Royal Robbins and his wife Liz are legends in the rock climbing world with many first ascents and notable climbs to their names. As pioneers in American climbing during the 60s, they spent much of their time outdoors wearing clothing not particularly well suited to active pursuits. In 1967, Liz Robbins was the first woman to climb Yosemite’s Half Dome and as the story goes she looked at what they were wearing in the summit photo and decided they needed to get into the apparel business. She stitched up a pair of shorts that was comfortable, durable, and even looked good, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, the company makes clothing that embodies that original pair of shorts’ goals by moving, drying, packing, and wearing well. The Royal Robbins Shop Jack flannel shirt is an excellent representation of this ethos. The Shop Jack is a rugged and versatile over-shirt that provides warmth and style all in one. Read below for our review.
Royal Robbins Shop Jack Fabric
From the outside, the Shop Jack is a rugged looking flannel fabric that is made of a combo of wool and acrylic thread. While not quite as soft as 100% wool, the exterior gives the appearance and resembles the feel of a typical wool flannel. Fortunately, the shirt is soft and itch-free where it mean the skin at the collar and cuffs. The quality of the fabric is apparent in it’s resistance to wear and tear, indicating excellent durability in rugged uses. Unlike a typical flannel, the Royal Robbins Shop Jack has a hidden secret in the form of a quilted layer for added thermal properties. This little bit of insulation transforms the shirt into a versatile layer that can be worn in lieu of a jacket in moderate conditions. I found myself wearing it often as my outer layer on warm winter days when snow was on the ground but the temps were in the 40s. My favorite way to use the Shop Jack was by combining it with a down vest over it for added core warmth. This setup is enough for a good stretch of fall and winter days. The quilted layer adds a small but noticeable amount of wind protection and that increases the versatility.
Royal Robbins Shop Jack Fit and Style
Most people think of flannel shirts as having a fit somewhat similar to a typical button down dress shirt but the Shop Jack serves a different purpose and therefore has a different fit. Because it is designed as an over-shirt, the Shop Jack has a baggier fit that can be worn comfortably over a base-layer, whether it is a thermal or a t-shirt. That said, it sticks to Royal Robbins roots by being on the athletically cut side of fitting and I appreciated that design element. I was always very comfortable in the Shop Jack and happily lounged around the house in it in addition to wearing it outside. I really like the style of the shirt and found it was the right blend of outdoor utility and attractive looks. Style is obviously personal, but the Shop Jack works great as a little step up from the typical mountain-casual look. Royal Robbins offers the shirt in a range of great, classic flannel colors and designs.
The Royal Robbins Shop Jack quickly became one of my favorite pieces of apparel from the moment I received it. It’s comfortable, relatively stylish, and functional in a range of settings. Hand warmer pockets, a zippered interior pocket and rugged snaps are all smart features that add to the value of the shirt. At $99, you are getting a great deal, since many less functional flannels cost more and do far less. Check out the Shop Jack (https://www.royalrobbins.com/) and I’m sure you’ll find yourself wearing it more than you could have guessed.
Jesse's love of the outdoors brought him to Colorado back in 2004 and he's continued to enjoy the natural playground ever since. Jesse is a professional photographer specializing in weddings, portraits and active lifestyle advertising. As a photographer with a love of hiking and camping, Jesse is constantly testing ways to carry camera gear into the backcountry. He has been a ski instructor at Breckenridge for 3 years and continues to do so in a part-time role. He was first put on skis at the age of 2 and spent 10 years snowboarding as well so he has a pretty good handle on what makes great snow gear. Jesse has been a multi-sport athlete for most of his life and loves to be active. To learn more about Jesse's photography work, visit https://twoelkstudios.com/ and http://www.jessestarrproductions.com