Are you looking to be stylish and understated when you travel?
At CyclingAbout, we believe that looking sharp is important when you’re travelling because you never know where you’ll end up. I’ve been a guest in the Chief of Tourism’s office in Korea, accommodated in 5-star hotels in Japan and have found myself in expensive restaurants with the movers and shakers of society. All completely unplanned, of course.
The good news is that clothing outfitters are on your side. These days you can get super technical outdoor gear, or ‘techwear’ which looks stylish in its own right. You can get cycling wear that will fit in, in the most high-end hotel lobbies.
Make sure to read How to Avoid Dressing Like a Tourist to understand the basics on how to fly under the radar and look stylish while you travel.
This list is a work in progress as the fashion world is bigger than my more familiar cycling world. If you’re clued in and know more amazing techwear, leave a comment detailing who they are, and why you think they should be included on the list.
Cycling Specific Techwear
Chrome // rain jackets, jumpers, tees
My take: Perhaps more famous for their bags, Chrome do a great line for the upper body. Their waterproof cycling and non-cycling jackets look great, and their jumpers/tees are made with merino. Where can you go wrong?
Giro // rain jackets, shorts, tees, shirts
My take: Most famous for their helmets, Giro have recently produced a neat clothing line for travellers and commuters. Although they aren’t quite as stylish or striking as other outfitters noted here, tech fabrics are incorporated into their garments and most items are packed with cycling specific features. Being a bigger company, these products are available at a lower price point.
Levi’s // jeans, pants, jacket, shorts, shirts
My take: Levi’s are possibly the most famous producer of jeans, and more recently have put together a product line tailored to fashion-savvy urban cyclists. I LOVE their jeans and shorts (with lots of small cycling-specific details such as water resistance) and am keen to try out their shirts/jacket.
Makers and Riders // shirts, pants, jackets, tees
My take: A relatively new company on the scene, their techwear extends mainly to pants and includes a water-repellant shirt. From all reports, the gear is great!
Mission Workshop // rain jackets, jumpers, pants, shorts
My take: I’d always admired Mission Workshop from the computer screen, but in 2012 I was lucky enough to check out everything in person at Eurobike. Their techwear is top notch, albeit quite pricey (especially the waterproof jackets). Mission employ high-end textiles like Schoeller fabrics to put together their trendy, yet smart clothing line.
Outlier // jumpers, shirts, tees, shorts, pants
My take: One of my favourite techwear brands, Outlier has a high quality that I’m familiar with. Super smart, well designed and durable.
Rapha // rain jackets, softshells, jumpers, shirts, tees, shorts, pants
My take: The go-to outfitter for cyclists with style, Rapha has really made a name for themselves over the last decade. I am slightly more fond of their cycle-wear than their casual-wear, but you’ll find some great shirts, tees and jeans in the mix.
Swrve // rain jackets, jumpers, tees, shorts, jeans
My take: One of the best value cycling techwear companies, Swrve dishes up some brilliant pants and shorts in particular, but also a nice selection of upper garments.
Columbia // rain jackets, shirts, jumpers
My take: One of the bigger outdoor tech brands, Columbia has a few decent understated goods on offer. I like some of the rain jackets, shirts and jumpers, but the stylish items are often hard to locate with such a diverse product line in every country.
Endless Ammo // jackets, shirts, pants, shorts
My take: Endless Ammo isn’t particularly ‘techy’ gear, however it is USA-made in smaller batches. They make some smart looking kit at a decent price.
Macpac // down jackets, jumpers, tees
My take: My choice of down jacket and sleeping bag for the big adventure, however Macpac also produce some really neat looking tees and jumpers.
Nau // rain jackets, jumpers, pants, shirts
My take: Although lots of Nau’s gear isn’t typically high-tech, you’ll find a bunch of softshells, rain jackets and water resistant pants with some decent style.
Nike // fleece jumpers, rain jackets, shirts
My take: It’s not every year that Nike has their techwear down, but some seasons have shown some really great clothing using advanced textiles. Keep an eye out in the NSW/ACG lines.
North Face // rain jackets, down jackets, shirts, jumpers
My take: This huge outdoor gear company does some pretty neat casual techwear. I am always a fan of their plain shirts (ironless), rain jackets and jumpers.
Triple Aught Design // jackets, tees, pants
My take: Simple designs and colours, with lots of tech features built in. These garments will fly you nicely under the radar wherever you are.
Designer // Exclusive // Expensive
Acronym // jackets, softshells, jumpers, tees
My take: Incredible techwear, super stylin’ and with the price tag to match. I pretty much love all of it, and if I had the money – I totally would!
Aether Apparel // jackets, pants, shorts, tees
My take: Aether’s jackets are absolutely gorgeous – everything from the rain and down, to the shells – super minimalist design and colour contributes heavily to this. I am less impressed with the pants and tees.
Arc’teryx Veilance // rain jackets, jumpers, pants
My take: The premium line by Arc’teryx. Veilance incorporates the most technical features of their outdoor gear range into some seriously understated and stylish gear. I love the jackets and pants in particular.
White Mountaineering // rain jackets, jumpers, shirts, tees
My take: Ok, so despite being called White Mountaineering, they only include a few Goretex jackets in their whole range. BUT they’re unique and super awesome in the colour and design. I’d give one a go!