Monday, May 13, 2013

Simms ColdWeather Shirt Product Review

by Caddisshack

Simms ColdWeather ShirtI’ve always been upfront with my feelings about Simms apparel and how it’s priced. The majority of the Simms clothing line has never been on top of my gear lists when it comes to value, and it’s still my belief that there will always be cheaper alternatives that function well enough for the majority of people.
But as a sucker for multi-functional clothes, I went against my better judgment and was prodded into buying a Simms ColdWeather Shirt. I was in the market for a good-looking, warm shirt to wear on those chilly mornings on the Mile, hiking around the Rockies scouting for elk, taking down Christmas lights, or for grabbing a drink after snowboarding.
This shirt has been on my back consistently since the day I purchased it, whether it be as an outer layer on those sunny 40+ degree days, an additional layer for ice fishing, or for just lounging around elk camp -- no itching and no dampness from sweat. The two color patterns Black Olive Plaid and Redwood Plaid are sharp. It’s a nice enough shirt to wear around town although I am not crazy about the cut (more on that later). It repels a light snow or rain well enough and dries quickly to be worn as a primary outer layer. This is not your Grandfather’s flannel shirt.
ColdWeather ShirtOne area where this shirt really excels is warmth-to-bulk ratio. I’ve owned a number of lined shirts over the years and the micro fleece liner of the Simms ColdWeather shirt makes for the lightest, most breathable, and least bulky one of the bunch without sacrificing any of the warmth. The shoulders allow enough movement to fire out double-haul after double-haul without restriction. For a little perspective on the warmth, I have worn this shirt as an outer layer (with a warm merino base) while making snowshoe ascents in Rocky Mountain National Park. It kept me dry and warm on a day where it was about -10 degrees at the trailhead. Don’t get me wrong, I would have frozen to death had I not been moving, but it worked brilliantly during a strenuous hike up.
The two oversized pockets are well designed and can easily fit small fly boxes or a big smartphone. So far, the stitches have held up to abuse. I’ve had pocket stitching from more than one brand of shirt fail when subjected to the weight of a digital camera or cell phone.
I wouldn’t mind seeing this shirt in more of an athletic fit -- the cut is a bit generous going through the mid-section. I don’t have a Men’s Health worthy torso to show off, but I am also not shaped like a cinder block. The buttons are thin and metallic, which should bode well for durability but are a bit of a pain when buttoning/unbuttoning.
Simms ColdWeather ShirtI can almost overlook the price on this shirt ($99) and I’ll tell you why...
As much as I complain about Simms apparel, I do love Simms outerwear, and for me the ColdWeather shirt is more of an over layer than just a shirt. I’m willing to pay a little more money for something that can keep me warm and dry, but is also light and can function as an effective layering piece. Call me a hypocrite, but this is the type of product that I won’t hesitate to buy from Simms...just don’t expect me to ever shell out full retail price for anything from their warm weather line of clothes.

Click Here to purchase the Simms ColdWeather Shirt

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