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The Best Hot Weather Exercise Wear...is a Hockey Practice Jersey

Hot weather work or exercise presents the melanin-challenged among us with a conundrum.

Strip down to the skin, and the sun burns us to a crisp…yet long-sleeved jerseys are uncomfortably hot. Usually we compromise with a short-sleeve jersey (or a T-shirt) and sunblock.

Yet I’ve found a better solution. Thinking back to my youth hockey days, I remembered our jerseys…

“Wait,” you say. “Hockey is a winter sport, and team jerseys are really thick and heavy.” Yes, game jerseys are heavy, because during a game, you play in shifts…perhaps 1/3 of the total minutes, not to mention the breaks between periods and the pre-game wait.

Practice jerseys, however, are a different story. Practices often last for hours, everyone is skating the entire time, and between the huge pads and helmet and the heavy shorts and socks, you get extremely sweaty even in a refrigerated ice rink. And the coach won’t let you tear up your nice game jersey in a practice anyway…so you buy and wear a practice jersey. They are made out of extremely lightweight polyester mesh, with thousands of tiny ventilation holes.

I bought one about a year ago to test my theory, and it worked so well I bought more. Practice jerseys make a T-shirt feel like a trenchcoat, and a cycling jersey feel like a parka: even the slightest breeze blows straight through. Being 100% synthetic, they dry out instantly when wet. And they weigh less than any special-purpose athletic jersey I’ve found, whether marked “triathlon” or “cycling” or “running”.

Best of all, they’re cheap: $14-18 is typical, so you can buy several for the price of a single “competition” jersey. Bonus: you don’t look like a billboard.

I’ve tried several brands, and the best I’ve found so far is Tour CDN. They use the lightest-weight mesh, and almost all the seams are felled (many brands use flat seams, which tend to unravel even when finished.)

Here is one of mine in action:

I found mine here. (Note: I bought these jerseys with my own money.)

Some hints to keep in mind:
* They run very large because they are designed to go over hockey pads. Unless you are a giant you will want a medium, and if you’re short you might even be into kids’ sizes.
* Since this is hot weather wear, black and other dark colors are a poor choice. You want the “home” jerseys, which are white with colored trim. (“Away” jerseys are dark with lighter trim.)

I hope this helps others get outside during the dog days of summer!