Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Item: Henri Lloyd Featherweight Polo's and Crew Shirts


I'd like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up:
1) Olympic badminton rules say that the birdie has to have exactly fourteen feathers.
2) 0.000000033% of the US population chokes to death each year on ballpoint pens.
3) Calling the new Henri Lloyd shirts "featherweight" might be a stretch.

That's not to say that HL's new Fast-Dri shirts are going to hang on you like a suit of armor a la King Arthur. Far from it -- they're light, breathable and quick to dry out. They are made from a durable material that has a ton of stretch built into it so the shirt moves with you quite nicely. It protects you like you're wearing SPF 30 sunblock and has this silver ion anti-microbial thing going on to keep the stank down when you sweat (in his defense, James claims he doesn't sweat -- he "glistens", whatever the heck that means). They're good shirts that have a little bit of fashion built into them, if you're into that sort of thing.

But...

I grabbed the "polo" (we'll get to why I put that in quotation marks in a minute) and went down to the shop to do some comparisons. Due to the construction material and numerous seams, the weight of the Featherweight Polo & Crew is actually higher than Henri Lloyd's own Atmosphere shirt, Musto's Tech shirts or Patagonia's Capilene 1 and 2. It should be noted though that the extra weight is actually kind of nice in the long-sleeve crew shirt if you're looking for a multi-season shirt for the spring and fall.

I do like the build and feel of the crew shirts more than I like the "polo". I keep putting quotation marks around polo because it's really a zip neck shirt that you can fold the collar down on -- so while it can look like a polo shirt, I'm not sure that the name is a 100% accurate.

Back to the positives: they're available in both Unisex/Men's and Women's sizes. Also, these shirts are really versatile for crew gear -- they can be dye sublimated (only on the white ones), screened, embroidered or have vinyl heat applied. The Henri Lloyd logo is annoyingly sitting on the left chest instead of somewhere better for team gear like... well, anywhere but the left chest. Seriously, why are clothing manufacturer's intent on screwing shirts up for big team gear buys by putting their logo in the most annoying places?

End of story: I like the crew shirts. They've got this great stretch characteristic that really sets them apart from others in the category. The polo -- it's a miss with me for aesthetic reasons only. I'm not a huge fan of the zip neck and I don't particularly care for the way the collar folds down. But the performance of the Henri Lloyd Featherweight line is good and it should last through almost anything you can put it through.

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