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[pct-l] Sportif supplex clothing
Hello Jim and All -
>...<< These "Sportif" brand shirt and shorts are made of supplex nylon...
>charlie- what brand- and where available...
I have purchased both the shirts and the shorts/longs from three different
Sierra Trading Post
direct from Sportif (Reno, NV)
I am traveling at the moment and most of my files are packed away. I am
sure that others on the list (or the 800 directory <g>) can give you the
800 numbers for Campmor and Sierra Trading Post. Both are valuable
resources for hikers and we all should be on their catalog mailing lists (I
am AMAZED that I couldn't find a current Campmor catalog around
here...usually I get enuf in the mail to worry about tripping over them!).
There are versions of both the shirt and the shorts on the market that have
a cotton content. I no longer have any use for cotton garments when
hiking, but you might want to experiment with them if you choose to use
cotton. I have also seen identical shirts with labels other than
"Sportif." I do mean IDENTICAL. I would guess that Sportif might do
contract sewing under other brands.
I had misgivings at first about the lite-weight coil zippers on the shorts.
I don't any more...all that I can say is that they held up fine for half
of the PCT (I switched to a fresh outfit at about the middle) and I am
still wearing them. I did discover that Sportif isn't too concerned about
the direction of zip for the leg zippers. I am sure that they do a quality
check on each pair of shorts/legs to make sure that everything in that set
goes together just fine. I also know that the direction of zip might be
different from one pair to another. Check it out before you start...I
wound up wearing one leg inside-out when night hiking in the high passes
The shirts appear to be almost indestructible. A minor problem I have
noticed is that the buttons might come loose over time. I put a couple
from the first shirt back on with dental floss on the trail and my wife
went over the buttons on my half-way shirt with very heavy nylon thread (no
The particular style of shirt that I used ("fisherman" or some such name)
had a few features that I didn't like. The breast pockets were "bellows"
type...there was an extra pleat around the base that allowed the pocket to
expand outward. I prefer that the pocket be flat (no bellows) and my wife
was kind enough to resew them for me. There was some sort of doo-dad above
the left pocket (a little strap with velcro on the end - something to do
with holding fishing rods) and there were tabs/buttons sewn into each
sleeve to hold the roll-up in place. I removed all that stuff during early
town stops. I have noticed that there are other styles that don't have all
these features. Some of the Sportif shirts that I bought from Sierra
Trading Post (colors other than white for off-trail use) come with flat
pockets, no fishing rod holder, and shoulder tabs. It would probably be
simpler to get this style and remove the shoulder tabs during a town
stop...instead of resewing the pockets <g>. I am pretty much talking
"nits" here...either style would probably do fine without any changes
(hmmmm...except for those buttons on the shoulder tabs...).
Both shirt styles that I have tried have a double breast pocket (a smaller
pocket on the outside of the larger pocket - both pockets are covered with
the same flap and are closed with the same button). I like this feature.
I carried my toothbrush in the small outer pocket and my spoon in the
larger inner pocket. I don't like for my gear to make any nose at all (I
use a pack with a composite frame, in part, because I don't like creaking
<g>) and this scheme kept both items clean, in place, and completely quiet.
I wound up using the left breast pocket only during town stops (that's
where I carried my plastic <g>).
I guess that I should point out that the one set of supplex shirt/shorts
were the only trail clothes that I used. I had exterior layers to add when
temps went down (fleece vest, lined Gortex rain parka, and wind pants) and
I carried one set of sleep clothing to keep the sleeping bag clean
(lite-weight capaline long johns, socks, boggin, and a wind shirt to use
when cooking/cleaning from the bag). I carried 3 pairs of Thorlo Trekking
socks (rotated every two hours, air washed in between), Salomon Ultra-Lite
boots, and OR Croc gaiters. White baseball cap, bandanna, thermax
liner-gloves, and OR Gortex overmitts finish out the list. I list all this
to show that I depended on the single set of shirt/shorts for 100% of both
hiking and town time. They did fine.
You might want to get your first supplex shirt (or shorts) from some place
like Campmor...they are fairly expensive and it is nice to be able to
return it if it doesn't suit you for some reason <g>.
- Charlie II
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