Honestly, I never think of shirts as particularly practical clothing. When doing any kind of activity I tend to opt for a t-shirt, or a long sleeved top of some description. So when the Berghaus Explorer Eco was thrown in my direction I was a little nonplussed.
I was surprised how practical it turned out to be – the fabric is Berghaus’ own ‘Argentium’ which uses Polygiene silver-ion technology to ensure it’s not only breathable and wicks moisture away surprisingly well before you have a chance to feel sweaty and horrible, but also that you are less smelly – it’s anti-odour fabric! And it works too – I wore this shirt for a week of walking and sweating, and it didn’t whiff a bit by the end of the week – impressive!
In terms of other features, the Explorer Eco comes with two breast pockets that don’t button close, aren’t particular deep, and frankly I wouldn’t risk putting anything in them that I didn’t immediately want to lose, but also comes with a neat little ‘secret’ pocket on the right hip – it fastens with an ‘invisible’ zip, and is a much better size and way more practical than the ‘just there for style’ breast pockets. The sleeves can be rolled up and fastened with a button/flap combo to keep them there, which is another nice practical feature.
The material isn’t as light as a lot of wicking-style tops are, so it holds up better when confronted with brambles and similar. It will snag eventually of course, it’s not utterly immune, but not quite as easily as a lot of its contemporaries. The finished fabric is soft and comfortable too, so you aren’t sacrificing comfort for durability.
The Explorer Eco is part of Berghaus’s new Made Kind range, where they are moving towards an ecologically friendly approach, using less water, recycled materials and greener processes. I was really impressed at how quickly I forgot I was wearing a shirt, rather than my favoured more casual style, which is testament to just how comfortable the Explorer Eco is.
I do have one complaint though, and it’s a fairly major one. Although it’s clearly been designed with looks in mind (e.g. the breast pockets), this is a shirt designed for girls, and girls have boobs. As you can see in the picture, the actual cut of the shirt was not designed particularly well for anybody with the aforementioned body parts! And this isn’t a size thing I promise – I’m not trying to squeeze into a smaller size than I should – a few people of different shapes and sizes tried on these in their size and we all had the same problem.
So sorry Berghaus, nice try, but come back with a better tape measure next time.
ED: We’ve withheld a rating on this review. We try to shy away from letting subjective things like ‘fit’ dictate the reviews, and stick with more objective statements. But we’ve seen this shirt being tried on by a number of reviewers and all had the same issue with chest fit. It’s not a bad product, but the cut would only suit a wearer with a very slim bust.