Review: Meet Curious Creatures, the Most Fun Mountain Bike Apparel Brand in the Forest

Photo: Curious Creatures

If you're a man, the first thing you should know about Curious Creatures is you'll have to convert your waist size to numeric sizing (women's pants + dress sizing) to get bottoms that will fit you. Curious Creatures is a woman-owned and founded brand that makes apparel for men and women, and they use one sizing standard. At least for now. I think that's pretty cool. It took about 30 seconds for me to convert my size 32 waist to size 12 in numerical sizing and I was good to go. 

The second thing you should know is the brand is built around fun. Accessibility. Performance is there, absolutely, but this is not Rapha. This is not Troy Lee Designs. This is a mountain bike brand that put out a promo video featuring people shredding trails wearing full-length, uh, forest creature suits, looking something like what the Ewok Special Forces might wear. "A bunch of weirdos obsessed with exploring our world by bike," says their website. Well, that sounds pretty good to me. 

Curious Creatures is led by Natasha Woodworth, a former ski racer who moved into fashion design. She spent some time under the bright lights designing clothes for Lady Gaga, of all people, before she traded her urban life for something a bit grungier in Ventura, California, working for Patagonia. Then, a move to Bozeman and the creation of CC. 

The brand is focused on women, but sells shorts and shirts that have crossover appeal to men. I've been wearing the Ramble Scramble shorts for many months now and they're easily my fave bike shorts of all time. They're slim-fitting and have a short 7" inseam. I love this because I like feeling unencumbered on a bike and traditional baggy bike shorts have me feeling claustrophobic. 

"Pretty sure I see a shortcut." The author, trying to navigate fastest beer time (FBT) on this ride. Photo: Colin True

 

Here's a good look at that short inseam. Perfect on a hot day. Photo: Housman

The Ramble Scramble shorts move easily, are very stretchy, but also feel thick and durable. They're made from a Bluesign®-certified polyester fabric, with PFC-free DWR treatment. It's a single ingredient polyester, so they can be recycled at end of life. The shorts have a drawstring waist with a button, two front and two rear pockets, plus a zippered side pocket for a phone, a slice of pizza, whatever you want. 

Yeah, they feel great to ride in, but what I also appreciate is I can wear them around town and they're just, like, regular shorts. Not ultra-tech, not jocky, not fuddy duddy. They're just shorts that happen to excel when riding a bike. That's exactly what I want in a garment that costs $140. 

I also rock the Cottonwood Long Sleeve Tee, which is an organic stretch cotton (grown in the USA) that is great on the bike on cooler days, but I mostly wear it around town so I don't get it splattered with mud. It's a nice looking shirt. 

And that's their whole game. Uniquely designed clothes that work great on a bike, or hiking, or running, or gardening, or fishing, or sleeping, or while going to the movies. I've done all those in my Curious Creatures gear. Double duty stuff. 

It's well-made, it looks good, and it performs well. Sure, there are a zillion mountain bike apparel brands out there, but there's something a little different about this one, a little funky, a little fun. 

 

Words by Justin Housman

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