Monday, June 10, 2013

Gear Review: Core Concepts outdoor apparel

I'm no metrosexual by any means.  I still wear some of the shirts I once sported in highschool, many of which were purchased from thrift stores.  Don't hate on the hand-me-down lifestyle.  It's smart living.  Though function and comfort usually outweigh style in my book, a guy can certainly enjoy hearing his wife say, "man you look hot in that."  I'm pretty sure mine is obligated to say things like that, but if an article of clothing gets my wife's approval, it must be good.  If there's one thing I have learned from marriage, it's to trust an honest woman's opinion.  I was sold pretty quick on the quality of these threads, and the endorsement by the Mrs. sealed the deal.

I may not be an expert on clothing, but quality is hard to miss in most things.  You can tell when someone took their time while designing and producing a product. Its use has a kind of transparency.  The product doesn't get in the way of the experience.  It lasts longer.  This is because the product was designed for the experience, with the user in mind.

Core Concepts is an outdoor apparel company that hails from Boise, Idaho.  They are a homegrown company that keeps things down to earth with quality and style.  And just like potatoes, this stuff is made in Idaho.  Not too many modern companies can sport the "Made In The USA" tag.  They build clothing to last and be comfortable.  Their styles are simple, yet classy.  It's not the flashy "look at me" kind of clothing.  Instead it is the "I look good and I feel good in my own skin" kind of apparel.  Just reading the clothing tags, you can tell these folks enjoy life and have a healthy sense of humor too.  Core Concepts started things up back in 2007 and they say it best themselves.

"Loving the outdoors doesn't mean you have to sport the "Hey ladies, which way to basecamp?" look everyday."
-Core Concepts "Our Culture"

This review is about the Core Concepts' Whisky River Hybrid Shirt and Cowboy Pow Jacket.  

Looks Good:  The first thing we noticed when we pulled the shirt and jacket out of their packaging was that they both look pretty slick.  I have always been a fan of the cowboy style shirt, with the snap buttons.  Nothing makes you feel more manly than ripping your shirt off superman style just before you hop in the shower (If it's your first time and you want to try this, the effect is much better in front of the bathroom mirror, followed by face grimacing bicep flexes).

I'm not the best model when it comes to looks, but hopefully the pictures will give you some idea of the Core Concepts style.  When I wear the shirt around town, it often elicits compliments from friends.

Cowboy Pow making friends with a steelhead.
Comfortable:  Both the shirt and jacket are comfortable, not too tight or too loose.  They fit great and were spot on with the online store's sizing chart.  The jacket has become my go-to jacket.  

Cowboy Pow underneath for warmth during the early fall.
Built Well:  The Cowboy Pow Jacket is a lined fleece-like jacket with ventilation material under the arms, adjustable waist, two side zipper pockets, and is made of a stretchy material.  The adjustable waist is a nice feature and allows you to snug it up, preventing any unwelcome breeze.  There's no noticeably shoddy seams, no snaggy fabric liner, and the stretchy material adds to the comfort.

Cowboy Pow chasing some carp.
The Whiskey River Hybrid Shirt is one tough shirt.  It is made with their two-layer bonded fabric design.  This means that the outside is made of nylon, while the inside is polyester.  It's a water and wind resistant fabric.  I haven't paid much attention to the wind resistance, but it does resist water and dries out quickly once wet.  It's a bit heavier/stiffer fabric and most guys would probably prefer it for cooler weather.  It has two hidden chest pockets, which is a great addition, especially when you're wearing waders.

The Whiskey River resists water and dries out pretty quick.
The Cowboy Pow is great for cool weather by itself, and is perfect to wear under a wading jacket or winter coat if needed.  It will be along on most night fishing adventures this summer.

Sporting the combo for an in-between-class outing.
Rocking the Cowboy Pow under the wading jacket.

The Sum Up:  It's hard to review a shirt and jacket aside from what has been said.  What is easy, is to see the value in small businesses like Core Concepts.  They cannot afford poor quality.  They are closer to most of their customers without an ocean separating the goods from the people.  So if you have not heard of these guys, go check them out.  They put out their outdoor wear and apparel on a seasonal basis.  I wouldn't hesitate in recommending their products to my closest friends.

Check them out on Instagram (@coreconcepts) and on their Facebook page

The Whiskey River Hybrid Shirt retails for $89.00

The Cowboy Pow Jacket retails for $169.00


The reviews at Living Fly Legacy are my honest opinion. Often when offered to give a review, if the assessment of the product is more negative than positive, it is not published and the review is kept private between the provider of the product and myself. Living Fly Legacy is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review. My independent status may change in the future, but as of the date of this publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

No comments:

Post a Comment