Pistol Lake is an ultra-functional, minimalist line of activewear for men and women. Founded in 2012 by William Sulinski, Andrew Kneisley, Rachel Novosad, and Amit Shah, the company began as an initiative to bring back the level of craftsmanship that defined American manufacturing for decades.
The name “Pistol Lake” comes from the name of the lake in Maine where William and his brother James spent their childhood summers—and that outdoor aesthetic really shines through. What we noticed right off the bat about Pistol Lake is that they’ve created a line of “sportswear” that gets away from that hyper-branded look of the Adidas and Nikes of the world. And, sure, the women’s yoga space has been doing this more or less for a while, it’s nice to see a “brandless” brand that caters to men so well.
Let’s look at little closer at what these guys have to offer:
It’s All in Those Recycled Fibers
When it comes to active wear, Pistol Lake is leading the charge in crowd-sourced sustainability. The company has developed a revolutionary recycled fabric by the name of Eudae. It’s made from an unlikely combination of Eucalyptus pulp and recycled bottles, as well as recycled polyester and spandex. Somehow, this blend works to crank out cool, logo-less sportswear for men and women that look more like tri-blend tees than repurposed coke bottles.
Pistol Lake clothing is cool in an understated way. You’ll get basic henleys, baseball shirts, and standard tees. The clothes have that heathered, somewhat recycled look, but certainly not in a bad way. Instead, you look like this cool guy who loves taking a stroll in the woods with his dog—wearing natural fibers in a range of greys and olives. What’s more is, this line really bridges that gap between moisture-wicking performance-wear and clothes that are comfortable base layers—made to be worn alone or layered with cardigans or a hoodie.
The clothes are made by experienced craftsmen who use traditional manufacturing process combined with innovative technology to provide customers the best active wear available today. According to a wide range of reviewers, Pistol Lake clothing does not shrink in the wash, nor do can you expect loose buttons and threads. Sure, you’re looking at $70 baseball shirts, but based on the quality, they may well be worth the price.
A Few Cons
Look, we definitely like the brand, but we’d be remiss in our reviewing duties if we failed to cover some of the Pistol Lake shortcomings. The brand’s clothing is all about functionality for the minimalist—there’s not a ton of variety and it would be hard to find a full outfit from their online store. That said, it’s the perfect place to stock up on.
For some, these designs may be a little too simple. There is no doubt that they are very functional, but everyone likes a little style in their active wear. So for some, the designs and style that Pistol Lake is known for may not be that impressive.
The Eudae fabric is an incredible creation. It is quick-dry, soft, and flexible – all the things you want for active wear. However, the recycled fabric has a bit more insulation properties that many of the other fabrics that are used to make active wear. Eudae is a plastic bottle-eucalyptus blend, so, things can start to heat up. While it is still quite breathable, some wearers may find this a little uncomfortable during warmer months.
Another concern is how the products fit. Sizing appears to be rather limited, posing some challenges for larger or more muscular guys. A few past customers mentioned that some of the shirts were a little tight.
The Final Verdict? We Say It’s a Win
Overall, if you’re the type of person who lives in comfortable clothing, Pistol Lake is going to be well-worth the investment. We were thoroughly impressed with the high-quality, American-made clothing, because, despite the price, the pieces are built to last.
By creating one of the best recycled fabrics, the company is able to make clothing that is comfortable and stays dry and cool even when you are most active—and what’s even more exciting is, the clothes feel like comfortable tees—not like plasticky fleece blends or other synthetic workout fabrics. Another plus point of the Eudae fabric is that it is odor-resistant and very easy to wash—so you can bring them to the gym and wear them during the day after a regular wash.