/// Vollebak Planet Earth Shirt : Review
The aptly named Planet Earth Shirt by Vollebak is the de facto adventure shirt – an all terrain marvel of apparel engineering and rugged style.
There are over 510 million square kilometres on the surface of Earth, and this shirt is designed to work in every single one of them. Whether you’re in a mangrove swamp or the office, you’ll find this is the most technical shirt ever built.-Vollebak
This grandiosely named shirt is not clothing. It is equipment. Soldiers have armor, athletes have jerseys, cops have uniforms and now adventurers can have the Planet Earth Shirt by Vollebak.
Yes, it certainly lives up to and earns its name. In fact, from what it’s supposed to do and what I’ve experienced it to do so far, it’s perfectly named.
Let’s break this down. To simplify, this is just a high-end long sleeve button-down shirt with a haute menswear price tag of $345. Now factor in a half dozen high-functioningly slick features built using exotic materials from Switzerland, Ecuador and Italy…
Then this peice of attire transcends into something more, a multifunctional wearable tool for the trekking of every square inch of this here planet.
We’re talking about jungles, volcanoes, deserts and war zones. It works like an astronaut’s spacesuit, but for our much more hospitable Earth. However, the dauntless styling and universal comfort makes the Planet Earth Shirt also an Office Shirt, Bar Shirt, Date Shirt and so on. Casual, tactical and practical.
From afar the Planet Earth Shirt looks like any other handsome but straight forward top. Close up, some of the unique features and the insane level of sewing construction can be seen.
Hidden until needed or passively working its individual functions are features integrated into the shirt like a sophisticated piece of equipment.
Examine the shirt in all its intricacies and you can see why it costs what it costs. The Schoeller fabric built upon 62 meters of stitching alone can fetch a premium price tag. But it’s all the additional manual work and raw materials needed to not just construct each feature but the reinforced nature of the stitching. Lest not forget the research and development to make this shirt a reality.
The right chest pocket is double buttoned and bellows out when needed. Concealed behind it is another even larger pocket with a zipper closure (think passport, cash stash, documents, non-permissibles). It’s like cargo pant pockets but without the bagginess.
The left chest pocket looks the same as the right at first glance but it’s an entirely different system. The shape and size is symetrical to the right’s but is integrated with 8 twill loops for gear / gadget /cable management. There’s also 2 smaller pockets within it for pens and compact tools. Additionally a hanging loop on the bottom of the pocket is available for further gear management.
The Planet Earth Shirt has the coolest and most useful collar I’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s cool because of its edgy-far-from-traditional style. But it’s not just for show. It has multiple configurations for both practical and fashionable applications. Also, it’s a joy to use.
The left arm has a small but useful button pocket that also bellows when needed. It stays flat and doesn’t get in the way and access is perfectly positioned for the right hand for speed and ease.
The 2 button cuffs are met with 2 peice sleeves with additional alterations around the elbows for maximum arm movement and comfort. Internally there are straps to secure rolled up sleeves.
Instead of using plastic like every other brand, each button is made from shatter resistant corozo nuts. Exotic, rare, tough and beautiful – again for fashion and function. Taking it even further, all buttons are free-floating on reinforced panels, instead of directly on the shirt fabric. This increases flexibility, ease of usability and overall enhanced durability.
Strategically placed for heat / moisture management and cross ventilation are 7 specialized mesh air vents; along the spine, around the armpits, center chest and on the sides of the waist. While seemingly gimmicky I assure you they are not, they work like a charm. I did thorough testing while tomb running Cambodia’s Angkor Wat at 99 degrees Fahrenheit in fierce sun through 100 percent humidity.
The dual air vents on each chest have zippers to “activate” them. These also expand more than the other vents and you can really feel the airflow when open. When running, cycling or if hit by wind, air flows majestically around the body and out the shirt like a wind tunnel. No batteries required.
Vollebak’s signature clothing label is completely unobtrusive and neatly details the shirt as well as care instructions. One of the hip air vents can be seen as well as a snap fastening hanging loop to truly clean and dry the Planet Earth Shirt anywhere on Earth.
Because of the rugged build, water repellent capabilities, pocket configurations and all-season wearability, this shirt can also serve as a light jacket. But again, it can just be an overbuilt casual shirt to wear around town or work, not just for adventure or survival in harsh environments.
I was first hooked by Vollebak’s Condition Black Ceramic T-Shirt, in my opinion the greatest t-shirt ever made. Now I consider their Planet Earth Shirt the greatest button-down shirt ever made.
Schoeller Swiss Fabric // 3XDry Treated // 7 Air Vents // 3 Pockets + 1 Hidden // 4 Way Stretch // Corozo Nut Buttons // Anti-Mosquito Collar