Review: SWRVE BLK Japanese Canvas Trouser Shorts

I feel like over the past few years, I’ve begun to appreciate a good pair of shorts. So far this spring, I’ve had a few pairs on heavy rotation but since acquiring a pair of the SWRVE BLK Japanese Canvas trouser shorts, I’ve barely taken them off and I’m pretty sure that’s what SWRVE wants you to do.

This Japanese canvas is coated with a special treatment to give them a broken-in look after a few weeks of wear and riding. The fabric took only a day to loosen up and break in, something I wasn’t expecting as they’re kind of stiff feeling when you first put them on.

A 9″ inseam is what many would consider too short for comfort but I’ve taken a liking to their fit. When walking or riding, they sit a few inches above the knee caps, but when you sit down, they tend to hike up a bit more, usually around your riding tan line and cyclists love to show that off, right?

Two pockets on the rear will hold your wallet and what have you, with one zippered pocket to ensure you don’t lose your keys. Signature SWRVE detailing like a soft lining around the waist, durable belt loops and one reflective loop strip set these apart from many other “cycling-specific” shorts. All this with a zippered fly.

I’ve only had these for a little over two weeks now, so they’ve yet to show heavy signs of breaking in, but as with all of SWRVE’s products, especially the BLK line, I’m sure they’ll hold up fine to daily use.

Since these are Made in the USA and small batch, you can expect a retail of $100. Money well spent if you ask me…

Scoop up a pair at SWRVE and check out a few more photos in the Gallery!

  • Raymond Walker

    Am I the only one who cannot stand their zippered rear pockets?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I just never use it.

      • Raymond Walker

        That’s exactly my problem, I don’t zip em, so the zippers are in the middle of my bum (at least on their OG knickers I have,) such that when I sit down (not on a bike) they stab me, yikes no fun ploppin’ down on a concrete porch after a long ride. Wish they’d make a no-zipper short in this awesome material. Well, at least they’re awesomely cut and made in the USA! :D

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          This new zipper is kinda small. I don’t feel it.

  • Jamie McKeon

    I love how you had to get someone else to take Prollyesque photos because you were the subject.

    • Jamie McKeon

      …assuming you didn’t sit around candidly with the 5d on a timer

  • schue113

    The shorts on the website look like the inseam is longer than 9″. I can’t stand shorts that have long inseams. THEY ARE SHORTS! Even the new Giro shorts have inseams that I find uncomfortable long. Please tell me they fit like your picture and not the website and I’m on board.

    • http://baltimorevelo.com/ seth

      couldn’t agree more with this question/comment

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        They fit as shown. Promise.

  • James

    My fave new shorts are the new Patagonia All-Wear shorts in 8″ inseam. PERFECT for cycling & look great off the bike. The inseam is PERFECT and the price is much better than these and/or Outlier.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      The price is “much better” because they’re made by child laborers in factories who will probably die from working conditions or cancer so that you can have your PERFECT shorts, on and off the bike.

  • James

    I’m *pretty* sure Patagonia doesn’t fall into the exploitive labor practices category. They also fund great environmental outreach & conservation efforts.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      You’d be surprised what happens in those factories.

  • James

    I definitely concur with the need for safe working conditions and living wages both at home and abroad.

    With that being said, I’d like to ask if you own a smartphone manufactured by FoxConn or any similar manufacturer based in mainland China?

    It’s no surprise and well documented that FoxConn, HTC, and similar companies literally have appalling working condition (where workers are forced to work at such grueling and stressful paces that at FoxConn they literally fling themselves from the worker’s dormitories).

    So do you wait for a phone manufactured “in the USA” or go without?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Are we talking about cell phones in a review on shorts? Did I miss something? Obviously you can’t ONLY buy made in the USA / domestically produced products, but when I can, I do. That means I don’t buy boots, shorts, jeans, dress shirts, belts, etc that are made overseas in factories with no regulations…

      • James

        I brought up both an economical and personal stance about my choice of shorts.

        Yes, in a review of shorts, you brought up moral/ethical stance when you noted that you’re against products produced by “child laborers in factories who will probably die from working conditions or cancer”.

        So back to a review on shorts and avoiding the moral/ethical arguement, why did you fault me for my economical/personal choice in shorts?

  • AJ Tendick

    What’s the inseam like compared to the Outlier shorts? Love those but they are a liitle wide legged.

    • Nathan L

      Inseam seems a little longer and a little slimmer. Got mine yesterday and really love the overall product… except I think I got fatter and bigger for this. I think I’m closer to a true size 32 although I’ve worn size 30 in swrve WWRs (they’re also stretchy). You might want to order 1 size up since there isn’t too much give in this material

  • http://skim.la skim

    Have you ridden in these? The first ride was in the rain and I ended up getting a unique, broken-in saddle mark. Trying to figure out how to break-in the rest of the shorts to blend with the saddle mark.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Of course I’ve ridden with them… ;-)

      The break in mark you’re referring to is a characteristic of the material. It breaks in faster than cotton and will show character over time.

  • Simplicityofjoy

    …would it look awkfully stupid wearing bibs under these?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Not sure. Depends on how tight they are before you have the bibs under them.