Swrve Durable Cotton Review

swrve durable cotton pants and shorts
Swrve’s Durable Cotton pants on the left, shorts on the right. The surprisingly water-resistant pants show the aftermath of a sprinkler attack. The shorts are a better representation of what dark grey looks like in Swrve’s color palette.

Long Story Short: Much like Swrve’s Cordura Jeans being a game changer in the realm of cycling denim, Durable Cotton does the same for non-denim. This fabric is amazing and virtually indestructible.

Long Story Long: At the start of this past summer, I picked up a pair of Durable Cotton pants and shorts. The pants had the practical purpose of being a slightly lighter weight alternative to jeans when things heated up.

The shorts were more of an impulse purchase. Already owning a couple pairs of Swrve’s _blk Lightweight Shorts, I was a little skeptical that the Durable Cotton version would amount to much more than high performance backyard BBQ shorts.

It took all of one ride to realize just how far off base that assumption was.

The maiden voyage for the shorts was a 20 mile round trip pedal across town to Dodger Stadium. I clipped the tags off and was out the door-  shakedown ride around the block be damned.

The most immediate impression they made was the amount of stretch they had. While the Lightweight Shorts have plenty of stretch, the Durable Cottons are wicked stretchy. We’re talking near Spandex levels of elasticity. As silly as it sounds, the material has such unique properties that sometimes I have to fight the urge to run around and do roundhouse kicks just to see if I can find its limits.

After that first ride, the shorts became my go-to item of the summer. On those rare occasions they weren’t folded neatly in the dresser, they could hang out on the floor for days at a time between wearings and be good to go with a quick shake thanks to being nearly impossible to wrinkle.

The pants performed just like the shorts except in a longer package. The fit is identical to Swrve’s regular fit jeans so there were no surprises there. The textured, yet soft nature of the Durable Cotton gives the pants a Dickies like feel without being industrial.

Back in the day, Dickies used to be the pants for messengers in downtown LA thanks to their low cost to durability ratio. While $100 for a single pair of pants isn’t cheap, the only way I can imagine Durable Cotton pants not outlasting several pairs of their ordinary counterpart is if they were doused in gasoline and set on fire. And if that happened, you’d have bigger problems to worry about.

One bonus feature to the pants is how comfortable they are for travel off the bike. Wore them on a few long road trips and flights this summer and stayed as snug as a bug in a rug. The stretchiness is a huge boon when contorting yourself into a sleep compatible position while stuck for hours in a tiny seat.

Here’s the Breakdown: All the details that have become Swrve trademarks are present and accounted for. Both the shorts and pants have a seamless crotch, heavy duty stitching throughout, reflective belt loops, and dual pen pockets- one of the dorkiest, yet ridiculously useful features you’ll ever encounter.

With regard to the pants, the pocket configuration is pretty standard. Two up front and two in back. The left rear pocket is zippered. The right rear pocket is open and a little larger and should comfortably fit an iPhone 6+ if that’s your jam. Unlike the jeans, there is no reflective strip inside the leg. Swrve’s trademark articulated knee gussets are present and accounted for.

The pocket configuration of the shorts is slightly different. Two standard pockets are up front and in the back is a Velcro pocket on the left and on the right is a larger, offset open pocket (think mini u-lock sized) with an integrated zippered wallet sized pocket on top. Gotta love how Swrve makes it hard for you to lose your important stuff. For obvious reasons, the shorts lack knee gussets.

After five months in heavy rotation and dozens of washings later, zero signs of wear can be found on either piece. The color hasn’t faded, seams haven’t frayed and the Durable Cotton hasn’t lost its shape. I wouldn’t be surprised if both make it to the next decade.

Want a Second Opinion? Cycleboredom is on the case.

Swrve Cordura Jeans Review

Regular Trim Fit on the left. Skinny fit on the right

Long Story Short: A Vulcan mind meld of Action Pants and Toughskins. Swrve’s Cordura jeans are the best jeans a cyclist or anyone whose daily business is on the action-packed side can own.

Long Story Long: When it comes to new cycling gear, I can’t upgrade soon enough. When it comes to everyday clothes, I’d be wearing a burlap sack if it wasn’t for my dear wife making sure I’m properly clothed.

And that’s the conundrum with urban cycling apparel.

It all rides that fine line between performance and practical. I guess that’s probably the general idea but for non-clotheshorses that can mean it might take a while to jump on the fashion bandwagon.

In my case that was two years after Swrve released their innovative Cordua jeans. Every (as in all four) pair of jeans I owned had finally bit enough dust to require some new ones. So instead of rolling west towards the Grove, I pedaled east towards VeloLove.

The Regular Trim Fit jeans were love at first sight. My usual size was right on the money and the difference when it came to on-the-bike performance was so immediately apparent I wanted to punch myself in the junk for not upgrading sooner. The most noticeable features were the Spandex infusion (goodbye eternal struggle of trying to pedal in denim) and the seamless crotch (goodbye perpetual taint noogie).

Within a week I was at VeloLove for pairs two and three. Picked up another Trim Fit and a pair of the Skinny Fit for those days when I’m feeling extra sassy.

Here’s the Breakdown: The Regular Trim Fit jeans are just that. Regular and trim fit. There’s plenty of space to move around without being too baggy. I have yet to snag them in a chain ring and if that did happen, I’d be more worried about the chain ring busting a toof. The pockets are smartly laid out and even the quirky pen pocket has grown on me to become a useful feature. On the backside there’s an extra, offset pocket perfectly sized for an iPhone. However, if you’re a klutz and have the protective case to prove it, the mobile pocket my be too tight of a squeeze. If that’s the case, use it to carry a Bit-O-Honey instead.

The Skinny Fit jeans are definitely on the skinny side but not so skinny that a generous application of Crisco is required to slip into them. Another way to describe them would be very tailored. They have the exact same pocket configuration Regular Fit though it’s best to travel light as stuffed pockets will leave you looking a bit lumpy.

If you’ve got quads and glutes of steel, be prepared for your milkshake to bring everyone to the yard. Due to the tighter fit, the articulated knees are much more noticeable on the Skinny Fit jeans and definitely allow for a full and frictionless range of motion.

Like the rest of Swrve’s products, quality is top shelf. After several months of use and dozens of washes, they still look like new all the way down to the built-in reflective strip hidden away on the inside. Every pair of jeans I’ve ever owned has been shredded at the hem due to my strange habit of walking/shuffling barefoot around the house and garage. Meanwhile, these jeans refuse to budge. The Cordura denim is definitely built for the long haul.

Want a Second Opinion? Check out Cycleboredom. They have glamour shots too.