prAna Flow Crew Tee
by Raymond Estrella
May 24, 2007
Huntington Beach California USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
205 lb (93.00 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.
|prAna in Yosemite|
Web site: www.prana.com
Product: Flow Crew
Size: Extra Large
Year manufactured: 2004 and 2006
MSRP: $40.00 (US)
Weight listed: N/A
Weight measured 7.4 oz (210 g)
Color reviewed: Pewter (Grey) and Aegean (Blue)
Warranty: (from web site) "At prAna, we like to provide our customers with the best return service possible. If for any reason you are not truly satisfied with our products, please return the item(s) for a replacement, exchange or a refund. A refund will be given to a customer only if the item was purchased from us directly."
The prAna Flow Crew (hereafter called the Flow or shirt) is a short sleeved nylon shirt made by the manufacturer for climbing pursuits, although I use it for backpacking.
It gets its name from the proprietary Flow fabric that it is made of. The fabric is very soft to the touch yet looks quite coarse. It is almost a mesh. It breathes very well. The fabric has a lot of stretch to it. It is treated with an anti-microbial treatment to fight odors.
They say that it has a "technical silhouette". That means it is cut to fit tight. It makes me look like I almost have some muscles… What it really does for me is give the length of the extra large I need to tuck it in yet not be too baggy.
All of the seams are flat-lock stitched to keep them from chafing. The shoulders and side are made with gusset panels. This allows for both greater range of motion and keeps a seam off the top of the shoulder where a pack harness would land. The hems at the collar, sleeves and bottom are all rolled over and lock stitched.
They mention that it employs "moisture management" but I do not know what that refers to. It wicks as well as all of the 100% synthetic shirts I have used in the past.
The prAna shirts have more miles on them than any other shirts I own. I have used them California, Utah and Minnesota. They have been worn all over the Sierra Nevada range, the San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Cleveland National Forests. They have been worn in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Temps encountered on these trips have been as low as 17 F (-8 C) in both California and Utah, and as high as 118 F (48 C) on the Rincon Trail.
They have been covering my expanding torso through rain, hail, snow and in fog so thick it got soaked. But mostly it has seen a lot of beautiful sunny days. I have worn them on dirt trails in hardwood forests, granite trails above tree level, duff covered trails in pine forests and sand strewn trails of the California deserts. Here is a picture of the blue prAna snowshoeing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.
I bought my first prAna in 2004. I immediately liked the fit of it. I have to buy an extra-large in shirts to make the length work for my tall body. But the problem with most shirts is that they are then too baggy. The trim cut of the prAna shirts, while most likely being tight on the size body usually associated with extra-large sizing fits me just right, not too tight but not loose either.
The shirts do a pretty good job of handling the body odors that are unavoidable for me while hiking. I am a very warm-blooded person that hikes hard and fast. As a result I sweat quite a bit while hiking, especially when climbing. They retain odor less than any of my other shirts with the exception of my SmartWool shirts, and just about as well as some horribly expensive silver-impregnated shirts that I bought just to fight odor retention. I do not know what kind of anti-microbial treatment Prana uses, but it works well enough for me to keep wearing them.
They are my second favorite shirt and when my girlfriend gave me a new one for Christmas, I threw away all of my other short-sleeved shirts with the exception of the above mentioned SmartWools.
I wash them in warm water along with everything else that is in the clothes hamper at the time of washing. (Hey I am a guy…) I do not put them in the dryer but air dry them to keep them from shrinking or melting. (Yes, I did that a couple of times.) I have rinsed them out on the trail many times. I wring them out as tight as I can and drape them over a tree limb to dry. Even in cold weather they usually dry over night, although there have been a few times that I have had to finish drying them on my pack during long fall hikes. Such as this one at the end of the John Muir Trail in Yosemite.
They have held up extremely well. My gray prAna has seen the most use as attested to by the pictures in this review. Looking back at the past three plus years that shirt has probably been worn over 700 miles (1130 km) of trails. (Dave is probably sick of looking at them.) It still keeps its shape. The collar and sleeves have not stretched out, and the seams are still intact.
I am very pleased with my prAna shirts and see myself wearing them for many years and hikes to come.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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