- 4-way stretch Cordura doesn’t restrict pedaling and room for your favorite padded liner
- Great option for summer to fall trail and gravel riding
- PI Dry® water-resistant fabric
- Tapered ankle hem prevents issue with fabric getting caught in the chain
- Roomie enough for MTB knee pads
- Two large zipper side pockets fit phone, nutrition, etc.
- No zipper at ankle for easier removing or adding knee pads
- Only available in one color
- No reflective elements
Price: $150 MSRP
Sizes: 2-14 (women’s); 28-38 (men’s)
Fabric: 68% CORDURA® nylon, 21% polyester, 11% elastane
Water Resistant: Yes
Source: Online or retail
How Obtained: Company sample
RBR Advertiser: No
Hit the Trails in Comfort and Style
Ever want more coverage to protect you from vegetation or insects when on the trail? The new Launch Trail Pants by Pearl Izumi is just the ticket. Available in men’s and women’s sizing, these pants are both comfortable and functional.
I tested the Launch pants both on my gravel bike and MTB, just adding my favorite padded liner for comfort. The 4-way stretch material makes these pants easy to move around in, with no restriction when pedaling. When testing at MTB camp a couple of weeks ago, there was also plenty of room for me to wear knee pads underneath.
The tapered ankle hem keeps the fabric from getting caught in the chain. There’s also a section of elastic at the hem to make it easier to slip them on over your foot/shoe. It would be nice to have ankle zippers to simplify pulling up knee pads. The ankles were too tight to pull up much past my calves.
Besides having 4-way stretch, the Launch pants fabric is finished with PI Dry, giving it water resistant properties. If you get splashed during a creek crossing or caught in a drizzle, the fabric sheds the water.
The fabric also is ideal for 3 out of 4 seasons. Cool enough to wear in the summer and warm enough to wear into fall. I tested in a temperature range of 40s to 70s F and was quite comfortable.
Other features of the new Launch pants include two side zippered pockets with plenty of room for a phone, nutrition and a few odds and ends. The pockets are designed to shift items to the back of the leg for added comfort when pedaling.
There are also external side waist adjustments that help provide a perfect fit. I tend to need more room at the hips and less at the waist. Using the hook-and-loop feature, I was able to cinch the waist snug.
If you plan to use these pants for gravel riding, be aware there are no reflective elements, something you don’t need for mountain biking.
I really was impressed with Pearl Izumi’s new Launch trail pants. Extremely comfortable and versatile. From on the bike riding gravel and MTB to off the bike hiking or running errands, these pants offer you a wide range of uses. Plus, a wide temperature range and water-resistant fabric, the Launch trail pants can be your go to from spring to fall.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.