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Sun Mountain RainFlex Short Sleeve Review

Sun Mountain’s Rainflex material claims to be waterproof, breathable, stretchable, and quiet. Sounds like the perfect rain gear, but does it perform on all counts?

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Rain gear is one of those areas you get what you pay for. Ask any serious golfer, and they’ll have at least one story about a gale force storm that came out of no where and dumped buckets of rain on them. The ones who have rain gear can keep playing, those who don’t run for the club house. There are really only two requirements for any piece of rain gear – it must be waterproof and windproof. Sun Mountain claims to have done these two things and more with their new RainFlex series.

Sun Mountain has had a long history of producing useful and effective accesories for golfers. Whether they are bags, speed carts, or apparell, go to any golf course and you’ll likely see Sun Mountain well represented in a variety of equipment categories. Their previous offerings in the rainwear categories have been extremely popular for their performance and outstanding value. Yet the company believes RainFlex will be the next big step in the evolution of rain gear.

The Fabric

What differentiates RainFlex from the other products on the market is its construction. RainFlex fabric is a knit nylon garmet rather than a woven nylon that is laminated to a waterproof membrane. While the fact that it is waterproof and windproof are pretty much given, the fact that it is a knit fabric gives it other advantages traditional laminated rain gear does not have. First is breathability, Sun Mountain claims that independent lab testing shows a vapor transmission rate seven times the minimum requirement. Secondly the material is quiet. Everyone knows the standard “swishing” sound that people make when they swing and walk in a nylon jacket. Since RainFlex is knit, it feels and sounds just like cotton. The most unique aspect of RainFlex is its ability to stretch and move with you as you swing. The knit fabric can stretch 100% across the shoulders and 30% from top to bottom, so there’s no need to buy a larger size to maintain range of motion throughout your swing. No matter how flexible you may be, RainFlex will not hinder any of your moves.

Options

RainFlex garments come in a variety of styles and options, there is one to fit every golfer and climate. There is a fully lined full zip jacket with insulation for cold weather golfers, a long sleeve half zip jacket for golfers who encounter heavy rains but want less insulation, and short sleeve options for golfers in warmer weather climates. Being from Houston, Texas the short sleeve shirt was the only option for me to combat the heat and humidity I play my rounds in. Sun Mountain has been very proactive with the the number of colors options they provide in the RainFlex line. Whether your tastes are wild or tame, Sun Mountain has a color for you. Bright, modern colors and combinations with contrasting color blocks will help you stand out if you desire, but the basics of black and navy are still there for those who prefer a more subdued look. There are two types of pants, the standard RainFlex pant, and the more relaxed fit Sport Pant.

Performance

I recently went on a trip to Scotland, and took the Rainflex with me, knowing full well that I could likely experience every possible weather condition in the same trip. Sure enough, landing early in the morning in Glasgow, I found the skies sunny, calm, and clear. By the time my 3 o’clock tee time came around, the wind was blowing 30 miles an hour and strong bands of rain were coming off the Irish Sea. RainFlex did exactly what it promised, it was windproof and very waterproof. Despite heavy rains I had no problems with leakage anywhere. The collar is very well designed, it has some structure so it fits snugly around your neck and does a great job keeping water out without being overly constrictive or uncomfortable. The front pocket is the perfect size to hold a wallet, score card, and pencil and keeps things dry. The inside lining is a very soft brushed nylon which feels just like a t-shirt. It’s a very comfortable jacket to wear, even for long periods of time if necessary. The stretch is really where the fabric impressed me, it makes the garment absolutely unrestrictive. Making full swings is no problem, once you put the jacket on, you can really forget it’s there. It seems to dissapear since you don’t hear it, or even feel it on you.

Another great design feature are the waterproof zippers. Traditionally zippers have been an achilles heel of waterproof garments. Most manufacturers use large flaps of fabric over to cover the zippers and keep water out. Sun Mountian has gone to waterproof zippers with an outer covering on the zipper itself, just zip it closed and it’s sealed itself without any extra fabric or velcro closures. The zipper system works, and I had no problems with water seeping in through the zippers at any time. Breathability is quite good as well, I have yet to notice any excessive sweat or condensation. However, it’s diffiicult to know whether to attribute that to the RainFlex material or the wide open sleeves of the short sleeve shirt I chose.

The one problem I did have with the fabric is related to its knit nature. In light rains or the very first part of a storm, the fabric does a great job beading and keeping water off you. Water beads up and just falls right off. However, in heavy storms or prolonged rains, the fabric eventually stops beading and water soaks right into the fabric. This isn’t to say the fabric isn’t waterproof, the water never gets beyond the fabric and onto you. However, this does raise a rather unique problem. When the fabric gets wet and the wind starts blowing, or the air is cold, you can feel very cold. While this isn’t an issue where I live, in Scotland with the air temperature hovering in the 52 degree range, I quickly noticed it and went back to a traditional gore tex laminate with a durabile water resistant coating that continuously beads. However, in warm climates this is a non issue and actually helps keep you a bit cooler. If you play in cooler climates or are looking for a winter golf jacket, RainFlex may not be the best option for you.

I chose a Medium size on my jacket and was very pleased. I’m 5’7″ and average in build and the rain shirt fit me perfectly. However, this is a slightly tighter fitting garment than other products on the market. People with larger frames or those who simply want more room may need to go up a size. People who walk will also be glad to know that the material is also very lightweight and packable. I have no trouble fitting the jacket into my ultra-light carry bag. That’s great news since rain gear does you no good sitting at home if it’s too bulky or heavy to carry.

Conclusion

Rainflex does what is says and then some. It is completley waterproof and breathable, but more than that, it is the most flexible and comfortable rain gear on the market. It is well designed throughout and Sun Mountain has done a great job incorporating a fair amount of style into it for those who want it. Although people who constantly play in cold weather, this may not be your first choice, for summer and spring golf, this may well be the best rain gear on the market.

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Accessory Reviews

Insider photos from Tiger Woods’ launch event for his new “Sun Day Red” apparel line

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On Monday evening, inside the swanky, second-story “Coach House” event center in the Palisades Village, just minutes down the road from the 2024 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Tiger Woods and TaylorMade officially announced their new apparel/footwear/accessory line, called “Sun Day Red.”

The Sun Day Red website officially launched on Monday night during the event, and the products are set to go on sale starting May 1.

The “Sun Day Red,” or “SDR” name will be self-explanatory for most golf fans, since he’s been wearing a victory-red shirt on Sunday’s for his entire professional career, but Woods explained the meaning of Sun Day Red at the launch event:

“It started with mom. Mom thought – being a Capricorn – that my power color was red, so I wore red as a junior golfer and I won some tournaments. Lo and behold, I go to a university that is red; Stanford is red. We wore red on the final day of every single tournament, and then every single tournament I’ve played as a professional I’ve worn red. It’s just become synonymous with me.”

The Sunday Red outfit has worked to perfection for his 82 PGA Tour victories, including 15 majors, so why not make an entire apparel line based on the career-long superstition?

As I learned at Monday’s launch event, the new Sun Day Red line includes much more than just clothing. To go along with a slew of different golf shirt designs and colorways, there were also windbreakers, hoodies, shoes, hats, headcovers, ball markers and gloves on display.

The upscale event was hosted by sports media personality Erin Andrews, with special guests David Abeles (CEO of TaylorMade) and Tiger Woods himself.

As explained by Abeles, the Sun Day Red brand is an independently-run business under the TaylorMade umbrella, and is based in San Clemente, California (rather than Carlsbad, where TaylorMade headquarters is located), and it’s run by a newly-formed, independent group. Brad Blackinship, formerly of Quiksilver and RVCA, is the appointed president of the new brand.

As for the logo itself, obviously, it’s made to look like a Tiger (the animal), and is comprised of 15 tiger stripes, which correspond with Woods’ 15 major championships. While the logo may need a 16th stripe if Woods adds a major trophy to his collection, it makes perfect sense for the time being.

The golf/lifestyle line is meant to combine premium precision and athletic comfort, while still having plenty of wearability and style off the course. Like Woods said on stage at the event, he wants to be able to go right from the course to dinner wearing Sun Day Red, and that was exactly the aesthetic on display at the event on Monday.

Following the official announcement from Woods and Abeles, they revealed multiple pieces of clothing, accessories and footwear for the event-goers to ogle (and photograph). Check out a selection of product/event photos below, or head over to our @GolfWRX Instagram page for video coverage…OR, head into our GolfWRX Forums for even more photos and member discussion.

Enjoy this exclusive look at Tiger Woods’ new Sun Day Red apparel lineup below.

See more photos from the Sun Day Red launch event here

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Apparel Reviews

Apparel review: Justin Rose Collection @ Bonobos

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Bonobos? Bonnaroo? What do they have in common, besides being fun words to pronounce that belong to today’s generations? That’s a question for another story. We’re here to tell you about the latest addition to our curated polo collection, the Performance Golf Polo from the Justin Rose collection. It comes from Bonobos, so kick back to this 2020 Bonnaroo mixtape and read up on white anchors.

Professional golfer, Justin Rose, photographed for his Spring 2021 Bonobos capsule collection.

Bonobos has been working to reinvigorate its golf category that launched in 2011 and bring a fresh face and new thinking to their golf mix. The brand has been eyeing pro-golfer Justin Rose for some time, especially as he’s risen in the game and his style on and off course aligned with the brand’s aesthetic, it was a natural fit. Bonobos made the official partnership in 2019 and since then, Justin has worn Bonobos on the course during his tours, and in his everyday life, by choice.

In March 2021, the brand launched the Justin Rose Golf Collection, its first co-designed golf line with Justin consisting of an assortment of printed performance polos, pants, and shorts that are versatile for casual days on the course, to playing 18-holes and to the clubhouse afterward.

My fit arrived promptly, and I couldn’t help but throw it over my head and shoulders, and strut around the house. No matter the time of year nor the weather outside, a golf polo always works in the indoor arena. I had considered the slim fit, but opted for the standard. It was reassuring to realize that either one would have draped well over my torso. Plenty of room from shoulders to ribs to belly, both static and active. First box, checked.

The next task was no less arduous: wear the shirt in the out-and-about. A brisk day arrived, so I tucked a long-sleeved shirt beneath my polo, and went about my daily business, aka teaching. My students perked up when I entered the hall, and asked immediately about the anchors. “Ya know, just a new polo,” I replied. The company logo was apparent on my sleeve, so no need to ask about its origin. I’ve worn polos in the past that did not interface well with a shirt beneath. When you play golf in the wee morning hours or the evening gloaming, or the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, you often need to trick out your fit with another layer. The Bonobos Performance Golf Polo was comfortable beyond words on this day, and the collaboration with the long sleeve was a success. Second box, checked.

At this point, a little transparency will help matters. I looked good in this shirt, but when I read the added description about the model 40-inch chest, six feet two inches tall, size medium slim fit), I couldn’t help but feel a bit…inadequate? Then I looked in the mirror again, smiled, and winked, and I still looked good.

The final checkpoint was my new, Bryson-esque golf swing pitted against the Bonobos PGP. Having played golf with a gentle, consistent, non-violent swing since I picked up a club, I made the decision that 2021 would be the year that I would tear the cover off the ball. Why wait for a better time than the present, am I right? Swing after swing at the dome produced a variety of shot traces (Bryson wasn’t built in a day, after all), and my body still loved my second skin. Box three, checked.

In addition to the White Anchor pattern, something I would call the small-repeat, Bonobos offers five other patterns for purchase in this shirt model. Two floral patterns (Red Tropical and Teal & Pink) fall under the large-repeat style. The Green Sailboat Geo fills the entire top with a small-repeat, making it hard on the eyes for me. The Blue Lighthouses pattern is a medium-repeat; not as large as the Florals, but more sizable than the anchors, sailboats, and the last pattern (on a dark-blue shirt) the Navy Golf Bags small-repeat. Three white backgrounds, one blue, one red, one teal. That’s a pretty nice lineup from which to select a few new coller-poppers.

End of the day: Two happy shoulders (out of two) for the affordable ($69 retail) Bonobos Performance Golf Polo. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to check out the rest of their virtual Guideshop. Peace!

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa Golf Shoe

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The Product

The new Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa, available in North America now, selling for $250 at adidas.com (only available on Adidas’ website, this shoe will not be at retail).

The Pitch

From Adidas: “The adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa® is the epitome of performance golf footwear, designed to offer micro-adjustability in two separate zones. The first is the independent main dial with high strength Boa lace that when combined with the forged 360 wrap creates unparalleled power for your swing by locking the area between your midfoot and forefoot. The second provides micro-adjustability from the middle to bottom instep for a customized fit, feel, and support. The Boa Fit System activates both zones to deliver the ultimate in power, stability, and performance.”

Our take on Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa

BOA technology, a ratcheting cable system that replaces laces for securing the shoe, has been around for a while now. It was a radical departure when it first hit the market and traditionalists viewed it with some skepticism, but those who tried shoes using the system became hooked on the ease of use, secure feel, and reliability of the system. I have had to replace shoelaces, but I have never had a cable fail in a pair of shoes with Boa technology.

With the TOUR360 XT Twin Boa, Adidas has introduced the next step on Boa technology (pun intended). The shoe has a sleek, technology-forward look that is associated with Adidas products. It even looks good in the size 13 that I sport. The color selection is limited, to say the least. You can choose from white with green trim or white without green trim. But the star of the show is the Boa technology, which is implemented in two dials located on the outside of each shoe, replacing the one dial on previous iterations.

Each dial controls the fit for a different part of the shoe, and the ratcheting dial gives the wearer the most precise fit available. The real advantage over laces is that the Boa system stays secure longer and is easier to tighten than re-tying shoelaces. It’s so easy to reach down and give a couple of clicks that it became routine for me to check on each tee box to make sure I had a good fit before teeing off. Equally pleasing is the quick release on each dial that gets you out of your shoes at the end of a round without the terror of facing a wet double-knot.

The shoe is waterproof leather, and it is light and comfortable enough to walk 18 on hilly tracks. I personally would have preferred a slightly wider toe box, but that is nit-picking.

Overall, the Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa is a performance shoe that promises, fit, comfort and stability, and it delivers on all fronts. Not everyone has $250 to drop on a pair of golf shoes, but if you want the tech on your feet to match the tech in your bag, then the Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa is perfect for you.

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