The Dirt Roamer collection offers breathable and stretchy fabrics for more lesiurely trail riding. Constructed and finished to a quality akin to Patagonia's brand, the women's Dirt Roamer shorts are stretchy and well-fitting but nothing to ride home about. Whereas the merino jersey is massively let down by the box-like shape and jaw-dropping price tag.
- Why are there upside down bikes on the trail?
- What's the best: synthetic or merino baselayers?
- Fizik Gravita Versor clip shoe review
Women's Short-Sleeved Merino Bike Jersey
Constructed from a lightweight merino wool and recycled polyester blend, the short-sleeved merino bike jersey boasts a simplistic design for a casual yet, active garment.
Feature-wise, there's not much to say. The sleeves are longer than a traditional short-sleeve jersey but not quite long enough to be deemed 3/4. A split hem at the sides enable a teeny bit more movement at the hips, and the longer drop-hem at the back ensures your waist is well covered when you adopt a riding position on the bike.
I'm 5'7" and typically a size UK 8, so I've been testing the small size. The first thing I noticed is indeed how soft the fabric is to the touch. It's lightweight, stretchy and it feels really nice against the skin. However, that's mostly where the pleasantries end because when wearing the jersey, it was shapeless, box-like and baggy, despite being the recommended size for my build. I wasn't a fan of the billowing action when riding my bike. As a personal preference, I like my jerseys to be more fitting and less floating. For this reason, it's difficult to say whether I felt cool from the fabric or the roomy wind tunnel of the cut.
Washing instructions are for 30-degree washes. You can tumble dry on a low setting, but I prefer to hang up my cycling kit to air dry. The Merino Bike Jersey has retained its shape and colour throughout numerous washes, but it is prone to wrinkling if that's something that bothers you.
Women's Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts 11 3/4"
The Dirt Roamer bike shorts are made from 87% recycled polyester and 13% elastane, offering four-way stretch and finished with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. The lightweight fabric does well to move with your body as you ride and wick away moisture in the process.
With a curved waistband to follow the hip's natural shape, these shorts use a separating zip-fly and MTB-specific OppoSet® adjustable waist to achieve a dialled in fit. The inseam measures 11¾", which comfortably sits just above the knee when standing. Padded shorts can be purchased separately, and there are snap loops on the inside waistband to fasten them in.
What I love about these shorts is that they are lightweight; they are super stretchy and really comfortable to wear both on and off the bike. The flat taped seams and discretely located side pocket finish these shorts off with a clean aesthetic that you could most definitely get away with for casual and other active uses.
Although, due to the thin and lightweight material and slim-fitting design, anything you wear underneath them, such as knickers, padded shorts and kneepads, become obvious. Furthermore, Patagonia has hemmed and taped the cuffs of these shorts, so they don't stretch as much as the leg material. I found the cuffs would ride up as I pedalled and almost get stuck on my thighs, which would require some adjustment afterwards.
The waistband and fastener were comfortable throughout the test period, and the fabric's DWR coating certainly beaded splash from puddles and gentle drizzles.
Value and verdict
It has to be said that at £80, the Merino Bike Jersey is quite pricey for what it is, especially when you can get a near-identical women's merino wool bike jersey from FINDRA for £65. To note as well, this jersey is just a tenner more expensive than the shorts!
As for the Dirt Roamer shorts, £90 is more reasonably priced for mountain bike shorts, although still sitting at the higher end of the scale. For more technical features and abrasion-resistant panels, you could opt for the Endura SingleTrack Lite shorts at £70, for example. In contrast, the Rapha women's trail shorts are at the opposite end of the scale, at £110.
I cannot fault the quality of the product; the materials are sustainably sourced, the seams, features, and construction are brilliant, and both garments have been washed and rewashed many times, still retaining their look and feel. What lets down these products is the shapeless box fit of the jersey in contrast to the slim-fitting shorts and tight cuffs, which cost more than you would expect for what you receive.