Well designed winter riding pants from 100%.
We’d highly recommend getting one of the best waterproof pants for winter riding. This 100% waterproof trouser uses a 2.5-layer fabric with a little bit of stretch and is rated 10k for both breathability and waterproofness – which is comparable with the highly recommended Troy Lee Designs Resist pant.
There are fully taped seams inside and a supplementary water-resistant DWR coating to further minimise liquid penetration while splashing through puddles or riding in the rain.
Saddle and knee zones have reinforced Cordura panels for resistance to rubbing, and, as you’d expect from a modern riding pant, the cut is close fitting and aerodynamic, so doesn’t catch on the bike or flap about.
The Hydromatic differs from most rivals by using a Boa dial fastener on the waist band. This works great and is lightweight, easy to tune in small increments and quick to release. There are also grippy silicone strips inside the waistband to help stop the trouser slipping down when caked in heavy mud. Both thigh pockets have rubberised zippers to keep insides dry and the hem unzips to make it easier to peel off when splattered with wet slop.
The cut and subtle styling here looks great; it’s close fitting without being boy-band-tight and the fabric isn’t too stiff or crinkly, so there’s good freedom of movement while riding. Waterproofing is excellent, and even doing full days in terrible conditions, I had zero issues with damp getting inside. The 2.5-layer material is breathable enough that you don’t fill the inside with sweat either, even in this winter’s mild temperatures.
Where the 100% slips up, or rather down, is the waistband. Even with the Boa dial cinched fully tight, the waistband was too baggy for me. This is a common issue with riding pants, especially if you boast a cyclist’s physique (narrow waist and bigger thighs and backside) but it’s a bit more pronounced here than with some brands. For me, the waist could easily be an inch or so smaller as there’s plenty of bandwidth in the Boa dial to tune to fit. Aside from that, these are well sorted winter riding pants.
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While it’s true that other quality riding trousers with a DWR coating that keep you dry-ish in less severe conditions can be had for half the money, the Hydromatics are priced in line with other fully winterised equivalents. As such, they are genuinely waterproof and can handle full days in horrible conditions.