The Black Rock long sleeve has a quarter zip with a standing collar, is lightweight and made from 100% organic cotton. It is some soft, soft cotton. It fits broader in the shoulder with a slight taper to the waistline making for a more streamlined, fitted look even if you’re a stockier build. On the grey version the stitching is a pale blue. There is a slight ruffle along the stitching in the back and along the shoulder. It is an unassuming ruffle that I probably wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t been pointed out to me. At first glance I thought it was a weird detail, and was going to trim it. I didn’t, and am glad for it. It’s just a subtle detail that accentuates the lines of the shirt.
FUNCTIONALITY IN THE WORLD
I made this shirt my go-to piece over the past few weeks for layering in Southern California. We’ve had some cooler spring temperatures and this was a great shirt to deal with hot sun and cold winds. It is really breathable so even when hiking along the cliffs at Torrey Pines I stayed comfortable regardless of the temperature or exertion on the up hill, which, to be honest, was a lot. Those cliffs are big!
Just as important, the shirt moves with you so if you’re lounging watching the sunset or hiking or skating the boardwalk you’ll stay comfortable. The cotton almost acts as a natural moisture wick too so that sweat I generated dried quickly and didn’t retain that thick sweat smell.
This shirt makes me look good. Somehow I’m taller, fitter and despite my broader shoulders and equally broad waistline it makes me look more athletic than I might be. You may be thinking that I’m just being humble, but I’m not. I’m a weird combination of vain and honest with myself. The Black Rock top somehow accentuates my good features and smooths out the squidgier parts of myself. That’s a word. Trust me.
PRICE & BRAND
At $72.00 this isn’t a cheap shirt. It compares price wise with top tier brands like Patagonia or Mountain Khaki, and may even be more expensive when considering some the added features of those products like SPF protection or Fair Trade Certified sewing. However, it is a high quality shirt that seems to work in pretty much any scenario. As a top or base layer, as a classy casual piece or in my case, when taking some aggressive hikes or even a 35 mile bike ride along the coast.
Ecoths is still a relatively young brand that seems like it doesn’t quite have its own identity. Rather, it is under the umbrella of Aventura Clothing, it’s more established female product focused counterpart. Even as a reviewer, I don’t know much about the background of the products other than the minimal information provided on the Aventura “Our Journey” page or the product page. As mentioned in Part 1 of this review Aventura/Ecoths claims,
“With the use of organically farmed cotton, we support avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and genetic engineering. We are able to track our organic cotton from the farm to our factories to ensure we are always working to reduce our footprint. Today, over 75% of our styles use lower impact or sustainable materials.”
That all sounds really awesome but outside of that blurb I haven’t seen any details or accessible history to back that information up yet. One reason our closets are filled with a lot of Patagonia gear in this same price range is because of the confidence we have in the company to provide information about origin of the products, the process they took to develop eco-friendly clothing and how they are trying to counteract their negative environmental impacts. And they do that while providing a top-tier quality product.
Ecoths, as a brand, has that potential. The Black Rock top feels, looks and performs like a top-tier product. Assuming the efforts to create an environmentally friendly product are just as top-notch this is a brand we’d come back too. We are looking forward to some of those informational gaps being filled in, and wearing the bejeezus out of this shirt to see how it wears.
LIGHTNING BOLTS OF AWESOMENESS
We’re giving this shirt 5 Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness. One bolt short of our top score for it’s combination of great fit, quality of product and style. We’re pretty stoked on it and ready to beat it up on a camping trip soon.
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