Words by Katie Sox

If you’re a human who spends time in the forest on a bike, you’ve likely caught wind of a new kit on the block in MTB apparel. Curious Creatures – a female founded company out of Bozeman, MT – is serving up well-designed, comfortable, functional, and esthetically dope clothing to keep you happy on the trails. While the initial line was designed specifically with women’s needs and usage as a priority, many of the current pieces are unisex and they’ve got a men’s line in the works. Natasha Woodworth, the brand’s founder, spent a bit of her career designing runway fashion, followed by many years at Patagonia in Advanced Concept Design for technical ski threads.

Curious Creatures is as much about community, getting to the grimy center of your human being, connecting with nature, and letting yourself be the goofball that you really are as it is about the well-thought-out design, comfort, and sustainability of the products. Natasha has put a lot of effort toward ensuring that products are
manufactured ethically with the welfare of the workers in mind, as well as designing apparel that can be repaired rather than replaced. The whole line is stylish, relaxed, and works well as casual wear for those post-ride hangs.

 As a pro photographer who spends a lot of my working hours in bike clothes chasing folks down on MTB trails, I’ve had several months to put the Sun Dog Pants from Curious Creatures to the test. They’re extremely comfortable, have pockets for my lens caps and cookies, and offer a flattering fit. I live in a small body and often struggle with MTB pants and shorts that have zippered pockets or adjustable waist bands with Velcro fasteners along the hip. These features tend to interfere with the use of a hip pack and can even cause abrasions and bruising on my hips after a long day on the bike.

The soft and stretchy waistband solve this issue and don’t bust my gut while I crank up hills. I absolutely love the colors offered and general feel of the product. I tend to grab the Sun Dog pant over several other options I have in my closet. They’ve held up well over several months of riding trails, tromping through brush to get the shot, kneeling on gravel and climbing up rocks while I’m making photos, save for a snag or two on thorny bushes. Pair them with the
Vulvarine Chamois and it’s an ultra-comfy ‘fit that you forget you’re even wearing.

I’m 5’5 and 125 lbs with athletic thighs. I have a size 4 in the Sun Dog Pant and a size Small chamois. I might try on the size 2 pants before grabbing another pair, as there is an extra bit of room that my body doesn’t use up just below the waist band. However, I enjoy that the size 4 isn’t too tight, allows room for articulation around my hips and interfaces well with knee pads. Sometimes bodies fluctuate and the size 4’s have been great for those days when everything feels too restrictive. Let’s jump into the details of what I like and dislike about the products I’ve been running from Curious Creatures.

Sun Dog Pants Pros and Cons

  • Super comfortable with extra stretchy waist band that allows the design to be flattering and functional for all types of bodies
  • No buttons or zippers around waist that interfere with hip pack straps or cause chaffing around hips.
  • Lightweight stretch fabric is perfect for longs days on the bike, even in hot weather.
  • Vents at ankles help keep you cool on big, climb-y rides while still offering full leg protection.
  •  Snap at bottom allows you to put on or take off knee pads with ease.
  •  Zippered pocket on leg is perfect for a cell phone or trail snacks.
  • Great for bikepacking adventures or any time you’re limited on packing space
  • Works well for après fashion. Very important feature.
  • Mellow colorways and esthetics that don’t sacrifice on usability or style
  •  Ethically responsible manufacturing that considers treatment of workers, sustainability, and longevity of the products with ability to repair built into the design – such a cool feature
  • Lightweight fabric is less awesome in very cold and wet winter weather.
  • Prone to snags on thorns and pokey things (this only happened to me when I was deep in the Galbraith berry bushes shooting photos at a women’s MTB camp)

Vulvarine Chamois Pros and Cons

  • Laser cut hems and flatlock seams allow for minimal chaffing and max comfort.
  • High waist doesn’t restrict around stomach or roll down while riding.
  •   Italian chamois pad isn’t overbuilt, you feel less like you’re wearing a diaper, yet it has enough cushion to make it worth wearing on long days or early in the season.
  • Made with recycled polyester and designed for function with minimal seams.
  • The less-bulky pad handwashes and air dries well for multi-day backcountry adventuring.
  • Doesn’t seem to be a stand-alone bike short, if you sport spandex with no baggies like I sometimes do.

More positives from Curious Creatures: Female founder with 15 years of design experience. Ethically responsible manufacturing that considers treatment of workers, sustainability, and longevity of the products with ability to repair built into the design – such a cool feature. While products are designed with the needs of women first and foremost, they’re not an exclusively women’s brand. The brand has a focus on merging design, functionality, community, and a connection to nature with individuality and self-expression.

To sum it up, I’m very stoked on my Curious Creatures MTB digs and always feel fly as heck when I have those pants on. I adore the consideration for ethics in manufacturing, the thought put into the design and the idea that they encourage repair, not replacement. I love the googly eye logo and subtle branding on the pieces. No apparel is perfect for all body types in all situations, but I can say these products have been quite dreamy for riding mountain bikes and crawling around the woods making photos. They’re worth a run if you’re a biking creature who’s curious about the line.

 Katie Sox



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