Rapha’s Trail pants are solid proof that the brand’s trail range is far from a mere flash in the pan. They’re supremely comfortable and packed with useful features that we mountain bikers can only appreciate. While they are certainly an investment, they’re the best trousers I’ve ridden in so far.
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Being made from a double weave fabric that’s finished with a DWR coating, Rapha’s Trail Pants are a mid-weight pair of trousers that have proven to be ideal for riding through the UK’s cooler temperatures.
They come sorted with two hand pockets that double as hand warmers, joined by two zipped thigh pockets and much like the brand’s Trail Shorts, they are home to a couple of in-pocket pouches. There are plenty of pockets, and certainly, enough to keep backpack naysayers happy.
The similarities to Rapha’s summer offering don’t stop there as around the waist is a collection of belt loops, combined with an anatomical belt and cinch system. The pants are then secured by the same keyhole metal snap that’s also found on the shorts.
Where the trousers separate themselves from their warm-weather counterparts (other than the fact they’re trousers) is with the built-in reinforcement around the knees and the inner ankles. This reinforcement is essentially a thicker patch of abrasion-resistant fabric sewn into areas that’ll likely see the most rubbing, namely the knees and inner ankles. Honestly, this is a great touch that’ll potentially extend the garment’s service life and one that’s often left out on many mtb trousers on the market.
The size medium trousers we’ve got on test claim to fit up to a 33-inch waist. I measure in at 32" waist and there's plenty of adjustment in the cinch system to get them fitting perfectly, and comfortably. Their length reaches down to the ankle, leaving a bit of a shoe-trouser cuff gap. There aren't any tight spots around the pants and the knees are plenty roomy too, providing enough space for even bulkier pads.
That comfort translates onto the bike like-for-like. Manoeuvrability remains unhindered and tight spots are nowhere to be seen.
While the Trail Pants haven’t experienced any serious involuntary sit-downs, they’re showing no signs of wear but they are showing a bit of colour fade on the saddle area. Even after many washes, they look as good as new. So after a few months of riding, it looks like it’ll be a long while before I would be reaching for the included self-adhesive repair patches (nice touch, Rapha).
There’s no going about the fact that £130 is an investment but I think that it’s wholly worth it, not just because of the luxurious level of comfort but the durability they seem to carry.
Jessica has recently reviewed 7Mesh’s Glidepath pants, which come at £150. She found them to be chilly in cooler weather and are strikingly pricy when compared to well-performing but cheaper options.
Both Jessica and I had Altura’s Esker Trail Trousers in for testing and while they’re not bad for the money, the fit was off and they’re very thin and basic in comparison to Rapha’s offering. Those are priced at £75.
At the end of the day, the Rapha Trail Pants thoroughly live up to their mid-high end price tag thanks to a thoughtful design, superb comfort, and unwavering durability. If you're happy to drop the cash, you won't be disappointed.