The outdoor industry has a slew of technical materials designed to keep you warm, dry, and safe on your next trip, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for denim. From farmers to John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, denim is modern America’s original adventure material. Recently manufacturers have blended rugged denim with newer materials like elastane and Lycra so you can have the look of your favorite cowboy with the performance of yoga pants. Here are six pieces of denim that are worth wearing on your next adventure.
Duer No Sweat Pant ($130)
Canada-based Duer has developed a performance denim called L2X that blends cotton with Tencel, polyester, and Lycra, creating a stretchy pair of jeans that are antimicrobial and wick moisture. They look like a pair of dress jeans, but they perform like hiking pants. Go with the relaxed fit for more mobility.
Club Ride Joe Dirt Shorts ($70)
We know, jean shorts are so, well, Joe Dirt. But taking your most comfortable pair of jeans and cutting them off at the knees so you can wear them in the summer just makes sense. That’s what the trouser engineers at Club Ride have done, only they’ve made them two percent spandex for extra stretch. And they’ve added a side thigh pocket for your phone. We’ve been wearing these nonstop on and off the bike for weeks.
Flint and Tinder Stretch Trucker Jacket ($168)
Flint and Tinder updated its standard cotton Trucker jacket (which is sweet in its own right) by lengthening the tail for more coverage and making it two percent spandex for more stretch. We like the sleek black color and tailored fit—and the fact that it’s cut and sewn right here in the U.S.
Levi’s Barstow Western Shirt ($70)
The long-standing masters of denim know how to make a shirt. The Barstow Western has just enough detailing to qualify as “western” (see: pearl buttons, understated stitching) without being overkill. We like the style, but we also like the next-to-skin softness and the mobility that their proprietary stretch denim affords.
Taylor Stitch The Westport Shacket ($160)
Taylor Stitch has a handful of beautiful denim pieces, but none as versatile as The Westport, a layer that lives between the shirt and jacket and blends eco-friendly hemp with organic cotton. You get hand-warmer pockets on your hips and a handy map of San Francisco on the interior (just in case you’re lost in San Fran). This is your new go-to shoulder-season layer.
RVCA Denim Trucker Hat ($21)
This snapback trucker hat is just what you need to complete your denim ensemble. It features a mesh back, flat brim, and stylish leather patch.