Minimal design and build, along with supreme comfort, make these Rapha pants a testers' favourite.
Saving £20 and more than 100g over the standard Rapha Trail Pants is the brand’s Lightweight option. In fact they are among the lightest pants in our round-up of the best trousers for mountain biking. That Rapha has been able to drop that weight without compromising on fit and features is commendable. Of course, the thinner material is more susceptible to damage, but we’ve worn our sample pair many times and they’re still good as new.
Rapha has used a nylon fabric with a healthy 12% elastane content, and this gives plenty of stretch, so they never feel too restrictive, even wearing bulky knee pads. As well as being light and stretchy, the fabric has a lovely soft inner face.
The cut is definitely on the slim side, with a tapered leg down to an elasticated cuff and reinforced inner ankles. Although the inseam is by no means the shortest here, the Lightweight does tend to ride up a bit for that trendy DH race look. Despite a lack of mechanical ventilation, Rapha’s pants don’t get too hot, even in the summer. And the DWR coating gives a level of three-season weather protection.
One of the areas Rapha has streamlined over the burlier Trail Pants is the pockets. There are only two zip pockets, one on the side of the thigh and one on the right ass cheek. The left thigh has a pouch for a phone, while the right will hold a car key or flat mini-tool. At the waist there’s a locking webbing adjuster and dual pop-stud fastener.
Rapha has found just the right level of minimalism for the Trail Lightweight Pants. Superbly comfortable and with enough storage, they look and feel top quality, yet the price is surprisingly competitive. Considering the included patch kit and Rapha repair service, we’ve given them the test win.