Not long ago, Judie and I co-reviewed (what we call a dually) the SeV Performance Polo. While we really liked the shirt, I can tell you that Polo shirt weather does not last long in my little corner of the world. Often, and without warning the weather will change practically overnight from a warm summer day to a crisp fall night. For those times, you want a shirt that will keep you warmer than a short sleeved polo, but is not necessarily as heavy as sweatshirt or sweater. For those times, which consume much of the year in places like Seattle, where I used to live, SeV offers the Performance Pullover 1/4 Zip.
I want to start here by talking about the Performance material from which this shirt is constructed. You may recall that when Judie and I reviewed the Performance Polo, we criticized this material, and asked for a regular cotton shirt. One of the things I want to stress is that I did not dislike the performance material itself, I simply thought it was inappropriate for a polo-style shirt. So, what type of shirt would be more appropriate for this material? Well, I can give you one answer, the Performance Pullover 1/4 Zip is ideally suited for it. The moisture wicking Performance Fabric — which draws sweat and moisture away from your body and builds a cocoon of warm air inside — is designed for an active lifestyle. This is ideal for running, biking, skiing, and other outdoor activities in which I rarely participate these days. While the Performance Pullover is the perfect shirt for such activities, particularly in colder weather, the Polo never struck me as being appropriate for any of these activities. This difference in the shirts’ purposes led me to criticize the Performance Fabric in the polo shirt, while embracing it in the pullover.
The pullover is available in three colors: black, olive, and smoke. Again, as with the Polo, I prefer more vibrant colors to Earth tones. The one I received was black, but I would have preferred a blue or green. Hopefully a more complete pallet of colors will be coming soon.
Regardless of my feelings on the choice of colors, this is one of the most well made shirts I have ever worn. The double stitching on every seam ensures that this shirt can take a beating…particularly from the myriad of devices that will be tossed in the pockets.
Speaking of the pockets, the pullover features three gadget pockets. The first is on the left side of the chest. This pocket is great for any of your smaller gadgets, such as a RAZR phone, iPod or other MP3 player, or even the Plantronics Pulsar 260 BT headphones. I used it with my RAZR phone and it worked perfectly. My aging media player is far too big to fit in this pocket, however, the performance pullover has inspired me to replace it with something much smaller soon (much to my wife’s chagrin).
The other two pockets are located on the right hand seam. I was a little confused by the designation of this as two pockets because both open to the same zipper. A panel inside the pocket separates the space into a front and rear pocket. I wish the opening to these pockets had been larger. I had a great deal of difficulty getting my hand through the zipper to grab anything out of them. Additionally, I would have preferred a single large pocket to the two smaller pockets. This would enable me to carry a larger device such as my oversized media player, or a Pocket PC. Regardless, these pockets, as they are currently designed, are perfect for the myriad of smaller items that we carry throughout the day: cell phones, wallets, keys, just about anything.
All three pockets are also fully outfitted to seamlessly integrate your gear into the SeV personal area network Just string your headphone cord through the small holes on the inside of the pockets, and then through the loops on the collar. This amazingly simple idea will ensure that your headphone cord remains perfectly positioned and tangle free, regardless of how active you may choose to be.
Additionally, unlike normal pockets which typically hang loose from the opening, the pockets in the SeV pullover are stitched to the shirt on all sides. This ensures that your gadget will be held securely in place, and distributes the weight of the items in the pocket to all sides. This will protect the shirt against stretching which might otherwise occur from carrying heavy gadgets in these pockets.
Another one of my big pet peeves about athletic gear are the tags. I hate exercising in shirts with paper tags that scratch the back of your neck. SeV combats this by silk screening a logo on the inside of the collar. The logo is also prominently and subtly silk screened on several other areas on the shirt, as well as etched onto the zipper pulls.
Well, as long as we are talking about the zipper pulls, one of my favorite features of this shirt is the front zipper which closes the shirt around your throat for colder weather workouts, and allows you to quickly zip it open to midway down your chest as your body warms up. Speaking as someone who used to do a lot of outdoor running in the winter months, this simple zipper can make an incredible difference in staving off fatigue during a long workout.
Overall, I found this shirt absolutely lived up to the reputation SeV has developed for designing comfortable, durable technology clothing. I absolutely love the personal area network, which helps fight one of my biggest pet peeves of all gadgets: headphone cord tangle! It is designed for an active lifestyle, which means it will be completely wasted on my sedentary routine. Then again, maybe a nice workout shirt like this will inspire me to start running or biking again. I suppose that is a story for another post.
Name: Scottevest (SeV) Performance Pullover 1/4 Zip
Where to purchase: Scottevest website
Price: $60 ($29.99 with free shipping through June 10.)
What I Liked: personal area network for headphones, cellphone/MP3 player pocket on the chest, moisture wick material and front zipper are perfect for exercise.
What Needs Improvement: right side pockets need a larger opening, and need to be combined into one large pocket; more color choices.