Altura’s Ridge thermal waterproof trouser is a deep-winter, sub-zero offering that aims to keep you warm and dry in some pretty harsh mountain bike conditions. The Polartec fleece lining provides a great balance of warmth and comfort and the soft-shell fabric proves to be waterproof even with a worn DWR coating. The fit is on the slim side and the size guide is not accurate so try before you buy. Read on to see what makes the Altura Ridge thermal waterproofs one of the best MTB pants available today.
Altura Ridge Thermal Waterproof trouser - Technical details
Altura’s Ridge Thermal Waterproof trouser is the full-winter offering, the Ridge Tier is also available as a waterproof trouser which doesn’t feature the fleece lining.
Available in five sizes from Small - XXL which according to Altura’s size guide caters for waist sizes from 31- to 43in. They come in black with off-green zippers/logo colourway.
These trousers are aimed at proper mid-winter riding, the colder the better. They feature a Polartec Powergrid fleece lining from the waist band down to the knees which helps warmth in on those super cold days. The DWR-coated softshell outer fabric and taped seams are designed to keep water out. Breathable vents are included on the thighs which can be closed with water-resistant zips, these zips are also used on two hip pockets.
Altura Ridge thermal waterpoof trouser_7, by Ty Rutherford
The cut is designed to be comfortable and easy to move in, with an elasticated waistband and a tapered leg with a stretch cuff.
Altura Ridge Thermal Waterproof trouser - Performance
Waterproof qualities have proven to be excellent, keeping me dry in some very wet sloppy rides and I had no hesitations using a hose pipe to wash them down post-ride either. The DWR coating was very impressive when new but after a couple of rides, this inevitably wears off. Even with the reduced coating the waterproof qualities were still up to scratch but regular re-proofing will only help protect and improve performance.
I found that Altura’s size guide is not accurate. I’d usually go for a 32in waist and I tested out the medium size which is 34-36in waist. The fit is on the tighter side, particularly around the knees so beware only slim knee pads work here. I had no issues with IXS Flow or 7IDP Sam Hill knee pads but anything more robust would cause issues. With the tight fit, at first, I did find them to be a little restrictive, I put this down to the polar fleece adding more material than I am used to and as I settled into the ride I didn’t notice the issue so much. At 6ft tall I also found the legs to be a little shorter than I’d like, not normally a problem I have with trousers. I’d certainly recommend trying on for size and fit before you commit to buying. Another downside to the shorter leg length is it compromises the abilities of waterproof shoes where water can get into the top of the shoe – a longer leg length would solve this.
Altura Ridge thermal waterpoof trouser_6, by Ty Rutherford
The only retention system for the elasticated waste is a simple drawstring and, although this actually works very well at keeping them in place, I did find the drawstring to dig in a little where a wider waistband would be more comfortable.
Altura Ridge thermal waterpoof trouser_5, by Ty Rutherford
The polar fleece lining starts at the waistband and ends at the knees. This is more than enough to keep you warm in the middle of winter however I did find it quite hot if riding an acoustic bike, for an e-bike it was perfect and I had no issues overheating. If you are getting hot the zipped side vents on each thigh do help a little with ventilation. On the topic of zips, the zipped pockets are big enough to hold keys, a phone and snacks, although the slim sizing does restrict filling them to the brim.
Altura Ridge thermal waterpoof trouser_3, by Ty Rutherford
The material is a bit unusual to what you’d normally see in the mountain bike world. I felt the glossy appearance did make it look a little cheap - a bit like some cheap joggers – but actually, I found it to shed mud and water quite well. I did have a crash in these and unfortunately ripped the knee area. I was surprised to see it rip as the ground was reasonably soft and having had many crashes on my local trails, I haven’t ripped trousers before. Maybe it was just unlucky or maybe a cause for concern on durability. Another little gripe is some of the transfers have peeled off, not the end of the world but a little annoying and doesn’t inspire confidence in a quality product.
Altura Ridge Thermal Waterproof trouser - Verdict
Retailing at £125, the Ridge thermal waterproof trouser represents good value for money considering the performance on offer. Other thermal waterproof trousers worth looking at are Endura’s MT500 Freezing Point Trousers which received a good score in our review. At £150 they’re a little more than the Altura’s and the sizing needs to be tried before you buy. Not thermal, but the SCOTT Trail Storm WP Pant runs on the warmer side so could be a consideration if you’re not riding on sub-zero conditions. At £130, they’re a well-priced pair of trousers which are tough and durable.
The Altura Thermal Waterproof trouser proves to be excellent value for money, providing a warm and waterproof outer layer. It fends off rain and mud spray effectively whilst the fleece lining keeps the upper legs warm enough without overheating. The fit is on the slim side around the knees/calves and the waistband tie could be more comfortable but these are small niggles for an otherwise well-performing pair of winter mountain bike trousers.
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