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Bontrager Commuting Pants



Stylish and practical trousers for commuting and touring, but check size before you buy

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Bontrager's lightweight Commuting P{ants are spot on for general riding, retaining a sense of c'sredibility when sashaying past the photocopier, meeting friends in town or collecting the kids from school. They'd also make good touring companions thanks to low bulk. However, padded inserts are must haves for all but the shortest hops and sizing isn't quite an exact science so try before parting with your hard earned.

Like Bontrager's commuter jacket these are made from a tightly woven nylon/polyester elastane mix and sport some nicely thought out touches. The waist features adjustable elasticated banding and mercifully sturdy belt-loops preventing any impromptu mooning during out of the saddle efforts or (for the benefit of messenger wannabes) with U lock cadging a lift on the dedicated tab. Then there are two sensibly proportioned butt pockets with obligatory splash of Scotchlite and two cavernous front ones with a watch/change slip incorporated within the right hand-side. While you could go the trouser clip route come the cooler months, the whopping great reflective strip and external press-stud suggest rolling the legs up knicker style aboard the bike. That said; it takes practice to avoid the picture postcard 'British tourist on the beach' fashion faux pas.

Sizing is never an exact science but usually I'm guaranteed to slip into a large/European 4. Ours sample were perfect in the leg but a bit generous around the waist even with the elastic drawn fully home, necessitating a belt to preserve my modesty. Cut, tailoring and style proved an instant hit, complimenting the formal, street and race sections of my wardrobe perfectly. Hastily bunging wallets, keys, phones and similar nick-nacks in the front pockets failed to detract from riding comfort, although the same could not be said of those on the back.

I found quick commutes (around three miles or so)fine without inserts thanks to the double seat, and while the two-inch wide Scotchlite turn-ups might give the game away down the pub they are remarkably effective at higher cadences, grabbing driver attention at junctions/roundabouts. Nocturnal runs taking in forest trails suggest while thin, the materials are very resilient and fold neatly into a pannier for summer touring.


Stylish and extremely practical trousers for commuting and summer touring but check your sizing before before buying test report

Make and model: Bontrager Commuting Pants

Size tested: Black

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?

"Bontrager's Commuting Lightweight Pants offer all-day comfort and style for cyclists on the go. Constructed out of lightweight fabrics designed specifically for spring and summer use, these breathable lowers feature articulated knees for a comfortable, ergonomic fit. Built-in reflectivity is revealed when pant legs are rolled up for added on-bike visibility, while two hand pockets, a front coin pocket, a zip-closure thigh pocket and two rear pockets keep belongings in place. This pant's semi-fitted design moves with the body while providing fashionable styling off the bike and on".

Nothing I'd quibble with.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Commuting pants are a lightweight for spring and summer

Versatile construction allows for pants to be rolled up for on-bike use and down for off-bike fashion

Rolling up pant leg reveals built-in reflectivity

Tonal reflective placement on the back pockets keeps you seen on-bike yet is subtle enough for off-bike use

Two hand pockets, one front coin pocket, a zip security pocket on thigh and two back pockets with silicone texture to keep belongings in place

Articulated knees for a comfortable, ergonomic fit

Seat area features a second fabric layer to eliminate seam discomfort

Semi-fitted design is shaped to the form of the body. If you prefer a slightly roomier fit or are in-between sizes, consider ordering one size up.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Generally very good but I'd add padded undershorts for anything other than short hops.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

There's no doubt Bontrager have researched this concept very thoroughly because the end result is a garment bang on for everyday commuting and touring and it's nice to see them available for both genders. Practical on the bike, they're perfectly civillian off and the only glances you'll get are admiring ones

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Pretty much everything...

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, given it meets the design brief almost to the letter.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  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)

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