Riding trousers for colder/wetter conditions are currently all the rage, which means O’Neal’s new Trailfinder pant joins a burgeoning segment with a lot of competition
This new breed is typically lighter and more flexible than old-style DH trousers, built with tough woven-nylon fabrics. Thin and fitted, the Trailfinders follow this mould, but stand out on value, with an asking price that undercuts plenty of options by a significant amount – up to £80 in some cases.
O’Neal’s fabric is even thinner than most, and there’s also an overall minimalist construction with a lightweight elasticated waist band, Velcro fly and fastening buckle. I’ll admit to some initial reservations about this skimpiness, but, our riding, the Trailfinder strikes a good balance between warmth, drying time and unrestricted movement.
Even on single digit Celsius days, the four-way flexible fabric is sufficiently windproof, so letting in too much cold air isn’t an issue, and the quick-drying fabric doesn’t get overly sodden and heavy when soaked, or excessively sweaty and steamy when working hard.
The ‘athletic’ fit is sorted; tight around the ankle and calf to keep the material out of the chain and packing just enough room for muscular thighs and glutes. The zipped side pockets are well located on the front of the thigh too, so any kit held within doesn’t swing about too much.
The minimal design lacks a thicker crotch or waterproof material in the seat area, so doesn’t offer much protection for repeated splashing and puddles, and I noticed the front panel around the groin is a bit tight too, once the plastic waistband buckle (with its good range of adjustment and rock-solid closure) is cinched up tight.
Overall, O’Neal’s Trailfinder is a good value, practical riding trouser in the vein of Fox’s popular Flexair pant, at a really competitive price.