The ‘Gorpcore’ Backlash: Why True Adventurers Are Skiing in Jeans and Hiking in Rompers


FOR YEARS, Navarro Guerro, 25, searched long and hard for his dream cycling kit. You might think finding it would be easy given the rise of the “gorpcore” aesthetic, which saw black Arc’teryx rain shells and Klattermusen hiking pants become as covetable (and fashionable) as sneaker collaborations. Not for Guerro, a product engineer in Salt Lake City who said he finds much of this technical apparel garish, too often covered in shouty logos. He’s purchased a few different pairs of mountain-biking pants, he said, but doesn’t “like the feel or racer look of tech fabrics.”

So when Guerro spotted some fellow riders tackling challenging descents in what looked like plain, dark-wash jeans, he was intrigued. Turns out the pants, made from reinforced denim, came from Ripton, an Aspen, Colo., brand founded in 2019. Guerro bought a pair and their durability and aesthetic versatility have impressed him.

The world of cycling apparel has been dominated by technical fabrics and flashy designs for years. Performance-oriented gear, with its moisture-wicking properties and aerodynamic features, has been the go-to choice for serious cyclists. However, there is a growing demand for a more understated and versatile alternative.

Ripton, with its reinforced denim cycling pants, aims to fill that gap. The brand combines style and functionality, allowing riders like Guerro to enjoy the benefits of technical apparel without compromising on their personal style preferences. The plain, dark-wash jeans look offers a more casual and timeless aesthetic, making them suitable for both on and off the bike.

The durability of Ripton’s pants is another standout feature. Traditional jeans may not withstand the rigors of intense cycling, but Ripton has engineered their denim to be more robust and resistant to wear and tear. This ensures that the pants can withstand the demands of the sport while providing the comfort and freedom of movement cyclists need.

The versatility of Ripton’s cycling pants is also worth noting. Many cyclists want apparel that can seamlessly transition from their active pursuits to everyday life. Ripton’s jeans offer just that, allowing riders to hop off their bikes and continue with their daily activities without feeling out of place. This versatility adds value to the product and appeals to a wider range of cyclists.

Guerro’s positive experience with Ripton’s cycling pants highlights the growing demand for alternative cycling apparel that breaks away from the traditional technical fabrics and flashy designs. Cyclists are increasingly seeking options that prioritize style, durability, and versatility. Brands like Ripton are stepping up to meet this demand, offering innovative and fashionable solutions that cater to the evolving needs of cyclists.

As the cycling industry continues to evolve, it is exciting to see the emergence of brands like Ripton that challenge the status quo and provide cyclists with more options to express their personal style while enjoying the benefits of high-performance gear. With the rise of the “gorpcore” aesthetic and the increasing popularity of cycling as a sport and lifestyle choice, it is likely that we will see more brands following suit and offering alternative apparel that caters to the diverse preferences of cyclists.

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