The Avlare Long Sleeve Dry Top by Zhik is made with their revolutionary Avlare fabric technology. Avlare fabric is destined to change the way we think about what we wear across many water sports, including dinghy sailing, yachting, kayaking, stand-up paddling, kite surfing, and more.
Zhik's Avlare Dry Top is super lightweight and water repellent, so water repellent in fact that it does not absorb water! Water will just bead off it, making it 1/4 the weight of wet spandex.
It's high stretch fabric breathes yet cuts wind chill at the same time, giving you dynamic hot and cold protection. It also features a 3D body mapped fit for performance comfort and ZhikTex II abrasion resistant knee and seat panels.
- Extreme water repellency that lasts
- Avlare is almost half the weight of dry spandex and less than a quarter of the weight of wet spandex
- Shields from wind and water chill
- High stretch
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Maintains high breathability
- Remains light as it doesn’t absorb water
|Features||Breathable, Water Repellent, Fast Dry|
|Recommended Use||Dinghy Racing, Cold Weather, Sun Protection|
|Material / Fabric||Zhik Avlare fabric|
Zhik Avlare is a revolutionary new set of gear that Zhik hopes will change the way you think about dressing for sailing across a wide range of conditions. Avlare is made of a “dry” fabric – basically it repels water and won’t get wet. It is also super lightweight and very stretchy. It combines the best qualities of a spray top, a rashguard and a fast drying technical shirt all together in one unique garment. Avlare comes in a slim fit long sleeve shirt as well as a looser fit short sleeve shirt.
Avlare is terrific for dinghy sailing when the water is cold but it’s warm and sunny out – it will keep the cold water away while remaining super lightweight in the sun and offering UV50 protection. The short sleeved shirt with its loose fit can be worn for any kind of sailing or watersports. Big boat sailing with a lot of spray or rain it will keep your shirt from feeling damp all day. If you’re out for a day of paddle boarding you’ve no need to worry if you fall in, when you jump out the water will roll right off and away you go.
The long sleeve shirt fits quite snug around the wrists and neck which should help keep water from running down your neck or arms – like an ultra-lite version of the cuffs on a spray top. It still remains super stretchy throughout – allowing for easy movement with minimal tugging up at the bottom of the shirt when you lift your arms.
You will see Avlare being worn by the Austrailian Sailing Team, as well as members of many other national sailing teams across the world. Avlare has been a key component in their preparation for the major international sailing regatta taking place in a South American country this summer. (the rules of that event prevent us from specifically naming it here). Zhik worked hand in hand with these athletes to develop and fine tune Avlare. Ensuring it meets their needs means you can be confident that this is a project that will perform to the highest levels.
So what does a “dry” fabric really mean anyways? In the most obvious sense it means when you throw water on an Avlare shirt it beads up and just rolls right off. If you’re wearing it and get wet, say someone happens to throw a bucket of water on you, the shirt feels completely dry immediately afterwards even if your hair isn’t. I was even able to use the shirt like a “bucket” and carry water around in it.
Because they are dry, one great use for an Avlare top would be as sort of an emergency rain jacket. It weighs only a few ounces, and packs down extremely small. If you are day sailing or doing a short overnight when the weather is meant to be great you could keep this in your bag, or even if your pocket just in case a thunderstorm rolls through. If you are going to use the long sleeve top for this purpose I would buy it a size larger, the short sleeve would work fine in your normal size.
How does it work?
I spoke with the Zhik design team about the behind the scenes on how Avlare works, and they likened it to the membrane fabric that’s between the layers of high-end foul weather gear. In your foul weather gear this membrane is what keeps the water out, but still allows your body moisture to escape. With Avlare it’s doing the same thing, but without the extra fabric on the inside and outside to make it more durable and attach things like collars or pockets.
That said – Zhik isn’t going so far as to call Avlare waterproof. That’s primarily because the seams aren’t taped like those on a foul weather jacket. It’s also not going to stay waterproof for as long as your foul weather gear jacket – but of course this is lighter than most cotton t-shirts. One of the unique features of Avlare is that if it does start to become less water repellent and water doesn’t bead up anymore, you can use heat to reactivate it. The instructions included with your shirt read:
Avlare water repellent properties are designed to last longer than previous technology. However, if it does begin to reduce in functionality, it can be reactivated by applying heat to the garment using an iron or tumble drier. For best results, allow the garment to line dry prior to applying heat. Do not exceed 160° C and avoid ironing the logos.
For the same reason the Avlare fabric blocks the water, it also blocks a lot of wind. This makes Avlare great on a day that’s a little bit wet and windy or the water is cold, but still sunny and warm enough that you would suffocate in a spray top. The fact that it stays dry also really helps reduce the wind chill.
The fabric does have a somewhat unusual feel to it. Looking at it you expect it to feel soft like a spandex, but it ends up feeling a little more like a nylon ripstop. To be honest I spoke with a number of people here at APS and no one has come up with a great way to describe it – it’s both soft and not-soft at same time and definitely very unique. None of this detracts from it being comfortable which comes particularly from how stretchy it is.
The Avlare long sleeve and short sleeve shirts are definitely a game changer. They have a number of uses, and I think we can expect to see more garments of this type that will stay dry and repel water while remaining super lightweight.