Gear Review

3 5

O.K.. Casual Piece

Just about everybody makes a shirt like this and what separates the merely adequate from the truly good frequently boils down to the details.

This shirt features a pretty good fabric which breathes well, dries fast, is constructed of rip stop nylon and offers sun shielding and decent wicking ability. Its styling is subdued and nice enough for a business casual wear.

The devil is in the details for this whole class of shirts and two design details make this shirt a casual use only piece. Most of these shirts in this class feature a mesh yoke section across the back covered by a panel for breathability, venting and sun blocking. In other shirts this multi panel design is secured. On this shirt the inner mesh panel is not secured across the bottom. So? So, if you try to just unbutton the neck buttons and go to slip this shirt on over your head about 80 percent of the time your arms will be attempting to slide under the mesh panel and not down the sleeves. Despite numerous tries, you will give up and totally unbutton the shirt and put it on and then rebutton it. Not a big deal in a casual piece but a PITA if you are attempting to take it off quickly, put it back on quickly, doing it in the dark, etc. You know, all the sort of stuff you might want to do using a piece actually day to day in a back country setting.

Detail two that differs on this shirt from competitive offerings is the roll up sleeve holders. On most shirts of this design there is a button on the outside upper sleeve and a strap inside the sleeve with a button hole. You roll up the sleeve, flip up the strap and button in. Quick and easy. This shirt features a tab on the upper outer sleeve. The holding strap inside the sleeve features a button on the inside of the strap and button hole. After you roll up the sleeve you have to pull out the holder slide it through the tab, fold it over and button it to itself. An annoyance and it adds some time but the real problem with this design is when the sleeve is down and the strap on the inside now has a button that hits just about where your arm folds so that anytime you are actually using your arms for climbing, working with tools, walking with poles, etc. that button starts attacking the inside of your elbow joint. Not a problem if you leave he sleeves constantly up ( but then you could just get the short sleeve version) or if you are not really using your arms much with the sleeves down.

In summery, because of the restrictions above this piece is best suited for casual travel, business casual, and spends a fair amount of it's time in my closet. I'll occasionally use it day hiking or kayaking when the sleeves will be up all day or pack it for a family vacation. My go to piece offer none of these draw backs. If you want a pice for technical and casual wear you might want to take a look at comparable pieces from Arc, MHW, TNF and others.