Critical Intel

Critical Intel
Who Has the Best Adventure Outfit: Indy, Lara Croft, or Nathan Drake?

Robert Rath | 24 Jul 2014 12:00
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Lara has endured criticism for her outrageous clothing, but on balance she's the best outfitted adventurer on this list. She has a wide range of outfits, adjusts her gear to different climates, and due to her wealth you can guarantee everything she wears is top-of-the-line or custom made. I mean, look at her mansion. Does it look like she'd have a problem affording gear from The North Face?

While she dons fur or wool-lined hoods in winter, Lara has never been known to wear a hat, meaning she's exposed to the sun in hot climates. On the other hand, she's a well-known sunglasses wearer, making her the only adventurer on this list who may avoid severe cataracts later in life.

Shirts, Jackets and Base Layer
Lara's known for her tight shirts - and though the reason has more to do with male gaze, these actually could serve a practical purpose. If the shirts are a base layer meant to wick away moisture they should be tight since that improves effectiveness. (But what old-school Lara really needs is for someone to introduce her to sports bras.)

As for her mid layers and jackets, Lara can take her pick since she has by far the most expansive wardrobe on this list. In general terms, she dresses for local conditions better than either Indy or Nate, having worn puffy down jackets and arctic gear when operating in cold climates and keeping it light and breezy in stickier latitudes. Even the recent E3 trailer saw her geared up in a hooded rain jacket that had a Gore-Tex waterproof sheen to it.

Lara does love her khaki hot pants - which isn't a bad thing. Hiking shorts are necessary in certain environments. They keep you cool and allow easy movement, but sacrifice the barrier longer pants provide. Lara has been known to wear them in Tibetan winter, however, which isn't the best idea. And with all that exposed skin I hope she's wearing sunscreen.

Later games - including the recent reboot - have favored long pants for Lara in colder and more hostile environments. And since this is Lara Croft and her bank accounts are effectively bottomless, it's safe to assume her clothes are made from the best performance fabrics available.

Lara's outfits can lend themselves to a certain stylistic extravagance, but her boots are all business. They have solid ankle support, deep tread and likely some killer orthotic insoles. Given their height, it's also possible some contain kevlar layers to defend against snakebite (I wore a pair like this on an archaeological dig in New Mexico - you dig in the ground in some places and you'll find snakes). (Editor's Note: Why did it have to be snakes?) Even when shipwrecked in the most recent installment, she manages to escape with good boots, which is overall the most important part of a trekker's outfit.

Gear Bag
Though it's by no means a constant feature in her kit, Lara has been known to carry a day pack. With more room than Nathan Drake's pouches and better weight distribution than Indy's shoulder bag, Lara's backpack has by far the best gear bag on this list - though it still pushes the extremes for ultralight backpacking. It's enough for the basics and a canteen, anyway.

Pros: Versatile wardrobe, dresses to climates, room for gear, solid boots, eye protection, appropriate winter outfits, likely buys the best fabrics available

Cons: Lots of skin exposed to the sun, will wear shorts in the snow, no sports bra, at times sacrifices practicality for style

So there you have it: the best-outfitted adventurer in videogames is, on balance, Lara Croft. She's adaptable, has deep pockets, and even when she's escaping a sinking ship she manages to make it out with the most important thing. Let's hope that in her next adventure she's got a little more time to pack.

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