Why Flannel is Such a Great Fabric for Outdoor Clothing

Why Flannel is Such a Great Fabric for Outdoor Clothing | The American Outdoorsman

Summer is upon us, and as you start to gather your outdoor gear—including outdoor clothing—it's imperative to choose what works best. Many recreationists turn to flannel because they know that what you wear can make or break your experience. Aside from keeping you comfortable, proper outdoor clothing can increase your endurance and safety. 

Why Flannel?

 Let's start with the basics. Why should you choose flannel for your outdoor clothing? It's a popular fabric, praised for its softness, warmth, and durability. Woven from wool or cotton—or created with synthetic materials—you find it in the form of flannel shirts, jackets, pajamas, pants, suits, and even bedsheets. It works best as a layering component, keeping the skin dry, insulated, and warm. 

You'll recognize flannel for its famous checkered pattern that uses a variety of colors, yet appears muted in design. This look makes it the perfect outdoor clothing for almost any activity. When choosing outdoor gear, it's common to search within a particular sport. But with flannel, you can use it for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and more. 

 It's also an excellent layer to bring with you on more relaxed occasions. For example, you can throw it on if the wind picks up at the beach, or the clouds cover the sun while riding your bike. In almost any outdoor activity—whether extreme, moderate, or mild—flannel is a great option. 

Durability & Safety

 Wearing this fabric for your outdoor activities will keep you warm and safe, and if you chose a high-quality material, it could last years. The durability of flannel is unmatched when compared to other soft fabrics, especially when made with wool. Wool is known to protect you in subzero elements, wick moisture in the rain, and even keep your body temperature regulated in warmer weather or while sleeping. It's a jack-of-all-trades type of material and the perfect piece of outdoor gear.

How to Wear Flannel Shirts

 Although you can find this durable material in different types of clothing, flannel shirts are its staple look for outdoor enthusiasts. It has, in many ways, become the signature of outdoorsmen. Now that you know why the fabric performs so well, let's look at how to wear flannel. 


 As mentioned above, because the fabric performs optimally with insulation and moisture-wicking, it works best when used as a layer. In colder temperatures, layer it above a wool baselayer and under an insulator, such as a puffy jacket. In more mild weather, use it as a top layer to stay warm and dry. When not needed, you can easily store it in your backpack or tie flannel shirts around the waist.  

Everyday Fashion

How to wear flannel has a lot to do with the activity in question. But regardless of what you're doing, it's the perfect sidekick. Additionally, flannel is a fashion staple, and many use it for everyday wear. You can wear it to go shopping, hanging at a friend's house, out to dinner, or in more casual office environments. Although it's optimal for outdoor use, you can wear flannel in almost any setting.