Is this shirt for riding? Or for relaxing post ride? Whatever you use it for, one thing is certain - the Dakine Cypress Flannel Shirt is a stylish and practical garment.
Straddling the boundary between technical MTB kit and casual wear, it's part of the new range of 2014 mountain bike kit from American company Dakine.
The flannel fabric is lovely and soft, and quite thick so it provides great warmth. It's also a technical fabric, designed to wick sweat away from the body and dry quickly - and yes, it does indeed do these things! Surprisingly fast too, I found.
I tried the size large shirt, as I find that as I have fairly sizable bust on my UK12 frame, shirts often gape in chest region. I needn't have worried as the size is fairly generous, and I think a medium would have been fine. It sits nice and long in the body and sleeves, which is great news for tall women!
However, despite being large and quite loose fitting, it still hung beautifully, cut in at the waist, and managed to look good despite being big. Tailored, not tent-like. I was impressed. There are two button fastening chest pockets, and a another detail I liked were the cuffs. These had could be worn loose or tight by buttoning them smaller, and easily rolled up if that's your style.
The pattern is plaid in a fetching array of forest and mountain inspired blues and greens. Dakine have developed their 2014 range around a couple of colourways, so you can find a whole outfit that not only performs technically, it also co-ordinates too - or of course you can mix and match. The Cypress Flannel Shirt is part of their Harbour colourway; there are a few more items from the range in the Dakine 2014 First Impressions piece to whet your appetite for more.
It's listed in the 'jersey' section of the Dakine website, but personally, I don't think this shirt really works for trail MTB riding. I found it a bit too hot for wearing as a mid layer, and sadly cold is usually accompanied by wet in the UK, so it's not one for wearing on its own for long days out. I don't trust the weather!
However, where I did find it useful on the bike was playing around in the skills area of the bike park. The loose cut left me plenty of room to move, it wicks and drys quickly, and lets face it - it does look pretty cool.
Because I wasn't too far from shelter if it did start to rain, I wasn't worried about its lack of waterproofing as I could just make a dash for cover.
But riding aside, I've found myself almost living in this shirt because all the features mentioned above also mean that it's pretty much perfect for weekends away riding or travelling.
It resists armpit pong, keeps you warm, and looks flattering so it's a good garment for donning post-ride for the cafe or pub stop. Whether it's a feature of the pattern or the fabric itself, it stays clean looking, and hasn't bobbled in the wash.
The Dakine Cypress flannel shirt is perfect for general use off the bike, and works well for local riding in dry, cool conditions like skills parks and pump tracks. The loose fit is flattering, the fabric is warm, and the pattern pleasing. Officially now my favourite shirt.
- Warm, wicking and quick drying fabric
- Loose but flattering cut
- The flannel fabric isn't stretchy
Size: S, M, L
More info: Dakine
Availablity: Online now, and coming to bike shops soon!