For some reason, outdoor people love their flannel shirts. If you either work in the outdoor industry or hang out with outdoorsy folks, it’s nearly impossible to escape those sexy checkered patterns. Some outdoor companies have been making flannel shirts for years while some companies are new to the checkered craze. We’ve tested out 3 brands with 3 different uses for the ever so popular flannel.
prAna Asylum – $90
The prAna Asylum flannel shirt is mix between a soft thermal shirt and a flannel. On the inside of the Asylum is a thermal fabric to provide warmth and comfort. Think of the old school long underwear and that is what you get. On the outside of this shirt, you get the standard flannel shirt with prAna’s amazing color combinations and patterns. While almost any brand can put together a shirt that criss crosses patterns that are visibly appealing, yes, there actually is an art to making a flannel look good. The designers at prAna have been making both long sleeve and short sleeve checkered shirts(flannels) for a number of years and they seem to have the look perfected. The buttons on the prAna Asylum are snap style, so it’s super easy to open and close the shirt. The fit of the Asylum is relaxed and easy to move around in. Since the cut is a little more relaxed, it fits better in a casual setting than a dress up setting. I usually wear this shirt around the house and walking the dogs. It’s a little to loose for my style to wear out to the bars or restaurants. However, if you live in a mountain town or a community where it is a little less formal, this shirt will fit in great.
This shirt was the warmest of the bunch of flannels I tested and it keeps me warm outside in temperatures down to 45 or 50 degrees. I tested out a size medium and it fit a little baggy. I am 6’0 tall and 175lbs so size accordingly.
Outdoor Research Feedback Flannel – $79
The Outdoor Research Feedback Flannel is made from 100% polyester which works great as a technical fabric. This means that you can wear the Feedback Flannel while hiking or other activities where you tend to sweat a little as the fabric drys quicker than say, cotton. The Feedback has a soft cotton like feel while against the skin, so you won’t get the typical old school wool flannel itchy feel to it. The fit of the Outdoor Research Feedback flannel is standard as mentioned on their website. It is a little more fitted than the other 2 flannels tested in the article, but not too snug. I tested out the size medium and it fit well, but the arms could be an inch longer in my opinion. The Feedback is a little more of the lumberjack look which is fun to sport from time to time, but you might get some funny looks if you wear it into a fancy restaurant. In case you need extra storage, there are two front chest pockets, one with a flap and one without. This shirt was in the middle of the 3 flannels tested as far as warmth goes.
Merrell Highgate Reversible Flannel – $75
2 flannels for the price of one, how can you resist?! The Merrell Highgate Reversible is just what is states, reversible. On one side of the Highgate, it is more box like and on the reverse side, you get a more tight lines. Depending how sassy you feel for the day, you can choose one side or the other. This also comes in handy if you are traveling and don’t have a ton of room for clothing. You can wear the same shirt two days in a row and nobody will even know! As long as you don’t get the shirt too stinky while traveling…
Another benefit to the Merrell Highgate Reversible Flannel is that it is made from the Merrell Optiwick Fabric. This is the same fabric used in other Merrell Technical clothing where you want to be able to wick moisture away from you body. I usually wear this shirt for casual outings, but it’s nice to know the Highgate can perform when under pressure in active situations. The closure system on the Highgate is snap buttons, so it’s easy to open and close the shirt. The fit of this Flannel is pretty standard, not too loose or tight. I tested out a size medium and it worked out well. The Merrell Highgate Reversible Flannel is the lightest of all the flannels.