A women’s pant that hits the sweet spot with a solid price and great performance
Nukeproof Blackline Trousers dropped in 2019 and quickly became a firm favourite, but it’s taken until 2022 for them to add a women’s specific offering to the range. And what an addition, a lightweight, breathable, super flexible pant that handles whatever you throw at them. In fact, they’re one of the best women’s mountain bike pants we’ve ever tested.
Fabric and features
Made from a lightweight fabric with four-way stretch, Nukeproof have taken the same well-loved material from their men’s pants across into their women’s pant. And I am glad to see they didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel.
For me, the fabric is just the right thickness for the UK weather and means you can get almost full year-round wear out of these trousers and the stretch gives great manoeuvrability and comfort. Triple stitched seams on the inner leg add a level of robustness to the lightweight feel, and a DWR coating although fairly commonplace now, is always handy to have.
Two zip up hip pocket provide ample storage space and one has an added key loop. I could happily wedge my phone in them, and even laden up the contents didn’t flap about or get in the way when pedalling.
Testing through the British summer, these pants worked across the classic British combo of high temperatures one day and puddles the next.
Yes, don’t get me wrong, they are hotter than shorts on the hottest days, but only marginally with the well-placed ventilation holes on the front of the thighs stop any boil in the bag sensation. The benefit of keeping the summer bracken or muddy splashes off my legs won out every time.
The DWR coating gives some protection against puddles and the tapered ankles kept any up-leg splash back at bay. You aren’t going to stay dry in a heavy rainfall, but even riding them in the wet, I found they held their shape well, with none of that awful heavy baggy feeling wet kit can often get, and dried super quick when showers passed.
Fit and cut
I tested a size Large and as a curvier size 14, the Blackline pants fit me really well around the hips and waist, which can be a real problem area in other pants I’ve tried.
The tapered legs were slim while still giving space for any knee pads underneath. Having also ridden the men’s offering, if you are slimmer in the hips then the men’s trousers could be a great alternative. Leg length is the only slight fit issue I had. At 5”9 these did come up short, noticeably so when compared to the men’s Blackline pant.
A two popper fastening sits above a zip fly, giving a trustworthy and unobtrusive waist closure and is married up with two Velcro adjusters to help you get the perfect fit. The rear is slightly raised, although it’s worth noting less so than the men’s offering (why, Nukeproof?) and has some small, well-placed sections of silicone detailing.
All of this means once you get them fixed and fastened in the right spot for your waistline, they stay just there. No mid ride faff or adjustments needed during testing at all, and you can ride all day without them feeling like they are digging into your stomach. Just right!
Value for money
Full price the Blackline pants come in at £85 although it’s always worth keeping an eye on bargains to be hard on them. Even full priced, they are one of the very lowest price points for women’s pants in the market, (and sale prices make them a veritable steal!) with new offerings from Troy Lee and Mons Royale reaching upwards of £120.
I’ve tested these pretty hard, wearing them in all conditions and getting lots of hours in the saddle in them and they still look like new. No snags or signs of wear, no discolouration, nothing, still box fresh. Combining that wash and wear, year-round rideability and a bumper price point I think they are fantastic value for money.
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Nukeproof has delivered a women’s pants that really works! With a great fit, exceptional comfort, fantastic durability and almost unrivalled value they are a very welcome addition to the women’s kit scene and my riding wardrobe. The only issue we had was the length in the leg as a taller rider, and if we really want to nit-pick it would be great to see more colours available than just black.