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Some people like to dress up like superheroes and pretend to fly. I got to dress like Bear Grylls and pretend to survive; trouncing these threads every chance I got. Ouch!
On a 12-mile overnight, complete with downhill tumbles (on purpose, Bear style) in Grayson Highlands, VA, Craghoppers Mountain Jacket II held up to cold rain and wet snow, and breathability was high despite the lack of pit vents.
A little heavy at two lbs., this waterproof jacket works better for the car camper, bushwhacker, or Bear poser rather than long-trek hiker. But, the polyurethane-coated polyester was able to withstand a caving trip to Cave Hill, VA, and some gnarly rocks.
The Survivor Full Stretch Trousers (93% polyamide, basically a nylon) have a surprising range of motion, despite their heavy water- and stain-repellent material. If you, like Bear, tear holes in flimsier pants just by breathing, check these out.
The secure zip pockets are great, and the elasticized knees still don’t have holes after 3 mo. of abuse. Order 1 size up, as all Grylls pants are a bit small in the waist. Bonus: wrinkle free and washing machine friendly. As if that matters.
The Trek LS shirt is made of polyamide with a snug fit, but stretch panels on the elbows, armpits, and shoulders allow easy movement. Shirts/pants are treated with bug repellent Nosilife, because as Bear says: “Don’t let the bugs get the upper hand!”
The shirt breathes easy in hot weather, and works great with a baselayer in cold weather. Zippered pockets keep lighters, passports, and hotel cards secure while jumping over piranha-infested streams.
Do they hold up to the name? In my opinion, hell yes, and with a full line lifetime warranty, I wouldn’t care if Lady Gaga endorsed ’em. The prices are a bit high, but Beargryllsstore.com has a sale almost every month, so hunt for the deals.
Bear Trek Long-Sleeved Shirt: $70, S-XXL, 10 oz.
Bear Survivor Full Stretch Trousers – $85.00, 30-42in, 1 lb. 1 oz.
Mountain Jacket II: $150, S-XXL, 2 lbs. (all weights men’s M)
Photos and text by Joe Flowers
(Our resident Bear lookalike.)