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- Price $198 on outlier.nyc
- Fabric Weight 300gsm
- Weight 450g
- Material 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
- Made in New York City
When I say that Outlier has changed my life, I ain't overexaggerating. Their New Way Shorts welcoming me into the rabbit hole of high-end technical apparel and has sparked an entire blog, the very one you are reading right now.
Those who are like me, that have plunged that Outlier needle into your bloodstream, would definitely own the quintessential travel pants, the Slim Dungarees. The Strong Dungarees was an attempt to take the crowd favorite up to the next level of durability.
As an ex-denimhead, looking at my retired collection of selvedge Japanese denim I still have in my wardrobe brings back memories. While I still love a good pair of denim, the performance just doesn't measure up to the requirements of modern travel (or at least, the expectations of the onebag travel community).
Strong Dungarees was made as an answer to the durability of denim, without the setbacks. Denim is strong, originally made as workwear for miners. Yet, the cotton sucks up sweat and rain and stay cold for hours and it dries painfully slow. The Strong Dungarees is the 21st-century take on denim to take it back to its performance roots.
I set out the see how much of this claim is true.
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As with the Outlier brand of aesthetics, the Strong Dungarees are no exception. Minimal, yet silently strong. The Strong Dungarees are certainly very simple, yet unassuming, certainly a quiet, visual force to be reckoned with.
The Strong Dungarees come in 5 colors, black, phantom gray, gray space, dark olive and darkindigo. As with everything else reviewed on this site and I wear, the black is the one reviewed in this article.
The pants are ultra-minimal, with no visible external branding. There is a printed tag on the inside, where your left asscheek would be. A nice little branding detail I noticed was the subtle Outlier swan logo indented on the back of the rivets.
Design-wise, it's almost identical to the Slim Dungarees. Like the Slim Dungarees, it comes with five pockets, two at the back, two in front and a coin pocket within the left front pocket. Also, like the Slim Dungarees the coin pocket is positioned diagonally for easy access.
The difference I noticed was that on the Slim Dungarees, there is a grey lining along the insides of the waist, but the Strong Dungarees‘ lining is black. This is great because the gray lining tends to collect stains along the way like how it has on my Slim Dungarees.
Along with the button, I could see that special attention has been taken in details like threading and choice of rivets and zip color, to make sure the entire pair of pants is consistent in tone.
The biggest difference between the Slim Dungarees and Strong Dungarees is the fabric. The weight and material of the Strong Dungarees makes it look closer to a pair of denim jeans, but with less texture and character.
It definitely looks weightier and more structural. Yet, at the same time, they feel lighter than a pair of denim jeans.
Because of this rigidity, the material form wrinkles less easily, so they seem more suitable if you need a cleaner look.
Like most of my other pants, I got a size 32. I've gained a few waist sizes transitioning into a middle-aged, Asahi-drinking man in Japan. Even so, I am trying to keep all my pants size consistent and rely heavily on the stretch to squeeze into them.
This pants has a pretty high rise, which I like. Comparing the size 32s between the Slim Dungarees and Strong Dungarees, the Strong Dungarees has a longer inseam, with an extra of about 3 inches. I cuff them up usually and they don't make the pants more baggy in my experience.
With the tougher fabric, the stretch is less forgiving compared to pants like the Futureworks or Slim Dungarees, but I was able to fit nonetheless. To add to this, it feels like the fit is a little slimmer (not skinny) as well.
While some of the technical pants I've tried is more gray than black despite the color being stated as black, I'm happy to say that the Strong Dungarees are as close to true black as this kind of fabric can get.
Supplex is an air-texturized nylon fiber designed to emulate the smooth touch and soft breathability of cotton, yet retain Nylon’s high strength and durability. The best of both worlds.
These extremely fine filaments are twisted together to form the yarn to create a rugged durability, yet retain the gentle touch with the number of fibers per yarn. A stretch and non-stretch version of these yarn are woven together to create a two-way stretch fabric, with the crazy strength of nylon 6,6 (Unfun fact: Nylon 66 is made of two monomers each containing 6 carbon atoms, hexamethylenediamine, and adipic acid, which give nylon 66 its name.).
The Strongtwill is then taken to the next level, with an ecocalibrated DWR finish for water resistance which means a quicker dry and better resistance to dirt.
A gusset is a diamond-shaped piece of fabric that aims to tackle the problem where a four-way intersection creates a bulky lump of fabric that doesn’t hold up in traditional pants.
This is an intentional design element to offset the less stretchability compared four-way stretch pants, like the OG Climbers. Doing this would give the Strong Dungarees more structure, yet maintain a good range of movement for the wearer. It does so by allowing the forces of movement to be transmitted to four times as many places.
The Strong Dungarees is extremely hard-wearing. When they said they were trying to take denim back to its performance roots, they weren't lying. The Strong Dungarees can be worn like a pair of denim, only that it doesn't fade like them.
Despite the rigidity, slimness, and toughness, there is something about these that make them very comfortable. I think it's the inner fabric feel combined with the cut that is just right, resulting in no weird pressure on any part of my leg.
As with many of Outlier's pants, the pockets are deep to prevent its contents from dropping out easily, just the way I like them.
They look like a regular cotton or denim pants yet provide all the technical aspects that we love. For those who haven't made the transition, this might be the perfect bridge for those who are not into the overly-technical look.