Well it’s not very often you get a garment made in the UK with materials sourced and woven in the UK giving a well known brand made in china cheaply made garment a run for its money but Roger from Bison Bushcraft has managed it with the Guide shirt!
I saw the prototype garment and immediately wanted one, and now it’s here and its set to knock the RM popularised Swanndri off its shelve in my opinion.
I opened the package and as soon as my hand touched the pure wool fabric I knew I was onto a winner it feels not like the prickly thin fabric of the swanni but like a lovely old thick woollen blanket soft and tightly woven and warm to the touch, the first run colour is a brown and green check, rustic woodland colours that are an extremely effective camouflage in a woodland environment but still do not look out of place propping up the bar in your local pub!
The colours of this first run have been chosen for just this purpose to blend in with your environment and to be pleasing to the eye, ideal for watching wild life etc. More colours are to follow, but this one will be a winner to all of us bush crafty folk, and that’s a safe bet!
The one thing I’ve never liked on the Swanni (sorry to keep making the comparisons but it gives you a good overall idea of the garment) is the collar on the bush shirt, I’ve never liked collars, it’s what you need to keep a tie under and just gets in the way and rucked up under a smock, the “Bison Guide Shirt” has a simple “granddad” style collar with a button up neck which is a joy compared to the itchy swanni collar also the back of the neck is pleated, rather than the front which is strangely the case of the bush shirt.
Once on the generous cut of the shirt covers you like your old Gran’s blanket did as a child, as she welcomed you in and shoved a cup of cocoa into your cold clammy hands on a winters day, the warm soft feeling is, and this is no understatement 100% more luxurious than a swanni it feels soft and warm and the fabric has substance to it which is what you would expect from a proper British wool mill rather than the loose thin weave of swanndri’s mass produced fabric, I held it up to the sun and the weave is so dense its impenetrable to light, now you hold a bush shirt up to the sun light and you can see light through it, not the case here.
It has a good sized front chest pocket which has a leather “Bison Bushcraft” badge proudly sewn to it, if any of you reading this have ever handled or own a “Bison Bushcraft Knife” you will know this to be a mark of quality as the Guide shirts share the same mark as the already well established and highly regarded “Bison Bushcraft Knives”, without a doubt a mark of quality.
And for the introductory period price of £70! It knocks its rival into a cocked hat!
Over all the “Guide Shirt” is a garment that has been a long time coming, and I don’t think it will need a well known bushcraft personality to make it popular, this Shirt will forge its own reputation amongst Bushcrafters and outdoors folk alike as a trusted friend for many many years, my son has already got his eye on mine , I may leave it to him in my will, or more likely will be wearing it as they drop me into the cold earth.
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