I hate shopping for trousers. It’s one of those items that you’ll wear all the time and will last for years, which makes it feel like it’s a big decision. As I hate shopping for them, I end up wearing my old trousers so much that eventually they get a hole in them. That’s what happened with extensively well worn Swrve cycling jeans which I reviewed back in 2012.
In my hunt for a new pair of trousers, I’ve bought from expensive brands like All Saints and more affordable brands such as Topman. All have had a habit of wearing out too quickly for my liking, as they’re not designed for daily use on the bike.
It’s a big dip in the wallet, but the trousers are designed with cyclists in mind and they’re built to last, so let’s take a closer look at them.
First of all, the details are very well thought out.
You get all round visible reflective features on the inside of the trouser legs, which you can see as soon as you roll up the trouser legs. There’s also reflective features on the rear pocket.
It comes with deep cut pockets, including one which can be zipped shut and another which shuts with a magnet. This is really useful for all the things you don’t want falling out your pocket. You can see a use both on and off the bike – it would certainly thwart any pick pocketing attempts.
Inside the right side pocket, you’ll find a carabiner clip for attaching your keys.
The material used is 98% cotton and 2% spandex. The cotton is branded as Epic™ Cotton by Nextec, which offers better breathability along with toughness. On the Vulpine website it mentions the ideal temperatures for wearing is between 4 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius. In testing that feels right. On a rare sunny bike ride home, where the thermometer peaked at 23 degrees, I definitely felt too hot with the trousers and longed for my shorts.
The Vulpine Cotton Rain Trousers do offer some water resistance as the name suggests, although don’t expect to arrive home bone dry in a huge rainfall. However, if you get caught in a drizzle, you have nothing to worry about.
Despite the favourable features of the fabric, you don’t have any particularly arduous washing requirements. The trousers can be washed at 40 degrees and can be tumble dried on a low heat. The label suggests using non-biological detergent, avoiding softeners and 2 in 1s. Rinsing and tumble drying on a cool temperature reactivates the Epic™ Cotton treatment.
In practise what this means for the wearer, is they get a comfortable pair of trousers, which are durable and rain resistant – perfect for cycling and the outdoors.
It’s tough to comment on the trousers in terms of style, as it is largely a personal preference – a case of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. They’re perhaps not quite as stylish as an equivalently priced pair of trousers from a high end high street retailer but then perhaps that’s me struggling to find a fault with them. Personally, I’d prefer a tighter fit around the legs, which I believe is more stylish, but this would most likely compromise the comfort. I’ll leave this up to your judgement.
If you’re up for investing in a quality pair of trousers to wear on cooler days, that will look good both on and off the bike then the Vulpine Men’s Cotton Rain Trousers offer an impressive set of features. I’ve found myself wearing mine regularly on the bike but also just around the house due to the added comfort they offer.
These trousers definitely get the London Cyclist seal of approval.
Vulpine Men’s Rain Trousers, £139, available from Vulpine.cc.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.