Thursday, 1 August 2013

Moon Logo Vest Review

I recently received a Moon Logo Vest to review.
The moon vest is made from 100% organic cotton, making it nice and green. Mine is in green too, making it extra green. It retails at £20, which you may say is a lot for a shirt without sleeves, but like I've said this thing has green credentials, and it's got a cool looking Moon logo on it. If green isn't your thing it also comes in yellow and dark grey. When I think of eco friendly fabrics I think of potato sacks. Luckily the cotton used here feels nice on your skin, and has kept its colour even after being washed.
Vest tops, or wife beaters as they are affectionately known, don't really conjure up images of someone cranking hard on some blocs in Font. Instead I get a mental image of some flat bloke sat in an old chair drinking special brew with take away spilt down their front. The sort of thing you might see on one of those soap episodes which have a help line number at the end of it.
Why then would you wear one? There is slightly less skin coverage than with a normal t-shirt so you get obvious weight and cooling advantages here. But why not just go completely tops off? Everyone knows about tops off for power. Does vests on for power work too? Do vests make you feel a bit thuggish allowing you to send those steep power problems? These are the questions climbers want to know.
Since receiving the top I have been conducting my own experiments into this. I feel a bit stupid wearing a vest, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Knowing that you already look a bit silly may mean that you don't mind trying that move you don't think will work and falling off. Falling off things is, of course, a good way to improve.
Trad climber in vest (The Big Sender Collection)
So to answer what I feel is the main question here: Do vests make you a better climber?
Firstly, to decide on what a better climber is, you need a base value. For me I take my standard climber ability as wearing a t-shirt. A trip to Rothley, in Northumberland, has been my yard stick for measuring ability between clothing types. This test is centered around a surprisingly good font 7a called Gloom. On my first visit I worked the problem in a t-shirt and couldn't do one little section in the middle (rubbish). My next trip saw me start climbing in the vest top. This time I managed to link the middle section, but I still hadn't done it from a sitter (better). Later on that day I tried the problem without a top on and got it sent (best!).
Poor Ryan
This completely fair and scientific test proves that tops off for power is still best, but vests on is better than t-shirts.
So why buy a vest if going tops off is best? It is not always possible to go tops off. Maybe you have chest hair like Ryan Giggs or you climb at a wall that has a no tops off rule. Remember, in this situation, vests are better than a shirt.
There are dangers associated with wearing vest tops too. They do have a thuggish look about them. Is that how you want to be seen? Maybe don't wear them to a job interview or to a nice restaurant.
Shifty looking students wearing vests, probably about to be turfed out by security (Fergus Cuthill Collection)
Another danger you may forget about in the UK is the ridiculous tan you get.
Do you want to look like this man? (Fergus Cuthill Collection)
So on balance... the Moon Wife Beater Vest Top is a useful addition to any rock climber's arsenal of performance improving items. It could come to have the same place in a climber's rucksack like those super tight shoes that you're saving for the right problem, Climb On (or Tip Juice or other popular moisturising brands) and a beany hat (review on head wear to follow when it gets cooler hopefully). If you're going to get a vest you might as well get one which has some green credentials. For this the Moon Vest Top is ideal.
This is a hard product to rate. It is somewhere between 1 thumb up and a thumb up and a thumb down. Im sure it will be useful for those sweaty nights down at the wall at least.

The Moon Vest Top is available from with 10% off. 

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