I came across the cycling apparel brand Swrve via a random Pinterest search result (take note brands not using good old Pinterest). Ideally I was after something that would look like a Barbour or Belstaff off the bike, but be light and have all the features of a cycling jacket. A pretty impossible search I figured until lo and behold I discovered a pin showing just such an item by a company called Swrve, amazing right? (I was amazed anyway). So I then delved into the world of Swrve to discover this incredible little brand, based in LA (one of my favourite cities) making the kind of cycling apparel I’d spent years searching for. See the thing is even though I love to see how cycling brands like Rapha have blossomed I’ve always felt their offerings a little too focused for my on/off bike needs. Therefore I’ve always got by with a combination of North Face and Finisterre outerwear, both great brands in their own right but I’ve never felt they’ve been exactly fit for purpose.
You see I just want shit to cycle in that looks like the clothes I’d normally wear, and I think thats about the easiest way to describe Swrve. I was further sold on them after reading the many rave reviews their gear got on some well respected forums, and we all know how difficult it can be to get universal love on those.
On the strength of this I was poised to get a Swrve wax jacket to find non available in the UK and I couldn’t quite justify $400 plus import duty on a jacket for myself, a week before Christmas. Luckily I found the perfect substitute in their Deck Jacket, which was swiftly dispatched and beautifully packaged from AlwaysRiding at a little over a £100, which was a deal.
I’ve been using this for two months now in conditions as cold and wet as the UK normally gets and I couldn’t be more pleased. Firstly its so light and soft to the touch you can’t believe this could keep you warm and dry. But trust me its held off 30 min torrential rain storms and kept me toasty in zero temps with just an oxford shirt and a light fleece or regular sweatshirt underneath. Whats so pleasing are the cycling specific details such as the huge kidney pocket perfect for your phone, a note book and a lock if you wanted to go somewhere without a bag. Not forgetting the high collar, windstopping material and internal sleeve cuffs that keeps icy blasts at bay. Off the bike it looks great, and I’m not talking ‘great for a cycling coat’ no it actually looks like something I’d choose to wear to a meeting or the pub with bike or without. I’d describe it as a mix between a coach jacket and deck jacket, which is what makes it unique.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the Swrve brand progresses now I know about them. It’d be great to see them being picked up by a few of the less cycling specific outlets such as OiPolloi, Paul Smith or Pegg&Sons, as thats where many of us cyclists might look first before heading to a bike shop.
A little note to say I’ve used Swrves pics in this post as I couldn’t be bothered to brush the cat hair* and banana debris** off mine just to take exactly the same kind of pics as they’ve produced (I’m sure they won’t mind;)
*Anyone who owns a cat will be well aware how much our furry friends like to sleep on the most recent and prised purchases.
**My eating of a fruit on the cycle to work every morning can get ugly.