I often split my days between working in the shop, riding a bike, and working in the office. In addition, I do a lot of adventure sports in the evenings, weekends and vacations. I have long been looking for clothes that can stand up to the rigors of hiking, biking, canyoneering, traveling, and still work for the office. I have finally found it in Rail Riders, a small clothing manufacturer that came out of the sailing world. Unlike a lot of the heavy cotton tactical clothes like the previously-reviewed 5.11 shirts and pants, Rail Riders’ synthetic fabrics are all chosen for their light weight, ruggedness, and water shedding capabilities. The added bonus is they offer several styles that can also work in an office setting, without making you look like you’re an off-duty SWAT team member.
Prices reflect the high quality and short-run nature of the garments, but I have yet to be disappointed with anything they sell. Their clothes are used by adventure racing teams, Himalayan expeditions, and world sailors. On a recent all-day canyon trip, everyone but me came back with the seats of their pants shredded. While this stuff is extremely rugged, it’s not overweight. Many of Rail Riders’ fabrics also have a water repellent treatment that has saved me from some embarrassing accidents while eating or drinking in the car or at my desk.01/13/09