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  • JP Magazine
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February 1999 The Outdoorsman

Posted in Product Reviews on February 1, 1999
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We've all experienced those o-dark-thirty trail lineups in o-low-thirty temperatures. And we've all had plenty of practice at the fine art of layering-enough practice to know that it never really works (or looks) right. So we had a novel thought-why not just wear warm clothing? We sought out some fashionables from Woolrich, a company that has been around since 1830-that's 168 winters, so you could say it's had time to perfect its products.

The Andes jacket from Woolrich features Polartec climate-control fleece and is available in charcoal heather, ranch heather, earth heather, and oatmeal heather. We found it toasty on cool days, but when the wind kicked in, it seemed to work better as an inner layer under a jacket. One of its best features is deep inside pockets.

Woolrich offers jackets, vests, sweaters, pullovers, button-downs, flannels, fleece, wool, cotton, solids, patterns-you name it, the company has it. Woolrich's line includes light-, medium-, and heavy-duty garments for trails and other outdoorsy activities with the chance of snow, rain, or windchill, and everything in the catalog is groovy enough to wear as city clothes too. In fact, the biggest complaint we have is that most of the garb looks too nice for a day in the mud or dirt-although we quickly got over that one brisk morning.

Among the attire we had a chance to put to the test were the 100-percent-cotton Bear Mountain flannel shirt, the denim Panhandle Buttondown, the Timberline Pullover, the High Country coat, the Andes jacket, the Jetty shorts, and the Ravine pants.

But you can't have a true trail ensemble without taking care of your feet. If you've ever seen former 4-Wheelers Freiburger and Péwé on the trail, you know that sandals can work just fine (hey, they were good enough for Jesus, after all), but if you're like the current staff, you probably find flip-flops have just a hair less traction for rockcrawling than bare feet. Give us the Super Swampers of tread patterns and absolutely guaranteed waterproofness any day.

Wolverine has been in the shoe and boot business since 1883 and has made it virtually impossible to not be able to find the right boots for your type of travels. Its lines of work, sport, and rugged outdoor shoes have such varying features as DuraShock slip resistance for dry surfaces; steel- and composite-cap toe protection; static dissipation; energy-absorbing Vibram; and Gore-Tex waterproof lining.

Other considerations when you're boot shopping are a breathable lining that dries quickly and resists abrasion, and performance leather that lets perspiration and vapor escape but doesn't allow water in; Wolverine incorporates these into its products where applicable.

Since our annual outdoor time means everything from sand, mud, rain, rocks, dirt, and deep puddles to walking, running, darting, and climbing, we found the Reno DuraShocks Hikers to be a great cushion between our feet and the shock and stress of the terrain, and they provide the traction and flexibility we need when we're on the go.

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Woolrich Inc.
Woolrich, PA 17779

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