Western Rise Review: Are They Worth The Price Tag?

written by local expert Tom Rogers

Tom is the co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years, living in 5 different continents. His advice on travel gear, adventure travel, and business have been featured in Foundr, Business Insider, CNN and more.

Looking for a review of Western Rise products? Keep on reading. Here at Adventure in You, we review several types of travel gear including backpacks, tents, and even shoes, but today, we are talking about something that many people don’t often consider when planning their next adventure: clothing. 

While clothing may not be at the forefront of your mind, it can make a huge difference in your comfort while traveling or exploring. In this Western Rise clothing review, we are going to be talking about one performance clothing brand which claims that it can “elevate your life.” 

What is Western Rise?

Western Rise is a clothing company that claims to focus on simplicity, performance, and timeless style. Their clothes are created with the idea of streamlining your wardrobe, particularly when it comes to active and everyday wear. 

Rather than having a closet full of clothes for every possible occasion, Wester Rise provides simple, high-quality clothing that can fit a variety of purposes. Western Rise claims that they can help customers to “Own less and experience more.” 

Western Rise product review Merino hoodie

Do their products actually live up to this assertion? Here are our thoughts on a few of their most popular products.

StrongCore Merino Hoodie Sweater

This sweater may look simple, but it is definitely not something to overlook. It is made of merino wool, which is one of the most high-quality fabrics available. Not only will it pretty much last forever, but it is super soft, moisture-wicking, and breathable. It is one of the few fabrics that can keep you both cool in the summer and hot in the winter.

The design of this sweater is simple but very flattering. The neckline sits close to your neck, keeping you nice and warm during the cold winter months. 

In our own experience, we found this sweater to be insanely comfortable. It is lightweight, comfy, and is just made well. I was a bit worried about how “scratchy” the sweater would feel, since some people say that Merino Wool isn’t as soft as regular fibers.

I was completely wrong as the hoodie had a soft, luxurious feel. Weighing in at a light 263.7g, this sweater is something that I can easily take with me on many adventures. I took it with me hiking in the Tatra mountains in Slovakia and it provided me with the right amount of warmth. 

Layered on with a down jacket, it’s honestly the perfect combination! The Strongcore Merino hoodie looks both rugged and stylish at the same time which is one of the things I love about it.

Overall, the StrongCore Merino Hoodie sweater holds up as a comfortable and high-quality sweater that will keep you feeling warm and looking good, especially while traveling or staying active in the winter.

Western Rise Evolution Pant 2.0

If you are looking for a pair of pants with an amazing looks to comfort ratio, these definitely take the prize! They look far nicer than a pair of jeans, but they are infinitely more comfortable. 

Imagine being able to wear your favorite stretchy sweatpants to work, dinner, or pretty much anywhere else. That’s what you get with the Evolution Pant 2.0. These pants are made with a 4-way stretch fabric and a durable material, just like you would get in a comfy pair of sweatpants. These pants give you the comfort of stretchy pants, but they don’t sacrifice style in the process.

These pants are also lightweight, stain resistant, and they come with a secure technology pocket and an extendable inseam. They are also extremely water-resistant, meaning that if you get stuck in the rain while wearing these pants you won’t have to worry about walking around for the rest of the day in soggy underwear. 

We were so impressed with the specs of this seemingly simple pair of pants that we had to try them out for ourselves. In our experience, the pants are extremely comfortable. They are quite tight and stretchy so if you want your pants a little bit looser, maybe order a size up.

I love how versatile these pants are which makes them perfect for traveling! Basically, if you purchase these pants, they might just be the only pair of pants that you will ever need. 

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StrongCore Merino Tee from Western Rise

This is yet another product that harnesses the incredible power of merino wool. Comfortable, yet strong, this is the ultimate basic tee to serve a variety of needs. This t-shirt is great for travel, sports, going to the gym, or everyday wear. 

While this t-shirt may seem like an obvious win, it does have one drawback…the price! This plain t-shirt comes at a whopping $98! Definitely not what most people expect when they are looking for a simple t-shirt.

While the average person may think that it is absolutely ridiculous to pay $98 for a solid t-shirt, there is a reason for the crazy price tag. The merino wool that is used to make this t-shirt is a very high-quality fabric. Not only that, but this fabric is also fairly rare and highly labor-intensive to produce. This drives up the price of all products made with this fabric. 

So, is the Strongcore Merino Tee worth the price tag? In our experience, it’s a 100% resounding yes. We’ve tested the Strongcore Merino Tee and took it hiking multiple times and after each hike, the shirt smells fresh and clean!

It isn’t a wash and wear T-shirt as you can actually wear it multiple times. Merino wool fibers are naturally anti-microbial so the shirt stays fresh. It also modulates your body heat keeping you both warm and cool when you need.

Yes, merino wool shirts are pricey BUT they last for years and are considered an investment. Just read the reviews! I actually plan on ordering MORE of these Strongcore Tees as they are truly a game changer.

Note: the shirt sizing does run large but if you look at their sizing guide, you should be fine.

Western Rise X Cotton Tee

For those who want a high-quality shirt, but can’t quite afford the price tag of merino wool, the X Cotton Tee might be a good alternative. While it doesn’t quite possess the durability or thermo-regulating powers of the Strongcore Merino Tee, it is still a high-quality shirt for the price range. 

This shirt is a blend of cotton and spandex, making it durable and odor-resistant, while also providing moisture-wicking properties. According to the Western Rise website, this shirt was designed to hold up and smell fresh after multiple days of wear during travel. 

This shirt’s moisture-wicking and odor-resistant properties also make it great for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who need a shirt that will keep them cool during athletic and/or outdoor activities and won’t trap odor.

Of course, we had to give this shirt a try for ourselves. Ultimately, we felt this was a smart shirt. It is a little heavier than the average cotton tee (even compared to the Strongcore Merino tee) but it still looks extremely smart and casual. I’ve worn mine repeatedly and love it!

How do the Strongcore Merino Tee and X Cotton Tee Compare?

To the average person browsing through Western Rise’s website, the Strongcore Merino Tee and the X Cotton Tee look very similar, so it might be confusing to determine which one is right for you. After all, how different can two t-shirts really be? As it turns out, they can be very different.

The most obvious difference that anyone who compares these two shirts will immediately notice is the price. The Strongcore Merino Tee is a grand total of $50 more expensive than the X Cotton Tee. 

Of course, as discussed previously, this price difference is directly related to the quality of the fabric. If you wear t-shirts all of the time and you are looking to create a capsule wardrobe that will be flattering, comfortable, appropriate for all occasions, and last pretty much forever, the Strongcore Merino Tee would be perfect for you.

On the other hand, if you are someone who is on a strict budget or if you are someone who doesn’t mind collecting large amounts of clothes and you just want another t-shirt to add to your collection, the X Cotton Tee may be more your speed. 

Of course, the fabric difference between these two shirts affects more than just their price and durability. While both fabrics are odor resistant, the Strongcore Merino Tee is actually odor-neutralizing, which allows it to be worn for days while still keeping you smelling fresh. This feature is perfect for multi-day travel. 

The Strongcore Merino Tee also has the unmatched ability to keep the wearer comfortable through all seasons. Contrary to most wool, this fabric can not only help you to stay warm during cold weather, but it can also keep you cool during warm weather. This may sound crazy, but just try it for yourself! If you do, you will definitely be shocked by the result. 

Strongcore Merino Tee Western Rise
Hiking with my Strong Core Merino Tee

Is Western Rise Right for You?

Do you like classic styles rather than passing trends? Do you like having a small collection of high-quality clothing, rather than constantly cycling through large amounts of clothes with every new season or occasion? 

Do you hate fast fashion? Do you live an adventurous or nomadic lifestyle that requires a small collection of high-quality clothing to suit your needs?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, Western Rise might be the perfect clothing brand for you. 

Overall Thoughts on Western Rise

Overall, we feel like Western Rise is a brand that will slowly become a staple in my wardrobe. I hate fast fashion and investing in high-quality items is so much better for the environment. Being that I travel all year round, having good quality items that I can wear continuously for years is important to me.

Western Rise is the ultimate minimalist clothing brand. Their products may not seem like much, but they are both classic and durable, meaning that they won’t go out of style and they won’t wear out after a few wears. 

Our Review: Western Rise

Western Rise creates well-made, high-quality merino wool clothing. We've used our Western Rise products hiking and are more than happy with their performance. The Strongcore Merino Tee is now going to be a staple in my wardrobe. While it seems costly, consider it an investment as merino wool is really a game changer when it comes to travel apparel.

Amazing quality
Well made

The biggest downside is, of course, the price, but considering the high-quality fabrics that are used in making their clothing, we don’t consider them to be overpriced compared to other companies that carry similar fabrics and styles. 

Clothing choices are important for everyone, especially for travelers. Having clothing that is uncomfortable, snags easily, or that traps odor can make you miserable on a long trip. 

For those of us who live a nomadic lifestyle and aren’t able to maintain a large wardrobe, it’s even more important to make sure that the clothes that we do have are just right. 

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