There is nothing quite like the scratchy comfort of real wool. Timberland has recently sewn up a work shirt with a careful mix of performance and style to satisfy a wide swathe of outdoorsmen – the Bass River Wool Shirt.
Timberland Bass River Wool Shirt Features:
- Outer is 60% wool, 30% polyester, 10% other
- Lining is 100% plaid cotton flannel
- Non-button-down collar
- Contrast fabric pocketing
- Center back length (M): 31 inches
- Chest (M): 46 inches
- MSRP: $98
Style meets durability
Outdoor lifestyle products are always trying to balance desirable traits. For the Bass River, the two ends of the beam or style and performance. Everyone knows that wool is perhaps the most desirable shirting material available, especially in the wet winters of the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, it can be scratchy and hard to care for. And if you want the sort of durability that you expect out of a shirt jacket or work shirt, you can’t opt for the light-weight merino blends that are so often found in high-performance layers. So the Timberland option is closer to being a classic piece than cutting-edge kit.
Timberland used a wool/polyester/acrylic fabrics blend in their Bass River. It’s roughly a 60% wool mix, and it definitely feels like a full-on wool coat. However, that polyester additive is doing important things within the jacket. Polyester lends durability to wool clothing, and it can also help reduce the amount of wrinkling that goes on. True to form, the Bass River has hardly shown any wrinkling despite a number of times being unceremoniously stuffed into backpacks and luggage.
Durability is also a key theme with the Bass River. Timberland’s construction quality really shines in this piece, with straight, tidy rows of double stitching. Other touches, like a reinforced panel for the buttons, help ensure the longevity of the shirt. The two chest pockets are done with a gently contrasting nylon fabric that also feels hardy and sure to maintain their shape.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Bass River is its fit. I tested a Medium and it fit my 5’11”, 185lb frame perfectly. It’s trim in the waist with just enough room, not too much, through the arms. The cuffs are quite tight which makes for a clean look and there’s also a drop hem for style and, should you (like I did) choose to commute by bike this offers some extra spatter protection.
The wool fabric mix has shone throughout my test. It’s durable, handles rain and beverage spills with equal aplomb, and looks very sharp. One caveat for some users will be the fabric’s natural scratchiness – it’s a typical itchy wool jacket, though the polyester softens it up a touch.
- High-quality construction and materials
- Nicely tailored fit
- Fabric does exceptionally well with wet conditions or spills
- Some users will find the wool blend too itchy
The Bottom Line:
In terms of classic appeal, there’s a lot to like with the Bass River. It’s your classic wool work shirt or jack-shirt, depending how you want to think about it. This is one of those pieces that I suspect will be with me for a lifetime.
Buy now: Available from Timberland.com