Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts

Gear Closet: Dakine's Oakridge Flannel and Dropout Jersey Cycling Shirts

Summer's here and if you're not spending time on the back of a bike, you're not making the most of the season. Of course, the clothes we wear on our rides can have a significant impact on our comfort, which is why the right apparel can make a huge difference in how much we enjoy those outings. Fortunately, we live in an era where outdoor gear is the best it has ever been, and that extends to cycling and mountain biking too.

Dakine makes plenty of great gear to help you get the most out of your rides, including some great cycling shirts that perform well but don't necessarily look like they are meant for the bike crowd. Recently, I had the chance to test out a couple of items from their line-up, and think they'll both make a good addition to your wardrobe as well.

Oakridge Flannel Shirt ($80)
Searching for a good looking, durable shirt to wear both the trail and off? Dakine's Oakridge Flannel looks like something you could wear just about anywhere, but includes some nice features that mountain bikers are sure to appreciate.

For instance, the shirt is made of durable fabrics that provide plenty of coverage, which anyone who has ever had a mishap out on the trail knows can be extremely useful. If you ride often enough, sooner or later you're going to crash, but this shirt can survive those incidences and help protect your arms at the same time.

Made from quick-drying polyester materials, the Oakridge features Dakine's very own Polygenie Odor Control Technology, which is designed to fight off the funk that comes with getting heated up on the trail. The shirt breathes very well, and can wick moisture too. Still, I found it to be a bit warm for my summer rides, as the flannel material is thicker than I'd like in the heat and humidity of my home trails. That said however, I can't wait to wear it in the fall, when things cool off a bit, and the crispness returns to the air.

One of my favorite things about this shirt is that it looks like just about any other flannel shirt you might find someone wearing while just wandering around town. It has a stylish, athletic cut that is form fitting without being overly restrictive, and it there is very little about it that indicates that it is a piece of performance gear designed for mountain biking. That makes it easy to transition from the trail to the pub after a ride, or just wearing it when you want better performance from a flannel shirt. With its classic good looks, the Oakridge doesn't feel like it would be out of place in just about any environment, which is the kind of versatility that I particularly appreciate.

Priced at $80, the Oakridge Flannel is a great option for cool weather rides, hikes, or just running errands on your day off. It is comfortable to wear, looks fantastic, and offers solid performance. I know that come fall, this will be one of my go-to shirts for the days that I want to hit the trail.

Dropout Bike Jersey ($40)
Dakine's Dropout Bike Jersey is a more traditional looking shirt made specifically with mountain bikers in mind. It uses similar materials as the Oakridge flannel, using 100% polyester fabrics that are quick drying, wicking, and very breathable. The shirt also includes the same Polygenie Odor Control Technology that keeps it smelling fresh even after a tough day on the trail. That comes in handy when you grab a beer after your ride, but don't want to drive away the other patrons at the bar.

The Dropout has relaxed fit that makes it a good choice for a wide range of riders. It also features raglan sleeves and a built-in soft sunglass wipe for keeping your shades clean while out on the trail.

This is the type of shirt that is more appropriate for a warm summer ride. With its quick-drying and wicking performance, you'll stay cool and comfortable even while working hard as you climb hills and bomb down the other side. It even pairs well with a hydration pack to keep you comfortable throughout your ride, allowing you to go further and faster, while staying out for extended periods of time.

The Dropout is a bargain at just $40. At that price, you might want to add two or three of them to your wardrobe, because it is likely to become your new favorite mountain biking shirt. This kind of performance shouldn't come at such a low cost, but you'll definitely be glad that it does.

Find out more about both of these shirts and the full line of Dakine products at

Thank You to Mountain Khakis

As we start another week here at The Adventure Blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to once again thank Mountain Khakis for sponsoring the site throughout the month of November. It means a lot to me that they would step up to help out the site, and it would also mean a lot to me if readers clicked on over to the MK website to checkout the great outdoor gear and apparel that the company offers. With the holiday season just around the corner, now is a good time to start shopping for the outdoor enthusiast on your list, and Mountain Khakis most certainly has something that they'll love. Whether they need new pants for hiking, jackets or vests for staying warm, or other accessories to accompany them on their adventures, you'll find just about everything they'll need on the site. And now through the end of the year, the company is offering free shipping on all orders over $99. Check it all out by clicking here.

Thanks to Mountain Khakis for Sponsoring the Adventure Blog

If you're a regular reader of The Adventure Blog, you may have noticed a new coat of paint around here today. That's because for the month of November, the site is being sponsored by Mountain Khakis, and that will be reflected in the design of articles pages over the next few weeks.

If you're not familiar with MK, they are a company based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming that makes some of the best clothing for outdoor adventure and travel. Whether you're hiking in the Himalaya, camping in the Tetons, or just wandering around your home town, you'll find that Mountain Khakis makes very comfortable clothes to fit your needs, including pants, shirts, jackets, and more. So, if you're looking for some new additions to your outdoor wardrobe, do me a favor and click on over to the MK website and take a look at what they have to offer. I think you'll be very happy with what you find.

And again, I wanted to send a big thanks to Mountain Khakis for sponsoring the site for the month ahead. It is much appreciated.

Gear Closet: SKINS A400 Men's Running Tights

The calendar may say that it is officially spring, but the weather hasn't warmed up completely yet. Recently I've found myself still reaching for a pair or running tights as I set out on an early morning run, and on those chilly days I've fond myself very thankful that I have the new A400 running tight from SKINS in my gear closet. These tights are the latest product from a company that specializes in compression gear for fitness and running, and while I didn't think it was possible, they have found new ways to improve on their already excellent products.

When designing the new A400 tights the team at SKINS wanted to make a product that was both warmer in cold weather, and yet also managed to help you stay cool when the temperature started to rise. In order to do that, they incorporated high tech fabrics that become more breathable as moisture from the body is pulled through. So on warmer days the fabrics wick sweat away from the body, and pass it to the surface of the tight where it evaporates quickly, helping to keep you cooler and dryer. But when it is cold outside, and you are sweating less, the fabrics are a bit less breathable, helping to keep you warmer.

This method of temperature regulation through breathable fabrics isn't anything new of course. We see similar qualities in a lot of our gear that we use when working out, hiking, backpacking, cycling, and so on. But with the A400 SKINS seems to have found the perfect mix for a running tight, as I never once felt too cold or too warm while wearing them. In fact, I was surprisingly comfortable across a fairly wide range of temperatures, which makes these tights versatile enough to be worn in a variety of weather conditions.

As you would expect, the A400 tights provide a snug, but not confining, fit. When creating this product, the designers at SKINS took a new approach when creating these tights, improving the way they wrap around specific muscles groups in the process. In theory this is meant to provide more support during your workouts, keeping your muscles from becoming fatigued, sore, or injured. I found that the high level of compression provided by these tights did indeed keep my leg muscles held more firmly in place, helping to lessen the movement associated with running, and keeping fatigue to a minimum. In fact, on the days that I ran in these tights, I generally found that my legs were stronger and felt better post-run than days that I did not. That alone should be a good indicator of how well they perform.

Made from high quality fabrics, the A400 tights are very durable and meant to withstand the challenges that come along with running on a daily basis. But they are also incredibly comfortable too. Once you have them on they truly do feel like a second skin in the best way possible. They provide a snug fit that reminds you that they are there, but they are not the least bit constraining or confining either.

Over the weekend I used these tights on a 14 mile (22 km) run that took me approximately two hours to complete. Over that time, the temperature rose steadily, and ran with – and into – a cold breeze. But the A400 tights kept me well protected and comfortable throughout the entire workout, even when conditions changed. They also kept me legs feeling great, both during and after the run.

It is clear that SKINS has a winner with this product, and serious runners will definitely appreciate what they have brought to the table here. These are high quality running tights that will help you perform better and stay healthier on your workouts. With a price tag of $159.99 they are a significant investment that the casual runner probably won't want to shell out the case for, but then again they probably wouldn't see the benefits anyway. But if you take your running seriously, this product is worth every penny. This is a running tight designed for athletes who head outside for a run no matter what the weather is. These are made for the runner who gets up before dawn, or stays out well past dark just to get their miles in for the day. The person who doesn't accept excuses from themselves or the gear that they use. If your one of those people, I think you'll find the SKINS A400 are exactly what you're looking for.

Gear Closet: 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants

Just a few days before I set out for Ecuador, a box was unexpectedly delivered to my door. Since I wasn't really expecting anything, I wasn't sure what was inside. I opened it up to discover several excellent pieces of gear from 5.11 Tactical, a company that makes great clothing and other items for outdoor enthusiasts, military personnel, and law enforcement agents. While not all of it was appropriate for my trip to South America, I did immediately add their Stryke Pants to my backpack, as I though Ecuador would a perfect place to test them. It didn't take long for me to realize that they were a great addition to my pack, and a vital piece of equipment for my trip.

Made from Flex-TAC ripstop fabrics, the Stryke Pant features a cut that fits the body nicely, without inhibiting motion in any way. Comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time, these pants allow you to move as necessary over rough terrain, and in difficult conditions. On top of that, they are treated with a Teflon coasting, that provides protection from stains and dirt, as well as a measure of moisture resistance as well. This is a nice benefit for travelers who like to travel light, as it allows you to carry fewer items with you when you go. In my case, I brought only two pairs of pants on my trip to Ecuador, with the Stryke Pant getting the bulk of the use during active pursuits.

Tactical 5.11 knows their customers well, and when designing these pants they incorporated plenty of pockets and stash points to store all of your important items. In addition to the traditional pockets on the front and back, there are also cargo pockets conveniently located on each leg. Inside those two pockets, you'll find organizational compartments as well, which are perfect for a cell phone, digital camera, a pocket knife, or what ever other items you want to keep close at hand. Both the cargo and rear pockets also feature velcro flaps to ensure a level of security too. Those flaps stay solidly in place, and are nearly impossible to open without drawing the attention of the wearer. This is also a nice feature for travelers, who want to keep their wallet, and other valuables, safe while on the road, although they also come in handy for making sure nothing falls out while you're scrambling up a mountain, or hiking a difficult trail.

I was impressed with how durable and rugged these pants are, without being overly weighty. The articled knees include knee pads to help protect the fabrics when you're kneeling on the ground, and other important areas of the design are reinforced as well. I put these pants through the wringer on multiple hikes in the Andes, as well as on mountain bike and horseback rides, and they came away looking brand new. They are even incredibly easy to wash while traveling, which allowed them to stay looking fresh, even though I had just worn them on a hike up a 4200 meter (13,779 ft) mountain.

As mentioned above, the Stryke Pant is moisture resistant, but not water proof. I found this out the hard way when I got caught in a rainstorm on an afternoon hike in the Andes, and ended up having to descend for about three hours in a squall. Surprisingly enough however, the pants still performed very well, and repelled water far longer than I would have expected. At the end of the day, they also dried fairly quickly, and were ready for use the next day without a hint of moisture remaining. While I wouldn't recommend wearing them on an adventure in which you expect to get wet, if the need arises they can certainly keep you moving, even when conditions are less than optimal.

While these definitely look like a pair of pants that you would wear on an adventure to some far flung destination, they also look good enough that you can also wear them about town, and not feel out of place. In fact, I wore them around Quito on more than one occasion, including grabbing dinner at a nice restaurant. I have the black version of the Stryke Pant, and they actually have narrow pin-stripes incorporated into the design. This actually makes them look a bit like dress slacks, even while carrying all kinds of extra gear in the pockets. Again, as a frequent traveler, it is nice to have versatile apparel that can pull double duty on the trail and at a nice dinner.

Tactical 5.11 sells the Stryke Pant for $70, which I feel is quite the bargain. They are incredibly well made, and seem like a piece of gear that you can rely on taking with you on multiple adventures for years to come. Very durable and comfortable, these pants will be a welcome addition to any outdoor enthusiast or adventure traveler's wardrobe. I know that I will be carrying them with me on many of my future journeys for sure.