Summer Tactics 2.0: Nik Kosmas Pressure Tests Technical Apparel in Shanghai

In the second installment of SUMMER TACTICS, artist Nik Kosmas field tests a range of technical items in the green spaces of Shanghai.


“I want big brands with resources to know that users like me are looking for creativity in their garments – not parody or Frankenstein pastiche. Design demands usually include factors such as strength-to-weight ratio, durability, freedom of movement, and ease of use. For these garments the evaluation is based on the ergonomics of the cut, the durability of the stitching, and quality of the fabrics: their lightness, their temperature regulation, how they deal with moisture, and so on. In many cases I find that when the craft is top-level, a strong aesthetic flows naturally as well.” – Nik Kosmas

Oakley Field Jacket + Arc'teryx Veilance Partition LT coat

Oakley Field Jacket Prizm

Well made, functional glasses. Compared to some other Oakley models, I don’t love how basic these ones feel aesthetically. For the intended purpose of cycling, I would say they probably work better than the other model reviewed, but for walking around, I’m not as excited. Verdict: if you are cycling, yes, otherwise go more extreme.

Arc’teryx Veilance Partition LT coat

Essential Veilance. Extremely minimal detailing, tailored fit. Not quite as robust as the main Arc’teryx or military lines, but also more suitable for an architect. Wearing it oversized and styled with something colourful could work as well. Verdict: sober, efficient.

Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm

The first sunglasses I remember wanting, when I was about 12, were a pair of Oakley M-frames. In a world full of basic Mykita or Gentle Monster frames, these cyborg-beast Oakleys stand out and feel fresh. Functionally they fit well, stay on the face while moving, and the Prizm lens is easy on the eyes. Would be nice if they had hydrophobic coating on the inside of the lens as well to prevent sweat smears. Verdict: buy ‘em if you can pull it off.

Arc'teryx Veilance Component Overshirt

Arc’teryx Veilance Component Overshirt

I love the field shirt category that this is based on. Chest pockets, zippers not buttons. So I like this shirt. The taped seams are another special Veilance touch. The cut is basic but you won’t find many shirts that have that kind of construction. The design is a bit… neuter tho. I would love it if the collar was a bit more aggressive and the fit a bit boxier. I dream of the day that someone does a cool collaboration with Veilance and makes something in Goretex leopard print.  Verdict: serious, well made.

Arc’teryx Aracky Approach Shoe

Sensible, robust. This shoe is what I would wear when I go for a hike, or when I want to look a little bit dressed up. The buckle system is something I have not seen before. They feature laminated details like all Arc’teryx seams. They look a bit small for the size compared to the trend so perhaps that’s a negative for the moment. Verdict: considerate design.

Alpha AR 20 Backpack

Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Backpack

Nice color. 20 liters feels a bit big for carrying my laptop around. Super light bag, some nice details but pretty dry. And somehow the shape/sit on the back is too nerdy. Verdict: fine but maybe only if you’re actually going hiking.

Arcteryx Solano Jacket

Arc’teryx Solano Jacket

Its an Arc’teryx hoody! This one will be used everyday in colder temps. So basic, so essential. The hood has that nerdy shape that they always use. It does work well to preserve peripheral vision. Verdict: so basic! Love it.

Off-White x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5

This shoe says “engineered to the exact specifications of trail runners” which is absurd. The shoe is classic Off-White. It is special. But it’s painfully narrow in the toe box for my foot, and the ‘prongs’ that cover the sole are incredibly slippery on any artificial surface. That issue is something that I remember from the Salomon Speedcross, but those were actual trail running shoes, so it was forgivable. Verdict: busy funky aesthetic, disabled function.

La Sportiva Unika

La Sportiva Unika

Famous climbing shoe brand. The Unika is made in Europe. It has some unique details, and has crossover as a streetwear shoe. The fit is super comfortable. The toe is very square, which looks different. Nice lacing. Verdict: unique, deep cut.

  • Photography
    Yan Yufeng

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