Patagonia asserts its green credentials on the Patagonia Dirt Roamer short by using a polyester fabric made from recycled plastic bottles
The Patagonia Dirt Roamer recycled-bottles fabric is blended with 12 per cent elastane to give a four-way stretch, while the ultrasonically-welded seams are low-profile and unobtrusive and capped off by a highly effective DWR treatment.
The fabric itself is exceptionally light, soft and supple and is arguably the nicest found on any of the shorts tested here. It’s also the lightest short in our test of the best mountain bike shorts, weighing a svelte 141g in size 32in.
But part of the reason for that minimal weight is because less material is used – the Dirt Roamer has a brief 11in inseam, and with a relatively slim fit, this means it rides quite high on the thigh. Fine worn pad-less on an XC or down-country bike – but with knee protection there’s a yawning pad gap.
Patagonia has kept features to a minimum on the Dirt Roamer, but there’s a secure zip pocket on the left thigh that will hold a phone without tugging the fabric or slapping against your leg. Ideally we’d prefer to have this pocket mirrored on the right leg too. The minimal waist adjuster was mostly redundant thanks to the tight fit, but we liked the simple button/zip fly.
If you ride XC or gravel and want a lightweight, minimal short that’s exceptionally comfortable and ethically produced, the Dirt Roamer fits the bill perfectly, but to make it more versatile, we’d like to see an extra pocket and a longer inseam.