First Ride: Nukeproof 2019 Summer Apparel

After many years spent making components, and later on whole bikes, Nukeproof has been serious about getting into the apparel game as well lately. With a 2019 catalog that covers everything from jackets to socks, we took delivery of a couple of riding kits suited to the warmer months to try out. Read on to find out how we got along.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Functional cuts
  • Feature-rich short construction, in particular the Blackline
  • Comfortable fabrics
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Jersey fabric slightly heavy
  • Jerseys tend to get a bit clingy when wet
  • Outland short feels a bit flappy around the front pockets

Blackline Short Highlights

Outland Short Highlights

  • Available colors: Black, Petrol Blue, Khaki
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • 3 security pockets with YKK Zipper pockets
  • Internal lanyard clip for storage of valuables
  • Inner waist adjustable velcro tabs to prevent shorts slipping down
  • Internal waistband silicone grip strips
  • DWR coating
  • Triple stitched inner leg hems for extra strength
  • Nukeproof branded trims
  • Comfortable stretchy material
  • MSRP: $74.95 USD
  • 100% Polyester
  • Anti-bacterial finish keeping the shorts odor resistant
  • Inner waist adjustable velcro tabs to prevent shorts slipping down
  • Mesh-lined waistband for comfort and moisture wicking
  • Triple stitched for extra strength in key areas
  • YKK Zips and popper buttons
  • 2 front hand pockets with casual look with side leg zipped pocket for valuables
  • Inner pocket lanyard clip loop
  • MSRP: $64.95 USD

Blackline Jersey Short Sleeve Highlights

Outland Jersey Short Sleeve Highlights

  • Black/Yellow, Blue/Flame, Khaki/Grey
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Back security pocket with YKK Zipper
  • 200% faster drying time compared to cotton
  • S.Cafe fabric made from coffee beans offers natural UV protection
  • Nukeproof branded trims
  • Moisture wicking and quick drying
  • Anti-bacterial finish for odor resistance
  • MSRP: $49.95 USD
  • Available colours: Black, Grey, Blue, Red
  • 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane
  • Raglan sleeve for freedom of movement
  • Round neck
  • Screen printed graphics
  • Drop hem for extra coverage
  • Nukeproof branded trims
  • MSRP: $41.95 USD

Initial Impressions

Looking through their catalog, Nukeproof now covers everything from racing to casual trail riding. The test kits we received are aimed directly at the trail and enduro crowd, with a generally relaxed look and cut common to them all. The colors are warm and the overall design sober without being boring, in contrast to Nukeproof’s more race-oriented stuff that is typically a lot louder.

The Blackline short is Nukeproof’s middle-of-the-range short, but it delivers features that you would expect to find on items with a high-end price tag. At just $74.95 USD MSRP, Nukeproof has managed to produce an item that punches well above its weight. The 4-way stretch fabric used is tough on the outside and soft on the inside, and there are 3 zippered pockets for storage. The waist features internal adjusters as well as silicone grippers on the inside to further help with retention, but there are also belt loops in case you really need to go to town to adjust to your particular measurements. A DWR coating helps the Blackline shrug off mud or lighter downpours.

The Outland short is more of an entry-level offering, but once again Nukeproof does not skimp on the materials or the construction. Three pockets (one of which is zippered) provide storage space, while the same internal waist adjusters as found on the Blackline provide adjustability. There are no internal silicone grippers and no extra belt loops found here, but double popper buttons and a zippered fly will make sure your short stays closed no matter what. The 4-way stretch fabric isn’t DWR-treated, so don’t count on the Outland for those damper days.

The Blackline Jersey is constructed from “S-Café” fabric, which is made by fusing recycled coffee grounds with polymer to create a fabric that fights odor, dries quickly, and that protects from UV rays. The jersey features a relaxed cut and a single small pocket ideal for storing a credit card or your liftpass, with the whole back panel made from a different weave intended to feel lighter on the skin.

The Outland jersey is a simple, T-shirt style jersey made from a polyester/elastane blend. Soft to the touch, the Outland features a round neck, a raglan cut, and screen printed graphics.

On The Trail

Both of the shorts tested here are generously sized, not to the point of needing to size down but certainly comfortable enough if you are usually at the top end of a sizing band. The Blackline short impressed us from the start, with highly technical fabrics and a very functional cut – certainly not something we expect to always find at this price point. The hems are long enough to always cover your kneepads, and although the cut is generous, the short never got in the way of the saddle once in action. The fabric is comfortable on the skin, and quick to dry after a wash cycle. The pockets are well placed, and because they all have zippers you never have to worry about your belongings making a run for it. The Blackline jersey is equally comfortable and a worthy companion to the short, although we did find that it feels slightly heavier than some other fabric types that we have comes across in the market recently – perfect for cooler latitudes or high alpine environments, less suited to hot and humid conditions.

Nukeproof Blackline Short and Outland Short Sleeve Jersey

The Outland short is slightly simpler than the Blackline, but still offers a very functional cut that works well on the bike. The waist adjusters are efficient, and the stretchy fabric allows you to move around on the bike unrestricted. The only issue we came across with the Outland short is that the open pocket design can feel a bit “flappy”, for want of a better term. Really not much of an issue, but if he had to nitpick, that would be it. The Outland jersey is super comfortable and we are big fans of the cut, to the point that we ended up often pairing this jersey with the Blackline short for the perfect combo in our eyes.

Nukeproof Outland Short and Blackline Short Sleeve Jersey

What’s The Bottom Line?

It’s not an easy task to make riding apparel that stands out in a crowded market. Much like they do for their component range, Nukeproof applied their proven formula of delivering good performance at a very reasonable price, and they came up with gear that works really well on the bike, feels good, and offers features and functionality that are in some cases found only on much pricier products. With designs that don’t look like MX hand-me-downs, you’ll feel right at home both on the trail and at the post-ride watering hole.

More information at: www.nukeproof.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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