Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: Rab Boreas Pull-on

- product provided by for the purpose of review - 

The basics:
  • RRP - £50
  • Weight - 259g
  • Fabric - Matrix Stretch Softshell Fabric

Manufacturer's Description: "The Boreas Pull-on is a lightweight stretch pull-on designed to offer protection from the sun and the elements when in the mountains."

First impression:

This shirt is designed to work best when worn as your baselayer but can also be used as midlayer with great breathabilty and wind resistance. 

The Stay Fresh odour control element of this shirt is a great, while most synthetic layers quickly get a certain smell to them the Boreas seemed to handle my smelliness well and there were no complaints from my fellow walkers.

Smartphone and (empty;)) wallet in chest pocket, you can really feel when this pocket has too much stuff in it.
A handy chest pocket provides room for things that need to be kept close at hand, the size of the pocket limits its use though, perfect for things like smartphones and wallets but you wouldn't be able to get a map in there. 

The under-helmet hood came in handy when climbing on Dartmoor, keeping my neck and ears warm while keeping safe. The softness of the material really helps with this as the slightest irritant would be multiplied by the helmet.  

A very long chest zip helps with ventilation and helps get the chest hair out! Flat zip keeps it from being irritating and in the way. I found this really handy for when the wind picked up slightly or the sun came back out, it only takes that little change and saves you removing/adding a layer.

Field Use:

Straight away this shirt feels comfortable to the touch and is very light, 2 great indicators straight away for how well a product will perform. I went for the XL (I'm 6'3" and a large build) and it seemed like a perfect fit, plenty of room in the sleeve for reaching above my head and a little extra at the back to cover the builder's bum. 

Warm ears with the under-helmet compatible hood.
On a particularly blowy day I decided to test the shirt with wind and plenty of sweat to see how well it handled breathing and maintaining my warmth. I'm happy to say the shirt performed well and even when stopped in the wind I still felt warm and cosy with the Boreas. This is a great element of the shirt and saved me a lot of time, with other baselayers/1st layers I find myself having to switch jackets and shirts to keep me the right temperature. 

While climbing the shirt kept me covered, the articulated sleeves working perfectly to stop the shirt riding up and popping over the harness. As I mentioned before the under-helmet hood was handy for keeping my neck and ears warm, just providing that vital barrier to the wind. 

Still plenty of sleeve even with a fully extended arm.
Great all round wind protection with the hood up.
Positive points:

  • Soft and smell resistant fabric,
  • under-helmet compatible hood,
  • Big zip helps ventilation,
  • Doesn't ride up when reaching,
  • Great lightweight but solid construction.
Not-so-positive points:
  • Small chest pocket.
This shirt deserves all the praise it receives; lightweight, strong and smell proof means it can worn over multi-day trips without upsetting you or your traveling companions. The multiple uses of this shirt make it a real bargain too; walking, mountaineering or climbing, this shirt's got it covered. 

Thanks for reading, please check out my other reviews on the blog and feel free to ask any questions about this review on Twitter.

Thanks again to OutdoorKit, if you're interested in buying the Boreas it's got 10% off on there!

OutdoorKit Facebook and Twitter

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