GORE's Fernflow Pants are incredibly comfortable, even in warmer weather. Though the lack of abrasion-resistant panelling does make them rather delicate which is a touch disappointing given their premium.
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GORE's Fernflow Pants are designed for cool and changeable conditions. They are robust, lightweight, and thanks to built-in GORE-TEX INFINIUM and WINDSTOPPER tech, somewhat weatherproof.
These trousers come with a host of features, including an adjustable waistband, zipped vents at the sides, taped seams, pre-shaped knees, and a couple of zipped pockets. All the typical things you'd find on a pair of trousers for cooler seasons.
A surprisingly handy feature built into the Fernflow Pants is the zipped cuffs. They make putting the trousers on super easy and because there’s a popper at the bottom, these zips can be opened up to offer even more cooling.
As for fit, it’s good but a little snug around the waist. As mentioned before, the waistband is adjustable via a couple of hook and loop straps, and I’ve got them just barely hooked up in their biggest setting. I’m a 32” waist and testing a medium pant, so, in this respect, it may be worth sizing up as the waistband can always be cinched down.
Elsewhere, the fit is very comfortable. There’s plenty of space for pads and the pants are long enough to cover my 72cm inseam.
The Fernflow’s comfort is the big seller for me as it’s top-notch. The fabric feels light and completely unrestrictive. For a pair of pants designed for cooler weather, they’re surprisingly cool in warmer climates too. That’s in part thanks to the zipped vents at either side, but also the reasonably thin fabric. However, I’ve managed to get one of the vent zips stuck as it’s snagged on a bit of the mesh backing and I can't get it unstuck.
Thanks to the built-in weather protection, they make for an impressively versatile pair of trousers. Any spray is easily shrugged off and they’ve remained comfortable in all conditions, be it wintery showers or springtime sun.
What has come as a bit of a disappointment is the lack of durability. When walking I’ve had a flat pedal clip the knee, leaving holes in the trousers. I’ve also had a bit of an off that tore a hole in the shin. While the latter is more understandable, it would be great to see some kind of abrasion resistant panelling built-in to protect from such easily avoidable damage.
If the Fernflow Pants were built to be a bit stronger, I think they would warrant their price of £170, especially when combined with the level of comfort and versatility on offer. However, trousers such as Rapha’s Trail Pants come with a similar level of comfort and an even better fit at a more affordable price of £130. Those alone make the Fernflows tricky to justify.
7Mesh’s Glidepath Pant are trousers that we liked for durability and unrestricted movement, along with the fit. This pair of bottoms are £150, but even then, Jessica thought the price was hard to justify.
If you’re not often bashing your knees with flat pedals, or falling off bikes, the GORE Fernflow Pants are surprisingly versatile for winter through to early summer. Their comfort and weather protection lives up to the price tag but the brand needs to do a little more to make them more durable for trail and all-mountain riding.