50 Words or Less
Free Fly apparel has a clear focus on performance – in terms of both fabrics and fit. Simple styling offers versatility for activities beyond the golf course. Uber comfortable.
Prior to undertaking this review, my awareness of Free Fly was solely through their groovy commercials. The clothing looked light and airy while seemingly offering sun protection for the folks fishing in crystal clear water or walking a white sandy beach. So when offered the opportunity to evaluate Free Fly’s products as golf apparel, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the brand.
Simple. That one word took me a while to come up with, but after much rumination I think “simple” captures the Free Fly style. There’s a clear outdoorsy, athletic vibe. And the colors are inviting, accentuating natural tones. But compared to the typical golf apparel found in pro shops, the simplicity of Free Fly is distinctive.
Let me begin with the most basic golf staple – the polo. The Free Fly Bamboo Flex Polo is one the best fitting and luxurious feeling shirts I’ve worn. In my typical medium size (I’m 5’-10”, 165 lbs.) the shoulder seam sat right at the junction of my arm and shoulder. I loved how that seam stayed form fitting around the shoulder joint – no sag at the pits. The sleeves covered my biceps with ample space for more arm curls. The middle button on the placket was perfectly positioned for a polished look. The length of the torso and side splits give the Bamboo Flex Polo flexibility to be worn tucked in for golf or untucked for casual endeavors. The weight of the fabric made me feel draped in luxury and added to the clean silhouette – plus the fabric is also buttery soft.
Timing for testing the Free Fly Bamboo Flex Quarter Zip was ideal as temps drifted into the 60s. Overall, the fit was perfect for wearing over the polo, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a third layer. That said, being more form following in fit, it is ideal for accommodating a third layer like the Gridback Fleece Jacket. Sleeve length was just as I like it – ending at the palm crease.
The Tradewind Pants come in even waist sizes, and I’d recommend going down if you are between sizes. Even though the waist was big sizing up like I normally do, I could tell the pants were designed with a tad more room in the personal area. I also liked the taper of the legs.
With Flex in both their names, it wasn’t surprising to discover both the polo and the quarter zip offered wonderful 4-way stretch. My swing was completely unencumbered even wearing both pieces at once. I really appreciated that, pushed up a bit or pulled up towards my elbows, the sleeves of the Bamboo Flex Quarter Zip held their position wherever I set them.
The Free Fly Tradewind Pants also provided freedom of movement. My favorite aspect was the ease of squatting to read a putt. The poly/cotton/spandex blend fabric also features a DWR finish that “repels coffee, water, beer, or anything else you normally order from your favorite airport lounge.” I give bonus points for the back pockets that are free from buttons or zippers, making access simple.
At the tail end of my review process, the weather turned even more brisk, and I was able to fully engage the Gridback Fleece Jacket. The waffle like pattern of the interior high-pile fleece kept me warm and cozy, while the exterior weave kept the wind and spitting rain at bay. I found the full zipper made it easy to regulate temperature and slip the jacket on and off as conditions changed. The Gridback Fleece is going to get a ton of wear on and off the course.
Golf may not show up on the Free Fly apparel “activity” tab, but there’s no doubt that their clothing, designed and constructed for outdoor pursuits, is course ready. My closet is full of stripes and patterned polos, but there’s something soothing about the restrained color palette Free Fly offers. The simplicity also provides versatility. Something that is clearly articulated on the Free Fly website is their commitment to sustainability and responsible production. I’ll close with the Free Fly motto that truly captures the brand: “Comfort On. Adventure Out.”