The two guys in the back are wearing Duluth Trading pants and shirts, and Rundy’s hat is from Duluth Trading, too. My “boys” value the freedom of movement built into these clothes, and the durability. So when I was contacted by a Duluth Trading rep and asked if I’d like to review their new Armachillo line, I readily agreed.
Armachillo is their cute term for workwear with a special fabric that is supposed to help you stay cool as you work in summer heat. The fabric has “microscopic jade embedded in the fabric to actually dissipate heat, cool skin and lower body temperature.” Well, I’d really rather not garden in the heat, but sacrifices must be made if I am going to review this clothing for my readers. Actually, when the rep heard that we were already fans, she sent along a pair of pants for my son Collin to try as well as a shirt for me. (They didn’t have pants for women. Go figure.)
My son Collin worked as a road construction inspector this summer. That often meant twelve hour shifts, standing pretty much the whole time under the blazing sun with hot asphalt being poured nearby. He loved those pants! He said they really helped keep him cool and were very comfortable. He even talked about buying himself a second pair, although he never did make good on that threat. Probably because, after about two weeks on day shift, he got switched to nights, and heat wasn’t quite the issue it had been on days. It also made it harder for me to get a photo of him wearing the pants. When he got home from work, I was asleep, and he was running out the door to work right around supper time. I finally wised up and asked him to pose one weekend.
For a gardening shirt, the Armachillo is pretty tailored, and yet allows plenty of unrestricted movement. I never felt like the shirt was holding me back when I was reaching or digging. My favorite time to wear it was when I went to the village to visit the library, post office, bank, and bulk goods store, and then went to our old house to dig up plants. It was the best of both worlds. I didn’t look like a hobo even though I was dressed for serious gardening work.What gives it such great freedom of movement are the underarm gussets and the mesh bi-swing back. (That’s what they call it on the Duluth site. I would have just called it a back vent.) There is extra material on the collar so you can flip up the collar to protect the back of your neck. And it really will be protected because the fabric is UPF40. It’s a really nice shirt. The only problem is, I’m not sure I felt any cooler in it. I admit, I didn’t conduct any scientific tests. I just wore it and gardened in the hottest, stickiest weather this summer served up (which wasn’t as hot as other years) and felt . . . hot and sticky. Would I have felt less hot and sticky in one of my 100% cotton t-shirts? Maybe, maybe not. I really don’t know. All I know is, I read the reviews for this shirt on the Duluth website and I wondered if I’m wearing the same shirt they are. However, I think this is a great gardening shirt for fall and spring. You start out in the morning with the sleeves rolled down and maybe a vest on, and as you warm up you take the vest off and then roll up the sleeves, and you stay comfortable all day long. I think it’s a great shirt for anyone who has to look tailored and professional and still get some physical work done. But, personally, it would not be my first pick for gardening in the heat. I could see how those pants would be cooler than denim jeans, though. Why don’t they make those pants for women?
Both Collin and I received an item of clothing from Duluth Trading to review. We tried to be objective as possible. But as I said, we already liked Duluth Trading clothes.