GORUCK and Bluffworks Black Friday Sales

GORUCK’s Black Friday Week Deals are live (until Sunday). You can get our favorite travel backpack, the GR1, for $285 (28% off, any color except black) and apparel for up to 45% off. Many other backpacks (rucks) are also on sale (22-34% off). Also notable, the Wire Dopp is available for $35 (22% off).

Bluffworks also is having a sale. Our favorites include the Meridian Dress Shirt 2.0 which is on sale for $85 (13% off, our review), and the entire Gramercy Collection is 25-30% off (our review of the suit).

GORUCK and Bluffworks Black Friday Sales

Olivers Passage Pant

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

The Passage Pant is a highly technical pant which is marketed as: “your favorite jeans, updated for everyday performance.” They are cut from a very light fabric which moves well and breathes even better. I’ve only been testing these pants for a week now, but I’m confident I have a very good sense of what these pants are.

Material

The material is a little hard to sort out, as OLIVERS lists it as “Passage Stretch Weave”, and CORDURA with 4-way stretch. The tag in the pants tells me it is 91% nylon, and 9% spandex. That’s a lot of stretch.

The material is very technical looks and rather smooth to the touch on the outside, but to my legs to feels a touch rougher like terry cloth. Not bad, just worth noting the difference between what your hand feels and your legs. The drape on these is a standard technical drape, but this pant pulls it off (more on this later). There is no DWR coating on the pant, that I can tell or find mention of. Oh, and there’s only a slight amount of sound as you walk, nothing noticeable (I only noticed this as I was writing his section up).

Fit and Style

The fit runs large. I typically wear a 35, and ordered a 36 in the pants only for them to be far too large to wear. Exchanging them for a 34 worked well, but the waist is loose enough that I feel far more comfortable with a belt on, than not. Some of this is the cut, Some is the stretch which is noticeable in the waist as well. In other words, they tend to stretch out in the waist with wear, and snap back to form after a wash.

The styling is a classic 5-Pocket look, with the coin pocket being oversized enough to hold my iPhone XS just snuggly. I don’t recommend placing your iPhone there, as the look isn’t great and it tends to work up and out of the pocket when you sit down.

The big note about the style and fit is that these pants are very tapered. This gets rid of the technical drape look that plagues many pants of this material type, and provides a rather flattering and on trend look to the pant. I have plenty of room in the thighs, certainly more than other slim pants. The calves are where things really taper, as the pants can be a touch snug around my calves if the pant leg rides up at all. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing about these pants. I do wish more of my pants had a stronger taper like this, as I find the style quite nice.

Wearing Them

The review sample I was provided is the Olive color, which is almost a military looking green, and I love it. It’s a great color, and something my wife immediately gave a thumbs up to (note: she hated the last dark olive colored pants I owned). The big thing about these pants is that the gusseted crotch, as well as the 9% stretch mean that these feel like pure comfort in pant form.

They easily move with your body and are never tight and uncomfortable. I failed to change to joggers many nights, because I found these pants to be just as comfortable. However, even more so than the comfort is the weight of the pants. They are thick enough not to feel like paper, and yet, they really breathe exceptionally well.

iPhone XS in the 5th pocket.
iPhone XS in the 5th pocket.

It’s around 40 degrees these days in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s hard to say for sure, but I’d guess these are the best warm weather paths I own, and I’ve tried. For the colder weather my knees can feel cool at time, and wind seems to cut through the pants with ease. Stay about 50 degrees and I’ve found the pants very comfortable to wear. I’m excited to see how they perform in warmer climates, as I suspect they are going to be fantastic.

Overall

It’s hard to review these pants stand alone, without comparing them to other pants I own, or have owned. The best I can do is to say they are like Slim Dungarees if those wear made out of OG cloth. Though, they are probably better, because the only cost $158. The Outlier OG Climbers I had (they got too big) were the most comfortable pants I owned, which I also never wanted to be seen in outside the house. The Passage Pants are more comfortable than that, and I’ve happily worn them out to date nights with my wife. They also cost less than many other technical pants.

These are a winner, all around, and likely a staple in my closet moving forward.

One last note: OLIVERS recently expanded the size offering in these pants, they run from 30 to 38 now and as many others reviews point out, run about a size larger than stated.

Olivers Passage Pant

Steve’s Packing List: November 2018

Trip Details: Two night, three day trip by air for business meetings.

Packing List

GORUCK GR1 26L w/ Simple Side Pocket

I wore:

Notes and Considerations

For business travel, I feel like I have my packing list down. With this kit, I could travel indefinitely. For a long trip, I would consider another Wool & Prince shirt over the Mizzen+Main so I wouldn’t have to do as much laundry.

I was able to fit both my blazer and down jacket into my backpack for flights with no wrinkling issues on the blazer.

The Simple Side Pocket worked well as an extra interior pocket in my GR1. I don’t like the look on the outside but it is a good size for a little extra organization inside. The pocket is unstructured enough that it folds flat and out of the way when it’s not in use.

You might also notice that I switched up my underwear this trip, look for a review coming, but the packability and lightweight fabric of the UNIQLO Airism Boxer Briefs has won me over for travel.

Steve’s Packing List: November 2018

Outdoor Voices Merino T-shirt (Older model)

A few months ago Outdoor Voices was clearing out their older stock of merino t-shirts, so I grabbed one in navy. Then, a couple weeks ago, they released a new version of the shirt, which we are told is the same fit. This review focuses on the previous version, as we are not entirely sure what has changed with the shirt for the new variant.

Material and Performance

This is a blended merino t-shirt with 89% merino wool and 11% nylon. It’s very light weight, coming in a touch lighter than my Wool & Prince blended shirts and significantly lighter than my Outlier shirts. It is, thankfully, thicker than Icebreaker’s Anatomica line of shirts.

Since this is a high merino content it performs almost identically to a 100% merino shirt. I am able to get a solid 3-4 days of wear, whereas a 100% merino shirt would get me 4-5 days. The nylon content adds more structure and durability, which is why it’s become popular to blend merino shirts like this (it also reduces the price). Though I have not had issues with durability in any other merino shirts, it’s a nice addition with a very low hit to performance. Nylon also makes the shirt a better outdoor shirt as it will better handle bags and snags.

The shirt fabric is very smooth and comfortable, certainly on par with the Wool & Prince shirts. However, the micron size of the Wool is not noted by Outdoor Voices.

All in all, no complaints on the performance, and a pleasant surprise with the feel of the shirt.

Fit and Comfort

I love the fit of this shirt, and have found it to be an ideal everyday weight. It fits better than any other merino t-shirt I have, so I am very happy that the fit was not adjusted on the new model.

The comfort comes from the weight of this shirt as it is light, but heavy enough that you can wear it alone without a second thought. Additionally, you can throw a shirt over it for some added warmth using it as a base layer. Two thumbs up on fit and comfort, it’s easily the best cut t-shirt I’ve bought so far.

Overall

I thought I got a steal on this shirt when I bought it on sale, and I did, but at $55 for the current variant, this shirt punches far above its weight. That’s among the lowest price I have seen for a very high quality merino t-shirt. It’s not the softest you will find, but most under the $90 price will be far less refined than this. I cannot recommend it enough.

If you’ve yet to buy your first merino t-shirt, then this is the shirt I would recommend starting with.

You can find the latest version here.


Steve’s Thoughts

I agree with everything Ben said about this shirt. Is is also my best fitting merino t-shirt, and I agree the nylon content adds to the look and durability without sacrificing performance. This is now the merino shirt I would recommend first as well.

Outdoor Voices Merino T-shirt (Older model)

Bluffworks Meridian 2.0 Dress Shirt

Today Bluffworks launched a 2.0 variant of the shirt, the same shirt but with a revised fit. They sent me a review sample to check out, and since the shirt is mostly the same, I won’t do a new review of it, but will add some thoughts about the new fit. I’ve previously reviewed the Meridian Dress Shirt here, and I continue to love it. I take it everywhere.

The goal with the revision is to make it so that if you generally buy a size L shirt, you can buy a size L with the Meridian. But they’ve also done something else, something way better: you can buy this shirt in Slim+Tall variants. As someone with long arms, but a slim body, it is always a torture for me to get a shirt that doesn’t look too big with sleeves that are also long enough.

 

I received a size Large in Slim fit with Tall length and it is perfect. It’s very hard to find this type of a combination, especially in performance based shirting so I am very happy to say Bluffworks offers this.

One last note, they sent the Tattersall color, and it’s great. This shirt is one of my favorites, and with the new sizing it’s only gotten better.

Link

Myles Apparel Momentum Pant

The item in this review was provided by Myles Apparel at a discount for review.

When it was time to look for new sweats for the cooler months ahead, I decided to check out the Myles Apparel Momentum Pant. After having a great experience with their Momentum Short 2.0 all summer, I figured it would be a good bet.

Fabric

The fabric is a 83% polyester, 17% spandex blend. The high spandex content gives the pants true four-way stretch. I would classify this as a mid weight fabric — heavy enough that it is suitable for the cooler months, but not so heavy that it is too warm to exercise in.

The knit of the fabric gives the pants a matte finish, more so than you would expect for a synthetic pair of sweats. While it won’t pass for cotton, it has a nice look that can blend into your wardrobe fairly well. The knit also makes for a soft hand feel, not the slick hand feel that many polyester synthetics have.

Fit and Finish

The pants have an athletic fit and the sizing seems consistent with their shorts. I sometimes find thighs of pants too tight, but had no issues here. The pant legs are also tapered at the ankles — not so close that they get caught on your socks, but close enough to help keep drafts out.

The waistband is wide and lays flat with some nice elastic stretch and a long drawstring. The elastic holds well enough that I have yet to need to tie the drawstring.

The front hand pockets are very deep so there is no worry about anything slipping out. While the depth is nice, they are wide enough at the bottom that my iPhone XS can start to fall sideways while walking. While not as bad as some pockets, it can still get annoying. This is where the hidden back zip media pocket comes in handy. In these pants (as compared to the shorts) it is large enough to fit my phone. If I’m out for a walk, it’s easy to slip it back there for a secure and comfortable carry.

The pants have a few other nice touches including a gusseted crotch for even more mobility and a color matching reflective stripe on each calf for visibility.

Performance

The pants perform well for my needs. Running pretty warm, I rarely exercise in pants, leaving these as my warmup, walk, and lounge pants for the cooler months. I’ve already had some pretty cool mornings (around 40 F) to test these out while walking the dog, and they kept my legs warm (even in a light drizzle). However, the fabric breaths well enough that I can wear them around the house and not get too warm.

While I haven’t given them a test during a whole workout, I’ve noticed the excellent stretch during warmups and can’t envision any mobility issues no matter the situation.

Overall

The Myles Apparel Momentum Pant has become my goto pant for cooler weather walking and lounging. The fabric has a great stretch while looking pretty “normal”. While I can’t pinpoint any one feature that makes these outstanding, I don’t feel a need to look further. The combination of fit, fabric, and comfort make these a great contender for your sweatpant needs.

For my use case (around the house sweatpants), I don’t think the value quite lives up to the $98 price. However, if you wear sweatpants for running, I think the hidden media pocket adds value. Also, if you like to wear athleisure around town, I think the cut of these pants is spot on.

Myles Apparel Momentum Pant

Watch Guide

We talk about clothing a lot on Everyday Wear, but part of a good daily wardrobe is having a good watch. Here’s a guide for those of you who want something which makes a better statement than an Apple Watch, while also wanting to spend less than an Apple Watch. We’ll skip talking about Rolexes for this guide, and instead offer a practical guide to some quality time pieces for many styles. Good, fashionable, and long lasting watches don’t have to cost thousands of dollars.

Dress Watches

A good dress watch, something you wear with a suit, is simple and understated. It should have a high quality leather band and a plain dial. The go-to for this is Orient’s Bambino line of watches. Not only are these mechanical, and thus take no battery power and are wound with the movement of your arm, but they are classic in style, practical in function, and very inexpensive (while looking fairly expensive).

Most of these can be had for under $200, which is a steal in the world of mechanical watches. The Bambino Small Seconds is my pick for a versatile watch. Get it with a white face and a brown strap and you can likely wear it as your only watch for a decade or more. A black strap or a black face will dress it up, but will limit the versatility.

A couple of other options:

  • Tissot has a couple options to consider as well.
  • Hamilton’s Intramatic is a fantastic choice, but is more expensive.
  • Dan Henry’s 1947 is more unique — something you are not likely to see on many people’s wrists.
  • Seiko 5 Automatic at $80 is about as inexpensive as it gets, but you’ll need to get a leather band for it.

Dress watches are about style first, and price second. Buy the one which speaks to you, but don’t waste money on needlessly expensive watches. I wear a Bambino Small Seconds for my dress watch with a brown band and a white face. It’s perfect for that. Look for watches that aren’t flashy, have a leather band, and don’t stand out.

Casual Watches

Most people will get the most value out of a good casual watch, of which the range of offerings are vast. To be clear, you can wear any watch in casual settings, the only requirement is to match your personal style. You can wear the above dress watches in a casual setting (tip: put a light grey suede band on the Bambino to dress it down), but if your casual wardrobe is jeans and a t-shirt, that watch may look more out of place. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Diver Watches: These are modeled after the classic Rolex Submariner, and could be dressed up in a pinch, but are best suited to casual wear. Take a look at offerings from: Orient, Casio, Seiko, and Steinhart. I’d start with the Seiko, but can vouch for the Steinhart being worth the price if you want a solid piece.
  • Field Watch: These are a more classic and timeless look, and are modeled after a military watch which was issued to infantry or officers. The top one to look at is Hamilton, for next to nothing at $40 you can grab a well known Timex, for in between the two take a look at MWC who makes all sorts of Field Watches with cool things in them (like tritium vials). Another to look at is Lum-Tec who does limited runs and makes beautiful watches which are very durable — but they cost more.
  • Aviator Watch: Like with field watches, these are basically what was given to pilots in WWII era. They are marked by having an triangle at the 12 position and don’t have standard hour marks. Seiko has a inexpensive option while the likes of Steinhart has much better looking and quality options. I generally would stay steer clear of these unless you already have other watches and want to branch out.
  • Chronographs: These are watches for timing things and generally have multiple push buttons on the case, with the most popular being Omega’s ‘moon watch’, the Speedmaster. You shouldn’t buy that, everyone owns one and there are better options. I’ll skip over the obvious choices and point out two ridiculously affordable options, which also make quite a bit of a style statement: Dan Henry’s 1963 and Undone’s Tropical Vintage line. Personally, I’m torn between which one will be my next watch.

Conclusion

The above run the gambit of prices, starting at just $40 and going up from there. The biggest thing to think about here is to get a watch which is very versatile, where you can buy many straps to swap them out for more variety (look for 20mm or 22mm lugs on watches, those are the easiest and cheapest to find bands for). Buy a few NATO straps, a Perlon, a leather, and maybe even a bracelet for your watch and you’ll likely be set for life. If you are getting one watch to start, I would start with a dressier looking field watch (something like the Khaki Field can be paired and dressed up a touch), or a more statement making dress watch like the Intramatic which can look sharp on a suede strap for more casual settings.

You can typically dress up a watch by adding a leather band with sheen to it, and dress down a watch by putting it on a NATO, or softer looking leather strap.

Watch Guide

Ministry of Supply Composite Slim Fit Polo

The item in this review was provided at a discount for review by Ministry of Supply.

When I saw the launch of the Ministry of Supply Composite Slim Fit Polo, I was intrigued by the performance claims made with such a low merino content (15%). Since I was having trouble finding the perfect polo, I took a chance and gave it a try.

Material

The fabric is a jersey-knit 85% polyester/15% merino wool blend with four-way stretch. It is machine washable on cold and can be dried on low (although I would still recommend hanging dry).

The first thing that struck me about this fabric was how “natural” it looks. It doesn’t have the sheen of polyester and it drapes like a light cotton polo. It is the first mostly synthetic polo that I’ve seen that doesn’t have that technical look. Ministry of Supply claims they achieve this through “wool micro-fibrils”. While this helps the look and makes the fabric extremely soft to the touch, it does give the polo a bit of a fuzzy look when viewed at the right angle and the right light.

Fit

The fit of this polo is more slim than the Apollo 3 Polo. However, I did find the same size worked for me for both, especially since this one is more casual. If you ever plan to tumble dry, I would size up, as Ministry of Supply does note that the fabric can shrink (I didn’t see it with cold machine washing and hanging to dry). The length was also a bit shorter — perfect for wearing untucked (I found it a little short to keep tucked in, possibly another reason to size up).

The open collar also lends to the casual nature of the shirt. With only one button at the collar, it is intended that you leave the collar un-buttoned. The placket is shorter than a typical 3-button polo though, so I never felt like the collar was too open. The sewn-in collar stays also help to keep the collar looking sharp. Overall, the collar performs well and doesn’t look floppy or out of place like many other performance polo collars.

Performance

I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of this polo. The 15% merino content definitely performed above what was expected in the odor department. I can trust that I will get at least two wears, more if I’m not sweating a lot. Even when I wore the polo with a backpack and jacket and took a brisk (sweaty) walk from my train to hotel, I was able to get a second wear. Even better, since the fabric is light and drys quickly (with no wrinkles), it would be easy to give the polo a wash in a hotel sink and count on it being dry the next day. While it will never beat a 100% merino polo, it certainly performs admirably.

Even in pretty sweaty situations, I found the moisture wicking and drying properties to be excellent. I never felt very sweaty and the fabric never felt heavy with moisture.

Overall

This polo is worth consideration for a more casual look. The combination of the jersey-knit fabric, open collar, and slim fit keep it casual while still looking sharp. The odor resistant properties are there, even though the merino content is low. At $85, I think this will be a hard polo to beat.

Ministry of Supply Composite Slim Fit Polo

Steve’s Packing List: October 2018

Trip Details: Three night, four day trip by air for business meetings.

Packing List

GORUCK GR1 26L:

I wore:

Notes and Considerations

I packed the perfect amount of clothes for this trip. While I could have worn one Wool & Prince shirt the whole time, I wanted to have some variety. This all fit in my GR1 with plenty of room to spare

The Ministry of Supply Composite Polo performed above my expectations in regards to odor resistance. I got pretty sweaty on a walk from the train to my hotel the first day I wore it, and I was still able to get a second wear. This makes me think in a less sweaty situation, I could possibly get more than two wears, which is surprising given it is only 15% merino wool (with the balance being polyester). Look for a review soon.

Steve’s Packing List: October 2018