The first time I tried on the 3rd Rock Eclipse top and Skat trousers my partner exclaimed, “You look like a climber!” I beamed inside, and then tried to suppress any critical feelings about my lack of looking like a climber before the wardrobe change.

3rd Rock Clothing Alison

To back up a second, a few months ago Jessica (3rd Rock designer) and her partner Guy contacted me about testing out some 3rd Rock clothing. After looking at their website and drooling over their products, I enthusiastically said I would love to test, and they sent some lovely samples from the UK.

Since then I’ve gotten to know Jessica a bit more and found out that she graduated with a fashion design and pattern cutting degree 10 years ago. She’s made everything from evening gowns and biker jackets to aprons and oragami hot pants. Starting 3rd Rock Clothing she’s finally focused her attention on activewear. She said it’s such a relief to design and cut clothing that is really useful and functional.

Aurora Bra

3rd Rock Aurora Bra All Sides
3rd Rock Aurora Bra

The Aurora bra is definitely a standout. It has a super-cute strappy back, and although it looks like the fabric gathers in one spot that could create pressure points, I’ve never had a problem in the weeks of carrying backpacks and rope bags. And, when you bend over or go for a jog, rest assured, your boobs are secure.

The bra does come with inserts to hide nipples. Fortunately, these inserts (I wouldn’t call them pads) don’t add bulk, nor do they change the appearance of the bra. The inserts can also be easily removed.

The bonus is, no matter what style of tank top you have, the Aurora looks good under it. Read: If the straps show: it’s still cute, in my opinion.

3rd Rock Aurora Bra Back of Tanks
3rd Rock Aurora Bra

Size notes: I got the size small, and it fits my 32B boobs perfectly.

Eclipse Vest (tank top)

3rd Rock Eclipse Vest All Sides
3rd Rock Eclipse Vest

I’ve had a very hard time finding climbing clothing I like, not to mention clothes that fit my 5’2″ self. The Eclipse vest (with built-in bra) has a flaring fit that’s quite flattering. Often I find tops that are made to accommodate longer torso’s make me look extra short, with bulk piling up where they meet my pants. Instead, this shirt flares nicely over my pants and looks like it was made just for me. And, I was jealous of how great my 5’9″ friend looked in it as well.

The organic cotton is super soft and gives a feeling of quality–it’s not excessively bulky nor uber thin. My only (slight) complaint is that the material can sometimes seem to collect debris/particles (like animal hair, chalk, and dust). Since I have the black version (it also comes in black current and yellow), you can see these particles fairly well (even when coming out of the wash, it seems to collect some lint). Solution: sticky roller brush, or tape and then it’s back to looking classy.

Nicaragua Flower

The built-in bra has a wide strap, dispersing any pressure. And, I’ve never had to re-adjust or pull down this chest strap even after a full day of climbing. There are also fabric inserts in the bra to hide nipples. The inserts wanted to fold over in the wash and it can take a little effort to open them back up. Once again, the design is very well done so you can’t see these inserts at all (and you can take them out too).

I love the look of the crossing straps in back and the sewing detail. I’m happy with the subtle logo as well. But the halter-style straps that keep everything in place while simultaneously staying out of the way while carrying a pack, climbing, or stretching are simply my favorite.

Size notes: I got the size small; it fits my 32B boobs and there’s definitely space for more boobage (or less boobs and swimmer lats).

Skat Trousers

3rd Rock Skat Pants All Sides
3rd Rock Skat Pants (photos of someone taller than me – no baggy-ness around the knees & ankles!)

I wish wish wish the Skat pants fit me. They actually fit perfectly, except for the inseam length. Since everything else fits so great I often wear them and pretend I’m taller. Sadly, my partner continues to remind me that the pants just really aren’t my size. (At least he’s honest?…*sigh*). I debated hemming them but in the end the knee articulation would still be off (and hemming would nix the ankle bungy cord), so instead they’ve mostly been a tester pair for friends.

The Skat Trousers are super soft and comfortable. And, as 3rd Rock’s website correctly states, they make your butt look cute. You can definitely tell that Jessica (the designer) has tested hundreds of materials. She’s gone to fabric trade fairs and fabric mills and found many organic cotton suppliers and recycled fibre suppliers, but she’s only been happy with a with a select few, and those are exclusively the materials she works with.

3rd Rock Skat Pants All Sides Alison
3rd Rock Skat Pants – Trying to make them work! (The bungy is much better than rolling them up).

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name Skat, well, that name came about before Jessica had seen the urban dictionary definition. For 3rd Rock, the name Skat originally came about when Jessica sat down with a friend brainstorming names for the collection. This friend happened to be an astrophysicist and shared that her favorite star was called Skat from the constellation Aquarius. As 3rd Rock generally uses names from nature and the universe, Jessica was instantly in love, also in part because it reminded her of the Scatman song from her childhood!

Sizing note: I wear anything from a US 0 to 6, usually somewhere in the middle, and the size small fit perfectly around the waist. The inseam is super long for me, but I did notice that some of the Skat pants (purple and light blue) now have a short inseam (31″) which a 5’4″ reviewer said fits perfectly. Similarly, the Eden pant (in forest and pink) is currently available in short and regular lengths. The Eden has more pockets and a curved side leg panel which gives more space for the knees to bend, and it has double-layered knee panels and, for the record, it’s also Jessica’s favorite.

Testing

I received these clothes in November, when it was a bit cold for proper testing outdoors in Washington state. After some testing in the gym, I finally got to give them a real trial in more tropical climates in December and January.

We travelled to Costa Rica for a mini-vacation and the first thing I packed was the Eclipse “vest” (the UK term for tank top) and the sporty Aurora bra. The Eclipse top proved perfect for a casual day with shorts, a night out in jeans and also dressed up with a skirt. I used the Aurora bra for at least half of the trip. Over the 2 weeks of travel it never took on an odor, nor did it start to look dingy.

Nicaragua Waterfall

When climbing in El Potrero Chico, Mexico, the first top I put on was the Eclipse vest. It felt like putting on freedom. Thanks to the halter strap design, the straps have never fallen down, nor have they ever been in the way during long reaches or exotic moves. The longer torso length feels like it was meant for climbers — it never rides up while wearing a harness.

alison-in-Potrero

Another Opinion

I asked my taller 5’9″ friend to try on the Skat pants for testing and within moments of trying them on she was sold. Actually, she was sold on the pants, the bra, and the tank top. In mere seconds she blurted out that all three items, and the pants in particular, were “amazing” and “so much better than any of my [other brand]” and “I can never find stuff that fits. This is perfect.” It didn’t take her long to follow-up with, “What’s the name again? I’m going to have to remember this.” [A month later she texted me asking if I could send her a link to the website].

Oh, and she definitely looked like a climber in them too (more than this quick photo shows).

3rd Rock Clothes Tall Friend
5’9″ friend

Summary

Since I’m a gear nerd, I couldn’t help but ask Jessica how much testing went into these pants. She didn’t hesitate to reply that, “Lots of testing, washing, rubbing against rocks, climbing, bending, reaching and squatting goes on in the studio and out in the wild. Lots of re-fitting prototypes goes on for every garment too. I believe the industry standard for prototyping a garment before production is 2 times. We must develop our prototypes 4-5 times on average before we are totally happy with them, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.” And I think this is exactly why the materials used and the designs Jessica develops are so great. It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend 3rd Rock garments (and will buy the short inseam versions in the near future).

There is clearly a reason why 97% of the reviews on 3rd Rock’s website are 5 stars (and the 4 stars are usually because somebody ordered the wrong size or found an extra long inseam). Every review truthfully touts the soft, comfy, cozy nature of these versitile garments. And, it’d be hard not to get stoked at the organic and recycled materials used.


Also worth noting: when you check out 3rd Rock’s website, you’ll notice a newsletter signup that will get you 10% off your order. And if you follow them on Facebook, you can keep up to date with all their sales as well.


In full disclosure, I did receive these items from 3rd Rock for free for testing purposes. That said, I found they are some of the best active wear pieces I’ve every worn. I’d happily pay full price (and I intend to) for clothes that fit and function this well.


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Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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