Flannels, otherwise known as plaid shirts, seem to be cliché and catch a bad wrap within the outdoor industry. Like PBR and beanies, the stereotypical patchwork may be a dime and dozen at your local ski movie screening this autumn, but their utilitarian approach for someone who lives in the mountains cannot be overstated. However, the traditional flannel shirt can get a bit toasty when you're on a bike, hiking trail, or stacking wood. That's where tech flannels come into play: They take the casual and cozy wear of the beloved flannel and combine it with the technical benefits seen in wicking T's and baselayers. The below flannels may look like a traditional plaid shirt, but they're woven with materials to take you from the trail or ski hill, to that dinner bonfire party later in the evening.
The Handlebar's tailored form around the arms, yet loose and comfortable fit make it perhaps one of the most versatile tech flannel kits. If you're looking for one shirt for work (office or outside), a bike ride or backcountry tour, followed by a dinner party then this should be in your arsenal. Its 100 percent polyester material wicks moisture easily and has some style with Duraflex snap buttons and two chest pockets. Also available in the women's version, the Brigitte is essentially the same shirt with two side waist snaps to dial in a more snug and flattering fit.
The Stio Hayden's classic western style of double-breasted pockets and pearly button snaps are symbolic of the brand's Jackson, WY cowboy heritage. Constructed out of a cotton and polyester blend it's perfect for colder morning rides or post work autumn hikes. With morning temperatures close to freezing this week, I layered it over a wool t-shirt for a hike and kept it on well into the early afternoon sun. Its lightweight feel and design wicked away sweat in addition to breaking the cool breeze... I ended up keeping it on throughout the whole jaunt.
Constructed of 100 percent brushed polyester flannel, the Gryson is super soft and comfortable. It trapped in warmth well and never felt too hot when moving around. The articulation of the arms provided a loose, but athletic fit that was very functional – be it skiing, biking, or chasing the dog around. The hidden buttons of the Gryson give it a sleek look, and the less boxy nature makes it ideal for a multitude of activities. Its warmer feel also lends itself to pulling duty as a layer while shredding laps at the resort.