Xbox has released a collection of clothing and accessories dedicated to camping. No, not the kind of video game that esports organization 100 Thieves castigated with their own clothing line – Microsoft’s is actually get out and touch the grass. The RV collection includes a variety of shorts, shirts, and headwear, as well as things like a hammock and camping chair.
Since most people don’t typically associate gaming with the outdoors, some of the items in the lineup actually look decent. Xbox’s camping chair looks like a clone of the design popularized by the Helinox Chair Zero (to be fair, the same goes for almost every other camping chair), but electric green and twice as heavy. Considering it’s significantly cheaper than the Helinox, it’s hard to complain about the weight.
The hammock also looks good – again, people counting every ounce probably wouldn’t mind, but it seems perfectly suited for hanging between two trees at a campsite. And while I love that Microsoft is trying to get people to drink more water with this Nalgene water bottle, I just wish it wouldn’t refill double normal retail price now that its admittedly cool topographic branding has been applied.
Inasmuch as outdoor person myself, however, I’m not sure Microsoft’s “camping” marketing matches how some of these products are actually made. He says his t-shirts, hats and sweaters are meant for “exploring the great outdoors,” but they’re made from 80-90 percent cotton, according to their spec sheets. If you’ve ever been near an REI or other outdoor store, you might recognize this as a bit of a deal breaker – the phrase “cotton kills” is probably one of the tips the most cited in hiking and camping. community.
This is, to be clear, too dramatic a slogan. Cotton garments have been implicated in a few exposure fatalities over the years, but it’s not like you’ll die immediately if you walk down a trail wearing this heather ABXY tee. However, if you’re caught out in bad weather, you might have a real problem on your hands: cotton doesn’t keep you warm when wet. Worse still, it dries very slowly, so even if the rain stops, your soaked cotton shirt may continue to sap your body heat. And while it probably won’t kill you unless you’re in a fairly remote area, in the words of Sans Undertale, “you’re going to have a bad time.” Also: moisture will not necessarily come from precipitation. I’ve done many hikes where a cotton t-shirt soaked up all my sweat, then chilled me to the bone once I got to a shady section of trail.
I don’t want to exaggerate the danger here. You don’t need a wool shirt or fancy athletic fabrics to hike; you’ll just have a more enjoyable experience if you do. (And for the prices Microsoft charges for these shirts, you could definitely get yourself a nice hiking shirt if you spend a lot of time outdoors.) What’s odd, though, is that other clothing from the Microsoft collection, such as this nylon windbreaker or these nylon shorts are made of a material that is really suitable for hiking.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy this gear – I’ll even admit that the Xbox-y outdoor-y models look pretty cool. But if you’re picking them up to add to your Microsoft apparel collection, maybe leave the shirts at home on your next camping trip, unless your definition of “camping” is near a hot spot. appearance in Call of Duty. You are a monster.