GORUCK Performance Clothes

Rucking Tee – Long Sleeve

This is one of the oldest GORUCK apparel items I purchased, and thus I have the most experience with it. This shirt uses Polartec’s PowerStretch Pro fabric which is 74% nylon, 16% polyester, 10% Spandex. The mix is a very heavy, shiny, and smooth fabric. It has a ton of stretch, weighs a good bit, and yet still dries pretty fast.

To understand this shirt you have to understand what it was built for: crawling through the mud while wearing a heavy GORUCK backpack. Over time, most shirts will start to pill from the abrasion of a rugged backpack, however, this fabric was picked because it wouldn’t pill, it wouldn’t break down, it would dry fast, and move well.

After months and months of wearing the shirt for my rucking workouts, I can attest that the shirt checks all those boxes. It’s extremely comfortable and has started to be a go to for me when I am relaxing at home. The stretch is very good and the weight is like a heavy t-shirt. It won’t block wind or insulate you too much, and it will breathe pretty well when working out, but it will never be a very cool shirt, nor will it be warm.

Unlike many of the other workout shirts we have reviewed, the biggest flaw in this shirt is that it has no odor resistance. This is a wash after every wear shirt. That said, I’ve washed and hung dry this shirt dozens and dozens of times and it looks brand new. I’ve come to really like this shirt, but make no mistake, it looks like a workout shirt in every way.

Rucking Sweatshirt – Full Zip

The sweatshirt is the same fabric, PowerStretch Pro, as the rucking shirt. And I don’t mean just the same blend, I mean the same weight and everything. Cut like a full zip hoodie but with a light weight and durable fabric. I originally picked this up because I was looking for something to replace my all cotton hoodie I usually slip on when I get chilly working at home or need to run out really quick.

Since this is more or less the same as the t-shirt above, I’ll add that the cut is great and it makes for a great mid-layer as it easily will slip over any shirt you are wearing. Unlike a fuzzier hoodie, it won’t leave lint all over your shirt nor will it bind on the sleeves if you pull it on quickly.

There are only two downsides to the hoodie:

  1. Because of the material, the hood will absolutely flop all over when you bend down to tie your shoes. Not a deal breaker, but it won’t have the same rigidity as a normal fleece hoodie.
  2. Like every other hoodie, it won’t pack down well for travel. It’s always going to be fairly bulky and heavy.

Having said that, I like this hoodie a lot more than the shirt, and I wear that shirt all the time around the house and working out. The hoodie has yet to go on a workout with me, but that’s because of the weather more than anything.

PowerStretch Pro Overall

I have one wish for this fabric, that is that some anti-microbial tech, but it is otherwise really great. I know that GORUCK has had issues sourcing enough of this fabric, and that makes sense because it is quite good. It is dead silent, and it seems to shrug off anything you can throw at it.

Imagine something with the durability of Carhartt jackets, but with the softness of cotton and the movability of yoga pants — that’s basically what you have here. This fabric is ideal for casual and workout clothing, or for any scenario where you are going to abuse the shirt and want it to come out looking brand new.

The material works better on the hoodie as it looks more like some of the newer Nike hoodies that are sold branded for sports teams, thus making it blend in better. Two thumbs up on this, and if they ever start selling the half zip again, I’ll buy at least one.

Simple Pants

GORUCK makes their Simple Pants/Challenge Pants/Shorts (Simple, Challenge) out of the same ToughDry® fabric which I previously talked about in my review of the Simple Windbreaker. This fabric is 94% nylon, 6% spandex and is made with the same goals as the shirts above: get wet, get muddy, get punished, and come out of all of that looking new. And it does, remarkably well.

Like with the windbreaker, the pants themselves always look a bit crinkled and they make a bit of sound when you wear them. Certainly not as much as other hiking style nylon pants, but these pants aren’t trying to hide that. The overall cut of the pants, and design, is a mimic of Levi’s 501s which is to say it’s rather classic.

I’ve found these pants to be a bit of a mixed bag. For me they are replacing my Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants as well as my Outlier OG Climbers (both which I sold as they were too big for me). They are better than the Ferrosi Pants for how I work out. They have less stretch, but the durability of the pant, the cut, and style are greatly improved. They are slightly less breathable, but they are also more water repellant and dry faster than the Ferrosi Pants by a large margin. Ditto with the OG Climbers.

The biggest downside to these pants is the front pockets, they are just a touch too shallow for my liking. That said, the cut of the pocket opening means that next to nothing is going to easily come out of these pants — something GORUCK specifically designed the pocket opening for.

Overall, I like these pants, but I disagree with everyone who says they can pass for casual pants. They are certainly among the best pure hiking type of pants out there, but they still look like nylon.

ToughDry Overall

This is my second go around with ToughDry and it’s quickly becoming a favorite. It dries very fast, it is perhaps among the most durable fabrics I’ve owned, and yet it weighs next to nothing. Both the windbreaker and these pants pack down to nothing. If you needed backup pants, or wanted a backup layer, both the pants and windbreaker are my go to. They can be mashed into the bottom of my bag and no matter how hard you try you will not notice the weight of them.

They are not the stretchiest of materials, nor are they stealth in hiding that they are nylon, but they also aren’t for lifestyle wear (no matter what GORUCK’s website tries to claim). Yes, you can get by wearing them in a pinch, but they are always going to look like workout or hiking clothes. In many areas, for many activities, that will be just fine.

I give ToughDry two thumbs up for sure. If it had odor resistance in it, it would be near the top of my list. That said, I think it dries faster than any other material I’ve tested.

Notes on GORUCK Sizing

Do yourself a favor and never look at GORUCK’s sizing charts because they are non-sensical. GORUCK for some of their products measures the actual garment size. Whereas most companies with shirts measure chest size as the size of your chest, GORUCK just measures the size of their shirts. It makes some sense, but I find it infuriating.

Instead buy the clothing based on the size you normally wear. I wear a large in GORUCK tops, which I also wear in most other brands. I did find that the pants fit slightly larger than listed in waist but shorter in length than you would assume.

While GORUCK has a solid return policy, do note that it is a return the item and wait weeks and weeks for a refund, and order your replacement. You’ll get the refund, but don’t expect it any sooner than 4 weeks. It’s a bit absurd.

GORUCK Performance Clothes

Patagonia Baggies Longs

After the fuzzy pullover fleece, the most ionic Patagonia item is probably their Baggies shorts. This will be my second summer with my pair of Baggies Longs, and they have become my go-to shorts for lounging round the house, taking the dog for a walk, and hanging around outside.

Fabric

My shorts are from before this season when they switched to recycled nylon, but other than that, they are identical to the current model of the shorts. The fabric is 100% SUPPLEX nylon (SUPPLEX is a brand of nylon made with smaller fibers to make the fabric softer and more water resistant). There is also a DWR finish applied to the fabric to help even further with the water resistance.

I find the fabric to be very soft and comfortable. It also has noticeably less “nylon” sound when walking. This may be that they are shorts, but I have worn some other nylon shorts that make more noise. The water resistance/DWR make these great for outdoor activities as they resist splashes/rain and when they do get wet they dry quickly.

Fit and Sizing

Since these shorts have an elastic waistband with an internal drawstring, they come in S-XXL sizing. I found the size chart from Patagonia to be accurate. For me, the 7” inseam of the Longs is perfect, but the regular version of the shorts has a 5” inseam. The bagginess of the shorts is a perfect balance of comfort while not looking too casual (I think they look better than a pair of traditional athletic shorts).

Comfort and Performance

The bagginess of the shorts helps make sure they never get in the way and restrict your movement. This makes them ideal for activities like weight lifting, hiking, walking, etc., but I would not want to wear them for activities like running, rowing, etc. as the extra fabric could get in the way. The mesh liner also makes these shorts appropriate for swimming and other water sports — no need to pack a separate pair of swim trunks.

The front pockets are fully attached to the legs of the shorts preventing them from flopping around when they are full. They are mostly made with the same material as the shorts with a mesh panel at the bottom for water drainage. While nice and deep, I find the vertical construction of the pocket slightly problematic. On some occasions when sitting with my phone in my pocket I found it trying to slide back out. There is also one good sized back pocket with a snap closure.

The elastic in the waistband is comfortable, never cutting or pinching, and the drawstring is flat and holds a knot well.

Overall

These shorts are one of my favorite pairs. I still grab my Myles Apparel Momentum Short 2.0 for exercise, but the Baggies Long are my go-to for all other casual summer wear. With the exception of the pocket angle, these are perfect shorts to serve your (very) casual summer needs.

Patagonia Baggies Longs

Ben’s Packing List: May Work Trip

Trip Details: A 3 day and 2 night business trip with normal office meetings.

Packing List

What I Wore

Notes

This was one of the lightest trips I’ve packed for. The travel razor was new, something I bought to try out on this trip as I was tired of my full size razor, and this new one is not good. I easily think I could have gotten by with one pair of pants, but I wasn’t confident the Slim Dungarees would work in the office, and I didn’t want to fly in the Bluffworks as they are a little large for me and cause my shirt to come untucked when sitting for long periods of time.

That said, I could have done it in just the Slim Dungarees as my concerns were unfounded.

Ben’s Packing List: May Work Trip

Oliver’s Capital Shorts

The item in this review was provided for review purposes by OLIVERS.

There’s fierce competition in the one short to rule them all arena. Many brands are claiming their shorts are as good in the gym, and in water, as they are out to dinner. OLIVER’s adds the Capital Shorts to this growing list, and they are billed for just the type of person who doesn’t want, or need, tons of shorts. A solid pair or two is all you want.

Fabric

The fabric on these is OLIVER’s “All Over Stretch Weave”, and at first blush they reminded me a lot of Outlier’s OG Cloth (though they are not the same material). They are very technical feeling with a smooth face like a soft shell fleece (less shiny though) and a lot of stretch. These are 88% Nylon and 12% spandex, and I believe they have some sort of DWR coating on them to make water bead right off. These are stretchy and yet durable shorts.

Fit and Sizing

Shorts are a particular thing for men, as each person has their own idea of how long a pair of shorts should be. The Capital Shorts are on the shorter end of my comfort with a 8.75” inseam. Additionally, I had to size down from what I normally wear as I found the 36s to be much too large and the 34s to be correct (for comparison I wear 35 in most brands), as the 36s wouldn’t even stay on me.

My tip is to size down one size. The fit is otherwise very solid and well done.

Performance and Comfort

This is where these shorts really excel. Combining the stretch of the fabric (and there is a lot of stretch) with a gusset in the crotch — there’s never any restriction on your leg motion when you wear these. They wear cool, as you want from shorts.

They look sharp, and not ‘for technical shorts’. Outlier’s New Way shorts look more like typical cotton shorts, than the Capital Shorts, as you can see it more readily in the sheen on the material and the way they drape. The tell tale sign that these are not your average shorts is when you get them wet as the water rolls right off. This bodes well for getting a lot of wears out of the shorts between washes as dirt will find itself hard pressed to find a spot to stay on these. Not only do I think they perform well, but even lounging in the evenings while wearing these is exceedingly comfortable.

Drying time on these shorts is moderately better than Outlier’s short offerings, but slower than dedicated swim trunks. Because they are shorts, and the pocket material is very thin, you could put them on damp and they would dry quick. Likewise it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect them to dry while you sleep. Lastly, the pockets are a tough one on these shorts. The material is great, and I still cannot figure out if it is a really hidden mesh, or just a very thin material. Either way they breathe well and I have little durability concerns. That said, the pocket angle is less than ideal, I found many times my iPhone sliding back out of the pocket.

A look at the pocket material.
A look at the pocket material.

Overall

I really am impressed with these shorts, and I would add them to your list of summer buys. The only thing I wish was better is the angle of the pocket opening, as your phone tends to slide right out when you are lounging on a couch.

The Capital Shorts aren’t likely to solve your swimming needs, but I can’t imagine any other scenario where I these shorts wouldn’t perform well. OLIVER’s has hit the nail on the head.

Oliver’s Capital Shorts

Y Athletics Boxer Briefs and Socks

Note: The items in this review were provided to us by Y Athletics.

You may recognize the Y Athletics brand from our previous review of their SilverAir Crew Neck t-shirt which is still our favorite workout tee. Y Athletics prides themselves on developing custom fabrics for performance athletic clothing. We recently gave their Boxer Briefs and Socks (the 2.0 version) a try.

Boxer Brief

The SilverAir Merino Wool Boxer-Brief is made from a 200 gsm merino wool blend (90% 17.5 micron New Zealand Merino Wool, 5% metallic, and 5% spandex). The bottoms of the legs also contain Y Athletics’ SmartGrip. This is a soft silicone (like what you’d find in the legs of cycling shorts) that helps keep the boxers from riding up.

I found these boxers to be very soft and never had any issues with bunching, chafing, or riding up. They provide great support for athletic activities and do an excellent job wicking moisture (they never feel wet like synthetics). While advertised as having the best anti-odor technology in the market, I never felt like I could get a second wear. On a day when I did not work out or sweat a lot maybe I could get a second wear, but I did not want to push it. The odor resistance definitely was not at the level of the SilverAir shirt.

Overall, these are the best fitting and most comfortable boxer briefs I’ve worn.

Socks

The Sock 2.0 comes in both an ankle and a crew version. They are both made out of a midnight merino blend with slightly different compositions (ankle: 49% merino, 25% nylon, 13% acrylic, 11% metallic, 2% spandex; crew: 46% merino, 25% nylon, 13% acrylic, 13% metallic, 3% spandex). The ankle socks also have a soft silicone grip on the backs to keep them from sliding down. While wearing these socks I had my Darn Tough exercise and dress socks in mind for comparison.

As midweight socks, these were certainly thicker than my normal ankle and crew socks. However, thanks to the ventilation panels they did not feel that much warmer. The extra padding can also add a little comfort if you are going to be on your feet all day, but the thicker material makes these socks less appealing if you are going to be getting wet or wanting to hand wash the socks.

As far as odor-resistance, I found these socks to be equivalent to my Darn Tough merino socks. Letting them air out overnight lets me get a few wears out of a pair.

Overall

Both the boxer briefs and socks are very comfortable and deserve consideration. While remaining more odor-resistant than my synthetic underwear, I did not find the merino/silver to give me the ability to get extra wears. (I have not tried any other merino underwear, so I can’t compare to pure merino or another merino blend.) In the socks, I found the blend to be about equivalent in odor-resistance to the Darn Tough merino blend. While extremely comfortable, I still will keep some synthetic underwear and socks in rotation for times when I might get wet or want to hand wash while traveling.

Y Athletics Boxer Briefs and Socks

OLIVERS Convoy Short Sleeve Henley

The item in this review was provided for review purposes by OLIVERS.

The short sleeve henley is a staple in many people’s wardrobes, and there is a shockingly small amount of them available in performance minded fabrics. OLIVERS recently released the Convoy Henley in both long and short sleeves, made out of 100% merino wool. I’ve been wearing and testing the short sleeve variant in black for a few weeks now and I quite like it. But it’s also a bit different from other merino shirts I have.

Fabric

OLIVERS doesn’t list the weight of the merino, but it’s a lighter weight that most of my other shirts, about the weight of an Icebreaker Anatomica shirt. Surprisingly, at least in black, it’s not see through even with the very thin fabric.

The merino also has a horizontal ribbed look to it. There’s no stretch, but rather the construction of the fabric lends to that look, and I think it adds a lot to the overall apperance of the shirt.

A closer look at the thin material that has some patterning to it.

Fit

The cut and fit of this shirt, like most OLIVERS apparel, is athletic in nature. I chose a size large and found that the shirt is cut closer to my body than most other shirts, but is not at all skin tight. So size up if you want something a bit looser.

The sleeves are also narrow, this adds to the athletic cut of the shirt, and might be a downside for people who like more relaxed fits, as it gives a much different look than a standard t-shirt. That said, I found the fit to be comfortable and not at all too clingy on any part of my body.

Few Other Thoughts

  • The buttons on the shirt are rugby inspired, so they are rubberized in feeling. Because of this, they stay buttoned really well, to the point where it can be a tad cumbersome to button or unbutton the shirt. That said, it also means that a button won’t come undone throughout the day.
  • All the seams on the shirt are sewn flat, with a baseball cut sleeve style. This makes for a very comfortable shirt when you are being active wearing it.
  • This is a cooler shirt than most other merino shirts I have, so it’s a great layer on warmer days and exceptional in hot weather on its own. But if you are used to your t-shirt adding some warmth, this likely won’t be warm enough for you. It’s not hot enough here yet to really test in warm weather, but I’ve been very comfortable in just this shirt around the house, as well as in direct sunlight in 70 °F weather.

Overall

I’m a very big fan of this shirt. I like the looks of it, and it’s very comfortable. Like any other 100% merino shirt, it resists odor well anddries fast. The added bonus to this shirt is that it is extremely light weight when you fold it up, and dare I say it adds almost no weight to your bag when you pack it.

Two thumbs up.

OLIVERS Convoy Short Sleeve Henley

Ben’s Packing List — April Beach Weekend 2018

Trip Details: A quick weekend with the family on the Washington coast.

Clothing

Other Gear

  • Toiletries
  • Quick Kit (band aids and other odds and ends)
  • Beach Kit (lighter, knife, hand wipes, etc.)
  • Electronics Kit (chargers and such)
  • iPad Pro

I packed everything in my trusty GORUCK GR1 26L.

Notes

I packed too heavy for this trip, as I could have left behind my entire beach kit — I didn’t need it. Same with the electronics kit as I had chargers at the destination I used (I’m finding this more and more common, which is hard to deal with when you want to pack as light as possible, but charging is also crucial). Also the Rucking Tee is normally a workout shirt for me, but it was tremendous this weekend and has me looking to get something else from GORUCK in the PowerDry fabric they use from Polartec. It’s not very odor resistant, but it is very comfortable.

Ben’s Packing List — April Beach Weekend 2018

More Recycling Can’t Fix The Fundamental Flaws With Fast Fashion

We ran across this article, and the key point in this article strikes home with the mission we have for Everyday Wear:

The average American purchases a staggering 65 new garments a year, contributing to the 150 billion new pieces of clothing manufactured globally every year. Worse, Americans aren’t keeping their coal-made clothes: They’re throwing away 80 pounds of clothing per person per year, a 100% increase from 20 years ago.

We strive to review and recommend clothes that you will want to keep for a long time.

Another way for a more sustainable clothing industry is repair. Some of the best brands offer to repair their clothes (Patagonia and Arc’teryx). Patagonia even provides guides on how to repair their gear yourself and buys-back, cleans, and resells used gear in their Worn Wear program.

Link

Bluffworks Travel Suit

The items in this review were provided for review purposes by Bluffworks.

A few months ago I needed to travel for work, and I needed to wear a suit. All the suits I had were too large, so buying something new was needed. I ended up with a house brand suit from Macy’s which worked well, and while it had travel features (stretch, wrinkle resistance) it wasn’t comfortable for a day of cross-country flying. Shortly thereafter Bluffworks reached out and offered to send me the matching pants for my Gramercy Blazer (review here), thus making it into the Bluffworks Travel Suit.

Steve and I had been debating whether or not this combination would look like a suit (Steve had the pants, I already had the jacket). My wife likes my Gramercy Blazer but felt that it wouldn’t look right as a suit. After getting the pants I have quite a few thoughts on this combination.

Looks

My Bluffworks suit is in the Blue Hour colorway, which is a dark navy like color, but has a stronger blue to it than a true navy. The pants and jacket match very well, so there’s little concern to be had with that. The biggest thing I noticed right off the bat is the unstructured nature of the blazer makes the entire suit look more casual.

This is very common in techwear oriented suits, so I was not surprised by this at all. What I was surprised by was how much I did like the look of it overall. It’s not the same look as a suit I would wear in court, or to a wedding, it’s a touch more casual looking than that. But to dress up business casual, it nails the look.

I asked my wife what her thoughts were, and she largely agreed that it doesn’t really look like a typical suit, but it looked far better than she would have guessed. I’ve since worn it a few times and she’s never thought twice about it.

This is where I think this suit excels, as a good way to dress up your look but stay comfortable. This will for sure be my new go to look when traveling for work or to Europe so I’m not a stereotypical American.

Comfort

This is easily the most comfortable suit I’ve worn. While much of that comfort comes from taking away some aspects of the suit which would make the suit look more like a suit, Bluffworks seems to have made the smart trade offs in comfort versus looks. On a recent business trip (one night, two days) I flew a total of 11 hours and only packed this suit (and a change of shirt) and was comfortable the entire time, whether moving through the airport or on the plane.

Another nicety is that the suit jacket can stay on as you move through TSA Pre-Check, thus reducing the amount of shuffling you have to do at security. Top marks for comfort.

Overall

I fell in love with my Gramercy Blazer shortly after getting it, and yet I was highly skeptical of this combination. I knew the pants were good, but the last thing I wanted was to look like I was wearing some sort of denim suit — that’s far from the case. I’m sure many are skeptical as I was about this travel suit combination, but after wearing it many times to various places, I’m sold.

It’s a great combination and I only wish I had grabbed it sooner.

Bluffworks Travel Suit