Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip Pullover Review

 

Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 zip Pullover

First Thoughts on the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 zip pullover Shirt

As the Incendiary ¼ zip is part of the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Series, I am expecting a high quality ‘Guide Built’ shirt able to handle extreme conditions. I really liked the look and feel of it, but was excited to put it through its paces for my myriad of outdoor winter adventures.  Running, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and a bit of everyday casual wear thrown in were in store for this shirt. Aside from the fact that I liked the look and feel, it is quite evident that there is much more to this shirt than meets the eye.

Fabric, Features, and Technical Specifications

  • FreeHeat™ Pro Active Heating Technology: Thermally efficient yarns keep you warmer in cool weather
  • FreeDry™ Advanced Moisture Management: Wicks moisture for optimal comfort
  • Modified raglan sleeves: Excellent range of motion
  • Strategically placed seams: Prevent chafing when layering or wearing a pack
  • Thumbhole sleeve construction: Extended hand coverage
  • 93% polyester/7% spandex

Thumbhole loops are a common feature these days, but I really like the length of these. The thumbhole opening is also a proper size.

Fit of the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip Pullover Shirt

Eddie Bauer has classified this as their “most athletic fit.” I am a little at odds with that as I like to think I am athletic, and usually a medium fits me pretty well.  This shirt does hang nicely, and the shoulders are about where you’d think they should be. There is quite a bit of room around the girth or belly area to have me wanting a slightly trimmer fit. Sizing is always challenging in this day and age. I don’t know if I’d actually go to a Small, but if you are in caught in the middle, maybe you size down. If you have more upper body muscles than I do, you may want to stick to your size though.

Performance

My traveling schedule kept me from taking this shirt out as I really wanted to, but a convention in Salt Lake City allowed for the perfect setting for wearing this shirt in a more casual setting.  Commuting by light rail in the early mornings and late evenings provided quite the chill, and the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip qualities were up to the task. All day I was traversing through a rather large Outdoor Retailer convention which had me running to appointment at times. The Salt Palace Convention Center also had a chill to it at times, and I felt my temperature was regulated quite nicely throughout the day.

Comfortable athletic fit

Snowshoe running aside from Cross Country Skiing (in my humble opinion) is one of the more challenging, heart pumping, and rewarding activities out there.  For the past 5 years, I have participated in a local snowshoe race in Nederland, Colorado. It’s a free race, and it always attracts a handful of Boulder Ultra trail running elites. This year was no different as a young up and coming speedy youngster absolutely crushed the course record. I wore a technical base layer, my Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip, and an outer wind shell. The ¼ Zip does provide additional heat when put right up against the skin, but in this case, I wanted to wick sweat away from my body.  The first few miles were quite cold, so I was appreciative of the layering effect. The 11.4 mile race on hard packed snow conditions (at approx. 10,000 elev.) took me 2 hours and 14 minutes which was pretty fast as I beat my P.R. by 35 minutes. My body temperature seemed right on throughout the race, and I never felt the need to unzip my outer layer. My hands went through various stages of cold, wet, and warm, but being able to use the thumbhole sleeve got my hands back to the warm side of things.

While taking some turns at Copper Mountain at an outdoor demo days for a snow industry convention, I decided to wear the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip as my base layer to test the FreeHeat™ qualities. On a sidenote, the FreeHeat does work best when exposed to sunlight when it actually activates the technology to aid in heating your body. The temperatures were in the 20’s, and I wore my insulated Eddie Bauer Bombshelter Jacket to aid in keeping the wind, snow, and cold out. All I needed was those two layers to enjoy my day while taking some fast sweeping groomers to test out the latest and greatest ski equipment for next year.

The Incendiary used as a base layer with an insulated Jacket

I run a lot, and conditions do not really matter too much to me.  I enjoy taking on the more extreme temperatures because the solitude is a lot of fun in a snowstorm. This is also when I placed the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip as my first layer of defense to stay nice and warm. Add a decent mid layer, a windproof outer shell, and I was good to go. The wind can be pretty mean as the Northerly Tundra currents sweep in to put the deep freeze over us. This time, it did take a good 2 miles to get to a point where I was comfortable and warm. After that, it became more about staying focused on the trail conditions, and the pure enjoyment of being outside when 99.9% of the population wouldn’t dare go for a run.

Final Thoughts for the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip Pullover Shirt

The Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip has lived up to its billing to provide warmth and comfort in a variety of outdoor extremes. I’m looking forward to some Spring and Summer activities where this will be my only layer to really appreciate the FreeHeat™ Pro Active Heating features. A great option to have as a travel piece or as a base layer for your outdoor passions.

Available Colors: Limeade, Black, Ascent Blue.

MSRP: $80

For more information and purchase on this and other active shirts please visit: www.eddiebauer.com 

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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