Here is just a mini review for those who have been considering getting a Swanndri Ranger shirt but are so far undecided.
Swanndri is a very respectable company that's been around a good many years providing outdoors enthusiasts with warm, tough and durable woollen clothing. They have quite a few products and what I'm reviewing today is one of their legendary Ranger shirts.
Having said shirts, they're more like fleeces being very warm and best suited to going over a t-shirt rather than next to the skin, which can be very itchy. They are made for the New Zealand environment, which can often experience freak storms without a moments notice so are more than adequate for the British autumn/winter climate I would be using it in, in which it coped well.
It has good breathability and insulative properties due to it being made of pure wool. It can get quite heavy when wet and isn't suited for wet weather without a waterproof jacket over the top. It's highly fire resistant and so far I have worn it while next to a fire many times, and have not burnt a hole in it. It is similar in design to a fleece having a zip at the chest, which is welcome on cold wintry mornings when you're getting a brew going.
It has two breast pockets, which are very useful for holding things such as compasses and mini pocket-sized reference books. I use one of mine reguarly for a Collins Gem Trees book.
Washing a Swanndri isn't a simple affair of just chucking it in the washing machine, if in doubt you should always follow the manufacturers instructions and they say that it should be handwashed. So, for fear of having mine shrink in the machine I wash it in the bath with some Nikwax tech wash then hang it up to dry and that is all.
If it get's too warm you can adjust the chest zip and roll the sleeves up then it is cool enough for all but the summer months but you can still make yourself warmer if the temperature drops.
After a while it will loose it water-resitancy somewhat so you will have to reproof it, Nikwax cotton proof has been suggested in the past but I have contacted swanndri for their reccomendation and will let you know what they say.
Excellent kit, warm and tough. A good, reliable overshirt for autumn/winter/spring use. Not recommended for harsh wet weather without additional protection.
Retailing around £59.99 at most stores and in various sizes.
Please Note: This is not to be reproduced elsewhere without my permission.