There’s a reason that song from Grease is called “Summer Nights.” All the best stuff all summer happens after that lovely sun goes down. The beach? It’s fun. But it’s just one thing. Bonfires? Star gazing? Hammock-based makeouts? For that you need the nighttime. And for the nighttime you need a summer sweatshirt.
This is different from that Safety School U cotton sweatshirt that you hit the couch with all winter. The summer sweatshirt needs to be a good synthetic. Cotton absorbs water when wet, meaning you’ll freeze if you get splashed or open the beer that got jostled in the cooler. Leave that at home with your Netflix.
Plus, there are all the in-between activities. Sailing only works when there’s wind, guy. Wind plus a no-fucks attitude towards spray from the hull and an enthusiasm for sun showers. You could bring the ole Northface, I guess. But that doesn’t sound like a very fun thing to pack for the beach. Waterskiing is awesome, but you’ll need something to put on when you’re sopping wet and battling wind in the back of the boat while the new guy tries to get up.
Thankfully, our friends at Oakley make the super-useful Ride Fleece Hoodie (now $69) with Hydrofree technology. It has a quarter-zip with a nylon overlay on the hood and shoulders to protect the necessities in high winds. Anyone who’s ever ridden home from a surf session in the back of a pickup truck with the boards will appreciate that feature. Meanwhile, the zippered marsupial pouch pocket in front will keep your phone and keys from getting lodged in Davey Jones Locker.
The Ride is pretty lightweight and during the summer, it will save you from having to pack a warm jacket and a rain jacket. It’s as well suited for a morning run on the beach as it is for running in from a thunderstorm. And the Hydrofree tech really works! Having spent half an hour in the backyard pouring water bottles over my head to test it (see: lead photo) I can assure you of that.
But the real reason every guy needs to pack a dynamite summer sweatshirt is that your sweetie will appreciate the loaner. She’s been waiting all year to wear a backless sundress and have a glass of rosé with you on the deck of her favorite beach restaurant. She’s going to want to stay there and tell stories and order another bottle with the other couples long after the sun goes down and that offshore wind picks up.
In fact, you might want to get two. Because you know you’re not getting that one back…