A little while ago I was contacted by Crewroom, a British performance brand who have been in business for about 12 years, regarding testing of their new season kit. I was also lucky enough to be able to interview Kate Giles, the founder of the company.
However, I’m going to save the interview for another day and concentrate on the kit review for now…
Crewroom sent kit from their brand new Elements range, tag line ‘Bright, light and breezy’, and included the Fjord Shorts (rrp £42), VX No Fuss Leggings (rrp £45) and the Hyper Ventilation T-Shirt (rrp £34).
When they arrived and I dived straight into the package, I was immediately struck by the softness of the material used in each of the garments. When I spoke to Kate, one of the things that stuck out from her interview was the fact that Crewroom base the kit around the material. Crewroom spend a lot of time researching materials that are sustainable, fast wicking and breathable, and most importantly, comfortable to wear.
I can categorically state this kit is comfortable to wear.
I wore the shorts and t-shirt on the one hot sunny day of our recent canoeing adventure in Scotland; quite unusual for me because I rarely wear shorts. I don’t particularly like my legs so they don’t come out very often. However, the shorts looked comfortable, and frankly it was too hot to wear anything else!
The shorts are made from nylon spandex with four way stretch, and one of my favourite things about them was the wide waistband. It made them very comfortable to wear, particularly being sat down all day in the canoe, and also very flattering. I liked the length of them. As mentioned, I’m not a keen shorts wearer so while these weren’t long, I definitely didn’t feel exposed the way I have in other shorts.
Since our canoe holiday, I’ve also worn these shorts in the gym and for running. They have a convenient zipped pocket for keys, which is unusual for most shorts, and because of the wide waistband, the weight of my keys didn’t pull them down at all. The bane of my life when wearing shorts is having them ride up. I am not one of those women with a thigh gap and as a result, shorts tend to ride up my legs, leaving me with some lovely friction burns on my thighs. Sorry if that’s too much information. I was over the moon to find that because of the looser fit of the shorts on my legs, they didn’t ride up. Happy days!
I’m still not that comfortable in shorts, so I don’t know how often they’ll get worn, but I am going to take them out on on my forthcoming trip to the Alps for some trail running in the sun. I don’t mind getting my thighs out when there’s no one I know around!
The matching t-shirt is already a favourite and firmly on the packing list for the Alps trip. It’s the softest t-shirt I own, and has mesh panels around the armpits and across the shoulder blades. As a mega sweaty person, I loved this touch!
For a trip like our Scottish adventure, the anti-bacterial material was perfect. With no access to a washing machine, this t-shirt was worn several days on the trot and while I was starting to smell a bit ripe, it stayed largely stink free. I was pretty impressed.
Being picky, I’m not mad on the colour and the material is very thin, so my black sports bra could be seen through it. However, this t-shirt is going to be one of my key items for outdoors adventures because of how comfortable it is to wear.
Now, on the piece de resistance – the no fuss leggings! As with shorts, I don’t tend to wear leggings bar my compression tights for running in. They show off too much of my legs. However, we didn’t have much room for clothes on our trip so I stuffed these leggings into my dry bag as my ‘clean’ clothes for getting changed into after finishing a days paddling.
I had a big surprise when I first put them on. They are possibly the most comfortable leggings I’ve ever worn. In fact, there’s no possible about it. They’re ridiculously comfortable, thanks to the softness of the material, the four way stretch and the wide waistband, like on the shorts.
Practically, because of the four way stretch these are ideal for wearing for pretty much any form of exercise. I’m particularly looking forward to wearing them climbing in the Alps. They also have a foldover pocket in the back for keys. It doesn’t have a zip so I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable with keys in there but it’s handy to have. I’m sure it’s been tested and is perfectly safe for keys etc, but being paranoid about losing house keys, I’m afraid I’m not going to test that element!
Asthetically, the leggings are made up of panels with stitching down the front and they are definitely the most flattering leggings I’ve ever worn. I even felt comfortable wearing them to dance a Virginia Reel at the Ceilidh on the Isle of Eigg!
The material, whilst moisture wicking and breathable, is midweight so I would only wear these for serious exercise in winter. I get extremely hot and sweaty when exercising, and for hiking An Sgurr in around 17 degrees, these were warmer than ideal. However, after wearing for four days on the trot, sleeping in for two nights, a five mile hike and a Virginia Reel, the antibacterial material stood up to its claims and after brushing the mud off, they smelt fresh as a daisy!
The only criticism I have of the leggings is the length. I’d imagine they are the perfect length for someone of around 5’7, but at 5’3, these were too long and wrinkled around my knees and ankles. However, for how comfortable these leggings were, I can live with that!
Overall, I was really impressed with the Crewroom kit. It stood up to the marketing blurb around the practicality and comfort of the material and I liked the styling. So far, the items have washed well and kept all shape and colour. Crewroom are not the cheapest brand available, but they don’t claim to be. They do, however, provide value for money with quality kit that can be worn for a variety of activies. I’m looking forward to testing all the items out in more sports.
Check out Crewroom at www.crewroom.biz