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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Mountain Khakis Rendezvous Quarter Zip > Test Report by Frances Penn

MOUNTAIN KHAKIS RENDEVOUZ
TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 25, 2014

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 57
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for six years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 26-30 lb (12-14 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have recently converted to a tarp, bivy and quilt sleeping system instead of a tent. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Mountain Khakis
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: www.mountainkhakis.com
MSRP: US $119.95
Listed Weight: not listed
Measured Weight: 10.8 oz (306 g)
Material: 100% Merino Wool
Colors Available: Oxblood and Black
Color Tested: Oxblood
Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
Size Tested: Small

IMAGE 1
courtesy website


The Rendezvous Quarter Zip is a long sleeve Merino wool pullover designed to be worn as an insulating layer over a base layer. The photos show the women's athletic fit, the longer torso length, the thumb holes to keep the sleeves from being pulled up by arm movement, the zippered napoleon pocket, the stand-up collar, and the flatlock stitching. The Rendezvous is a medium weight pullover meant for use in cooler temperatures. Mountain Khakis is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Rendezvous was manufactured in China.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

MATERIAL

The Rendezvous is constructed of 100% Merino wool. The first thing I noticed is how soft the material feels. There is no scratchy or itchy feeling from the wool.

FEATURES

The Rendezvous has a 3 in (7 cm) stand up collar. The collar also lies down flat when partially or fully unzipped. The reverse coil zipper is 11 in (28 cm) long and features a locking mechanism. The zipper has an interior storm flap with a rollover chin guard at the top.

IMAGE 2
collar positions


The napoleon pocket fits flat across the left side of the chest for easy access to small items. The napoleon pocket measures 3 1/2 in (9 cm) wide with a zipper that is 5 1/2 in (14 cm) long. The Rendezvous has flatlock stitching at critical seams. The inside has a soft fleece lining that looks and feels similar to my other fleece tops.

IMAGE 3
zipper storm flap, napoleon pocket and flat lock stitching


The cuffs are 2 1/4 in (6 cm) long with thumb holes that are lycra reinforced along the edges.

IMAGE 4
front and back of hands


WARRANTY

The website indicates that every garment is under a full warranty to the original owner against manufacturer's defects in materials or workmanship for one year from date of purchase.

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions on the tag inside the shirt indicate to machine wash in cold water, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron, do not dry clean and lay flat to dry.

TRYING IT OUT

When I first put it on, I noticed the tight fit. I selected a small size because I wanted the top to fit close to my skin. I put it on over a tight fitting base layer as I would normally wear a fleece. The sleeves fit my arms tight. In the process of putting it on, I had to pull the material halfway around my arms to adjust the sleeve seams to the proper location under my arms. The sleeves are long enough to completely cover my arms and to fit my thumbs into the holes. This is quite unusual for me. Usually sleeves don't reach below my wrists. I really enjoy having sleeves long enough to cover the backside of my hands to act as a sunshade.

Once I am able to get this top properly situated, I find it very comfortable to wear. The quarter zip runs down to my sternum which is long enough to provide many different venting options for varying conditions and allows for easy on and off. The zipper is longer than the zippers on most of my other tops. When the zipper is all the way up, the top rubs on the bottom of my chin. I prefer it zipped down an inch or two and just left open, similar to the pictures above.

The minute I put it on and got it situated correctly on my arms, the Rendezvous instantly replaced my standard fleece pullover. All of the features of the Rendezvous combine to make this my favorite layering piece of clothing. I took a quick hike at a local neighborhood park and was pleasantly surprised with the fit, the moisture wicking, the breathability and the overall comfort of the Rendezvous. The bonus is the sleeves are long enough to cover the backs of my hands when my thumbs are in the holes. I don't need to wear my sunscreen gloves.

Even though this top may be worn as a base layer against my skin, I would always wear this top over a base layer to provide the option of removing it if I get too warm.

SUMMARY

Overall I like the comfort, fit, feel and features of the Rendezvous. I look forward to testing it on the trail.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #1:
Location: San Jacinto State Park, California USA
Elevation: 10,860 ft (3,310 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions with small snow patches
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny days with heavy wind during the night
Hours wearing shirt: 30

Trip #2:
Location: Indian Cove area of Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,200 ft (975 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail with lots of desert cactus to avoid
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny with light winds during the day and heavier winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 35

Trip #3:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2,100 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny days and a cool night
Hours wearing shirt: 25

Trip #4
Location: Baldy area, California USA
Elevation: 7,800 ft (2,400 M)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some snow and ice portions
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny days with mild wind and a cool night
Hours wearing shirt: 8

Trip #5:
Location: Warren Point area of Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 5,200 ft (1,585 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail with lots of desert cactus to avoid
Temperatures: 30 to 45 F (-1 to 7 C)
Weather: mostly sunny with light winds during the day and heavier winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 24

Trip #6:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2,100 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some snow and ice portions
Temperatures: 35 to 50 F (1 to 10 C)
Weather: mostly sunny days and a cool night
Hours wearing shirt: 30

Trip #7:
Location: Indian Cove area of Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,200 ft (975 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail with lots of desert cactus to avoid
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny with light winds during the day and heavier winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 30

Trip #8:
Location: Warren Point area of Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 5,200 ft (1,585 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail with lots of desert cactus to avoid
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: unseasonably warm and sunny with light winds during the day
Hours wearing shirt: 8

IMAGE 1
top of Palm Springs tram

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On the very first trip to the San Jacinto area, I put on the Rendezvous when we arrived at the tram station and didn't remove it until we finished the trip and were back at the car. The combination of the wicking of the Rendezvous and the base layer I was wearing kept me warm and dry for the entire trip. My normal pattern is to change out of the clothes I wear during the day into a thermal base layer and a fleece layer for sleeping, with an extra down layer for sitting around in camp prior to going to bed. At the end of the day when we arrived back in camp, I started to prepare for the clothing change when I realized that I was already warm and comfortable and that I didn't need to change. I may not need to carry an extra thermal top on future trips which is a welcome weight savings.

IMAGE 2
top of San Jacinto peak


I like the ability to leave the Rendezvous on for an entire weekend trip. The Rendezvous is not easy to remove and then put back on and get the sleeves and thumb holes in just the right place. This is because I selected a small size to allow for layering. I wanted a close fit and I definitely accomplished that goal. Once I have it on, the Rendezvous moves with me so well that I forget I am wearing it. I don't have to wear my sunscreen gloves because the extra material at the end of the sleeves adjacent to the thumb holes creates a cover to protect the backs of my hands from the sun.

I wore the Rendezvous most of the time on my trips. I would usually put it on to begin the trip, wear it all day and night, and quite often it was not removed until I returned home. There were a few times when the weather turned warm and sunny during the day and I removed the Rendezvous. Within a few hours, I would be putting the Rendezvous back on. My estimate of a total of 190 hours wearing the shirt on my trips does not include an additional five or more days wearing the Rendezvous around town to go shopping, run errands, and meet friends for lunch or dinner. The Rendezvous is so nice looking that it works nicely with a pair of jeans for comfortable activities.

There is no mention of wind resistance on the Rendezvous hangtags or the website. Since wind to some degree was encountered on most of my trips, I will comment on the performance of the Rendezvous in windy conditions. While it doesn't completely block the wind, I am kept warm and dry and don't notice the wind as much as I have in the past wearing my fleece tops. If the weather became too cool and the wind too strong, I would usually add my lightweight synthetic jacket over the Rendezvous to help block the wind. Due to the close fit of the Rendezvous, this extra layer was easily added without feeling bulky.

I have washed the Rendezvous twice in cold water with minimal detergent. I hung it to dry to prevent shrinking. I haven't noticed any shrinkage due to washing. If I don't sweat much on a trip with cooler temperatures, when I get home I hang the shirt and spray it with water and let it air dry to freshen it and remove the wrinkles. So far, the Rendezvous does not have any odor.

IMAGE 3
day hike to Baldy




SUMMARY

Overall, I really like the versatility of the Rendezvous. I now have many fleece tops that are not being worn because I select the Rendezvous as my first choice. I am now a convert to Merino wool garments. I was reluctant in the past to purchase wool, but this top has changed that mindset.

Things I Like:
comfortable tailored fit
flatlock seams for easy layering
sleeve length is long enough for the thumb holes to fit comfortably
zipper is long enough to allow for many venting options
soft fleece inside
collar is tall enough to cover my neck from the sun when zipped closed
collar lays flat when fully unzipped
efficient wicking of perspiration
it keeps me as warm as I prefer in most conditions

Things I Don't Like:
Not a fan of the colors available. I would have preferred a basic blue or red color.
Due to the tight fit, it is a little bit of a project to put on and remove and get the sleeves and thumb holes in just the right place.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #9:
Location: Snowboarding trip in Mammoth, California USA
Elevation: 10,000 ft (3,048 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: unseasonably warm and sunny days and cool nights
Hours wearing shirt: 20

Trip #10:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,200 ft (975 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail
Temperatures: 25 to 50 F ( -3 to 10 C)
Weather: seasonably cold nights and sunny windy days with heavier winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 36

Trip #11:
Location: 200 mile round trip motorcycle ride from Irvine to Julian, California USA
Elevation: 4,235 ft (1,219 M)
Trip Duration: 1 day
Temperatures: 40 to 55 (4 to 13 C)
Weather: sunny and cool
Hours wearing shirt: 8

Trip #12:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2,100 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 35 to 60 F (1 to 15 C)
Weather: mostly sunny days and a cool night
Hours wearing shirt: 20

Trip #13:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 4,500 ft (1,372 M)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: sandy desert off trail
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: cool night and sunny slightly windy days
Hours wearing shirt: 12

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have continued to wear the Rendezvous for many activities in addition to backpacking and dayhiking. These include casual evenings out, snowboarding and motorcycle riding. The Rendezvous is a versatile, stylish, comfortable and durable item of clothing that keeps me warm during many different activities. The Rendezvous has continued to perform well during this portion of the test. There is no wear at the seams, the thumb holes or at any other place on the Rendezvous. It looks like the day I first received it.

SUMMARY

I will continue to wear the Rendezvous for all of my outdoor activities where warmth is required. I will also continue to wear it for casual lunch and dinner meetings with my friends. Due to the cooler weather this winter, I haven't washed the Rendezvous recently. Once I return from a trip, I hang up the Rendezvous and spray it with a light spray of water to freshen it and remove the wrinkles. After a few hours, the Rendezvous looks good as new.

This test series is now complete. Thank you to Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this wonderfully versatile shirt.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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