Despite their roots in motocross and DH, the best women's mountain bike pants are lighter in weight, much more comfortable to pedal in for long periods.
Taking their cues from the motocross scene, the best women’s mountain bike pants aim to mix form with functionality. Over the last few years, riding pants have become an increasingly popular alternative to shorts, with many different options on the market. Apart from the cool DH-inspired aesthetic, a full trouser has some practical benefits – it will keep you warm and relatively dry. And if or when you do get covered in slop, you can peel the whole thing off at the end of a ride and take all the mud with it. A long trouser also won’t ride up, snag on the top of kneepads and it also offers a bit of scratch/nettle protection, which is why you can easily wear these all year round.
Best women’s mountain bike pants
- Endura Women’s MT500 Spray Baggy Trouser II – BEST IN TEST
- Quecha Women’s Mountain Hiking Trousers MH500
- Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Pant
- Scott Trail Contessa Signature Women’s Pant
- Pearl Izumi Women’s Launch Trail Pant
Sure, you can pick up a riding pant from as little as £25 if you think outside the box. While they may not be designed specifically for mountain biking, Decathlon’s women’s hiking trousers do a perfectly good job. At the other end of the price scale is the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm. It might make a hefty dent in your bank balance, but your conscience should be crystal clear and your legs perfectly dry in this versatile pant.
We loved the understated styling of the Pearl Izumi Launch Trail pant, but felt they fell a little short on length. In terms of weight, the minimal Scott Contessa Sign pant really stood out by feeling barely noticeable, but top of the pile was Endura’s MT500 Spray Baggy Trouser II. By mixing panels according to where they sit, Endura has made a garment that can stand up to winter, but still remain effective in the transitional seasons.
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Endura Womens MT500 Spray Baggy Trouser II
You might expect a more relaxed fit with baggy in the title, but don’t be fooled into thinking these are a shapeless offering – far from it. Good on length and well tapered, they have zipped ankle closures, that give you more room in the lower leg should you wish, and help you get them off over shoes. Well shaped around the knees, there are no complaints with any thickness of kneepad run underneath. And up to the waist they have a double popper and zip closure and adjustable Velcro. These are a rugged all-weather pant that still pack a punch on style and features.
Quecha Womens Mountain Hiking Trousers MH500
For a non-mtb specific offering the Decathlon Women’s Mountain Hiking trousers deliver decent performance, and Decathlon have three colourways with black, grey and purple available. So if you fancy a more vibrant trouser to add to you wardrobe we think the purple pair look fab.
Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Pant
Patagonia is leading the way in changing how consumer clothing brands behave. So if you’re looking to be more considered in your purchasing while not compromising on performance or quality, the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Pant is a great option.
Scott Trail Contessa Signature Womens pant
Scott boasts a collection of kit for women serious about the way their bikes and equipment look and perform – and we think they’ve nailed it with these trousers.
Pearl Izumi Womens Launch Trail Pant
While not waterproof, they are made from Cordura fabric, designed for durability and coated with Dryozone DWR coating. The lightweight construction of the pants means as soon as they get wet they are almost starting to dry again very quickly, averting any soggy-bottomed misery.
Know your trousers:
These are just simple Velcro tags that allow you to fine-tune the fit. They are often supplemented by some belt loops and some trousers also have an adjustable fly, which is often a ratchet buckle borrowed from motocross pants.
This is either a full regulation zip or it can be a simple flap – the advantage with the latter is it can’t break. A waterproof zip, extra press-studs (if one fails you’ve got a back-up) and Velcro tabs are a bonus.
This stands for Durable Water Repellent and it’s a coating that’s sprayed onto the fabric surface to boost pooling, so water runs off rather than being absorbed. None of the trousers here are fully waterproof, but this coating helps ward off trail splatter and also makes the trouser easier to clean.
They add bulk and complexity but they’re a must have for keys, phone, cash and multi-tool. A zipped security pocket on the rear is a feature on some trousers, but it’s often tiny and hard to get to.
Some trousers are cut roomier in the knee, so they don’t tighten up as you pedal and also allow you
to wear kneepads underneath. A few trousers even have reinforced material over the knee, so if you crash, you’re less likely to skin your knees or put a hole in the material.
Like shorts, full trousers have perforations in the crotch area and extra mesh panels at the back of the knees for breathability. We’ve seen zipped vents, but another zip is just something else to go wrong.
Often the bottom of the right hand ankle area on some trousers there is a reinforced piece of leather or Cordura, the purpose of which is to stop the chain/chainrings cutting the trouser when you’re laying it over in a corner or pedalling.