Ex Officio Halo Check Shirt with Insect Shield

The Ex Officio Halo Check Shirt with Insect Shield is perfect for hiking or fly fishing where you want protection from the sun and disease-carrying insects.
The Ex Officio Halo Check Shirt with Insect Shield is perfect for hiking or fly fishing where you want UV protection from the sun and disease-carrying insects. (That is a smile, believe it or not)

The Ex Officio Halo Check Shirt with Insect Shield is perfect for hiking or fly fishing where you want protection from the sun and disease-carrying insects. Part of the Ex Officio’s BugsAway clothing collection for men and women, it’s been factory pre-treated with Permethrin, an invisible and odorless insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use on clothing and outdoor gear.

The Halo Check shirt is lightweight nylon shirt that is fast-drying and perfect for warm weather use. Lined with mesh under the top half of the back and tops of the shoulders, the shirt has side vents that wick away and help dry perspiration. The shirt uses snaps instead of buttons for improved durability down the middle and on the cuffs, with roll up long sleeves that secure on the upper arm.

The shirt has two convenient front chest pockets that close with velcro tabs, good when you have your hands full with other gear. One also has an internal zipper at the top for extra security and the other has a fabric loop sewn inside.

I’ve found that the Halo Check is great for day hiking and backpacking, especially when I wear the same shirt for a week at a time without washing it. The use of snaps means that I don’t have to worry about buttons falling off or being lost in commercial driers when I wash it in town and it dries so fast that I can dip it in streams to rinse it out (wringing it dry 200 feet from water sources) or to cool off in hot weather. I plan to buy a few more of these shirts for casual use as well as fly fishing.

Fly Fishing along the Appalachian Trail
Fly Fishing along the Appalachian Trail

Additional Sun Protection

The Halo Check shirt is also pretreated with Sun Guard which blocks more than 96% of the sun’s harmful rays from reaching your skin and gives the shirt a UPF rating of 30+. My dermatologist is big on clothing-based sun protection and I have some family medical history that makes me take her warnings seriously.

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a scientific measurement of a material’s capacity to prevent harmful UV rays from reaching your skin. It is similar to the SPF number denoting the effectiveness of sunscreens, except that UPF measures both UVB and UVA radiation blocked. (SPF measures the blockage of UVB radiation only.)

Disclosure: Ex Officio provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample Halo Check Shirt for testing and review.

See Also:


  1. Don’t forget links for the women’s version.

  2. The link is in the second sentence since I know that men and women like to choose from multiple styles and colors.

  3. I have the woman’s version of this shirt and it’s great. I wear it when I garden and for hiking, of course! It keep all the bugs away from me.

  4. Ex officio has a really great women’s collection. They even have BugsAway dresses and skirts!

  5. How does this compare with the RailRiders offerings with Insect Shield? I have a couple of their Madison River Shirts. I just checked their website and I guess the Madison River has been replaced by Journeyman.

    • You know more than me. I have two Madison River Shirts but find the Ex Officio to be softer and borderline stylish,…enough that I can go to restaurants with my wife wearing it. I didn’t know RailRiders discontinued the Madison River shirts.

      • Why does your wife need to wear your shirt at the restaurant? Doesn’t she have her own?

  6. While I have not tried Ex Officio products I am a firm believer in Permethrin treatment. I used to be a tick magnet but now … none. I do use the Rail Riders eco mesh pants which are great for hiking in warm weather.
    Are the EO shirts true to size and do they seem to shrink when dried in a dryer?

  7. Nice coverage….But a bit pricey for me…I’ll continue to wear my Columbia nylon shirts and some spray on bug spray… I did just return from an overnight trip and tested out a new shirt from the Duluth Trading Co. The Bogey Windshirt. $39.50 Bugs were not a problem but if they were the shirt would protect me… It did repell moisture as advertised as it drizzled and rained on an off for the entire trip. It kept me dry until I could don my Poncho. Very comfortable and lightweight. It might replace a lightweight jacket I carry for the chilly evenings sitting around the fire. But that will come in a further test since we could not have a fire due to the rain……

    • I wore the Bogey Shirt on a fishing trip yesterday. Arrived at the Lake at 0600 to find heavy wet fog and 58 degrees. Donned the shirt over a Microfiber shirt and a T-shirt and was very comfortable. The wind proof feature was great as we sped down the lake and I was nice an warm..Definitely something to adopt into my Backpacking wardrobe..Looks like Duluth is taking over from what the Banana Republic USED to be 20 years ago in creating new Clothing ideas for the work place and outdoors…Lots of neat stuff in their catalog..

  8. alex messinger

    Do you find that bugs crawl in by the cuffs and the buttons? Seems like that would be a problem

    • Nope. Not at all. If they can crawl in and bite me without ever touching the fabric, I guess they deserve their lunch. But it’s never happened and I’ve been wearing clothes like these since 2008.

      • Alex messinger

        I found a used exofficio shirt with insect shield, but it’s 65% poly/35% cotton. we leave for the hundred-mile wilderness on Memorial Day, so I want to be ready for blackflies. Do you think the 35% cotton would be a liability?

      • Depends on the season and rainfall. I wouldn’t use it because it compromises temperature regulation but it might be fine in hot dry weather.

  9. Hi I wonder what size of the shirt you’re wearing? How does it fit? Length and around belly? I’m 6ft3, 200lb and wonder if I should go for a medium or large. Thanks roger

    • I’m 6’3 200 as well. Large is a little too big to be fashionable, but the loose fit will mean good ventilation in hot weather and room for layering in cold.

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