The guys at Stolen Goat very kindly sent me (ok, I pestered them as I’d heard good things about their products and wanted to test them for myself, but they are very kind!) one of their gravel jerseys and a pair of their gravel shorts to test as well as a cap and a pair of socks.
The first thing to say before getting into the review is about the packaging that the clothing arrived in. It came in sustainable packaging which is either made from recycled materials or can be recycled. No single use plastic here. That’s a massive tick in the reason to buy list in my opinion.
The jersey is has a crew neck and a relaxed fit, it has no pockets. Stolen goat say that “speed is secondary to enjoyment” and having a tight fit or the jersey loaded down with kit stops the freedom of movement of the jersey. I wholeheartedly agree. The jersey is loose fitting but don’t think that means flappy or baggy. I’ve worn this jersey with a baselayer when we had typical UK summer weather, i.e. cold and it worked well and I’ve worn it with nothing underneath in the current 26 degree + heatwave we have now and it feels so nice against your skin.
The material is a mix of polyester, merino wool and elastane. I was a little concerned when i first read the materials label as I’ve found merino quite scratchy/itchy in the past but no such experience here. the feel is super soft, so soft in fact I’ve worn the jersey to work on a couple of occasions as it is so comfortable!
Out on the bike, the jersey feels just as soft and the elastane ensures it has a little stretch so feels great when cruising along or in a full stretch on the drops. My other concern about merino is that it can get quite warm and I do tend to overheat like a dog in a locked car when the temperature goes above 18 degrees but again, even though there’s no zip to open the jersey felt great in the heat too. To the point if I had the choice between a full zip jersey or the Stolen Goat jersey I’d opt for the latter even if it was really hot outside. The jersey also did not suffer from dark patches under the arms etc on a hot ride either. I’ve a few technical T shirts and they all feel like they are made from man made materials, “nylony” if that is an actual word but the Stolen Goat jersey feels very natural and even after repeated washes the it feels just as, if not more comfortable.
The Stolen Goat Gravel shorts are made from a “Cationic” fabric which has a 4 way stretch, there’s a double press stud and zip fastening and velcro adjustment for the waistband. there are 6 pockets (yes 6!) two side, two rear and two zipped top of thigh pockets.
Now, baggy shorts on a gravel bike have to be in my opinion a lot better fitted than a traditional MTB baggy short. After all, you probably won’t need room for a set of knee pads on the Grav bike. Length is also important for me as most MTB shorts are too long and flappy. So, long enough to cover the end of your bib shorts, but not short so you look like a 1980’s footballer. The Stolen Goat gravel shorts are pretty much spot on fit wise in these regards. I wear bibshorts under baggy shorts and they work well together. Even though the shorts are more fitted than the previously mentioned MTB shorts there’s still room for a thin layer of lycra underneath without any feeling of bunching at the hip or in the crotch area.
The pockets are all useable even when riding, even the two zipped ones on the front which I thought might not feel good if there was anything in them. I popped quite a large sized phone in one pocket and although you can feel it is there it didn’t feel weird or uncomfortable. I probably wouldn’t stick any soft fruit in there though! Stick to an energy bar or similar.
Sizing, I followed the guide on the Stolen Goat website and both jersey and shorts fitted well. In the case of the shorts I didn’t have to move the adjustable waist at all so if I ever stop eating pies and cheese (who am i kidding??) there’s room to reduce or expand.
The Waffle coolmax socks are cut long and are perfect for warm days, they wash well too, without any shrinkage. The Socket cap is perforated on the top which helps wick away sweat and great to wear under a helmet in chillier or really sunny days. I even wear it off the bike (yes I am one of those people!) as i lack hair and it’s great to ward off the sun’s rays. i can also flip up the peak if anyone asks me a question!
Stolen Goat have hit the nail on the head with the Gravel shorts, they are not just MTB shorts in a more gravel friendly colour, they’ve been designed with the needs of the gravel biker in mind. Pair up with some bib shorts for long days in the saddle. You’ll also not look weird if you need an emergency Wetherspoons pit stop as they look good off the bike too, I’d probably remove your helmet before queuing for a cheap pint though.
The stand out item for me in this collection is the Gravel Jersey, it is so comfortable, it dries quickly and looks great after multiple washes. For short or even better for long distance rides it is spot on. With lots of designs and colours to choose from it’s worth investing in one for your riding wardrobe. I’m probably going to stick my hand in my pocket and buy another one.
One other thing that I like about Stolen Goat is their crash damage replacement policy and lifetime guarantee which you can check out here
the items tested can be found here