Breathable and tough fabric, well thought out riding pants
Sweet Protection Hunter Softshell Trouser is a straight-legged riding pant nicely cut from thick, durable softshell.
The overall finish and textile quality is excellent and all leg zips and vents are well made and located, and have also proven durable over a long test period. The Hunter washes well in the machine repeatedly too without losing any shape or colour.
The Norwegian’s design uses a larger leg hole so you can easily get the trouser on or off in a car park (with shoes on if needed); a welcome feature if it’s freezing or you’re covered in mud. The ankle also uses a wrap-round Velcro cuff to keep the fabric nicely out of the way of the chain while you’re riding and it all works exactly as it should.
The trousers have decent vents that can be unzipped to improve air-flow, as well as nicely positioned pockets to stash typical cargo items like keys or a phone without them flapping about. The fabric is thick, but not stiff, and remains nicely stretchy and flexible while riding. The interior has a really good feel next to skin too, and provides cosy warmth on cold winter days, without impacting its ability to shed heat and any sweat build up during hard efforts. The one area where the Sweets don’t cut it for me, however, is the fit at the waist. The trousers sit significantly lower than others I use, and, in particular, the front of the waistband sits very low on the tummy. This is something I found means the pants are simply too low on hips, reducing stability and fit, so I needed to fiddle and pull them up way more often than with the Specialized Demo Pro Pant. The big Velcro cinches have quite stiff edges close to skin too, which can occasionally press or rub on the sides of hips on longer rides as well.
These waist fit issues might be a personal thing and dependant on body shape, as a riding pal has no problem with Sweet’s low-slung shape, but I’d recommend checking fit before buying. Outside of this low-on-the-hips issue, even at almost £130, these are high quality, functional and attractive trousers that aren’t overpriced. The super breathable fabric and its ability to perform in all conditions, hot or cold, makes the Hunter a versatile, year-round UK option.
Sweet Protection’s trouser uses an excellent breathable and tough fabric, and is well thought out; provided the low waistband works okay for your body shape.