Women's cycling trousers are as rare as the proverbials of rocking horses, so in desperation I tried a pair of more general outdoor and walking trousers, in the theory that they were made of softshell fabric and looked pretty low key and also had a gusseted crotch meaning they should do the trick when on the bike.
The Kala Pathar pants have a lot of features that are well suited to cycling as well as their primary purpose of being walking trousers. The softshell fabric they are made from is water repellent, wind resistant, anti-microbial and yet super stretchy, they have zips at the ankles to cinch in excess fabric when on the bike, two zipped side pockets and that gusseted crotch. The fabric is softly brushed on the inside face, meaning they are good in cold weather.
On the bike, they actually did a great job, being flexible enough (with 2 way stretch fabric) to not hamper leg movement (they didn't bind on the thigh the way many full length trousers without stretch do), with an articulated shape and protecting nicely from the wind and elements while still allowing for skin to breathe and moisture to escape.
The only thing that prevented them from being truly excellent cycling trousers was the waistband. Not being designed for the forward bending required when riding, they ended up too low at the back and too high at the front, which was a shame. Being really picky, they could have done with a bit of reflective piping as well, but again that's not strictly required in most hiking trousers. An excellent choice if you think you'll do some hiking in them too.
Not strictly designed for the bike, but they do a more than adequate job.
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Make and model: Sherpa Kala Pathar Pants
Size tested: Grey
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?
Aimed at walkers, trekkers and climbers.
Do a great job as cycling trousers too!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
93% polyester/7% spandex
4 way stretch soft shell fabric- water repellent and wind resistant
Zipped ankles gather in excess fabric
Elasticated rear waistband
Machine washable at 30
Available in sizes XS-XL
Very well made from excellent quality fabric with lovely soft brushed inner face. Nice attention to detail.
Considering they are conceived as walking trousers, they performed exceptionally well as cycling pants.
Not the lightest, but they are winter/3 season trousers.
Extremely comfortable apart from slight cutting in at the front waistband and drafts at the back due to non-cycling specific waistband cut.
Good value for those who walk as well as cycle, or for those looking for a pair of relaxed looking riding trousers with performance elements.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed exceptionally as a walking trouser and very well as a cycling trouser.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fabric, stretch, gusseted crotch, zipped ankle fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Shape of waistband was not cycle specific.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A really well constructed and conceived pair of trousers. Almost spot on for cycling as well as walking, apart from the slight issues with the shape of the waistband.
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.