Not everything in the Xbox RV collection is suitable for the outdoors

Xbox has released a clothing and accessories collection for camping. No, not the kind of video game that esports organization 100 Thieves criticized with its own clothing line – Microsoft’s is actually about go outside and touch 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 usually associate gaming with going outside, some of the items in the lineup actually seem quite decent. Xbox’s camping chair looks like a clone of the design popularized by the Helinox Chair Zero (to be fair, so does pretty much every other camping chair), but electric green and twice as heavy. However, considering it’s significantly cheaper than the Helinox, it’s hard to complain about the weight.

Left: the Helinox Chair Zero. Right: An inverted image of the Xbox Camper Folding Chair. Helinox introduced the basic design for its chair around 2012.
Image: Helinox and Image: Microsoft

The hammock also seems fine – again, people counting every gram probably wouldn’t want it, but it seems perfectly suited for swinging 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 wish it wasn’t charging double normal retail price for now that the admittedly very cool topographic branding has been hit.

like a outdoorsman myself, although I’m not sure if Microsoft’s “RV” marketing matches how some of these products are actually made. It says his T-shirts, hats and sweaters are for “exploring the great outdoors,” but they’re made from 80 to 90 percent cotton, according to their spec sheets. If you’ve ever been even within spitting distance of an REI or other outdoor retailer, you may recognize that this is a bit of a problem — the phrase “cotton kills” is probably one of the most quoted pieces of advice in the hiking and camping community.

It is, to be clear, an overdramatic slogan. Cotton clothing has been implicated in a few exposure deaths over the years, but it’s not like you’re going to die instantly when you set foot on a trail wearing this ABXY Heather t-shirt. However, if you get caught in bad weather, you could have a big problem with your hands: Cotton won’t keep you warm when it gets wet. To make matters worse, it dries out very slowly, so even when the rain stops, your sopping cotton shirt can continue to suck heat from your body. And while that 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 does not necessarily have to come from precipitation. I’ve been on a lot of walks where a cotton T-shirt soaked up all my sweat and then cooled me down to the bone when I got to a shady part of the trail.

Does this person look like they enjoy their time outdoors?
Image: Microsoft

I don’t want to exaggerate the danger here. You don’t need a wool shirt or fancy athletic fabrics to go hiking; you’ll just have a nicer experience if you do. (And for the prices Microsoft charges for these shirts, you could certainly get a nice hiking shirt if you’re going to be outside a lot.) What’s weird, though, is that other pieces of clothing in Microsoft’s collection, like 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 — in fact, I’ll admit that the Xbox-y outdoors-y cartridges look pretty cool. But if you do pick 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 spawn point in Duty. You Monster.

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