Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review: This women's shooting shirt rocks

I've been itching for some new hunting clothing for weeks. It started on that pig hunt with Phillip. I wore a new pair of Propper BDUs in a lovely shade of camo for summer in California (Multi-Cam), and I had my favorite camo shirt from Prois in Realtree AP HD. Yep, you guessed it: My camo patterns clashed, and it was driving me nuts.

Now, for the men who have read this far, first, let me congratulate your perseverance, and second let me assure you that I know pigs can't see very well at all, and the fact that my pants and shirt clashed had probably less than zero impact on my hunt. But I'm a girl, so it bothered me anyway.

What I really wanted was some sort of good old-fashioned khaki shirt: long sleeves for protection against the sun's harmful rays, breathable cotton, and no pockets that would interfere with my shooting. I checked the latest collections of all my favorite women's hunting clothing companies, and ended up going with a shooting shirt from Filson instead. Read more...
I chose the shirt for three reasons:

1) I've looked at a lot of women's shooting shirts, and it seems they're always made for right-handed shooters. I shoot lefty because I'm left-eye dominant, and I want the patch to be on the correct side. Filson's shooting shirt has patches on both shoulders, so it works for all of us.

2) While you don't really want chest pockets on a shooting shirt, it sure would be nice to have a pocket somewhere. The Filson shooting shirt has a great one: a zippered pocket that sits at the midriff, perfect for holding your hunting license and a pig tag.

3) I've tested a few Filson items and I know they're well made, so it felt like there was no risk in dropping $65 plus shipping on this one.

The only downside was that it wasn't made in the U.S.A. But the two women's hunting clothing companies whose garments are made here (Prois Hunting Apparel and Trailfeathers) didn't have any shirts like this.

When the shirt arrived in the mail, I was really pleased with my purchase - I could tell immediately that it was worth what I paid for it. Here's why:

Feminine: The cut of the shirt nicely accents the female form.

Detail: There's overstitching everywhere, which is a sign of extra care and durability. And the shoulder patches had a nice stitched design as well.


Decorative stitching on patches

Comfort: I was delighted to find darts in the sleeves at the elbow, which means the sleeves never bind. And while the back isn't vented, there are pleats that allow maximum movement of the shoulder blades.

Darts at the elbows

Pleated back

That pocket: I totally love that license pocket. It is both subtle and sturdy.

License pocket doesn't stand out.

Zipper ensures nothing will fall out.

I wore the shirt this weekend when Boyfriend and I went down to Michael's place for a pig hunt, and while I didn't get the chance to do any shooting myself because this was Boyfriend's hunt, I found the shirt to be very comfortable. I can tell it's going to be one of my favorites.

And, bonus points, when Boyfriend saw me in it Saturday morning as we were getting ready to head out into the field, he actually noticed it: "Oh, that is a nice shirt!" he said.

Yeah, I know function comes first. But it sure doesn't hurt when your hunting clothes look nice, too.

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© Holly A. Heyser 2009


Phillip said...

Clashing camo... oh the shame... the horror! I must say, I was a bit ashamed to be afied with you, but I bit my tongue and kept my comments to myself. You know, I am a gentleman and all. I tried to make it seem as if I didn't even notice your camo didn't match!

Hil said...

Check out the new women's line of camo from Rocky when you get a chance. I believe it is officially debuting in the fall if it's not out already, but it fits GREAT.

I also ran across a company called SportHill that makes their clothing in women's sizes. The fabric is very unusual and seems extremely functional.

Holly Heyser said...

Phillip, I see the duct tape slipped off your mouth again. I'll have to talk to Kat about that.

And Hil, thanks for the tip. I found Rocky's press release about the new women's clothing line, but there was ZERO on the website about it, and there weren't even any photos with the press release that I found. I emailed Rocky's contact person because I'd be happy to include Rocky in my list of companies that make women's hunting clothing if I could just see the clothing.

As for Sporthill, I saw plenty for women, but it was all running clothing. Do they actually make hunting clothing?

Blessed said...

I love Filson's stuff and I hate clashing camo... thanks for the great review!

Hil said...

Yep I've got some Sporthill camo here in the office right now, along with the Rocky stuff, for a women's gear review I'm working on. I've been very pleased with the fit and feel of both, although since it's June I've yet to try them out in a cold tree stand.

The Sporthill is freakishly stretchy, like you can grab the arms and stretch them out like a rubber band. They tell me it's incredibly warm and can be worn as an outer layer with just a single-layer undergarment underneath. I have my doubts, but if it's true, I've finally found the solution to my Pillsbury Doughgirl problem.

Holly Heyser said...

Hil, could you drop a link in here? I'd love to see what you're talking about. Rocky's PR person has not gotten back to me on my inquiry.

Hil said...

I'm going to email you.

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