SWRVE Indigo Cordura Jeans

I’ve went through four distinct phases since starting down this rabbit hole of performance clothing. The first phase was a “try everything phase”, the second was “I found one pair of pants I love, everything else is dead to me”, the third was “I only want performance pants to replace all my ‘normal’ pants”, and now I am on a phase where I have very few pants that I really like. But I am missing one thing: a great pair of jeans. Actually, I have a few, but I keep wanting to find something better because each leaves something to be desired. I’ve talked about Ministry of Supply’s offering, the Bluffworks, and of course Outlier’s Slim Dungarees, and Strong Dungarees. Today, I want to talk about something that straddles the line better than most of those: Swrve’s CORDURA jeans.

I’ve long known about this fabric, but finding it in a cut not made for rock climbing has been hard. This is essentially a nylon reinforced denim. I bought the pants in the regular cut (as I am told looser pants are coming back in style), but they come in slim and skinny fits too. Before I get started, I want to touch on the best feature of these jeans, the price: $100. That’s it, $100. So many of the pants I review and test are expensive and hard to justify, but a good pair of jeans that could be your only jeans, for $100, ok that’s a solid deal. Let’s dive in…

Material

Ok, so before we dive into this material, I want to touch on the normal grades of ‘performance’ jeans:

  • Standard Denim: 100% cotton
  • Big Brand Performance Denim: cotton + small amount of stretchy stuff.
  • ‘Reimagined’ Performance Jeans/Denim/Type Thing: nylon + stretchy stuff.

The first two look like denim because cotton is what gives you the denim look. The last one looks like, well, it looks like nylon with five pockets. The last one is by far and away the ‘better’ pant, just as long as you aren’t trying to style yourself like denim.

These Swrve jeans are CORDURA denim, and as far as I can tell, no one lists the exact make up of these things in a format I can better explain to you. They are a blend of cotton, nylon 6,6 and spandex. They are a very standard weight and everything else is some form of copy and paste from this page.

The tag on the pants says 55% cotton, 15% nylon, and 30% polyester. Which doesn’t make sense or help in any way. First it is ‘CORDURA’ denim, with only 15% nylon? Second these jeans stretch a good amount, but list no elastane or spandex? I don’t get it.

So I’ll tell you how they feel. They have a great hand feel and they feel exactly like the denim I’ve grown up with. They drape the same, they cuff the same, and look the same. This is a a dark indigo wash, and it looks like one.

So while I don’t know what is going on here, I am guessing that the are cotton strands wrapping a nylon core — but that’s pure guessing on my part.

Fit and Style

As I mentioned, these are a regular cut, which means they are that classic: loose/relaxed everywhere look. They are not baggy, and do have a nice taper at the ankle, but they are loose. I got these as I do think trends are moving this way, but my wife is not a fan of the cut. She doesn’t hate it, but doesn’t love it.

I would get the slim if I were to buy again. That said, the fit is spot on, I normally wear 34/35 and the 36 fits me perfectly in this pant. The length reads true to size, but you might size up if you are on the edge of any sizes.

Generally speaking these fit great for jeans to work and do stuff in. Absolutely no restrictions with them. And feel great. But if you’re looking to stay more on trend, even now, you’ll probably want a slimmer cut. The pictures referenced on the site for this cut are very accurate.

Performance

Ok, there’s a lot to unpack here with the performance, I am going to go through each individually:

  • Durability of material: there’s two parts to this denim which seem highly lab tested. The first is general abrasion resistance which seems proven out not only in testing but in use by rock climbers. So let’s just assume that’s correct and they can take a heck of a beating. The second part is washing fade resistance, which again has been lab tested. I’ve only washed them a few times, but they have not faded. This is more and more par for the course on performance jeans (Ministry of Supply manages the same thing) but is nice to have. Great durability on these.
  • Movement: this comes in two forms, the stretch and the Diamond gusset. Both of those combined with the looser fit of these never once left me for wanting. They are some of the least restrictive pants I own. I suspect that they go back to standard performance levels of movement in a slimmer cut. But they stretch well and move great.
  • Triple stitching: I normally don’t mention stitching, but Swrve points out that they triple stitch the seams for durability. And this is true, except in one spot which seems like an odd oversight: one side of the gusset is a single stitch — and that seems prime for a blow out. It’s a weird oversight.
  • Reflective stripe: on the inside of the pants there is a reflective stripe that shows when the jeans are cuffed. It’s subtle in the daylight, but reflects well with light. I could take it or leave it.
  • No zippers: the biggest performance gain for me is that these are performance jeans with no extra zipper pockets. Which is great and a refreshing change. One caveat to this is that at the back edge of each front pocket is a distinct slot to hold a pen, it isn’t wide enough for a pocket knife but a pen or small flashlight does fit.

I’ve been wearing these jeans everyday since I got them, and they’ve been great. I even did a rucking workout in them on a particularly cold day where temps hovered around freezing. Overall these jeans are great. They breathe about as well as a standard pair of jeans and they move even better.

There’s nothing about them which will wow you on the side of drying times, or dirt resistance. They dry quick enough, slightly faster than normal cotton, but not “fast”. They breath fine, but I would not want to wear them about 70°F. The performance is all about durability and stretch — they excel in those areas.

Overall

These are one of my favorite pairs of jeans I own. They are not my favorite on a performance basis, nor on style — but if I need to go do some yard work, these are the jeans. Work in the shop/garage, these jeans.

But when it gets hot, I’ll be grabbing something else. Ditto for date nights.

At $100 these are a heck of a deal for a pair of pants which likely will last a long time.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

SWRVE Indigo Cordura Jeans

Thunderbolt Sportswear MARK II, LITE – RANGER Pants

I’ve tried a ton of pants for this website, all in the hopes of finding that one pair of pants which I can toss on and fall in love with. I’ve come close a few times. The Aether’s, the Oliver’s, or the Outliers. But each one is tricky. Aether is super comfortable, but too slim to look right in every situation, Oliver’s are really solid, but the waist stretches out really fast for me, and well Outlier stopped making theirs right when I lost some weight, oh well.

So I was pretty excited to learn about the Thunderbolt Sportswear MARK II LITE pants, which is a five pocket pant made from a Schoeller material which is code for expensive and comfortable. I have been giving them a go for quite some time, and I am impressed — they are different than the others I listed so let’s dive into it.

Material

As I mentioned this is a Schoeller fabric, specifically here is what it is:

Schoeller® Dryskin soft shell with NanoSphere® DWR to repel water and dirt. Fabric maximizes performance in breathability, quick dry, wind and water resistance, four way stretch and self-cleaning.

Essentially it seems like a lighter weight version of the Schoeller 4-way stretch materials which for a while started to become common in pants. At a 180gsm it is decently light weight, without feeling thin.

The stretch is great, and the material face feels very much like other Schoeller pants. It has a slight sheen, is rather smooth and looks like a soft shell. Inside, the material has a lot less pile as compared to others and is more like a grid pattern. It’s soft and decently smooth. The material itself is aces.

Fit and Style

This is a standard 5-pocket look. Where it differs from most is the color, which in this case is a Ranger Green color (I like it, many might not) and the overall cut. While my main complaint with a lot of pants we review on the site is with how tapered they are, these take a straight leg approach. There is barely a taper on these.

This is in line with the intended use, which is more outdoors and active than it is heading to brunch. For me it’s still hard to get used to how straight legged this are, and I think they would benefit for a slight taper for pure looks. But the straight legs do make for a comfortable fit over all.

The only other fit detail is the waistband. On most pants like this the waist band is simple double the material the pant is made from. The issue with this method is that it causes the material to become stretched out over time, and thus you need to wash the pants to get them to fit correctly again. The benefit is that the waist is a bit stretchy and thus more comfortable, until they are too loose at least.

With these pants, the waistband has been designed to not stretch. That’s somewhat true. It stretches less than the rest of the pants, but it does have some give. Whether that is intentional or not, I don’t know. But it does make for a nice middle ground between no-stretch and stretch which eventually becomes too loose. I’ve found these pants will become loose over time, but it takes twice as long as others like this I have tried.

Performance

I’ve been wearing these pants a ton since getting them. They are truly comfortable, whether lounging around the house, doing yard work in the sun, or going on a warm walk through the woods. They have handled every task I have tossed at them with easy. But, since Thunderbolt Sportswear called out specific features, I’ll address each:

  • Breathability: these are likely the most breathable pants I own, outside of maybe my GORUCK Simple Pants which are about half the weight by hand feel alone. The Mark II Lite’s are just insanely breathable and a couple of times wore too cool for me.
  • Wind & Water Resistance: I have worn them in a some wind, and they did a good job with that. Not stellar, but better than expected. I can’t comment on water resistance as I have not worn them in much heavy rain. The water which has gotten on them, beads up well as it would with any solid DWR coating.
  • Quick Dry: straight out of the washer, yes they dry fast. Quick would be an understatement here, they dry fast.
  • Stretch: it’s perfect, because of the cut doesn’t need as much stretch to feel more stretchy. I really think there’s a solid amount of stretch, which you barely notice, yet are never restricted.
  • Self-Cleaning: nope. Generally I have not seen them dirty in normal wear. However on a walk in the woods the dirt was rather dusty and very fine. The entire bottom half of the pants was coated in that dust, and would not shake/brush off. It required a full wash.

Generally speaking these are among the most performant pants I have. All Schoeller material performs really well, and these are no exception. They breathe well, dry fast, and stretch. There’s not a lot more to say here, but if you live in a warmer climate like me, these pants are something to consider for sure — as they breathe even better than most I test.

Overall

I bought these pants on sale for $92.50, with a non-sale price of $185. I don’t think I would have paid the full $185, but for under $100 these are a bargain. They are my go to pants during this work from home life, as I can be comfortable working, do work in the yard, or lounge on the couch in them and be comfortable under all situations.

The downside to these is the cut, it won’t be for everyone and that will make them harder to wear out and about if you care more about style. I would not hesitate to go on day hike with them though, they are really solid.

Get them here.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Thunderbolt Sportswear MARK II, LITE – RANGER Pants

Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in Wool Beach Cloth

Note: this jacket was provided for review.

The Long Haul Jacket is a classic, most commonly called a ‘jean jacket’, but for this incarnation Taylor Stitch used a Wool Beach Cloth to put a very unique spin on the jacket. I’ve been wearing and testing it and I’ve found it to be far more versatile than initially expected.

Material

If you are not familiar with ‘Beach Cloth’ you can line up with me. Here’s the description of it from Taylor Stitch:

Famously impenetrable, the original Beach Cloth was a closet staple in the early 20th century, especially among laborers whose work subjected them to chilly, damp conditions—seafarers, loggers, etc. For this run, we’ve updated the age-old formula but maintained the instantly recognizable texture and impressive heft. Trust us, this so-called Beach Cloth’s applications extend well beyond the seaside.

That’s interesting and in a lot of ways reminds me of some of the reasons for the heavy wool jackets Filson sells. And I assume the updates Taylor Stitch is referring to is the nylon content as the make up is a 14-oz, 50% wool, 40% cotton, 10% nylon garment. I would not have guessed there was nylon in it, and I assume that was done for some added durability. The outside of the material has a heavy weave and has a bit of that ‘rough wool’ feeling.

Inside is brushed and fuzzy, with the sleeves having an acetate lining in them so you can easily slide long sleeves in. This is a heavy jacket, but not a super warm jacket. Plenty warm for Houston, but not nearly warm enough for winters in Seattle — not without more layering.

The last note on this material is that it is noted as ‘dry clean only’ which is a shame, as you’ll likely find yourself mostly spot cleaning then.

Fit & Style

This is meant to fit tailored, and stop at the pant line. And it does just that, it’s a classic looking jacket, but with a very unique pattern. In these fit pictures I am wearing a light gray shirt and flat black pants — I chose the black pants to show off the fact that this jacket isn’t quite black, but not quite blue.

Overall the pattern and coloring is a bit of a chameleon. And depending on what you pair it with, it will either look, well not good, or it will look pretty neat. But the generally style of this pattern is heavy handed and something you can’t just toss on with everything in my testing. So while I do like it, it is not a versatile as the more plain patterns.

For the fit, there’s only two things I’ll note. The first is that, as with most Taylor Stitch garments I find the cuffs slightly too small, as they have trouble falling nicely over a watch (if at all). Second, I do wish the inside of the cuffs was also lined, as the material can be scratchy against your wrists.

Performance

The performance here is really all about how well the nylon and wool out weigh the cotton content in the jacket. And I think it tamps down the cotton really well. It’s not going to be my pick for any scenario where I need to rely on staying warm when wet. But for those times when you want a good jacket that can perform well, this could fit the bill.

The weight of it is a mid-weight, and that works well here in Houston for the winter, and most other cooler areas for the spring/fall seasons. If you size up, you could easily layer under it, or stay true to size and you could wear an overcoat.

The one aspect of this jacket I can’t escape is that I think it will be substantially better once more broken in. Because it does wear stiff, like a true work jacket does when new, and generally this means the fabric will break in and relax with more wear. As it does that, I can see this only getting more comfortable to wear.

There’s enough wool in that you don’t need to worry about poor performance. Enough nylon that you don’t need to fully baby it. But there does remain enough cotton to keep this from being a true performance jacket.

Overall

I look at this more as a really heavy over shirt, or shirt jacket. I don’t think it works as well with a button down as it does with a t-shirt. What that does mean is that you can easily wear this on cool summer evenings too.

I look forward to this breaking in more.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in Wool Beach Cloth

Taylor Stitch Apres Hoodie in Coal

Note: Taylor Stitch sent this item for review.

A good hoodie, which is also performant, is hard to find. Yes you can find wool hoodies, but they all lack something. Synthetic hoodies are all over, but they look synthetic. There’s two types of hoodies out there: those that you want to put on to feel cozy and have a quick nap or three. And those you want to wear out and about, to be seen in, as a layer while remaining comfortable and casual.

And it is that latter category that I find the Apres Hoodie in Coal. It’s quietly performant, while looking very sharp.

Material

First this is mostly cotton, as the composition is a 12-oz. garment consisting of: 98% cotton, 2% Spandex. I would have wagered there was far more than 2% spandex as the entire thing is pretty stretchy. It’s a solid 4-way stretch and there’s little chance of restricting movement.

More than the materials composition is the hand feel. This is a dense and heavy feeling hoodie. Neither the interior or the face, is soft and fuzzy. Well, the interior is soft and not scratchy, but there is no pile to the material — instead Taylor Stitch opted for a soft woven texture across it. The outside feels closer to your standard hoodie with perhaps a heavier weave.

The clear advantage here is that it slides over other materials much better, and doesn’t leave behind a lint trail.

Fit and Style

As I mentioned at the outset of this review, this hoodie is full of style. It’s cut trim and modern, and my standard Large fits just fine. If you want a little more of a relaxed look you should size up a full size — I could wear an XL easily and still look fine. But the Large looks more tailored, more put together.

The entire hoodie works well from a style perspective. You could easily toss this on with a pair of swim trunks and hang out near a bonfire on the beach — you’d fit right in. Or you could toss it on with a pair of chinos over a button down and have a great layer for a night out.

And that’s not just the cut, but the detailing on it plays to these strengths. With pockets that a slanted and sit flat, and tiny little leather triangles at either end. It’s a nice touch for the whole thing. The leather grab on the zipper is classic as is the brass contrast of the zipper. And the white speckling throughout the hoodie adds enough of a casual element to keep this feeling like a hoodie.

I love the way this looks and fits.

Performance

Ok, so this is a cotton hoodie. All of the performance here comes from stretch. And there is a lot of stretch in this. What this means practically is that the hoodie can fit trim to your body, while not restricting your movement at all. And not only being unrestricted, you can also lounge in it and still be comfortable the entire time. The stretch really is fantastic and rarely do I see this much in a cotton garment.

The rest of the performance simply comes from the application of cotton. As I mentioned above there is no brushed interior. It’s smooth and soft with a dense exterior. This is cotton done well, but still cotton.

Overall

I only have a handful of hoodies because I find them problematic. It’s hard to find a good performance one which also still looks sharp. And that’s because hoodies are one of those items which is best done with cotton. The stretch here is excellent.

No it won’t dry fast, repel water, or resist odors. But it will look good no matter what you are doing, perhaps better than most. And if you happen to be working at home, well this should be at the top of your list.

It’s not a performance hoodie, but it is the hoodie I want to wear.

Note: This hoodie is currently out of stock in the color I reviewed. It is available in other colors, but note that each color has a slightly different fabric makeup, with many infusing hemp into the mix which should be a nice addition.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Taylor Stitch Apres Hoodie in Coal

Uniqlo Long Sleeve Merino Polo

Since I started on this journey of finding better performing everyday clothing, one of the top fabrics which always catches my eye is anything with merino wool. It’s a magical fabric which is soft, performant, and yet wears well in many conditions. The problem is always price, it is often a very expensive fabric to own. Which is where Uniqlo comes in, with their Long Sleeve Knit Merino Polo.

I have been testing it as my work from home shirt for some weeks now, and I am blown away. So, at a full price of $39.90, and a sale price of $29.90 — is this too good to be true? No, it’s actually a really awesome shirt.

Material

As you might guess the shirt is 100% merino wool, which Uniqlo says is ‘19.5-micron superfine Merino wool’. That’s not really that superfine, but a borderline soft merino in my book. What’s weird is that you could tell me this is 16.5 micron and I would believe you. It is luxuriously soft and really just cozy feeling.

There’s not much more to say, it is a super soft merino wool shirt. Well one more thing, Uniqlo specifies: “treated with special press-processing to prevent pilling”. I have no clue what that is, it does get fuzzy, but no pilling so far.

Fit and Style

A long sleeve knit polo is a classic — made out of a soft slightly fuzzy sweater material, also a classic. The style is all around great, something you could wear to most offices, or out to drinks and blend in just fine. It also might be the ideal work from home style.

The fit is slim, but I think it is cut well and fits my body well. I could use a touch more length in the sleeves, but that is almost always the case for me. I am also a very big fan of the collar, as it sits nicely and keeps a clean appearance to the shirt.

Performance

It’s 100% merino, so there’s not a lot to say about it which we have not already said. It performs at the same level as all other 100% merino, which is 4-5 wears before washing is needed. It does fuzz up a bit, and the cuffs are good. Not too tight, not loose at all.

Perhaps the best performance feature is the no-fuss nature. Wash it like normal, hang dry, toss it back on for another 4-5 wears, repeat. It dries quickly. It’s not too light, not too heavy. This would work well to layer for a cool night, or on it’s own well into the 70s. Top marks.

Overall

The real selling point is the overall product, not any one feature. Any other brand could sell this for $80-100 and I would tell you that it is worth the price. That it is under $40 is unfathomable to me. This is a steal. Buy this for sure. Even if you only wear it a few times, it’s worth it.

It quickly became my work from home go to. And I really love it.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Uniqlo Long Sleeve Merino Polo

Wildly Goods Socks

Note: Wildly Goods provided these items for review.

Anyone who moves from cotton socks to wool socks, will quickly tell you how much better life is on the wool side of the world. Comfort, odor — all of it is better. I really love testing socks, so when Wildly Goods reached out, I couldn’t wait to see what they had to offer, and I am glad I got these to review — they are outstanding.

Material

These socks are a blend of 80% Extra-Fine Merino Wool, 16% Polyester, 3% Nylon,1% Spandex. I am surprised by the low spandex content as they seem like they would have more than that. But I am not surprised by the high merino content, and the ‘extra-fine’ here is no gimmick — they are among the softest merino wool socks I have ever tried. I can’t find anything detailing out how fine a micron they use, but I would guess it is below 18 micron.

This is wear after in a boot from rucking about 8 miles.
This is wear after in a boot from rucking about 8 miles.

The one downside to this blend is durability, and while the socks are still holding up perfectly for me, they are getting quite fuzzy. Something I will need to keep an eye on.

Fit & Style

When I wrote my notes for this review, I wrote that these are: half hiking sock, half athletic sock. Meaning they are not quite as thick, or compression prone as a true hiking sock, but they are also not quite as ambivalent as a basic athletic sock. Wildly Goods seems to agree, as they note: “hybrid design blends the features of high-end hiking socks with everyday comfortable socks”. That is spot on.

I can easily wear these rucking with boots or any other heavy duty wear, as I can slip them on with a dress boot or sneakers and be comfortable all day. I think these socks strike the perfect balance. They won’t be dress socks for anyone, but if you wear dress boots, you could easily wear these most days.

They will replace athletic socks for just about anyone though, and they will also be the socks you want to pull on to be cozy next to a fireplace.

Performance

Ok, so let’s talk about performance, and with these it is very straight forward. There is a huge amount of merino in these, so they are odor resistant. I would say 3-4 wears and you’ll notice nothing. Soak them in water after each wear and you could go for a very long time.

There’s no true compression. But the socks are padded strategically, and vented on the top. Overall they wear very comfortably no matter what shoe you are pairing them with. Just excellent. But the true standout feature is how soft they are. They are just cozy to have on your feet, they feel like you are cheating a bit.

Lastly, I washed and dried these like I would a cotton t-shirt. They are getting fuzzy looking, but otherwise I have not noticed any ill effects, so you are likely fine to treat them as you would any other sock — which is a must for me.

Overall

When I last did a round up of socks, the now discontinued Outlier Megafine sock was my top pick. These will replace those, since these are available. In a lot of ways these are the same but with less compression.

I would love to get these in solid colors, as I think you could then really get away with them in most situations. As it is, I am going to wear the heck out of the two pairs I have.

Here’s the thing about these socks: they are $20 for two pairs. That’s an insanely good value for socks of this quality and performance. Get on it.

Highly recommended.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Wildly Goods Socks

Taylor Stitch The California in Vintage Navy Madras

This shirt caught my eye first because of the pattern, and second because I have never owned a madras shirt. So I thought I would give it a go, as I live in a state that is nearly always decently warm.

Let’s dive into this shirt, because I do like it quite a bit…

Material

So first, madras itself is an entire thing, not just the material or pattern. It’s like a combination of the two, so I am not going to refer to this as madras cloth. Rather this is a lightweight Taylor Stitch fabric. And, in that case it is an open weave, 4-oz. 55% Organic Cotton, 45% Linen.

The translation here is that it is super breathable and light weight — not see through at all. It’s soft, not super wrinkly, but more rumply. The hand feel is fantastic.

Fit & Style

This shirt is all about style and in fact there is an entire history of it. The pattern — the feel — of this shirt is sublime. The fit is the same as all other Taylor Stitch button-up/downs I have tried.

Which is to say the fit is very trim, with slightly shorter sleeves than you might like. But the biggest issue with the fit is the cuffs, which are generally too narrow to fit most watches under them, and I think that is criminal.

So the style, and design of the shirt is on point, but the cut remains problematic for Taylor Stitch — they need to relax their cuts more.

Performance

Here is what Taylor Stitch says about the performance of this shirt: “…incredibly comfortable, breathable, and rugged shirt”. I can get behind that, the cotton gives you the comfort, and the weave and linen give you the rest of it.

Overall I think it generally stands up to those claims, as air passes through it nicely and it is too thin to stay wet for long. It’s not going to break any records on performance, but it will generally be comfortable in much of the heat you might experience. There are things that perform better, but I am not sure there are many that do it with the style of this shirt.

Overall

So, this is a good lightweight shirt — it’s a good light layer, or comfortable shirt for the evenings. This is a really hard shirt for me to review, because I do really like it, but I have a hard time saying it is on par with most of the performance minded shirts I review here.

So, I’ll sum this shirt up like this: it feels like a late summer sunset — warm, cozy, and something you want to stay in for a little longer.

They are on last call here.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Taylor Stitch The California in Vintage Navy Madras

Launching Today: Western Rise Versa Hat, Our First Look

Note: Western Rise sent this hat at no charge for review.

Today, Western Rise launches their all new Versa Hat. I’ve had a chance to try this hat for about 5 days now, and it is quite different from any other hat I have. I have been wearing hats for a while now, as a way to tame my COVID-haircut once the product I put in it wears off near the end of the day. I also wear hats working out.

Since getting the Versa hat I have only been using it, and using it a lot. I haven’t had it long enough to fully review it, but here are some thoughts:

  • The bill is likely to make or break this hat for you. Since it is all foam, it won’t get damaged no matter how haphazard you get. But since it is foam it doesn’t hold a curl. What’s weird is that you can form it in your hands and put on the hat and it will stay somewhat curled because of the pull from the hat. You need to wear the hat slightly more snug to get it to hold this better. And while wearing the hat I tend to form it every so often. If you don’t really care about how you bend the bill of your hat, then you are good to go, but if you do this might be your deal breaker.
  • The fabric is stretchy and breathable. Overall it is comfortable to wear around the house, or when working out. I found it never to get steamy and hot, but also does a good job keeping the wind from cutting right through.
  • The fabric is marketed as waterproof, but I have yet to be able to truly test this. I don’t doubt it though.
  • The DWR does make it easy to clean, which is good as black hats of this nature do tend to collect odd dusty marks. This hat cleans up nicely.
  • The clasp on the back clasps well and adjusts securely. I was not able to adjust the fit while wearing the hat, and instead had to remove it to do so — and even then it doesn’t seem like something which can accidentally be resized. So that’s nice.
  • I bet this would be great for travel, or for people who tend to take hats on and off a lot when they wear them. I think you either are the type who does that, or you put on a hat and just wear it.
  • The black does have a slight sheen to it, but it’s not overly noticeable or problematic in a hat.

I like this hat, and look forward to testing it more. You can back it on Kickstarter here.

Some Photos:






NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Launching Today: Western Rise Versa Hat, Our First Look

Lululemon ABC Pant Slim Tech Canvas

When Steve ordered his Warpstreme ABC pants, I ordered them with the Tech Canvas — the weather just prevented me from testing them sooner. These are yet another take on a ‘modern 5-pocket’ or, modern jeans if you will. I’ve been testing them off and on for a while now, and overall: meh.

Let’s get into why.

Materials

The material is surprising on this. The make up is 49% Cotton, 45% Polyester, 6% Elastane, but that only tells part of the story. When I sat down to write this, I was surprised it had so much cotton, because it’s not soft like cotton at all. This is a thick, slightly scratchy, very heavily textured pant. ‘Canvas’ is an apt description, but it’s more of an open weave canvas, as they are breathable.

They do feel very durable, but only time will tell on that. They have a rough hand feel, and ample stretch.

Fit & Style

Fit overall was slightly smaller than true to size, so the 34 sized I ordered fits a bit tighter than I would ideally like, but I am not sure the 35 would be tight enough. They also fit very slim (a classic cut is available), and I find that my calves are always pressed on the material. Overall I think the slim on these is too slim.

I typically wear a 32” inseam, and I found these about a half inch shorter than I would like. So no matter which way you cut it, you might want to size up one notch if you generally find yourself on the cusp.

As for style, they are solid. The cut is fine, not the best, but fine. While the material looks ‘normal’ and has no sound while walking to give it away. If you can wear jeans there, you can wear these for sure.

Fit and style: nothing special.

Performance

There are three stand out things on these pants from a performance perspective:

  1. The movement/stretch of these pants is fantastic. Even for the very slim fit, they never bind and always move easily. That’s great.
  2. They breathe very well, almost airy feeling. So even though the pant is thick in looks and feel, they do breathe.
  3. The last one is a weird issue though. They breath too well to work in cold weather, and they aren’t light enough to wear in warm weather. Which leaves essentially transitional weather and greatly limits the pants. They kind of need to make up their mind here.

They don’t dry fast, or have any other outstanding performance features — unless cuffing your pants and seeing a reflective stripe is a must for you.

Overall

Overall: they are fine, not great, just fine. The best comparisons are to Outlier Slim Dungarees ($198) and Western Rise’s Diversion Pants ($138). Given that these ABCs come in at $128, I don’t see anyway to justify the over the only slightly more expensive Diversion pants which perform better and are more comfortable.

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Lululemon ABC Pant Slim Tech Canvas

J.Crew’s Monster Sale

Some items worth your attention during this 50% off sale (code: FRIDAY):

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

J.Crew’s Monster Sale