Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
When the temperatures turn chilly, I have a very simple approach to putting an outfit together. My motto is pretty much stick with layers, layers and more layers. As someone who is pretty much cold all of the time, layers are my very best friend in colder weather.
Whether I’m outfitting myself to head to the office for a day at work, or when I’m getting ready to head out to the barn to log some riding time, layers are essential. Because I like to have the freedom to add or remove layers in order to stay comfortable.
Depending on the environment and my activity level, the number of layers that I need may vary. When I’m out at the barn, I find that I’m usually chilly after first heading outside. During grooming and tacking up, I start to warm up…and by the time I’m riding, I get pretty toasty.
So it can be a bit of a dilemma, trying to figure out what exactly to wear when I set out to ride. Do I keep a jacket on, or do I remove it to wear only a base layer and mid layer? While that decision always seems to remain, I do think that choosing an appropriate base and mid layer is an important first step to setting myself up for a comfortable ride.
One of my favorite layering pieces that carried me through last Winter season, and has returned to keep me warm so far this Fall is the First Crush Cowl from Noble Outfitters. In the past, I’ve had some semi awkward looking cowl neck sweaters…but the First Crush Cowl is not at all like my old sweaters.
The First Crush Cowl is made out of a sleek looking waffle knit fabric, that is 100% polyester. And from the first time that I tried it on, I had the feeling that it was going to be a pretty toasty layering piece added to my wardrobe.
I found that the funnel neck construction was easy to pull on over my head, and it bunched and scrunched up in a comfortably stylish way around the neckline. The funnel neck also has a drawcord closure, which can help to adjust the opening to fit according to my preference.
The fit was comfortable for me, and I also really liked that the sleeves of the First Crush Cowl were long enough for even my long arms…which is tough to find with my 5’9″ frame. The cuffs at the ends of the sleeves are slightly more fitted, and they also feature thumbholes.
The First Crush Cowl also features a flat seam construction, which is one of the aspects of many Noble Outfitters tops that I’ve come to enjoy. It also has a generously sized kangaroo style pocket in the front, which has two YKK zipper closures.
And I can’t forget one of the features that really helps make the First Crush Cowl a great piece for layering…the fabric includes Opti Dry Technology, which is designed to be moisture wicking. Which definitely helps me out when I’m overheating a smidge.
Depending on the climate and my level of activity, I sometimes choose to wear the First Crush Cowl as my final layer, or I might yet wear a jacket over it. When I’m riding and it is chilly enough to warrant a jacket, the funnel neck of the First Crush Cowl underneath helps to block the air and keep me warmer.
Another seemingly small feature that I’ve found to be near and dear to my heart are the thumbholes in the cuffs. While I don’t generally use them while riding because I have gloves on, I use them often while doing barn work or wearing the First Crush Cowl otherwise.
So why exactly do I dote on the thumbholes so? The thumbholes not only help keep my sleeves in place, so that they do not slide backwards — they also help the cuffs to come about halfway up my hands. Which does help to keep me warmer!
The large kangaroo style pocket on the front of the First Crush Cowl is also of a very nice size. It is roomy enough to fit my large smartphone, a lip gloss and a set of keys, and there is still plenty of more room. I like that the pocket has zipper closures, which keeps contents secure.
I appreciate the wicking properties that the Opti Dry Technology bring to the First Crush Cowl as well. Generally, I like to layer the Cowl over a base layer with wicking properties…but I’ve found it also can work well worn as a base layer, since the Opti Dry Technology does a really nice job at pulling moisture away.
The First Crush Cowl from Noble Outfitters is available in four different colors, including Heather Grey, Periwinkle Heather, Wine Heather, and Black (pictured). All four colors retail for $54.99 each, and you can find them here.
Go Cozy Layering Pieces. Go Noble Outfitters. Go Eventing.