What's Performance Denim?

This Is the Lightest Denim We’ve Ever Seen

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In a recent conversation with Gear Patrol, Paul Dillinger, Levi’s Head of Global Product Innovation, revealed that “there’s no single element that definitively makes a quality pair of jeans” and “the one overarching feature of quality is intention.” He was referring to the intention of the mill making the material, but the statement might also be applied to the wearer — what do you want your denim for? Jeans are often worn as an expression of style, but textile makers originally made the material for work. More recently, there’s been a rise in performance denim, and Duer’s new Weightless Denim styles are a perfect example of the movement.

Weightless Denim, which Duer uses in straight leg and chino style pants, is, first and foremost, lightweight — six ounces per square yard, whereas typical denim jeans might weigh 12 to 16 ounces per yard and heavyweight denim might reach 20. That makes it one of the lightest types of denim available, a superlative worth trumpeting in an industry where makers are continually trying to make just about everything lighter and stronger.

Lightness isn’t the only way that Duer’s denim channels outdoor trends, either. It uses a seat gusset and integrated stretch to provide more freedom of movement and often integrates tech like Coolmax to help wick moisture, just like a baselayer you’d wear hiking. So, if you were previously wondering what performance denim is, grab a pair of Duer’s Weightless Denim pants and you won’t just understand the concept, you’ll be living it.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Roark Revival HWY 133 Travel Stretch Denim Pant ($75)
Patagonia Steel Forge Denim Pants ($159)
Mountain Hardwear Selvedge Denim Climb Pant ($200)
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Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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