The 100% Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers are a stealthy looking, well-performing, bad weather beating pair of trousers. While not utterly waterproof, they are warm and offer wet-weather protection, even if milder, with minimal sweat build-up. They are tough in the areas needed, with taped seams, smart pockets and a BOA system closure to keep the fit snug; whilst not perfect, they are tough and reliable.
- The best waterproof mountain bike jackets
- 7Mesh Glidepath Pants review
- off-road Opinion - E-bikes aren't a menace, it's all about trail etiquette
100% Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers - fabric and build
The Hydromatic trousers use a stretch woven fabric with a 2.5-layer 10K/10K waterproof/breathable laminate, finished with a coating to decrease the chance of water getting in.
Cordura is used in the seat and knee areas to add extra toughness and reduce abrasion wear. These areas have laminate behind it, so the whole trouser is waterproof. The pockets are waterproof and roomy inside with a mesh, allowing items to be stored safely rather than rattling around.
There is no fly, but instead a stretchy panel and the BOA closure dial and lace - this works well, and I didn’t have any issues with it digging in. I think I sat between sizes as I had to pull the cord in a fair bit to fit. There are no belt loops or hip closures to add extra fit or make them tighter - worth considering when sizing and buying.
The overall fit is athletic and close - 100% say aerodynamic, but they aren’t that super close, and the fabric stretch allows good mobility. The ankles have zips that allow removal with shoes on. I think the zips could have been marginally longer, but the shorter length minimises chances of water ingress.
Inside the waistband is a silicone print pattern, which helps them stay in place. There are also lengths of fabric with poppers to loop around inner shorts. The logos are reflective but small in size, so more of a token offering.
100percent Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers - out riding
The Hydromatics are a good fit for me. They are spacious enough for on-bike movements but not so big they become sail-like in windy conditions. The pockets are useful and deep enough to store stuff like a small tool or some food. The zips are decent, and I didn't get any water coming in, even on a rainy two-hour ride with water already on the ground.
I like the feel of the inside fabric against bare skin; it feels smooth and doesn't feel clammy at any point. I rode in them during cool temperatures and in below-freezing conditions. Although lower temperatures are more suited to the fabric, it was plenty breathable. I rode several long rides, and they remained comfortable with no chaffing or tight areas. They'd be equally at home on wet uplift days or laps in the woods riding.
After each ride, I've hosed them down, and the water-resistant coating has faded a little, so they don't bead as well on worn areas like the seat or knees. All the seams have remained taped and reliable. I liked the BOA dial for getting the fit spot on, and I had no issues with it catching or digging into my waist or hip pack, as the trousers are cut lower at the front and slightly higher at the back when seated and riding. I'm not sure the BOA is much lighter than a zipper, but it reduces another area that water can seep through.
Although these trousers feel very lightweight when on, they're not fragile. There's a nice balance between toughness and overly weighty or stiffer fabric. I liked that all the seams are stitched in a low profile and minimal way, so you don't feel edges or lumps. The seat area is two panels, but the seam is minimal and doesn't cause discomfort when riding. They have enough room for trail type knee pads; larger pads were a tighter fit but possible and okay for bike park type days of potentially less pedalling.
When riding, the higher back kept my backside dry, and with a decent waterproof top, they make for a good component for comfort and protection in bad weather. It took a long ride (2+ hours) in nearly solid rain to get any water come in, and this was just up legs from socks drawing water. They remained dry internally.
The tapered fit on the leg is good and helps with water runoff, as folds can carry water or channel it down and into shoes. I like that they were long enough to touch and be on top of shoes, but not so long that they crumpled or were short and left a gap. I appreciate this may be different for everyone, but a few others tried them on, and the fit seemed good all around. Whilst I ideally would have preferred longer zips to make them easier to take off overshoes, I’m picking at small issues when the whole trouser is a decent pair of waterproof trousers.
100percent Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers - summing up
The 100% Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers are a decent pair of tough riding trousers - they are nice looking, if stealthy and low key is what you want. They work as claimed, and although the level of waterproofing is lower, they offer good breathability in use and keep you protected in wet, rougher weather - they are obviously windproof as well. My only wish would be ventilation zips for a little more range in temperatures they can be worn in.
I’ve used them across a real mix of weather, mild and raining, cold with groundwater and cold with rain/sleet. I like the fit, good when pedalling and on more dynamic technical trails. They are also hard-wearing, so kneeling down to fix bikes or get something from your pack hasn’t been an issue. There are some signs of use on them, but no more than other waterproof trousers I’ve tested - these are holding up well. As these are fully waterproof, they are a touch better than the Madison Zenith 4-Season, which are DW- only. Compared to the Alpinestars Tahoe, these, for £10 more, are way better in fit and fabric.
Considered fit, effective fabric, and good quality zips make the 100% Hydromatic Waterproof Trousers a decent choice for bad weather riding while remaining flexible enough to be worn in lower, drier temperatures. The price is reasonable and sits in a mid to upper price range. I think they are good value for money, and the function is good despite not using a brand name waterproof like GoreTex.
You might also like: