Women’s Pearl iZUMi Launch Trail Pants

$249.99

pearlizumi.com

Pearl Izumi's downtempo designs are perfect for those who want to blend in at the brewery post-ride. So how do their trail trousers compare to some of the bigger names in mountain biking? 

Material, Fit, and Features

The Launch Trail Pants are made from the famously durable Cordura fabric and feature Pearl Izumi's patented PI DRY technology; this is water-shedding capability at its finest, maintaining incredible breathability and stretch by coating the individual threads in repellent, as opposed to a stiff and clammy coat over the entire garment. 

The Trail Access side pockets mean your phone or snacks sit to the side of your leg, as opposed to on top where they may interfere with pedal strokes and pumping. The Launch Trail pants are higher waisted than other models tested, featuring two Velcro straps for quick adjustments. There’s plenty of room for knee guards, and the ankles are tapered with an elastic band. 

On the Bike

The PI DRY feature means these pants are marketed as cool or damp weather gear. To my surprise, the pants were exceptionally breathable, living up to the marketing claims through summer. From La Nina humidity to dry and dusty mornings, I felt the pants were barely inferior to the other non-water shedding models tested in terms of breathability. 

The waistband on the Launch pants was the best of all models tested. The Velcro was at no risk loosening, and the high rise meant the waist didn’t tug downwards when in the saddle. 

However, the pants became looser and baggier towards the end of each ride and the ankle cuffs on the Launch pants were frustratingly loose. This may suit some riders but I prefer a tight ankle which hugs the calf. It keeps the pants confidently away from cranks and prevents debris creeping in. As an all-weather pant, I felt the Launch pants should improve here.

Who do they suit?

The PI DRY technology means these pants are essential luggage on any bike holiday; they will keep your bibs and phone dry during a downpour, and remain breathable when the sun comes out. The looser fit means they’re not a racer’s pick, but ideal for those riders desiring a casual look when hitting the pub after a long adventure. 

Hits

  • Water repellent but breathable finish
  • Comfortable waistband
  • Side pockets

Misses

  • Not tapered enough at ankles
  • Pricey