Myles Apparel Everyday Short

The Miles Apparel Everyday Short (I have the 10” inseam) is remarkably dependable and an absolute joy to wear in a wide variety of situations. I’ve owned them for about four years, and they have easily become one of my favorite things to wear. I’ve come to own three pairs of the shorts (in Khaki, Fog, and Waterfall) and I use them across a wide range of activities. On warm days I wear them simply biking or walking around the city. They are also great during more intense physical pursuits such as running, basketball, yoga, and swimming. Despite continually putting them to the test, even the pair I bought four years ago still looks brand new.

Fit and Material


The shorts are made from a nylon/spandex fabric with four-way stretch that does a remarkable job of holding its shape while never feeling constrictive. They’re also available in a wide range of colors, from the ostentatiously blue Cobalt, to the more subdued River, Fog, and Oxblood. With these colors, combined with a slightly tailored cut, the shorts create a sharp silhouette that doesn’t look out of place paired with a button down or polo shirt for days spent lounging at the park or going out to dinner in the summer. They also have a DWR coating, so you don’t have to fear the odd glass of spilled wine should these social gatherings continue late into the evening.

My Experience

After the initial weirdness of knowing I’m wearing athletic shorts out to dinner wore off, I have felt comfortable wearing these shorts in almost any situation where shorts are appropriate. Simply put, wherever and whenever you currently wear shorts, chances are you could wear these instead.

However, don’t let the great looks of these shorts fool you —they’re quite capable in every athletic pursuit I’ve worn them for.
Let’s start with running. Before getting these shorts I had a problem familiar to many runners — how do I carry my phone (and keys, and wallet/credit cards) when I head out the door? For a nerd like me who likes to track every run with GPS, not bringing my phone was never an option, so I turned to arm bands and little running belts, but none were great. The good ones were effective at stashing my stuff without having it bounce around but then the phone was basically inaccessible. I’d have to make a significant stop if I wanted to take a photo, change the music, or just check a text message.

Carrying my phone in my pocket is inconceivable in most running shorts — their material is so thin and light that even if they have pockets, the heavy phone bounces around. Not so with the Myles shorts — the robust nylon construction ensures that even with a phone in one pocket and a full wallet, set of keys, and roll of doggy poop bags in the other, they don’t flop around. This is also helped by the pockets themselves, which are constructed with an elastic mesh that helps keep everything in place.

When running the San Francisco Marathon this year, I had no hesitation or worry about carrying my phone with me for all 26.2 miles in the pocket of my shorts. Fortunately, the pockets aren’t the only great thing about running in these shorts. Although the material initially seems like it would be constricting, the four-way stretch allows a full range of movement and the shorts are quickly forgotten as you pound out some mileage.
The stretchy yet structured nature of these shorts also makes them ideal for practicing yoga. Whether you’re working through some intense vinyasa flows or getting deep into a pigeon pose, the shorts will move right along with you. And as an added bonus for the more modest of us, the structure of the shorts keeps them from falling down and exposing your entire leg when you start working on inversions.

Verdict

The Everyday Short is extremely versatile and robust. Their tailored fit, amazing material that gives them structure with full stretch, and selection of colors that can blend into any outfit, allows them to easily replace most athletic and casual shorts (and likely do a better job in most situations).

Myles Apparel Everyday Short

Outlier OG Climbers

The OG Climbers are one of the most casual pants Outlier makes, and are made with active use in mind. The “OG” refers to the original material Outlier used in their pants — it’s the cloth which they founded the company on. OG cloth is insanely stretchy with a decent drape to it, resulting in a very comfortable, but casual look.

They feel thick, but when wearing them they are not overly warm as the fabric is breathable. They have a very soft feel to the inside, while the outside feels like a soft shell jacket. The Climbers are hard to describe because they can look “nice” from far away, but more casual the closer you get (particularly in Bluetint Gray) The Charcoal or Black would look a little dressier — but the give away is the pockets and seams — all of which are very noticeable.

The Climbers are all about stretch. I actually took my kids to the “world’s largest bounce house” and spent an hour with them in it — the Climbers never once restricted movement in that crazy environment. This is why they are easily the most comfortable pants I own. I like these, but if you don’t like the look in the pictures, you won’t like them in person.

These are not core pants for me, they aren’t the pants I would choose if I could only choose one pair. However, if I can get away with wearing them, I wear them. They feel like a cheat code — they aren’t sweat pants or warm ups, they look better than that — but they are most certainly more comfortable than those pants.

Length

These are the longest pants I’ve ordered from Outlier, making them a good option if you find other Outlier pants too short for you. However I found them hard to wear at all before I hemmed them. If you are one to just cuff pants to avoid a simple hemming visit at the tailors, then be warned: that won’t work with these pants.

Durability

One of my biggest concerns with these pants was durability — the facing of the fabric, combined with the stretch gave me some pause when putting them through more abrasive moments. Having slid on the knees and gone down several make shift slides with my kids in that bounce house — I fully expected to see some pilling of the material in the knees.

However, my fears have thus far not been warranted as the pants still look brand new. These seem to be just as durable as my other Outlier pants while being much more stretchy and soft.

Leaf Pockets

If you notice the front pockets in the images, they have what Outlier calls a leaf pocket design. These pockets have almost a tab on the outside edge rather than connecting right to the side seam. It’s distinct and one of the design cues which makes these pants far more casual. It’s also an acquired taste and one of the reasons I don’t often wear these pants outside my house.

Pockets generally pop out like this when wearing them.

The leaf pockets are great for easily getting your hands in and out of the pockets, but I find that they tend to stick out a bit from the pants when you are standing. This is what allows your hands to slide into the pockets with ease, but it also gives an odd look to the pants. Also, if you like to clip things to the top of your pockets, then you’ll be unhappy as they don’t play well with clipping pocket knives and such.

Overall, I don’t love the look of these pockets, but for a lounging pant they are a non-issue. For wearing out and about, I find the pockets to be the biggest deal breaker.

Dirt Resistance

As with most Outlier pants, these are DWR treated and water and muck rolls off them. Dust, fine dry dust, does not roll off them. It’s even hard to wipe dust off with a wet cloth. After a day at a local farm with kids events, the bottom of my Climbers were so dusty that even wiping them clean didn’t help. They had to be washed.

That’s an odd property for a pair of pants made to be worn outside for active uses, and something I’ve yet to see in my other Outlier pants. I can only imagine this would be exaggerated on darker colors.

Verdict

I would hike in these, as they do a fantastic job of allowing you to move while still regulating your body temp. I do find they need more regular washing as dust settles in, and they tend to stretch out quite a bit (but a good wash brings them back to form).

These pants have fully replaced my warm ups and sweat pants — they are what I wear when I want to lounge or otherwise be exceedingly comfortable. It’s a bonus that they look a bit nicer than any other options which are this comfortable.

Outlier OG Climbers

Fabric Care

Part of owning great clothes is learning how to take care of them. Of course, we always recommend following the manufacture washing directions, but here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way.

General Tips

Hand washing is always more gentle than a machine. When machine washing delicate fabric (such as merino), a laundry bag is always a good idea. Front loaders are more gentle than top loaders, and a gentle/delicate cycle with cold water is also a good idea for delicate fabric. We love Kookaburra Wash or Eucalan for washing, especially merino wool. If hand washing, these detergents have the added benefit of not needing a rinse.

Since much of the clothing we talk about is made from performance fibers (synthetics and merino), the dryer is usually not necessary (and just adds unnecessary wear). If your clothing gets wrinkly (and the care instructions allow), a steamer is more gentle than an iron.

Merino Tips

Always wash with cold water and a detergent containing lanolin (oil that is naturally in wool) and never machine dry. Usually hanging or laying flat to dry takes care of any wrinkles. If you are hand washing, roll in a towel before hanging rather than wringing to avoid stressing the fabric.

Synthetic Tips

Follow the washing directions (but it never hurts to wash cold and skip the dryer) and be careful of hot surfaces (such as irons and camp fires), as synthetic materials will melt.

Fabric Care

Outdoor Research Sequence L/S Zip Top

Outdoor Research (OR) makes a number of zip-up tops and I’ve been giving the Sequence L/S Zip Top a workout recently. OR uses some very interesting fabric in this top, with some surprising odor resistant properties. With a slim fit and a light fabric, this shirt works great as a next to skin layer, whether that’s as a base layer or a shirt.

Fabric


The Sequence top is made with drirelease polyester (88%) and merino blend (12%) with FreshGuard technology. The drireelease fibers claim to have unique moisture wicking and evaporating properties. OR even claims that this fabric dries four times faster than 100% wool while being even warmer. FreshGuard is proprietary, but the fabric manufacturer claims that it prevents odors from growing rather than attacking bacteria.

When I first purchased this shirt, I was skeptical of how well the odor resistance would actually work (due to the low merino content). After wearing the shirt while traveling, I can say I am thoroughly impressed. Even after three wears, I could detect no odors. I ended up wearing the shirt five times before deciding to give it a wash. The real test will be to see if the odor-resistant nature will reduce with wear/washing. If the “FreshGuard” is some kind of treatment, it probably will.

Fit, Comfort, and Finish

The shirt is slim cut and very thin, as it is designed as a next to body piece. I find it to be very comfortable as a shirt (with an undershirt) or a base layer. Worn as a shirt, the Sequence is very warm while not being too hot. This is typically a property I’ve only found in shirts with much higher merino content.

I’ve gone from wearing this shirt through the airport with a backpack to cool weather and never once felt damp or too cool. Yet on the warm plane or in the afternoon sun, I was never too warm.

The seams on the shirt are great and don’t cause any hot spots, even with a backpack. The OR branding isn’t too obvious, and the zipper is the perfect scale and has a nice lockdown tab (to prevent that annoying jingle).

Pilling


The only issue I’ve had with this shirt is pilling. After taking my first trip with a backpack, the shirt has developed some pilling on the back where the bottom of the backpack was resting, as well as in the underarms where straps could have rubbed. For me, this isn’t a dealbreaker, but definitely something to consider before making the purchase.

Verdict

The Outdoor Research Sequence L/S Zip Top was certainly a surprise with its excellent odor-resistant properties. It has become my go-to shirt for cool fall weather and I see it becoming a staple for the winter, whether as a shirt or base layer.

Outdoor Research Sequence L/S Zip Top

What is Merino?

Merino wool comes from the Merino sheep which produce a wool which is durable and soft. Typically these sheep are from New Zealand, however there are more and more of these farms springing up around the globe. Typically, these sheep graze in the low lying valleys of mountains, as well as climb the mountains, and thus the wool they grow must be able to help them survive those vastly different climates.

To many, merino wool is a bit of a super fabric.

The Benefits

The benefits of merino wool are huge, and hard to believe when you first read about them. The first is thermal regulation, which is a fancy way of saying that it will keep you warm when it’s cold, and cool when it is warm. The second is anti-odor: it naturally resists odor. The last is water repellence: it has natural ability to repel water (due to the natural oils in the fibers), as a lightly coated DWR garment might, and thus helps with stain resistance.

Thermal Regulation

Thermal regulation is a massive factor of comfort throughout the day — it’s why people often buy specific clothing for the gym, because that clothing is better at thermal regulation than their cotton t-shirts.

Merino is awesome at keeping your body comfortable in two ways. Moisture wicking — as you sweat, the merino will absorb that sweat, pulling it away from your body and towards the fabric’s surface where it will dry quickly. Insulation — merino can help your body regulate temperature because the natural shape of the fiber allows it to trap a lot of air. This makes it act as an insulating layer, just like the fiberglass insulation in your house. This insulating effect helps keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat.

Anti-Odor

Lastly, merino wool is anti-odor, and we specifically use anti-odor instead of the more common ”anti-bacterial” or “anti-microbial” because those are both technically questionable. The gist of it is this: merino wool tends to not trap odors for a variety of reasons, the most accepted that the absorptive power of the fiber traps moisture, giving no place for odor causing bacteria to grow. That means: body odor, and external odors. Because of this, people often are able to wear their merino clothing many times before it needs to be washed.

The Wool Misconception

You already know what wool is, so when people tell you to wear merino wool underwear or t-shirts, you think they are crazy because wool is itchy. And you are right, wool is itchy. But merino wool is not itchy. It’s best to not think of merino as wool, and instead just as merino.

There are some people who do find merino to be itchy, while many will say it’s an allergy, in many cases it’s just sensitive skin. Additionally, not all merino is equal, as the larger diameter fibers, and thus cheaper, merino is much more scratchy feeling on your skin. But in general ultra fine and fine merino wool is as soft as cotton to most people.

The Downsides

Aside from those who are sensitive, there are a few downsides to merino wool.
The first downside is durability. Merino wool is not inherently fragile in clothing, but it also can be prone to pilling (those little balls of fabric you get on sweaters) in areas of abrasion as well as snags. So while it generally holds up as well as soft cotton, there is some risk with it. In some items, the merino is blended with synthetic fibers (such as nylon) to provide some extra strength and durability to the fabric (however, this can interfere with some of the odor resistance).

The next downside is care. The best way to care for merino is to not hang it, and to wash it in a delicate washer (or hand wash), with special soap, and air drying. This can be a deal breaker for some, but also is quickly something you get used to.

The biggest downside of merino is the price. There’s not a lot of merino wool out there, and thus it’s an expensive material to work with. Rarely will you see a merino t-shirt dip below the $60 per item mark. Even though it will last (and you will need far fewer garments), it’s a high barrier to entry.

Our Thoughts

While many people debate about the odor resistance, we’ve found that allowing the merino to air out between wears typically will wipe away any smells in just a few hours.

Merino is well worth the high cost of entry, and will likely cause you to drastically pare down your wardrobe as merino clothing can be worn many times in one week without looking or smelling dirty.

Where we like it

The absolute best starting point for merino is socks. They are simple, less expensive than other garments, and very effective tools for showing just how amazing merino is. Our feet sweat throughout the day, but with merino wool they will stay comfortable. Often you can wear the same pair of socks all week, and never detect a smell from them — even after hard workouts. So if you are new to merino and need to test the water, get a pair of socks.

Beyond that, the only garments made of merino we have yet to find in a piece we love is in pants. Otherwise underwear, dress shirts, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and everything else is pretty great in merino.

What is Merino?

Woolly Clothing Shirts

Around here, we love merino clothing, and T-shirts are certainly a staple. Woolly Clothing Co. makes 100% merino T-shirts, henleys, etc. Their T-shirts come in two different weights (150 and 190 gsm) and the rest of the products come in one weight only.

What I Tested


I have a Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee, Short Sleeve Ultralight V-Neck Tee, and a Long Sleeve Henley. I’ve been wearing them for almost a year now and have certainly put them through their paces.

Fabric Difference

The 150 gsm (what Woolly calls ultralight) and 190 gsm fabrics are quite different. The heavier fabric has shown more pilling (or maybe more aptly described as “it has become fuzzy with wear”). The ultralight fabric is certainly lighter, but is not what I would necessarily call ultralight. Both fabrics are soft and not scratchy/itchy.

There is a definite difference in warmth between the two weights. On some warm summer days, the 190 gsm fabric was almost too warm. The 150 gsm fabric is perfect for year round wear and the 190 gsm fabric is great for a henley.

Fit

These shirts fit me extremely well. They are fitted, but not too slim, and they are just the right length. I have had no issues with bacon neck and the button placket on the Long Sleeve Henley hasn’t become distorted.

Holes

After I washed my Long Sleeve Henley the first time, I found a hole near the side seam. When I contacted customer service, they were very responsive and sent a replacement. I just recently discovered a similar hole in the same location on my Ultralight V-Neck (I’ve had the shirt for about a year). This time customer service suggested it might be moth damage. I have reservations about this as my closet has plenty of other tasty merino that has not shown any signs of moths. Since the hole occurred in the same place along the side seam on both shirts, I can envision a possible issue when the fabric was sewn.

Branding


If you don’t care to advertise the brand of clothing you are wearing, Woolly puts a fairly large tag on the bottom hem of their shirts. The tag blends in with the black fabric much better than the charcoal. This is not a dealbreaker for me, but not my favorite thing either.

Verdict

The Woolly shirts are not my favorite shirts, however, comparing the 100% merino shirt market (at full price), these shirts are certainly a good value. The fit is also great. Many times I run into shirts that are either too slim or boxy, but these are cut perfectly.

My reservations for recommending these shirts are the “fuzziness” that develops and the issues I’ve had with holes.

Woolly Clothing Shirts

What are Synthetics?

You will find that most athletic and outdoors clothing is made with synthetic materials for their improved properties over traditional natural fibers such as cotton.

There are may types of synthetic and artificial fibers including rayon, spandex, lyocell, modal, nylon, and polyester. Most of what you will find in the clothing we talk about is nylon and polyester (and some of the more unusual, naturally derived artificial fibers). Nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals, while the artificial fibers come from cellulose derived from plants. These fibers are formed by extruding liquid polymers into air or water.

A lot of the properties of synthetic fabrics not only come from the fiber itself, but also the weave/knit of the fabric (think fleece vs. a wicking workout shirt, both are made from polyester). In many cases, synthetics can also be blended with natural fibers (like nylon core merino wool).

Nylon vs. Polyester

Nylon is a stronger fiber than polyester, making it a great candidate for bags and blending with other fibers for strength.

Polyester has the upper hand in moisture control. While both fibers are hydrophobic (they repel water), nylon absorbs more water than polyester, resulting in a fabric that can be heavier when wet and take longer to dry.

Artificial Fibers

The naturally derived artificial fibers, such as lyocell and modal, (remember these are plant cellulose, but are still manmade) have many of the same properties as natural cellulose fibers (cotton), but have some advantages such as softness or wrinkle resistance.

The Benefits

There are many benefits synthetic fibers can impart on clothing including durability, stretch, wrinkle resistance, moisture wicking, water resistance, wind resistance, and stain resistance. These properties make the fabric popular for harder use garments (like outdoors clothing and activewear). Over time, these fabrics have started to make it into dress and casual clothing for the same reasons. They can even make your blazer more comfortable, durable, and have the ability to go in the wash.

The Downsides

Synthetic fabrics tend to smell more quickly and retain smells longer than some natural fibers (in fact, it has been shown that some bacteria that produce odors love to live on polyester).

Synthetics also can be more staticky than natural fibers, and they also melt when exposed to heat/flame (or an iron).

Our Thoughts

Synthetics certainly can mimic some of the performance characteristics of our favorite natural fiber, merino, but also can impart some downsides. Mainly, synthetics are used when durability or cost are top considerations.

Where We Like It

We like synthetic fabrics for their stretch and durability, especially in garments like pants, shorts, and outerwear. They can also be great blended with fibers such as merino, with the resulting fabric having unique properties such as stretch or more durability. One great example is NYCO, a nylon/cotton blend. Some others include merino with a nylon core and merino blended with lyocell. These fabrics all retain some of the good properties of their natural fiber component while improving performance with the synthetic fiber.

What are Synthetics?

Bluffworks Gramercy Blazer

Note: this blazer was provided by Bluffworks for the purposes of this review.

If you’ve ever searched “travel blazer” then you are likely to know that most offerings look — well they don’t look particularly great. These blazers tend to focus more on wrinkle resistance and “secure” pockets than they do on style. So the more you look, the more likely you are to give up.

That’s where Bluffworks comes in with the Gramercy Blazer — the goal being to make the best blazer you can get for travel and life. They’ve set the bar quite high for themselves, so let’s see how they did.

Fit

Fit of any blazer, off the rack, is always a bit of a gamble and will largely depend on your body as much as it does the overall cut. That said, the Gramercy fits me very well, with plenty of room for a light sweater over my button up, or just the button up.

More than the fit itself, is how well the blazer moves as you wear it — this adds greatly to the comfort of the jacket. I followed the sizing guide very closely when choosing a size and that’s your best bet with this blazer.

The fit is also helped by there both being a standard cut and a slim cut. As someone who typically needs a long jacket, I found the regular had plenty sleeve length.

Looks

As I mentioned in the opening, the biggest issue you often run into with a travel blazer is that it looks like a travel blazer. The Gramercy looks nothing like a travel blazer. You might notice up close that it’s not quite a normal looking wool blazer, but you’d really have to look closely.

You give nothing up with this blazer. The Blue Hour color I chose is a fantastic and versatile color. It’s best to compare this with a standard blazer, than it is with other travel blazers — it’s too far ahead of the looks of any other travel blazer.

Travel Features

There are three features of this jacket which make it a travel blazer: washable, no wrinkles, and pockets. I’ll talk about laundering it later, so for now let’s focus on the other two.

The blazer comes folded up (who knows how long it sits like that) and yet there were only light creases in the sleeves. I’ve left it wadded in the corner, I’ve driven on long drives with it on, and otherwise done things with it that I might not normally do with a blazer. For the life of me, I can’t see a wrinkle. I’ve not folded it up and shoved it in a suitcase for travel, but then again I would tend to wear this on the plane, not pack it.

It’s really good at resisting wrinkles.

I get annoyed with people slapping a few dozen pockets on a jacket and calling it a travel jacket. It’s beyond silly. Bluffworks is walking a fine line here.

There’s your standard exterior breast pocket, as well as two hand pockets on the front. There’s nothing non-standard about these pockets, which is refreshing. Inside the jacket there’s a bevy of pockets. There’s two inside breast pockets. The left features a button closure, and a dedicated pen pocket which is nicely confined from the main pocket so your pen doesn’t scratch your phone. On the right there’s a zip close pocket. Which has a zipper pull that never jingles and never gets in your way.

Moving down the inside of the jacket there are two more pockets you’ll need to open with a seam ripper (if you want, I’d recommend you don’t). These are both giant pockets and can hold a lot of stuff. They have no fastener to secure them closed, but they are deep.

The issue with these pockets is when you put anything with weight in them. Doing so tends to quickly telegraph through to the front of the blazer and causes the bottom edge of the blazer to bulge. It’s not a great look. You could drop a small notebook or some business cards in here, but you need to be careful. If looks are your top priority, I’d leave the pockets sewn closed.

Lastly there’s single pocket which vertically zips closed at the back tail of the blazer. It’s an odd pocket, and Bluffworks shows it being used to hide cash. I can see that, as cash wouldn’t be too bulky or uncomfortable when you sit down. Otherwise, the pocket can almost be forgotten about.

What sets this jacket apart for me, is that even though it has these “standard” travel features, they don’t detract from the jacket. If you want to wear this as a normal blazer, you can, and you won’t pay a penalty for choosing one with extra pockets. Well done.

Material

My single biggest concern with this jacket was the material. All Bluffworks says is: “100% technical, breathable quick-dry polyester. Mechanical stretch.” When I read a statement like that I think of something that will make a swishing sound as you wear it, and won’t really stretch.

I was wrong on both accounts.

Let’s look at stretch first. Stretch is incredibly important for comfort, and mechanical stretch means there’s not stretchy fabric like spandex or elastic in the garment. And yet, you might think there is in this blazer, because it stretches a bit. Not enough where you feel like it’s a stretchy jacket, but enough that you appreciate it when it does move with you, which is perhaps a better way to describe it than using the word stretch.

So what about the hand feel? The fabric is soft and smooth. There’s no more sheen than on my wool suit, and it makes no more noise than my wool suit as the material rubs against itself. Simply put: if I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t think this was polyester. It doesn’t look or feel like it.

The jacket feels great. The material is great. It’s breathable while being heavy enough to have solid structure. However, it won’t be warm.

Wash It

A couple weeks ago Bluffworks sent an email telling you how to wash your Gramercy blazer. Now if you’ve owned a blazer before, you know you take it to the dry cleaner. This blazer can be put in the washing machine and will be no worse for wear.

The instructions are simple:

  1. Wash on medium temp
  2. Dry on medium heat for 10min
  3. Hang to finish drying.

Normally I would file this under “good to know”, but given that I didn’t spend my hard earned money on this blazer, I decided to give this a go and see what happens.

I washed the blazer following those steps almost exactly (I dried it for only 8 minutes as I had to leave the house). When I first hung it to dry it looked a little sad — droopy. However, after it fully dried (took about 8+ hours) it looks exactly as it did before I put it in the wash. That’s a bit more magic.

Looking at it very closely I can tell that the lapels have lost a little bit of the press, however that seems to have gone away after wearing the jacket again. You would think machine washing a blazer would be a catastrophe, and it would be, except with this blazer.

Overall

One issue I always run into is what to wear when I travel. Often a button down is all I need, but sometimes I get a slight chill — this blazer is going to be my new go to. It looks sharp, performs well, and is comfortable.

I was worried about a lot of things with this blazer, and they were almost all immediately proven wrong when I pulled the blazer out of the box. I really love this blazer. Bluffworks calls it the “ultimate travel blazer” and I concur.

You can grab one from Bluffworks here.

Bluffworks Gramercy Blazer

What is NYCO?

A increasingly popular choice for clothing fabrics among outdoor/tactical focused brands like Prometheus Design Werx and Triple Aught Design is a fabric called NYCO — which is a nylon/cotton blend. Outlier also uses this fabric in select items. The exact blend varies between companies with some in a 40% nylon, to others closer to an even 50-50 split.

This is quite a interesting fabric for items which straddle the line between performance and traditionally garments.

The Benefit

The key benefit to adding nylon to cotton, is strength. Where cotton can be a relatively weak and wear prone garment, nylon tends not to be. On the flip side, a 100% nylon garment is often not comfortable, and not desirable looking. A NYCO blend gives you the best of both worlds: look and feel of cotton, durability and strength of nylon.

One thing to also note, most garments of this nature are coated with a “DWR” coating, which is a durable water repellant. This simply makes water bead and roll of the garment, but does not waterproof it. It will wear off over time, but while it’s there the largest benefit is that it will help repel stains nicely.

The Downside

The downside here is that you are not gaining many of the typical “performance” elements we come to expect for better engineered clothing. There’s no stretch, or temperature regulation gained. It drys slowly as well, and absorbs orders like any other cotton good.

Our Thoughts

There can be some really good applications of NYCO. Especially for people working, or living, in situations where they tend to have weaker cotton or wool goods wear out quickly for them, NYCO can be a great alternative. Some of the harder wear applications being done are perfect uses for NYCO, and it is especially good to boost something which you want to look traditional.

While we wish there were more performance gains to be hard, it is a very good option for select goods.

Where We Like It

There’s two really nice applications of this: Outlier’s NYCO Oxford, and Triple Aught Design’s Rogue RS jacket. The oxford looks like a typical oxford button down, but with the addition of nylon, it should last for a very long time and be incredibly durable when compared to all cotton alternatives.

The Rogue, is another great application where you get a traditional looking light jacket, with a lot more performance. You can beat on a jacket like this without worry it is going fray and get worn holes in it quickly. Exactly the type of application NYCO excels in.

Where it is harder to make the case for this fabric is in pants. While the brands listed above have experimented with them in pants, you need to look for added stretch to get a better pant out of NYCO. Some brands, including Outlier, do just this, but you are still getting a pant that will not perform as well as some other fabric choices.

What is NYCO?