Late last year I learned that Eddie Bauer is getting into the world of fly fishing apparel and gear. I was really surprised, given the increasingly crowded market. Through their site, I found out that they are introducing shirts, pants, jackets and gear bags, so it looks like a pretty solid effort.
I know EB clothing, so my expectations of product quality were high when I was asked to test the new Guide Shirt. EB is also introducing a women’s line, and I was given one for my wife to test as well.
At first glance, the guide shirt looks much like many of the other options on the market, but there are few features that I found to be truly useful.
The FreeDry™ technology, which wicks moisture and enables the shirt to dry faster, was tested when I was caught in a rainstorm and was able to keep on fishing without feeling like I was wearing a wet towel.
The FreeCool™ Pro collar lining and FreeShade™ UPF 50+ came in handy when I was on an extended kayak trip on a sunny day. I stayed comfortable and did not come away sunburned. That said, I still recommend sunscreen.
I carry minimal gear on my evening trips, so the zippered chest pockets, one with inner mesh, gave me more than enough room to carry a small fly box, tippet, nippers and forceps.
My wife also wore her shirt on several occasions, and found it comfortable and lightweight. She used hers for more non-fishing activities, but I was able to get her to put in some time on the water as well.
In her words, “The shirt feels very lightweight, moves with me, and I like color and texture. I could wear this in a variety of places, including amusement parks and other outdoor activities.”
We both found these to be comfortable and functional, and would recommend the Eddie Bauer Guide Shirt as a solid option for fishing or outdoor apparel. I look forward to seeing more from Eddie Bauer.
Note: I received merchandise to test but no compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.