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Swrve Wander Over Shirt

8
£135.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Great choice for relaxed rides on cooler days, not looking like A Cyclist
Great looks
Lovely fabric
Loads of pockets
Shrugs off showers
Bulky
Not for sweaty rides
No pit zips
Fit chart is off
Weight: 
639g
Contact: 

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The Swrve Wander Over Shirt is a very stylish, practical and bike-friendly top for cool-weather easy rides, as well as daily kicking about. Smart enough for 'work' but very at home in the pub or cafe with a great on-bike fit, it's an instant classic.

If you want to ride to work in comfort and style, check out our guide to the best cycling clothes for commuting.

> Buy now: Swrve Wander Over Shirt for £135 from Swrve 

As people look to integrate less driving and more cycling into their lives, there comes a point when you realise that for some applications you need a more bike-friendly wardrobe to help arrive looking sharp and comfortable. I'm not talking about half-day sub-maximal efforts on a road bike, or muddy splatterfests. I mean riding maybe five miles along a path to meet friends for a pint, or a commute on an e-bike, or the school cargo-bike run. Maybe a half-day seaside path adventure with your non-cycling-mad Significant Other, who doesn't want to be seen riding alongside a tightly wrapped Belisha beacon of obvious bikeyness.

For this sort of caper you need gear that doesn't scream CYCLIST, but has features that make cycling more enjoyable. And yet is perfectly good – and good looking – at the rest of 'life'. This is the need the Wander Over Shirt is here to meet.

Swrve was founded in Los Angeles in 2005, with a focus on 'stylish, strong and functional clothing that would perform as well on a bike as in an office, out at a bar, or exploring the diverse terrain all around'. Lots of boxes ticked there then.

The Wander Over Shirt is what you might call a 'shacket' – heavier than a shirt and windproof/water-resistant, but not full-on waterproof/hooded garb. Thrown over a short- or long-sleeved shirt, it blends in and adds a layer of warmth and protection that is often all that's required.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - back.jpg

It's cut longer to protect your bum from a bit of spray or rain, but not so long as to look out of place when standing up.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - hem.jpg

The fabric is a nylon-spandex mix that has four-way stretch to easily move with you as you bend over on a bike or twist and reach during daily activity. It's treated with a finish that sees water bead off – so light showers aren't an issue.

The inside is lined with a soft terry-faced cloth making it comfortable against the skin if worn over a T-shirt.

Details

Fastenings at the front, pockets and cuffs are quality YKK poppers – not a zip in sight – making for safe and fast one-handed on-bike adjustment. The cuffs and forearm split are generous, so it's easy to open or roll up the sleeves for ventilation.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - cuff.jpg

Speaking of which, there are laser-cut ventilation holes at the armpits for a bit more breeze and to encourage airflow.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - underarm vent.jpg

Pockets abound, but don't look outlandish. The two breast pockets will fit a large phone, and inside the left pocket there's a pen holder with a wee access slot so it can protrude if needed – geek chic pour tous.

There are two side handwarmer pockets, which sit flush with the side seam so unless you have your hands in them, they're pretty much invisible. These are large enough to hold a tablet or a beer, take your pick.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - pocket.jpg

On the inside the pockets aren't sewn in at the top, so you effectively get two more 'dip' pockets, also large enough for a tablet or beer... there's a theme emerging here.

Construction is first-class. All the important stitching holding panels together is triple-chain – three lines of stitches instead of one or two. The internal hems are flatlocked.

Cool customer

At 639g this is not a lightweight item you can roll up and put in a pocket. A small backpack or messenger bag, yes. This bulk also means that if you do need to work hard, or are out in, say, 15°C+ sunshine, it's almost certainly going to be too warm. The fact it totally blocks wind and can button right up marks the Wander Over Shirt out as a shoulder-season and warmer winter's day kind of top layer.

I wore a large and that felt perfect for me at 6ft tall, with long arms and average build. According to Swrve's chart (on its US site) I should have been an S or even an XS, which would have been an Italian-road-esque tight fit indeed. So be aware when ordering.

2023 Swrve Wander Over Shirt - shoulders.jpg

Riding about below 70-75% max heart rate – ie conversational pace – in cooler weather is the sweet spot for the Wander Over Shirt. Swrve uses a loaded bikepacker in its promotional shots, but I feel this might be missing the key market here. Bikepacking, pretty much any time the road or trail rears upward you're in your lowest gear and working for the gains. Unless the temperature was in single digits, I feel you'd be overheating in the Wander and looking to shed it until you crest the rise.

My on-bike time with the Wander was a learning curve of temperature, sun, effort, and luggage capacity if I needed to take it off for a bit. If these stars align, what you have is a garment that feels great, is practical, sheds the odd sprinkle of rain and looks ace.

The only thing I wish the Wander had was underarm zips. I feel with the extra breeze zips would afford, its versatility and ability to manage comfort would be significantly increased.

The standout feature of the Wander for me is the combination of fit and looks. In a decade of reviewing this was the first time my highly bike-fashion-sceptical and Lycra-weary family universally acclaimed a product's appearance. Even our every-limb-tattoo'd resident Goth – with enough piercings to guarantee airport metal detector klaxons – commented on the Wander's sharp lines.

Value

Design, backed with excellent fabric and construction, plus a raft of bike- and life-friendly design features, means the Wander Over Shirt punches well above its apparent steep-ish cost for a 'shirt' or 'jacket'. This isn't a bike-life garment, it's a garment that helps fit bikes into your life.

And in the Doesn't-Scream-Cyclist genre it's not as expensive as some: the Vulpine Men's Regents Mac is more of a waterproof solution but is nearly twice the price.

The Vulpine Men's Insulated Riding Overshirt is cheaper (£100) but isn't windproof, though it does a similar job of adding warmth on cooler days while not looking at all bikey.

Also a little cheaper is the reversible Endura Hummvee Shacket that Matt tested in 2020, a similar option, and at £105 it's sharply priced, too – if you like rocking the lumberjack look.

Conclusion

If you want to get about on your bike or life in general in cooler weather, be comfortable and look sharp doing so, the Wander Over Shirt is a damn good shout. Just make sure you get the right size.

Verdict

Great choice for relaxed rides on cooler days, not looking like A Cyclist

road.cc test report

Make and model: Swrve Wander Over Shirt

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

It's for people wanting to arrive by bike – but not look like they arrived by bike.

Swrve says:

"A stylish, light jacket / over-shirt for all your adventures that looks good wherever you go. Perfect for everyday wear and still works when the temperatures dip. The 4-way stretch fabric adds unrestricted movement when active whilst keeping a tailored fit so billowing in the wind is not a thing. The fabric is wind resistant and a light water resistance helps with unexpected showers. It's a brilliant do-anything, go-anywhere layer, made to work on the bike but will look after you whenever its on.

The triple-chain stitched construction and bar-tacked reinforced pockets will keep it working for you, it has two hand pockets discretely tailored to each side, and a useful pen pocket added to the top right chest, as well as two inside dip pockets that are sized to help (will hold a tablet, or beers)"

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

FEATURES

double-weave fabric is soft next to skin and wicks sweat away

laser cut pit vents for getting rid of excess heat

triple-chain stitching construction

YKK snap buttons

dual chest pockets

pen pocket

hand pockets

interior dip pockets

high hem in front to prevent bunching

drop tail hem to keep you warm and respectable

stylish trim fit for everyday use

FABRIC

high nylon content makes this over shirt tough and durable. The 4-way stretch allows for unrestricted movement while retaining its shape. French terry interior is soft next to skin and wicks sweat away. water resistant. quick to dry. 272 gsm.

THE FIT

regular fit for light layering and a trim look.

CONSTRUCTION

laser cut armpit vents, drop tail hem, snap button front and cuffs.

THE FINAL PRODUCT

the perfect over-layer for when the temperature dips

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Flawlessly made to very high standards.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

I'd like to have seen maybe an underarm zip to aid cooling without needing to disrobe, but that's it.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Early days, but the fabric seems tough and the build construction is hefty enough without being overdone.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

It's very flattering for an average build.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
4/10

The large sized up perfectly for me at 6ft tall with long arms and a 40in chest. According to Swrve's chart, I should be an XS!

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

It's heavy, yes, but not overly so.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
10/10

The fabric and cut make for a fabulous feel.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

At £135 it's not cheap, but it's not bad value – the practicality and looks more than make up for it.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washed just fine, but dirt brushed off so shouldn't be needed much.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I love wearing this. It's great for relaxed rides and kicking about in.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It would only benefit from underarm zips.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Pretty well. Only a bit more expensive than the Endura Humvee jacket, and cheaper than the Vulpine options.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The only thing I can think to add are pit zips – otherwise it's a darn close contender for perfect on+off the bike cooler-outer-layer.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe  My best bike is: Nah bro that's it

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L

Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.

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4 comments

Avatar
Hirsute | 9 months ago
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Fit chart is off - under or over ?

Avatar
OnYerBike replied to Hirsute | 9 months ago
2 likes

It is detailed in the review - Mike (the reviewer) found size L comfortable, where as the size chart recommended XS/S. 

I do however wonder if swrve re-label their sizes for the European market. Their website is a bit crap, but I can't find a size chart for the Wander Over Shirt on their UK website (linked above). Looking at this jacket on the UK website, the sizing seems fairly typical for UK sizes (e.g. 34-36" chest would be S). 

On the US website, a similar-ish jacket has very different sizing, with S being a 42" chest. (I can't find any products sold in both the UK and US that have a size chart on both websites). 

So it's possible Mike looked at the US size chart which said he would fit a US Small, but when sold in the UK, the same sized garment is labelled size L. Obviously this confusion wouldn't occur if swrve simply bothered to include size charts with all their products on the UK site (even on their US site it seems a bit potluck what measurements you get, and whether they are garment measurements or body measurements). 

Avatar
Steve K replied to OnYerBike | 9 months ago
0 likes
OnYerBike wrote:

Looking at this jacket on the UK website, the sizing seems fairly typical for UK sizes (e.g. 34-36" chest would be S). 

That seems small for a small to me - I would have thought that would normally be XS (with small being 38" or 36-38").

Avatar
bk415 replied to Hirsute | 9 months ago
0 likes

For what it's worth I'm USAian, about 6'1", 220 pounds (15.7 stone?), 44" chest -- I have an L and it fits me correctly. It's a nice shirt/jacket too, I concur with the review!

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