When I first came across new british MTB clothing and accessories company Trail42, I was intrigued as to why 42? I still am, as I forgot to ask Ruth Hallett, one half of the husband and wife team who created the brand.
Trail42, in their own words, have "A British range of ride and lifestyle apparel for men and women, ethically sourced and designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers" This really appealed to me, not least of all because I whole heartedly support anyone who has the confidence and ability to start up a business in the current doom and gloom that is our economic climate. Secondly, setting your stall out to provide only ethically sourced products (something that Ruth talks passionately about) and with that, products directed specifically at Mountain Biking, one would hope puts you onto a winner.
Looking at the Trail42 website http://www.trail42.co.uk/, you could be forgiven for thinking there are not enough products to sustain a business, this however I am assured is changing quickly as Ruth and Rich bring on more products and the website is updated accordingly. This is not as quick as just calling a few manufacturers to ask if you can stock their products, Ruth and Rich are passionate about products that are ethically sourced, locally made or have green credentials. I, for one, admire them for this. We are here today however to speak about 1 specific product from their range, the "Men's Logo tech-t"
I was pleased to be receiving another product made from my favourite natural material, Bamboo, but instead of riding it (see review here http://www.hadleighmtbclub.co.uk/blog/?p=256) I was going to wear it.
I must say I was impressed when the tech-t arrived in the post. An almost industrial looking Jiffy bag housed the shirt delicately wrapped in tissue paper, closed with a sticker sporting the Trail42 logo. This made the experience feel a little special and exudes quality before you even get to touch the fibres.
Package open, first impressions are of a green t-shirt, let's not pretend, that's what it is. A green t-shirt however that feels amazingly soft, smooth and genuinely one of the nicest sports clothing materials I have ever felt. Technical clothing normally feels like it contains either fleece or nylon, both of which nod to their moisture wicking ability but neither 'feels' great. The combination of 70% Bamboo and 30% Organic cotton is something else, it's soft as the proverbial Baby's bottom and according to the blurb it's technical too.
Trail42 have really thought about this 'T', there are no internal labels to itch and scratch you, the blurb and logo in the collar is screen printed directly onto the shirt and the 'brand label' is on the outside at the bottom. This is the "Logo" tech-t so has the Trail 42 Logo emblazoned (screen printed by hand) on the front and I really like the way it looks. Currently only available in Green (a nod to the ethical nature of the products perhaps) but I'm sure other colours may come in the future. Incidentally the women's tech-t only comes in Aubergine (purple).
Wearing the tech-t is a joy, I can't comment yet about it's claimed abilities as a base layer in when things get a little cold, due to the British summer having finally shown it's face however, I can comment on its abilities as a technical Mountain biking top when things are a little warmer. Having been out a few times now I can report that it is extremely comfortable to wear whilst on and off the bike, wicks moisture away from the body really efficiently and feels light an cool to wear. Removing my CamelBack after 15 miles in the sunshine drew a comment of "I thought that top was supposed to stay dry" however within a few minutes it was, much to the amazement of the sweaty backed naysayer. Speaking of sweaty backs, the tech-t is also resistant to odour meaning you can confidently go straight from the trail to the pub, something I will be trying as soon as the washing fairies return it to my clothes cupboard.
Those that read my reviews often will know how much I love the versatility of Bamboo, I have reviewed a bike made from the stuff and now a t-shirt, both surprised me for their comfort, both are sustainable, ethical and green in nature (and even in colour for the T). The difference however is that I get to keep the tech-t and I am very happy about that. Watch this space for more innovative MTB products from Trail42, possibly in collaboration with the Hadleigh MTB Club. For now though, watch out for me wearing the tech-t on a trail near you very soon.
If you do see me out, ask me why 42. I may have found out by then!