Vicky and I are in the middle of planning a pretty spectacular and awesome trip. I’ll write all about that when we’ve sorted all the details. Anywho, this adventure is going to take us to so amazing places and we plan on travelling light and taking very little gear with us. If we’re only going to be bringing a bagful each then we need to make sure the clothing we are taking will handle the conditions and endure everything we throw at it. I’ve recently been testing a shirt by Royal Robbins to see if it fits the bill and would be as good for travelling as it is for daily use.
Royal Robbins is designed literally with people like us and travels like ours in mind. Their clothes are sold as “enduring, classic, outdoor clothing for people who embody a love for the natural world.” Which sounds pretty perfect. They are supposed to perform brilliantly and move, dry, pack and wear extremely well. Apparently they should work as well on the trail or in the city as they do at dinner. This is what we are really after as during our trip we will be covering about 3000 miles over land, from huge cities to mountain summits to scorching beaches.
It’s these hot, hot, hot temperatures that concern me the most as having the trip spoilt by being hot and uncomfortable would be really lame. Luckily, the Royal Robbins shirt seems to have this sorted and as well as the poly-cotton blend fabric, that will help wick away any moisture, it also has ventilated panels. The main one being across the shoulders. I thought that this was a great design when it comes to carrying a pack. The ventilated panels also feature around the chest pocket which make this area light and breathable.
Another clever design is the roll up sleeves. These have nice buttons and fastenings to hold them up in a neat fashion. I’ve always been one to roll shirt sleeves up and this keeps them up and out the way really nicely. The width of the fastening strap gives them a really purposeful look which I really liked.
My favourite of all the smart features in this shirt was a secret pocket contained in the shirt’s chest pocket. Without looking closely, it looks like any old regular pocket and works as one. However, tucked inside the hem on the centre side of the pocket is an ingenious zip. It’s very slimly designed in such a way that when sitting flat you wouldn’t even know it was there. It’s very easy to gain access to when you know how and is the perfect place to stash money, cards or even a small phone away in. I had been pondering where to keep my cash when travelling through manic, busy cities and this is the answer! As the chest pocket zip is hidden away, right on your chest, there is no way even the most talented Fagin or Artful Dodger would be able to get their hands on your dosh.
There is another pocket on the right upper sleeve on the shirt. Personally, I’m not too fond of pockets on arms but I know other people like the practicality and functionality they provide and with a shirt this good I’m willing to let an unwanted pocket slide. I think you’ll agree that this shirt fits and looks really smart. Royal Robbins have done an excellent job of designing a shirt that would fit in on the trail or in the office. I personally really like the colour which is a light, natural looking green. So often travel clothing is made in that boring khaki colour that makes you look like you left your pith helmet at home. I really like this light green as it looks good everywhere and is subtle yet stylish.
I haven’t had the chance to wear the shirt out in some really blistering heat yet as it’s only March but I’m confident that the very light weight fabric and vented panels will keep me feeling cool. Over the last couple months of wearing this shirt regularly I’ve been impressed with the quality and comfort of the design, cut and fabric. When you wash the shirt it dries quickly due to the poly blend fabric. What is even better is that if you hang it up to dry nice and flat it will dry without needing any ironing. This makes it great for our travels as we wont be taking an iron with us!
I think this is a really smart looking shirt that you could quite happily walk up a mountain in, walk back down and go for dinner in a nice restaurant without having to change. Royal Robbins also make tees, trousers and shorts as well as a plethora of ladies garments. They’re a brand that was new to me, but is now a firm favourite of mine.