Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Impression Review: Craghoppers Nosilife Outdoor Clothing

While I was covering the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show earlier this year, I walked by the Craghoppers' clothing exhibit, where they were showing off their latest line of Bear Grylls outdoor clothing.

When I introduced myself, I shared that Rocky Mountain Bushcraft had reviewed some of Bear Grylls' survival knives, so they excitedly grabbed me and led me over to show me their latest and greatest Bear Grylls' clothing.

With all due respect to Bear Grylls, I wasn't really interested in wearing clothing with his name and logo on it, so I asked Craghoppers if they had anything similar, but without the "BG" style treatment. The friendly Craghoppers' rep replied "certainly!" as he pulled me over to a display rack on the opposite side of the Bear Grylls line. What he showed me immediately caught my attention-- Craghoppers' Noslife line.

Craghoppers history

While many US consumers are already familiar with UK-based Craghoppers as the manufacturer of Bear Grylls' line of outdoor clothing, Craghoppers has actually been making clothing for mountaineers and outdoor adventurers since 1965.

As an innovator in outdoor clothing, Craghoppers has introduced several cutting edge features over the years, including UV solar protection, as well as permanent insect repellent that is woven directly into the clothing fabric.

Craghoppers also teamed up recently with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which helps to protect endangered African gorilla populations. Park rangers responsible for protecting these gorillas from poachers are provided with Craghopper's permanent insect repellant clothing, which helps them ward off malaria-infected mosquitos in the Rwandan jungles of Africa.


Main clothing material: 100% Polyamide
Trim: 100% Polyester
Extremely lightweight and fast-drying fabric
Insect repellent technology 
UPF 40+ protection and rip stop technology
Double sun collar, cooling back neck lining and vented back
5 pockets (2 with a zip fastening large chest stash pocket, which doubles as a front vent)
Roll up sleeves with button tab
Hidden drying loops so you can hang it up to dry anywhere
Hidden security passport pocket
Country of origin: Designed in the UK, made in China

Drying loops
Pockets: 9; 2 zip-fastening
Heel tape
Elasticated waist at sides
Zip-off trousers
Ankle zips
Dry Bag & mobile phone holder in cargo pocket
NosiLife polyamide 340g
Main: 100% Polyamide, Trim: 100% Polyester
Country of origin: Designed in the UK, made in China

Nosilife Features

Craghopper's Noslife has a number of features that come in handy out in the bush. The main material is constructed from Polyamide, a synthetic nylon known for its toughness and quick drying properties. The trim is made from Polyester.

Shown in photo below: Nosilife Shirt, Convertible Pants and Nosilife Outback Hat

Drying loops are sewn into both the shirt and pants, which allows them to be easily hung from a branch when you need to dry them.

Woven directly into the fabric is a permanent insect-repellant material, which Craghoppers claims reduces insect bites by 90%. According to Craghoppers this material is safe for mammals, yet toxic to insects. Also incorporated into the fabric is a technology called SolarShield, which gives the wearer UPF40+ protection from the sun's harmful rays.

Nosilife Long-Sleeved Shirt features

Craghoppers's Nosilife Long-Sleeved Shirt is chocked full of handy features, including a mesh inner liner, air vents on the front and back, drying loops, a hidden security pocket, and lots of storage compartments.

The front vent, which also serves as a pocket:

Rear Vents:

Mesh Liner:

Hidden Security Pocket:

The shirt sleeves have button tabs to make it easy to roll your sleeves up:

Nosilife Convertible Pants features

Similar to the Nosilife Shirt, Craghoppers' Convertible Pants have several handy features, including multiple storage pockets, a dry bag in the left cargo pocket (great for keeping tinder dry), mesh pockets, ankle zips, and hidden security pockets.

                                          Side zip pocket:

The left cargo pocket has an extra pocket within, which I found handy for storing my Iphone:

The left cargo pocket comes with a removable dry bag:

Ankle zips:

The pants easily convert into shorts for hot days:

Mesh pockets:

Leah wearing women's Nosilife:

Nosilife Hats

Craghoppers also sent us their Nosilife Outback and Ultimate Hats to try out as part of this review. The Outback Hat was lightweight, comfortable and stylish when worn either "up" or "down."

The Noslife Ultimate Hat, gives "ultimate" protection from sun and biting insects, and packs completely down into a small carry bag:

Final Thoughts

Through many years of shopping for outdoor clothing, I've found it difficult to find clothes that make me look good, yet still provide field-worthy features. Craghoppers' Nosilfe seems to have what I've been looking for. These outdoor clothes are stylish yet functional, and my first impression is definitely favorable.

Of course, time will tell if they hold up to serious field use, and if their innovative features function as intended. With this in mind, I'll post an update after several months of "rough and tumble" out in the bush, and report back on my findings.

Cheers, Jason

For more information, visit Craghoppers at 

(Thanks to RMB Team Member Monica Tymcio for taking the photos used in this review)

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

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