Review: Columbia Sportswear Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Sportswear Zero RulesGetting a good travel t-shirt might seem like a simple task. But finding the right shirt that can withstand various adventure activities time and time again tends to be a bit trickier. I’ve had my fair-share of shirts over the years that faded over time, frayed at the seams, took forever to dry, and became quite ripe after a full day of activities in the blistering sun. Columbia Sportswear hooked me up with one of their Zero Rules short sleeve shirts for my Kilimanjaro trek and I was interested to see how it would hold up.

About the Zero Rules short sleeve shirt from the folks at Columbia Sportswear:

A super-cooling tech tee with feminine flair, this soft and lightweight V-neck tee sports our industry-leading cooling technology that reacts with your sweat to lower the material’s temperature and keep you cool during dynamic aerobic activity in the heat.

At a quick glance, the Zero Rules short sleeve shirt seems like your typical active-wear shirt. But it’s the material of which it is made that is unique to this shirt. In addition to providing UPF 30 sun protection plus cooling and moisture-wicking fabric, this shirt boasts ‘sweat-activated cooling technology’. Essentially, as your body sweats in the shirt, the blue rings found on the interior react with your sweat to lower the temperature of the material. I’m always skeptical when you find the word ‘technology’ used to describe clothing but I was intrigued nonetheless.Columbia Sportswear Zero Rules Shirt

My Impressions

This shirt definitely had its work cut out for it while climbing Kilimanjaro! But the sweaty days, particularly in the rainforest section of the mountain, were made easier with the Zero Rules short sleeve shirt. It was very comfortable to wear, dried quickly after a day of hiking, and still smelled quite fresh by the end of day 8 on the tail.

Columbia Sportswear Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt
Putting the Zero Rules short sleeve shirt to the test on Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route.

But how about that so-called ‘sweat-activated cooling technology’? I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference compared to other sports shirts I’ve worn in the past. I’ve read online that the material needs to hug your body so it’s in direct contact with your skin. The size I received was a bit big for me and may have played a part in not being able to maximize on its cooling abilities. Or maybe it happens more subtly than I think. Either way, I was still happy with how it performed on the mountain.

In Summary


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Sun protection fabric
  • Cooling and moisture-wicking fabric
  • Dries quickly
  • Fashionable
  • Washes easily


  • Not much to say in the way of improving this garment.


When it comes to purchasing high-quality active-wear, I’d definitely recommend the Zero Rules short sleeve shirt. It performs very well in all the areas needed for adventure travel and the $44.99 price point is on par with its competitors.

SeeYouSoon Score: 4.5 out of 5

Thank you to Columbia Sportswear for providing me with the Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt. Opinions and views remain my own.