At a glance
Innovative use of materials combined with an effort to apply high ethical and environmental standards make this shorts and t-shirt combo worth your attention, if you appreciate the Italian flair for design.Buy Shorts on
About the brand
You’ve quite possibly never heard of Double 3. I certainly hadn’t, but the Rome based clothing company deserves to be better known through the biking world. Double 3 makes such a great deal out of their decision to base the entire manufacturing process in Italy that they literally wear it on their sleeves.
They claim that this allows them to be sure of the environmental and ethical standards being applied, a laudable effort as nobody is forcing us to ride bikes around muddy fields, so we shouldn’t really be forcing someone to make the products we use to do it.
First off, the “race pyjama” look isn’t for everybody. Fortunately, whilst the “Tetsuya Fog'' combination we tested is definitely in the race pyjama category, the effect is much subtler than first thought. If it’s not your cup of coffee, Double3 have a wide range of colours and styles from the Lancia Stratos inspired (well, they are Italian) to the subtle, simple little black riding outfit.
Aesthetics aside, the first thing you notice is the solid feel of the shorts. Constructed from two pieces of teflon coated, water-resistant, material the shorts have a very robust air, without feeling over heavy. The t-shirt is constructed from lighter, more breathable material, but still feels more robust than many of Double3’s competitor's offerings.
Out on the trail the robust feeling continues. The material of the shorts is a little warm for pedalling on the hottest days, but for lapping the park or those colder, showery days, the shorts in particular became a firm favourite. The water-resistant fabric isn’t going to keep you dry in a downpour, but for the occasional puddle and intermittent drizzle they’re perfect. Double3 claims this water-resistant finish can be rejuvenated with a hot iron, but after repeated washings it still seems to be as beading as well as when they came out the box so the theory remains untested.
Although the shorts only feature one side and one rear pocket, the zip closures on both ease the fear of losing your keys or phone, and the sculpted side pocket shape helps keep your phone from bouncing around too much against your leg. I’m not a great fan of rear pockets on biking shorts so I’d prefer two side pockets to split my keys, wallet, phone and the like up a bit more, but the rear pocket is at least a handy place to keep your lift pass on park days.
The ratchet closure is a simple and comfortable way of keeping the shorts where they should be, but did highlight perhaps the only flaw in the clothing, the sizing. At 183cm tall with an 80cm waist, I’m used to having to wear size medium for the waist, and wanting a size large for the length. The Double3 size large shorts fitted me perfectly at the waist and dropped nicely to sit just below my knees on the bike. Good news for me, but I suspect many riders might struggle to find the right balance of sizing.
The T-Shirt doesn’t feature any pockets or fancy DWR treatments, it just got on with being a t-shirt, shrugging off my collisions with bushes, branches, trees and the ground and keeping me at a comfortable temperature as long as it wasn’t a blazing hot, sunny day. The size large could have been a little more fitted to my frame, but it certainly wasn’t a baggy fit. Although as I started racing DH in the 90’s, I probably have a looser concept of baggy than most.
Great spring or autumn riding gear that keeps an eye on the moral and environmental impact of the clothes as well as their performance.Buy Shorts on
This review was in Issue 66 of IMB.
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.