Pearl claims these pants are ideal for 30-50 degree temperatures, and we spent plenty of time riding them in just that range. Immediately noticeable are the comfort and fit. The pants feel great against the skin thanks to the fleece material. They don’t have a rigid or hard feel like some DH-style pants, which also makes them quiet as well as comfortable.
During our test period I was able to ride the pants in rainstorms, snow and through wet, thick brush that felt like a botanical barrage. I stayed dry in each condition and still can’t believe the pants don’t have any snags, tears or holes. There were plenty of times I’d be hiking back up the hill and smack my kneepads into the pedals or the dreaded calf shot from blood thirsty pedals. Each time I was convinced that was the one to pierce the pants I’d look down, almost waiting for that “Aha!” moment, only to be disappointed.
So, are the pants perfect? No. One major oversight is the lack of vents. It wasn’t something that we totally noticed as such a big problem until we got the Alpinestars All Mountan 2 pants we reviewed a few weeks back. The Pearl Izumi Summit pants are undoubtedly warm and comfortable, but that warmth becomes uncomfortable, especially in the groin/inner thigh region on long climbs where internal temps rise. Even when the temps are in the upper 30’s, big climbs had us wishing for some air flow.
The Wolf’s Last Word
We love these pants, but they have become second in line due to the lack of vents, unless we’re just heading out for winter shuttles laps. In our opinion the lack of zippered ventilation is an oversight and after riding in other brand’s equally warm pants that have vents, it sets the Summit AmFibs back. That being said, if you don’t run hot, don’t expect to do lots of climbing in the colder months and want understated, blacked out riding pants that are insanely comfortable and durable, we highly recommend these pants. Pearl Izumi has definitely changed my opinion in terms of what the brand is capable of with their Summit AmFib Light pants.