GORUCK recently announced a price increase effective September 1st 4th across all products. Now that the new prices are out, we are surprised how much the clothing will be going up (27-50%). At the new prices, we no longer think the pieces we’ve reviewed present a great value (Simple Windbreaker and Simple Pants). However, if you’ve been thinking about it, you still have until September 1st to grab them at a reasonable price.
The Ferrosi Collection is one of the classic and most popular lines from Outdoor Research. I’ve owned the Ferrosi Jacket for a few years now and it is still my go to lightweight soft shell jacket (note that the latest version has a few cosmetic changes like thumb holes and a slightly different chest pocket).
This jacket is made of Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi fabric, a 90D stretch woven ripstop nylon (86% nylon, 14% spandex). While it is a thin fabric, it has a heavy drape and is breathable and quick-drying. Another great attribute is that it has a matte texture finish, so it isn’t the typical technical shiny.
This jacket is able to shed a light rain, and when it does get wet it dries quickly. However, this fabric is not the most comfortable when it is wet as the stretch just makes it feel droopy. In addition to being water resistant, there is some wind resistance as well. However, breathability and wind resistance are always a tradeoff, and this jacket prioritizes breathability.
Other than in the rain, I have been very happy with the performance of this jacket. It is able to keep me comfortable down to about 45 °F, any colder and I need a fleece underneath to keep warm. When it gets really cold, it’s a nice durable layer for over my down jacket.
The two hand pockets and chest pocket are very well sized and placed, which is not something that can be said for all lightweight jackets. The linings of the pockets are mesh, which is nice for ventilation.
The left hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack, but I find it packs smaller by rolling (down to about the size of a burrito).
This jacket is very durable. I’ve had no issues with the face fabric (unlike my Ferrosi Pants, which have a few snags) and the only pilling I can find is on the mesh pockets on the inside. The zippers are sturdy and operate smoothly from day one.
I think this jacket will last a long while.
Since the Ferrosi Collection is designed for climbing, the jacket has an athletic slim fit while still leaving some room for layering. It has a nice length and the 1/4 elastic cuffs and drawstring bottom help keep it in place when active or in the wind. To me it fits true to size with the size chart and what you’d expect from your sizing in other Outdoor Research gear (typically a size larger than Patagonia).
Especially for the price, this jacket certainly should be one to consider if you are looking for a light soft shell for fall or spring. The breathability keeps you comfortable when the afternoons get warm, while the water resistance will shed a light rain. However, If it’s going to be a cool windy day or rainy, you might want to look to something like the Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket.
The item in this review was provided for review purposes by Mizzen+Main.
Mizzen+Main has been around for a while, specializing in men’s synthetic dress and casual collared shirts. While they have branched out like many of the established brands, their shirts remain their specialty.
As part of our search for great short sleeve summer shirts, I got the opportunity to give the Mizzen+Main Hartley, a short sleeve seersucker button down shirt, a try.
You’ve probably think of seersucker in a summer suit, but it can be used in other garments as well. Traditional seersucker is 100% cotton with a bumpy texture that comes from how the threads are woven. The texture of the fabric helps keep it away from the skin, helping with air circulation. While not as airy (or wrinkly) as linen, seersucker is an age-old solution for a summer fabric.
Mizzen+Main took an updated approach to seersucker for the fabric on this shirt. While retaining the bumpy texture and traditional stripe pattern, they made the fabric with 68% cotton, 27% polyester for moisture wicking, and 5% spandex for two-way stretch. Overall, the fabric looks and feels like cotton with the hidden benefit of stretch for a little extra movement.
One advantage of Mizzen+Main products is that they come in a variety of cuts (standard, trim, and trim tall). I found the XL Trim to work well for me across the chest, but the sleeves were a bit larger in diameter than I usually like in a short sleeve shirt and the length was a bit long to look neat while untucked. Since the XL Trim works well for me in the long sleeve shirts, I imagine the sleeve size is just the nature of the cut of this shirt.
The combination of the bumpy texture and polyester content of the fabric makes this shirt always look presentable right out of the wash (cold & hang dry). While the wrinkles from the package did not fall out on their own, I have never had to worry about wrinkles after the first wash.
I gave this shirt a run for it’s money over the last few weeks with the hot and humid weather we’ve been having (90 °F+) and I must say I was pretty impressed. Having high cotton content, I did not expect to like this shirt.
I found the seersucker to work as advertised — it felt airy since it was held away from my skin. The polyester kept the shirt from feeling damp, although I could still feel sweat between my skin and the shirt. My guess is that the shirt was just not absorbing as much sweat due to the texture.
As far as odor resistance, I was also surprised to be able to wear this shirt a second day after airing it out overnight. I started to notice some sweat stains around the collar and under the arms before any smell (the sweat stains easily wash out).
While it will never perform like a merino or 100% synthetic shirt, it looked normal while keeping me cool and more comfortable than a traditional cotton shirt.
While the shirt isn’t my style, I was pleasantly surprised with it’s performance. It definitely wore better than the 68% cotton content would suggest.
I’m not sure that I would pay the $110 retail price, but if you like the looks and find it for the right price it makes for a decent summer shirt.
The item in this review was provided for review purposes by Y Athletics.
Just about five years ago, Y Athletics launched their synthetic SilverAir Crew Neck on Kickstarter. We reviewed the shirt and were won over by the comfort and odor resistance. Just this week, they launched the next generation SilverAir shirt — the SilverAir Merino T-Shirt.
I’ve been testing a prototype of the shirt since May and the production version for about two weeks. I think this shirt is going to be a game changer for not just the workout shirt market but the t-shirt market as a whole.
Y Athletics designed the double sided SilverAir Merino fabric specifically for this shirt. The inside is 17.5 micron merino wool with pure silver threads running throughout, while the outside is plated with nylon. This gives the best of both worlds without the sacrifice of a blend — odor, thermal, and moisture control on the inside with excellent drape, hand feel, and durability on the outside. The knit is extremely open (without any issues of being see-thru) to allow for airflow making for a very lightweight shirt.
I’ve worn this shirt as both a workout and an everyday shirt, and it has outperformed any other shirt I own. The seamless construction of the body eliminates many potential areas for chafing. The sleeves are raglan style (for range of motion and comfort) and attached with flatlock stitching — no chafing there either.
After the fabric, the next most impressive feature of the shirt is the hidden mesh ventilation panels running under the arms and down the sides of the shirt. Just like the synthetic shirt, the mesh in no way makes those areas of the shirt see through. The panels are all but invisible on the black shirt and are just slightly noticeable on the blue (and I imagine the grey as well). This is due to the merino and the nylon taking dye differently.
This shirt resists odors just like a 100% merino shirt. It’s the first time I’ve had a non-100% merino shirt that needs to be washed because it looks dirty rather than because it smells. The combination of being 100% merino with silver threads on the inside makes it act like a full merino shirt in the odor department. The other benefit of the silver threads is that they won’t wash out like the silver treatments used on other clothing.
As far as moisture management, this shirt excels as compared to a 100% merino or merino blend shirt. Nothing will feel as light in an intense and sweaty workout as a synthetic shirt, but the thinness of the merino layer here makes all the difference. Since merino works by absorbing moisture into the fiber versus polyester and nylon repelling the moisture, a merino shirt tends to get more weighted down by sweat during a workout.
The nylon plating also imparts great durability to this shirt. I have not seen any indications of pilling (which I’ve seen pretty quickly on the armpits of some merino shirts from working out). I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this shirt for rucking or travel with a backpack.
Fit and Finish
The design of this shirt allows for universal wear — it can go from the gym to the weekend. Compared to the original SilverAir shirt, the fit is a little closer to the body and the collar closer to the neck giving it a more tailored and polished look.
The drape and handfeel are also excellent. It wears like a cotton t-shirt, it blends in. When I first heard about the nylon face, I expected at least some nylon sheen, but the finish is actually very matte. The team definitely worked hard on this as I even saw improvement between the prototype and production versions.
There is just one caveat with the black color — the silver threads show through just a little bit (again the team was able to improve this between the prototype and production versions). While some may not even notice or not care, this is worth mentioning if you are trying to choose a color and want to be able to wear the shirt in many situations.
The SilverAir Merino T-Shirt is a huge upgrade from the original synthetic version. It has become my most worn workout and all-around t-shirt. With excellent odor resistance and drape it fits in almost anywhere. If you’ve been thinking about merino but are worried about the durability, this is your shirt. There are no tradeoffs on merino performance to gain durability.
The Kickstarter runs through September 6th, and at $49 the shirt is a steal. Even at the retail price of $69, this shirt represents a great value and is set to make waves in the industry.
Minimalist shoes have become popular for one bag travel due to their thin sole and packable nature. Part of how they accomplish this is by having zero or low drop. Drop is the measurement of the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot of the shoe. We won’t go into the health claims here, but Altra has a good primer.
For me, minimalist zero drop shoes help me feel more connected to the ground (important for the gym) and are very packable (due to their thin soles and minimal padding). I’ve had two pairs for a few years now and I’ve come to love them for casual, travel, and gym wear.
Merrell Trail Glove
I own the Trail Glove 3, but they are very similar to the newer model, the Merrell Trail Glove 4. These are true zero drop shoes. After adjusting, these became my everyday casual shoe for everything from walking to light hiking. The mesh allows them to breathe well and the Vibram sole performs well in all weather conditions. They also have a wide toe box which adds to the comfort — your toes have room to spread out into their natural placement. Best of all, they pack down almost flat due to the light nature of the uppers and come in an almost all-black colorway.
New Balance Minimus
I also own the New Balance Minimus MX20BS4, while they have a 4 mm drop they feel very close to zero drop. I use these as my gym shoes, specifically for lifting and rowing where connection through your feet is important for proper technique. They also have a Vibram sole, which makes for a solid footing on any surface. The mesh upper, while breathable, is not as cool as the Trail Glove due to the higher level of a synthetic coating on the outside. These also pack down almost flat, but don’t come in as dark of a colorway.
Why should I pack shoes when one bagging?
Most likely, you shouldn’t. One of the easiest ways to save room in your bag is to not pack any shoes. It isn’t too hard to find shoes nowadays that will fit all our needs (look for an all, or mostly, black sneaker or a leather boot — see our packing lists for some ideas).
When you do need to pack an extra pair (I often need proper dress shoes or safety shoes when I travel for work), minimalist shoes make it less painful.
Merrell and New Balance both have whole lines of minimalist shoes with quite a few options. If you can’t find something you like there, this style of shoe is becoming more and more popular. While zero drop minimalist shoes take some adjustment, I have come to prefer them for casual and gym wear. If you are looking for a shoe that is easy to pack and you want to try out zero drop, these two shoes are a great place to start.
Outlier has been making their core shorts, the New Way Shorts (and New Way Longs) for a while now. They are made out of the same fabric as the Futureworks (our review), my favorite business casual pants. Outlier didn’t simply make short Futureworks, however, the New Ways are a different cut with other various features to allow them to be used as swim trunk as well.
Outlier uses their F. Cloth, a 97% nylon, 3% elastane blend canvas. They claim a 35% two-way stretch, but like we’ve found the Strongtwill as well, the stretch isn’t noticeable. Since the fabric is made with air texturized nylon (Cordura grade), it has significantly less sheen than you might expect from a mostly nylon fabric. While it doesn’t look completely “normal”, it certainly doesn’t scream “technical”.
The 200 gsm weight of the fabric makes it heavier than many performance shorts, but doesn’t detract from the performance at all. The F. Cloth fabric breathes well in any heat and dries quickly.
Comfort and Performance
While the heavier fabric with non-obvious stretch may seem like it would make for a less comfortable short, the New Way Longs are my favorite short (the only difference between the New Ways and the Longs are the inseam — 8” vs. 11”). The combination between the slightly looser cut and the fabric helps them to move with your body. While they certainly could go for a hike, I prefer something with a more pronounced four-way stretch (and a shorter length) to make sure they really stay out of the way when I’m out on the trail.
The F. Cloth and DWR treatment help these shorts stay dry, and when they do get wet, they dry quickly.
The inclusion of a paracord drawstring (with excellent knots on the end) eliminates the need for a belt. This has become one of my favorite feature on any short, and are a must-have for me now.
All the pockets have a flow through mesh at the bottom, greatly improving the shorts if you decide to get in the water (no more pockets full of water). The mesh seems just as sturdy as the pocketing material, so no need to worry about a key catching and making a hole. The front pockets are extra deep, so they do a great job keeping whatever you are carrying in place with no threat of sliding out.
The only thing I find missing is at least one back pocket with a closure. Since the shorts target active wear, it would be nice to know that your wallet had a safe home.
Since these shorts are tailored to fit like a dress pant, and have a proper button waistband and a working zipper fly, they fit any situation where shorts are appropriate. They could go from the beach to dinner. The nice custom made slot button attached with webbing adds a nice finish and Outlier touch.
The Outlier New Way Shorts and New Way Longs are the best looking and most versatile shorts I’ve seen. With the two inseam options, everyone should be able to find the right fit. They look as close to “normal” as you will find and are cut like a chino short to fit into any situation. If you are looking for one pair of shorts to wear all summer, these are it.
I’ve owned two pairs of these now (had to size down after losing weight) and they are amazing. I’ve swam with them in all sort of pools with no ill effects. They don’t dry as fast as proper swim trunks, but they can trim down your packing if swim trunks would be a maybe.
I have the non-long version and I work out in them, hike in them, and they are generally my go to short whenever the weather permits. I agree with everything Steve says here, and for about 8 months they were actually the only shorts I owned. These are great.
These shorts are made from a 96% nylon (62% recycled)/4% spandex blend with 4-way stretch, a DWR finish, and a 50+ UPF sun protection rating.
The 4-way stretch makes sure the fabric never gets in your way (even with their slightly longer length), and the combination of the DWR and nylon content help keep the shorts from getting wet, and when they do get wet, helps them to dry quickly. There is some “nylon” noise with these shorts, so they won’t completely blend in.
Fit and Performance
While they are advertised as 20” (outseam), the inseam is about 9.5”. Being chino-styled, these shorts come in the usual even numbered inch waist sizes. For me, they fit true to size. The internal drawstring is a very nice feature and something that I look for on any short I buy now. It allows you to wear the shorts without a belt, even without an exact fit (or if your pockets are loaded down).
The fit of the shorts is standard, not too baggy or slim. They fit in most anywhere shorts are acceptable. Although I wouldn’t wear them for all occasions (that’s where the OUTLIER New Way Longs come in for me), at about half the price, they are a step up from many other performance shorts. The chino styling helps step up the looks a bit, but the slightly wrinkly and noisy fabric (and the embroidered “Patagonia” on the leg) detract some. Even just the removal of the embroidery would improve the look.
There are two front slash pockets and two back pockets with mesh linings (for easy drainage). The right back pocket has a button closure (with lay-flat webbing, the same as is used on the top button) and an elastic key loop. The key loop is on the center side of the pocket, so it is not comfortable to use for a set of keys. It seems to be designed to loop around a single house style key.
While I think the Patagonia Baggies are more suited as a short/swim trunk hybrid, these will do in a pinch if you weren’t expecting to get in the water (without looking too casual).
The Patagonia Stretch Wavefarer Walk Shorts are a great value if you are looking for a casual, chino-styled short. While they aren’t quite a do-everything short like the OUTLIER New Ways, they are a solid choice.
It’s not a secret that we are big fans of Outlier here at Everyday Wear. The Futureworks are our go-to business casual pants and are a great place to start with Outlier.
The Futureworks are made with Outlier’s F. Cloth, a 200 gsm 97% nylon, 3% elastane canvas with 35% two-way stretch and a DWR coating. The nylon is a Cordura grade nylon 6,6 that is air texturized, this means it is softer, stronger, and most importantly, more matte than what you’d expect from the usual nylon.
Comfort and Performance
While the stretch isn’t as noticeable as you’d expect from the claim of 35% two-way stretch (this means the stretch is only in one direction across the fabric, rather than both as in four-way stretch), I’ve found the Futureworks to be very comfortable due to the addition of a knee-length gusset. These move better than a standard pair of cotton chinos, but I wouldn’t want to wear them where I needed extreme motion constantly (that’s what the Slim Dungarees are for).
The fabric is lightweight enough to remain comfortable in hot and humid weather, but can still be OK in the winter when outside for a quick walk or back and forth to your car (or comfortable in any cold with a baselayer). The DWR does an excellent job of shedding a light rain (or a spilled drink). Also, since the fabric contains no polyester, there are no static issues in the winter.
The fabric dries extremely fast — when they come out of the washer they are almost dry and will be completely dry in a few hours. However, they can look quite wrinkly when they dry. Since you can’t iron synthetics, the wrinkles will work their way out from your body heat when you put the pants on. Or, while I haven’t machine dried mine (which is allowed per the care instructions), I imagine a few minutes on low would also take care of the wrinkles.
Looks and Fit
These are the most normal looking performance (non-cotton) chinos I have found. While no synthetic pant will ever look like its cotton counterpart, the Futureworks get pretty close. The only giveaways from afar are the slight sheen and slightly stiff drape. I think Outlier has done a great job cutting down on the sheen, but there is always is room for improvement. When you take closer look, the texture is also different from cotton.
The Futureworks have a great “straight” fit. They are looser than the Slim Dungarees, especially in the thigh. This gives the sizing an ability to work for more people. I think the fit works perfectly for a business casual look, however, there are a few adjustments I’d make.
Outlier only offers one inseam (33.5”) which is just long enough for me. So if you are tall, you may be out of luck. For me, the only fit issue I have is a slight gap at the back of the waistband. This could probably be solved with a higher rise.
If you are looking for a performance pant to replace your chinos, look no further than the Outlier Futureworks. I think they provide a great value at $140. As a core Outlier item, they are usually well stocked in many color options (I own the Phantom Grey and Dark Navy) and the return policy makes it easy to give them a try if you are on the fence.
The Futureworks are the first pair of Outlier pants I owned, and since I’ve been losing weight I have had the chance to own three different pairs. They are fantastic, and the Sandstorm color is the best khaki pant option you can get. I love these for flying, as they stay clean and look sharp even after six hours on a plane. These are perhaps the most underrated item Outlier makes and likely the first you should pick up. I’ve owned both the Dark Navy and Sandstorm, and both are excellent.
I’ve never had anyone comment that my pants look odd with these, or ask about them. They are stealth. They make no more noise than a standard cotton pant and perform leaps and bounds better.