Protective’s Washington ¾ length trousers are the most practical and stylish I’ve encountered to date. Separating them from the legions of similarly excellent garments is the universally flattering cut that compliments all genres of machine, ensuring daylong comfort regardless of riding style. Step off the bike and their sharp, stealth detailing means you’ll be taken seriously around the office and incognito down the pub.
Made from “multi sensor” fabric the Washington are basically sophisticated, quick drying middleweight polyester with a texture and feel mimicking cotton. A fleece lined high waistband feels pleasant against bare skin while left and right- handed Velcro adjusters eliminate the need for belts. Protective garments are very generous size wise so the mediums were spot on for my thirty-two inch waist, thirty-three inch inseam. Tapered around the calves for a tailored fit. Zippered fly and press-stud closures continue the subtle civilian touches.
There are pockets a plenty. Two zippered front capture keys, mobiles, change and other valuables while the huge cargos with Velcro closures restrain pens, wallet, compact cameras, and multi-tools etc while drain eyelets allow moisture to escape should a downpour catch you unawares. Protective have also taken the brave step and included two pockets on the butt. Traditionally these make great stash points off the bike but bunch up uncomfortably-especially riding machines with more upright positioning.
Several weeks in the real world suggest these are well up to the demands of daily commuting, trail riding, touring and pretty much anything bar competitive road racing. Whether using the dedicated insert or traditional Lycra shorts beneath they’ve been perfect all day companions. Long out of the saddle climbs or eyeballs out sprinting won’t cause them to gather and chafe-even with bulging pockets and there’s enough airflow to keep the inner climate comfortable without them flapping annoyingly when it’s blowing a hooley. Drying time following a downpour or trip through the machine wash is typically twenty minutes so they’re perfect for no-frills camping too.
The most practical and stylish 3/4 lengths I've used
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Protective Washington 3/4 Padded Trousers
Size tested: Black, Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"If you're looking for a great pair of 3/4s for wearing on and off the bike, the Washington is presidential. Washington 3/4s are constructed in Multisensor Style. Although it's a fast-drying synthetic fabric, its brushed nape bestows cotton-like feel and looks for best-of-all-worlds comfort and performance".
Mirrors my sentiments perfectly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)