JLRacing Unisex Polypro ErgTrou rowing trou for indoor rowers and rowing ergometers

JLRacing ErgTrou are the ultimate trou

Polypro ErgTrou logo by JL RacingUPDATE: I don’t believe that they make these anymore (discontinued)

At first, I thought that the polypro unisex ErgTrou by JLRacing was a gimmick. All I could see that was any different at first blush was that gimmicky alternative logo of a stick figure little unisex person on a Concept2 indoor rower and a slit pocket at the small of the back in which you can stow your smartphone or MP3 player while you’re doing all the meters on your erg. 

I special-ordered an XXL pair. Not really special-ordered but when you order an XXL from JLRacing I always get a bespoke pair made for me and my big ass. They don’t keep the XXL trous or unisuits in stock so plan on waiting a couple weeks for delivery. They’re not slow, they’re just making a polypro Erg Trou just for you.

jlRacing unisex polypro erg trou waistband front

When I received the two pair I had ordered, they could stand on their own. I have a dozen pair of Lycra/Spandex trou and unisuits from JLRowing and they’ve always arrived soft and malleable and almost silky-looking, with a sheen like you would expect any stretchy workout compression shorts. 

But no! Unlike regular JLRacing rowing trou that only double-seated, ErgTrou are double lined in the back, all the way from the cuff of the short all the way up the back to the drawstring waistband.

Since I am addicted to counting steps and activity when I am at home and at work, I often try to keep my phone on me in addition to the Fitbit Zip that I always have clipped to the cuff of my trou. Whenever I wear my ErgTrou while I am spending the entire day walking on my treadmill desk, I just tuck my phone into the very wide but maybe too shallow slit pocket that they placed from 3-o’clock to around 6-o’clock on the outside of the waistband (maybe not deep enough or with enough retention to keep even your waterproof Samsung S9 or iPhone X from falling into the water if you wear these on the river). 

jlRacing unisex polypro ergtrou waistband rear with rear slash phone pocket

While my Zip catches all my steps for my Fitbit Challenges, it doesn’t feed all those another activity tracking apps that live on my Samsung S8 Active such as Bixby, Google Fit, and Samsung Health all the other ones. So even though I need my phone to work every day, I try to keep it on my hip while I am walking and swinging kettlebells and the like just to make sure that Google knows I am not a lazy-ass. 

These JL Racing Unisex Polypro Erg Trou are like Levis or Wrangler jeans: they start off all stiff and cardboardy but, after some use, they begin to become much more comfortable after a number of uses and a number of washings. 

jlRacing unisex polypro erg trou shorts leg and hem front without ergtrou icon logo

My two ErgTrou came without the iconic ErgTrou logo—lame!

While I mostly wash all my trou and unisuits in the shower with me (have I told you that I shower exclusively with Dawn dish soap?), whenever I do send my laundry to the wash and fold, they are never any worse for wear. So far, they’ve been fine going through the washer and the dryer (I just learned that I should never put any of my unisuits or trou in the dryer).  From the JL Racing site:

  • When using a machine, use cold water (30 degrees centigrade for Europe, just cold setting for Americans)
  • Be absolutely sure there is no bleach, chlorine bleach, or bleach alternative in your detergent. We recommend SportWash by Penguin for best results 
  • When on the road, using shampoo is a good substitute for detergent.
  • Don’t hang garments on lamps to dry, believe it or not, this has been known to start fires.
  • Do not iron your rowing garments.
Bombproof rowing trou will last a lifetime
  • JLRacing Unisex Polypro Erg Trou


I have never owned anything so robustly-made and well-thought-out. And these are just compression shorts designed to be used when training on an indoor rower. They’re thoroughly over-engineered. Instead of just thick two-ply polypropylene right on the butt like most rowing trou, the double-lining goes from your hamstrings all the way across your glutes, and to the waistband at the small of your back. They’re of superior quality and the only downside may be that the thickness of all the fabric might make the rowing trou a little hotter and a little less breathable and maybe not as stretchy.

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