I don’t think I’ve ever used the words “feature-rich” to describe a flannel before, but there’s really no other way to explain the High Sierra Shirt from California Cowboy.
Designed and marketed for après ski, this soft button-up with cotton-poly thermal lining stylishly brings the heat, whether you’re listening to a live band playing on a sun-drenched deck or hanging around a bonfire with local craft beers and s’mores. But it’s not just for the after-party scene; I wore the shirt on several winter mountain bike rides and was comfortable down to about 30 degrees F (with a base layer underneath). It’s also perfect for just laying around the house. The High Sierra is that kind of cozy, do-anything shirt that you could live in for a week straight. Don’t judge me.
All of that sounds fairly normal for your favorite flannel, though, right? Here’s where things get wild. The High Sierra Shirt conceals more gizmos than Inspector Gadget’s trench coat. On the front button plate near the neck, a sunglass loop lets you hang your shades. The right breast pocket includes a built-in pen holder (brazenly described as “cannabis-ready” in the literature). A water-resistant pocket on the rear left hip zip shut to keep your smartphone and other dry goods safe. A hidden glove loop near the waistline lets you clip on your gloves or mittens, so you don’t have to jam them in your pants pockets.
The final two features stood out to me because, well, I like beer. A pocket on the right rear hip is purpose-built and reinforced to hold a bottle or tallboy can, allowing you to remain hands-free to juggle chainsaws or, you know, whatever. In order to facilitate opening said brew, the High Sierra Shirt comes with a custom bottle opener with its own designated pocket. Gimmicky? A little. But maybe you’ll impress that one special person with your beverage preparedness and then it’s not gimmicky…it’s genius.
One note on sizing: the cut on this shirt is slim fit, and mine shrunk a bit on tumble dry hot. (That’s probably why the brand recommends tumble dry low, but no one tells me what to do.) I’d consider ordering one size up if you’re a fall-in-betweener or simply want to be safe.
Bottom line: I really like this shirt for fall/winter outdoor activities. It’s super soft, warm, and thick (due to the lining). The fun bells and whistles don’t get in the way when you don’t want them but come in handy when you do.
The High Sierra Shirt is available in sizes from small to XXXL and in nine styles, including Daffy Plaid (lead photo) and Campfire Check (detail photos). $148. shop.californiacowboy.com
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.