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Field Tested: ArchiTec’s Travel Clothing

So here’s a little confession for you, I hate “travel clothes” or at least most of them. There are plenty of reasons for this prejudice, but the two pillars on which my distaste stands are generally fit and appearance. That’s because it seems like clothing designers have decided that a travel shirt or pant is simply a loose-fitting garment littered with hidden pockets, zippers, and complex Velcro compartments, all of which are a failsafe way to look like a frumpy tourist from out of town. So, unless you plan on skipping the suitcase and packing everything in your pants, try ditching the safari look for something more versatile, comfortable, and attractive like the Carson hoodie from ArchiTec.

Below photo by Justin Pitcairn

About the Brand

ArchiTec was founded by travelers, for travelers. Their goal isn’t to make millions of dollars or mass-produce clothing, but simply to “build cool s***, and less of it.”

Each line of their garments is inspired by a different part of the world, but made right here in the USA with performance fabrics that will keep you comfortable without looking like your uncle Steve on vacation. ”We aim to balance function, style, and experience to develop limited edition pieces that will last a lifetime.

But they’re about more than just making great clothing, they’re also focused on sustainability. While it would certainly be cheaper and easier to not ask questions, ArchiTec’s owners trace their materials all the way back to the growers to ensure they use ethical practices that won’t harm the surrounding people or environment.

“We aim to always leave no trace and hope to use our brand to support local communities we are involved with and contribute positive outcomes toward environmental issues.”

After seeing their product firsthand at the Outpost Trade Retreat, we decided to try them out for ourselves by testing a Carson hoodie during the fall season. Here’s what we thought.

The Hoodie

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the Carson is the trim and tailored fit. Unlike the heavy and baggy hoodies most of us are used to, it presents a modern and sophisticated look that can be worn in a variety of situations. This makes it exceptionally useful while traveling, as it can be worn to a restaurant or bar as easily as by the campfire.

The fabric is 95 percent merino wool and 5 percent spandex, which not only makes it lightweight but very soft and comfortable. It also wicks moisture and is naturally anti-microbial, which grants the pullover two very big advantages for traveling. First, it gives the garment an odor resistance that enables you to wear it for weeks before any smell sets in, so you won’t have to bring an additional hoodie or sweater. Second, the lightweight material packs down into a brilliantly small package. All of this translates to a lighter and easier packing and travel experience.

The side of the hoodie features a low-profile concealed pocket, which I really liked, but not nearly as much as I liked the fact that they only included one of them. After all, the goal is to hide your passport and credit card, not smuggle a small department store through town.

I found the insulation level to be perfect for those fall days with a chill in the air, or any of the winter months in the Southern states. You wouldn’t want to brave a snowstorm in this alone, but it would make a fabulous mid layer if you did find yourself wandering through a winter wonderland.

The Carson has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of clothing, and a permanent fixture in my travel bag. It’s so light that I never have to think twice about packing it, and the stylish fit makes it an easy choice for wearing around town. Like the rest of ArchiTec’s products, the Carson carries a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about it falling apart on you after a few trips. Of course, all of this comfort and performance comes at a cost, about $148 USD to be precise. That may not be cheap, but it’s a small price to pay for a versatile piece of clothing that will last for years to come.

To learn more, buy your own, or check out their other clothes, visit the ArchiTec website here.

Below photo by Justin Pitcairn

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.