, or sometimes just the hydroskin tank.

i guess i was thinking that a warm, waterproof shortsleeve shirt might be better than a bunched up, wet capilene shirt, but i very well may be proven wrong.


One reason … Melanoma
Sunburned my shoulders,back of neck and upper arms a lot as a kid. The more you cover up the less chance you have.

Lake Superior
Lake Superior in mid summer is another reason. Long-sleeved hydroskin is just too hot (even with frequent rolling), but capilene alone wouldn’t be enough protection for submersion. The short-sleeved hydroskin is a good compromise. I wear it all of July and August. June and Sept are for long-sleeved hydroskin or the drysuit; the rest of the months are for the drysuit.

I bought an XL…
Bought an XL; it’s what I typically wear.

Wish I’d bought a 2XL; it would fit me perfect.

They will shrink; no doubt in my mind.


the nyloprene shirts

they might answer the need


Best wishes


Second the Mysterioso
I’ve got the short-sleeve Mysterioso top, and a similar long-sleeve from BodyGlove.

Both have .5mm neoprene torso panels with stretchy Lycra side and shoulder panels. As tiva says, flexible comfort for long paddles, with a few minutes of thermal protection in case of a capsize in cold water.



Agree - Cover Up
I agree. Covering up as much as practical is smart for UV protection. This is why I wear a long sleeve padding shirt for much of the season.

But once it gets too warm out, I switch to sleeveless shirts with liberal amounts of sunblock on my exposed arms. Since I am putting the goo on anyways, I don’t mind adding a little extra block to my shoulders. The freedom of movement and lack of a weird tan line developing in the middle of my upper arm make a sleeveless a better choice for me.

Yes, there are some practical reasons, but I will admit that vanity plays a role as well. When you have your shirt off on a public beach, a trucker’s tan is still very goofy looking. The only way to make it work is to also wear a Tilley hat :wink:

Not sure if the sizing has changed recently but I’m bigger than “afolpe” and I wear an XL in Hydroskins. I bought the long sleeve about three years ago and I think it’s the newest Hydroskin piece I have. Fits fine (tight as it should be), paddled many miles with it.

If you got it from NRS call them on the

hydroskin xl
sold my own short sleeve xl and bought the 2xl… much much better fit! I do get some chafing in the underarms so i wear a cheapo underarmour style shirt underneath. I like it - if it’s cold, windy, or if i’m on Lake MI it’s my shirt of choice.

Andrew - did you put hip padding in your xt? I got out in some big waves in Lake MI this past weekend and felt sloppy. Might duct tape some in mine this wkend.