If you check in at Benosh often, you know we love Eddie Bauer and their line of more technical products from First Ascent. We had the chance to check out their High Route Shirt, and the verdict is in—our love of Eddie B is well founded!
The High Route, available in long sleeve and short, is a classy snap-up shirt that doesn’t betray how technical it is and won’t embarrass you at the office or in the field. The soft, synthetic fabrics (a polyester/rayon combo) feel like a cotton favorite and just plain look good. Whether pulling it out of my pack or counting on it to look good with khakis, the High Route pulls it off.
The big-box plaid and athletic cut give the High Route some class and style as well as a welcome bit of color often absent from the technical long sleeves I favor. The High Route is also missing vents and gills and other gimmicks that can go wrong and make a shirt look like someone took a box cutter to it. Does this mean it’s not as versatile as the Travex Guide Shirts I so favorably review here? That answer depends on your climate.
I like the Guide Shirt’s stealthy ventilation and Travex fabric, but there’s no real disguising that these are outdoor-oriented shirts. These features pay dividends on the trail, but the High Route’s more traditional look (despite the plaid) means that it’s more at home in higher-end settings than the Guide Shirt. The tradeoff is that the High Route is slightly less ventilated but looks much more sophisticated than technical. You’ll probably only notice the difference in very hot climates, though the High Route wicks well.
Eddie Bauer’s High Route long sleeve shirts are currently on clearance and the short sleeves are on sale for $35 and $40 respectively. If you’re like me and value versatility and the option to have better protection with sleeves rolled down or cool off with them rolled up, I highly recommend checking out the High Route!