Ridgeline Clothing | Hybrid Fleece vs Igloo II Bush Shirt
When it comes to outdoor clothing for hardworking country professionals, Ridgeline is a brand that excels. The brand's high-quality garments and innovative designs puts them as a contender for every adventure.
Having a trusty fleece gives you plenty of options for temperamental weather and various countryside activities, so it's essential that you find the best one for you. In this blog post, we will compare the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece and the Ridgeline Igloo II Bush Shirt, two popular choices among outdoor enthusiasts.
Talking their key features, pros and cons, plus getting to grips all things bush shirts and hybrid fleeces, this blog post is designed to bring you all the low-down on these exceptional garments from Ridgeline Clothing.
What is a Bush Shirt?
A bush shirt is a type of shirt that is specifically designed for outdoor and rugged adventures.
It tends to be categorised by its loose, comfortable fit that allows for ease of movement. The term originates from its functional use out in the bush, which refers to wild or undeveloped rural areas, dense forests, and woodlands.
(Tip: think of the New Zealand classic movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople - this is exactly when a bush shirt would be worn!)
Some of its key attributes are:
- High Collar - this is to protect the neck from the sun and also from insects or bushland
- Long Sleeves - just like farming clothing, bush shirts tend to have long sleeves for protection
- Pockets - when you're out in the wild, you will likely need to carry essentials around with you! Bush shirts usually have a chest pocket for convenient storage
- Ventilation - a good shirt should incorporate features that allow for breathability and comfort in warm weather, such as under arm vents
- Earth Shades - the colours often chosen for a bush shirt are neutral and earthy, so they blend into natural surroundings
- Reinforcements - this can include on the shoulders, the chest, and the elbow, to help enhance durability when out in the bush
- Warm Material - it is usually constructed with soft, insulating material that helps to retain body heat and keep the wearer warm even in cold temperatures.
What is a Hybrid Fleece?
A Hybrid Fleece is a versatile and functional piece of clothing that combines the best of both worlds when it comes to insulation and durability.
It is constructed with a combination of fleece and soft-shell, so it is perfect for cold temperatures and also provides extra insulation on the most exposed areas, like the shoulders and chest.
Having both materials in one means that you get extra protection from your standard fleece.
When Can You Wear a Fleece Jacket?
Whether you're exploring nature or running errands, a fleece jacket is a reliable and comfortable option. Its ability to provide warmth, breathability, and protection make it an essential piece of clothing for various occasions.
You can usually wear a fleece jacket for the following:
- Casual Wear - a fleece is great for wearing around the home, watching kids sport on the weekend, or attending a relaxed family dinner. It is a stylish and practical outer layer that is great for everyday use
- Outdoor Activities - when you're hiking, engaging in bushcraft or sports, having a fleece you can rely on will make all the difference. Its lightweight and breathable fabric make it suitable for transitional weather, giving you just the right level of warmth without feeling overheated
- Layering - the functionality and versatility of a fleece jacket extend beyond its use as a standalone piece. It can be easily layered under your waterproof jacket or your shooting jacket for added insulation during the colder months.
What Makes a Great Fleece Jacket?
A great fleece jacket should possess key features and qualities that provide both comfort and functionality.
The key distinguishing features to look out for are:
- Warmth - the garment needs to keep you cosy and comfortable, and this is usually down to the insulating materials used
- Weight & Thickness - this may depend on your personal preference, and what the fleece is intended to be used for, but it's usually advisable to go for a mid-weight or lightweight fleece, as this will allow for flexibility in layering
- Breathability - these garments are great for wearing during outdoor activities, but they should be breathable so you don't get that clammy or stuffy feeling
- Comfort & Fit - it almost goes without saying that it should fit comfortably. You want your jacket to feel just as good at the end of the day as it does at the beginning, and a quality fleece will do that
- Functional Features - multiple pockets, adjustable cuffs or hems, and sturdy zips are important for having a jacket that not only looks good and feels good, but is able to offer optimal performance
- Durability - a good fleece should last you a long time, even after everyday use. It should be able to hold its own against busy, active days, and be a sturdy and reliable companion for all your adventures
- Versatility - as we've seen, these garments can be worn for multiple occasions, and so the design of your chosen fleece should accommodate for this. The more times you can wear the item, the better value for your money!
Key Features of the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece
Ridgeline Clothing is very proud of their Hybrid Fleece, which is a versatile and functional mid-layer that is great for all your outdoor adventures.
The key characteristics of this fleece are:
- Softshell material in strategic places around the jacket
- 200 gsm Southern Star fleece
- Zipped hip pockets & chest pocket
- Reinforced elbows
- High collar
- Elasticated cuff and hem
- Available in two colours.
Pros and Cons of the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece
There's lots to be admired about this garment, but it also does have certain limitations which are worth noting.
Its main benefits are listed out below.
- Layering Options - this fleece jacket shines as both an outer and mid-layer, making it perfect for added warmth and protection. It can be worn on its own during milder weather or paired with a waterproof jacket in wet weather
- Versatility - whether you're hiking, hunting, camping, or simply enjoying outdoor activities, this fleece will provide the comfort and functionality you need
- Adjustable Fit - the elasticated cuff and hem provide a snug and comfortable fit, keeping the jacket in place during movement
- Durability - the inclusion of the soft-shell material on the chest, back, and shoulders adds protection and support to these vulnerable areas
- Luxurious & Cosy Feel - the soft fleece material makes this fleece a dream to wear and it will quickly become a favourite item in your wardrobe
- Functional Features - the high collar offers protection, plus the multiple pockets mean you can carry around essentials when you're out and about.
However, there are some certain points about the fleece which are important to be aware of.
- Not Waterproof - this particular garment doesn't offer a great deal of weather resistant features. So if you're looking for something to help protect you from those wet and rainy days, it may not be your first choice
- Hybrid Design - this may not be for everyone, as some prefer to have a full fleece jacket, rather than one which incorporates the soft-shell.
Key Features of the Ridgeline Igloo II Bush Shirt
This durable fleece pullover is the perfect choice for hardworking country professionals and those living in agricultural communities.
It has many key attributes, which are noted out below:
- Windproof laminated membrane layer
- Southern Star 340 PRO Fabric
- 200gsm 100% polyester fleece outer
- 140gsm 100% polyester fleece inner
- Zipped and domed pocket
- High collar
- Underarm ventilation eyelets
- Available in two colours.
Pros and Cons of the Ridgeline Igloo II Bush Shirt
Looking at all the key features of this bush shirt, it's easy to see the benefits offered. However, like with anything, it is worth being aware of any potential drawbacks.
Its key advantages are discussed in the list below.
- Versatility - can be used for agricultural work, gamekeeping, bushcraft, casual wear, so is a perfect addition to your wardrobe
- Durable - Ridgeline Clothing is known for its durability (we've even written a whole blog post on it!) so it's no surprise that this bush shirt is made with quality materials and has a solid construction
- Weather Protection - although not fully waterproof, it does offer a level of water resistance and protection from showers, which is very welcomed for the unpredictable British weather
- Comfortable - the ventilation and high collar adds comfort and high level of protection, plus the triple layer fabric provides a cosy feel and the wind resistance is a great additional practicality
- Functional - it has a half-length front zip for easy on-and-off, as well as velcro-fastened cuffs for a secure fit, plus the popper-fastened chest pocket and zipped pockets offer ample storage for your everyday essentials
- Classic, Rugged Aesthetic - this is a typical Kiwi bush shirt through and through. Offered in neutral, earth tones, there's no fuss, no frills with this fleece.
The disadvantages of this garment are noted and outlined here.
- Pockets - some people may prefer hip pockets rather than just the chest pockets offered on this bush shirt
- Half-Zip - again, it tends to be personal preference, but some like a full length zip so you can control the ventilation further.
Comparison of Hybrid Fleece and Igloo II Bush Shirt
When comparing the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece and the Igloo II Bush Shirt, there are several pros and cons to consider.
While they offer similar features, there are some key differences between the two mens fleece shirts. To help you decide between the two, we've narrowed down the comparison into three main categories:
- Material & Design
- Weather Resistance & Durability
- Comfort & Freedom of Movement.
Material and Design
The Igloo II Bush Shirt is crafted from a hardwearing fleece material, providing the comfort of fleece with the added benefit of water resistance. It boasts a durable polyester fleece outer layer with a technical membrane layer, providing triple layer protection.
The Hybrid Fleece is more of a traditional offering from Ridgeline Clothing, with its full-length zip and hip pockets. This therefore may be more suitable for those who wish to have more temperature control and the classic comfort of a zip-up fleece.
In conclusion, both the Ridgeline Igloo II Bush Shirt and the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece offer their own unique benefits. The Igloo II Bush Shirt excels in providing protection in showery weather, while the Hybrid Fleece offers a comfortable and versatile option for everyday use.
Weather Resistance & Durability
When it comes to durability, both garments offer exceptional features.
The Hybrid Fleece combines the comfort of a fleece with the functionality of a soft-shell. This means that it provides both warmth and protection without sacrificing mobility or breathability, plus makes it have increased durability.
On the other hand, the Igloo Bush Shirt is a robust, windproof fleece pullover that is intended for use in wild and challenging environments. This means that the features included are all geared towards ensuring this is the case.
It is worth noting that the Hybrid Fleece doesn't offer the water-resistance which the Igloo does. This is reflected in the difference in price between the two items, so it's up to personal choice whether this is a feature needed in your fleece.
Comfort & Freedom of Movement
Ridgeline Clothing never fails to disappoint with its comfort, and these two garments are no exception.
Providing everything you could want out of a fleece - a soft touch material, comfy fit, and convenient, practical features - the Hybrid Fleece and the Bush Shirt are great for wearing all day, for all kinds of activities.
In regards to freedom of movement, it could be said that the Hybrid Fleece might serve a little better, but that's definitely not to say the bush shirt is bulky. Both could be worn as either a mid-layer or an outer layer, and can be easily incorporated into your activewear wardrobe.
Overall, which garment is right for you, is ultimately down to whether the features match what you need the fleece to do.
By addressing what each item can offer, you can establish whether it's going to help you get the job done. Next, look at the pros and cons, and then weigh up the comparison points made between the two. Then, hopefully, you will have your answer.
There are also plenty of other fleece jackets or mens fleece shirts available out there for you - not just from Ridgeline Clothing, but from an array of fantastic brands. Check out our collections for further choices.