Another new arrival on the scene this year is Pearl Izumi’s Launch Trail Pant, and the brand has dropped a really versatile offering in these trousers.
Styling-wise, the Pearl Izumi Women’s Launch Trail Pant doesn’t scream mountain biking, helped by deep grey colouring, incredibly subtle branding and understated styling. This has a nice advantage in that they look great transitioning from on the bike to off and don’t look out of place in the cafe or pub (or takeaway during lockdown) after your ride.
They are lightweight trousers, with four-way stretch giving good movement on the bike, finished with PI Dry, they shed water but aren’t fully waterproof. A zip and popper fastening coupled with adjustable Velcro waist panels means you can get a good fit, and they are comfortably high enough to avoid any pesky chilly gaps on your lower back when bending forward while descending. They are amply cut around the thighs, and perhaps even a little baggy around the knee, before tapering to a slimmer ankle. If you wear thicker kneepads this could be a plus, but if you like lightweight pads it does leave some excess space around the lower thigh. A small design touch is that the zip pockets aren’t fixed internally, which means you can wear your phone on the front or rear of your thigh. Whether this is intentional or not, it’s a nifty plus to help stash your valuables where’s best for you. Length-wise they are shorter than others on test here, so if you are above 5ft 8in they may be too short. A solid addition to the trouser rosta, well suited to shorter riders and those wanting a fitted pant with more thigh room.