In the northern hemisphere, it’s time to dig out the sleeping bags and mosquito nets for some long awaited mountain bike camping trips. I plan to strap bags to my frame and get lost in the cool mountain air at least a few times this summer. On bikepacking and backcountry adventure rides, when identifying butterflies is as important as getting somewhere, a simple and lightweight pile of gear is key. The Overland apparel line from UK-based Morvélo is designed around laid-back looks and technical trail function. Check ’em out below.
Trucker Overland LS Shirt
When 90°F alpine summer temps dip closer to 40° after dark, a warm flannel will keep fireside time comfortable. This Trucker LS riding shirt doubles as that evening layer, and it works great on the bike for rides below 60°. The 4-way stretch fabric is DWR-treated to repel the morning’s dew or keep you cozy in light rain. The fabric is made of 92% polyester and 8% lycra, allowing it to stretch and move with you. It breathes better than traditional wool or cotton flannels when you’re moving and will keep you fairly warm sitting still. It’s more of a technical layer that looks like a flannel. Faux-flannel? Flannaux?
The Trucker shirt’s fit is slim, with little fabric to catch on branches or plants. The rear tail is longer than the front to overlap with shorts while in an aggressive riding position, and the sleeves are plenty long for riders with a broader ape index. Its sleeves can be rolled up past the elbow to regulate heat, or when it’s time to filter water. There are two buttoned chest pockets and a pair of flank pockets, each large enough for a modern cell phone or a folded PB&J. The flank pockets are a great stash spot for anything you want to access while riding.
I’ve buttoned up the Trucker LS on several brisk morning rides, and I was surprised by how well it works on the trail. The fabric breathes better than a lot of MTB faux-flannels, and the soft feel inside doesn’t stick to my sweaty skin the way I expected it to. The material feels tough, like it will stick around for a few seasons, and there are four colors to choose from for £95.00. Available at Wiggle.com.
Coach Overland Elemental Wind Jacket
Vintage athletic fashion in the forest? Your style is your choice. If you dig the look, this lightweight wind jacket is a sweet packable option for any ride that might include some cooler weather and summer storms. The 100% polyester fabric is DWR treated to repel a bit of rain from above, or splashes from below, and it does breathe a little to let some steam out.
For a sweaty Betty like myself, this jacket gets used on colder morning rides below 55°. It’s not the most breathable layer, which is really nice when it’s legit chilly out, but otherwise, it can feel too hawt. I have managed to regulate heat better by adjusting the zipper, and given its packability, this will be a solid addition to the adventure kit.
The fit is somewhat slim, though it’s decidedly roomier than the riding shirt pictured above. The sleeves are equally long, and their elastic cuffs make it easy to slide them up or down to regulate warmth. The high collar may overlap the retention dial on some helmets, depending on the shape of the helmet and your riding position.
The Coach Wind Jacket has five pockets total, with two on the belly, and one large inner pouch. Good luck eating all of the snacks you cram in those holsters. It comes in this mossy brown color, retailing for £65.00. Available at Wiggle.com.
Overland Selector Shorts
The Overland Selector Shorts are on par with the lightest weight and stretchiest pair of MTB baggies I have ever worn. They have the feel and breathability of a decent pair of running shorts, and the stretch from their 21% lycra construction should allow them to flex instead of ripping should they come in contact with the ground.
These dead-simple short pants have two hand pockets and a lumbar pouch that’s the size of a smaller cellphone or snack. The double button waist closure is also made of highly flexy material, so you can cinch them down to be quite tight. Waist size adjustments are done by relocating a snapped strap inside the waistband. This isn’t my favorite way to tighten trousers, because it creates bunched-up material at the sides if you have to tighten it all the way, and it requires awkwardly opening the top of the shorts all of the way to adjust them on the trail.
Apart from the waist adjustment these shorts fit well and are properly designed for adventure riding. They aren’t quite long enough to cover kneepads while riding, and their overall cut might fit best into the XC or gravel-shorts (if that’s a thing?) categories. I would recommend ordering your usual size. I have a 30″ waist, and the size medium I tried were a little too big. I should have stuck with a small.
The DWR coated fabric is über light, making these an ideal piece of gear for hot summer shreds. For any ride above 70°, their breathability and unnoticeable heft are hard to beat. The Selector shorts retail for £90.00, and there is also a women’s cut with identical features.
Overland Bib Short
The men’s and women’s Overland Bib Shorts are available in two versions. The V1 that I tested has three rear pockets, much like a traditional road jersey, and the V2 has two larger pockets and adds grippers to the leg openings. Both options retail for £90.00. Men’s and women’s options are available at Wiggle.
The mesh upper on these bibs breathes better than a lot of the competition, adding minimal heat to the ride in trade for a chamois that you don’t have to pull up after every few turns. The lower half is equally well suited to warm weather riding, with a comfortably stretchy nylon and elastane mix that’s as forgettable as bibs should be. While I can’t say that a chamois will work similarly for anyone else’s butt, I found it extremely comfortable on all day pedals. I don’t typically wear a chamois or liner shorts, but when I do it needs to be worth the hassle — and this one is.
The three pocket mesh lumbar is a welcome feature that I appreciate regularly when I can get out for a 4+ hour ride without strapping on a pack of any sort. It provides all of the convenience that I experienced with a good old lycra jersey, without the roadie aesthetic.
Elements Dual Overland SS Baselayer-Jersey
The folks at Morvélo appropriately called this Elements Dual Overland SS shirt a “baselayer-jersey,” as it’s wicked tight like a base layer should be, yet has three pockets across the back like a road jersey and another two on the belly. Yes, you read that correctly. Front and rear pockets.
The 100% polyester material doesn’t stretch much, and after a sweaty ride I found the jersey essentially glued to my skin. Given my two knackered shoulders, I had to ask for help to get it over my head. The light and tight material breathes well and doesn’t take up much space in a bag, but It would work better with some spandex or other stretchy fabric in the mix. The lack of material give also makes the pockets somewhat difficult to utilize since anything you add to them further reduces the overall fabric movement and compliance.
If you dig the look and light weight of this jersey, I would recommend ordering a size up to make space for the pockets to expand. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
We would like to thank Morvélo for sending this gear to test and review.