You may not know that Backcountry.com has an in-house line of clothing that has recently expanded to include bike gear. Backcountry has had a long history of making high end gear under their other in-house brand: Stoic, and so far, their Backcountry branded gear is of similar quality. They sent over their newest release, the Slickrock pant, for some springtime testing. Read on for our thoughts so far.
Backcountry used a highly breathable 4-way stretch material to design a no frills, highly fitted pant, but incorporated just the right number of features to make them highly usable. The two zipper pockets on the upper thighs have enough room to stow your park pass, phone, and a gel without issue. There are exterior thigh vents that have zipper closures with no backing, to allow for maximum airflow through the pants. A slide-snap button closure with a short zipper fly and an adjustable waistband allows for a dialed fit.
The ankle cuffs are slim fitting elastic, with zippers to allow the pant to slide over shoes easily. The knees are cut just a little bigger for compatibility with most knee pads, and pre-curved for full range of motion when pedaling. A DWR coating keeps light rain and snow shedding off and the lightweight material dries impressively fast.
We took the Slickrock pant on a wide range of adventures from high alpine snow rides through to workouts in the gym. Thanks to the understated styling and slim fit, you can use them just about anywhere. Breathability with the thigh vents open is on par with your favorite DH short, but beware, no backing to the thigh vents means you will be showing your tan lines off and fishing loam out the cuffs.
The fit is tight enough that those of you with Clydesdale calves or wearing thick downhill pads will be stretching the fabric to a form fit. Even with the tight fit, we have no issues pedaling thanks to the highly stretchable material, and it leaves less material to snag. The aesthetic won’t be to everyone’s taste though, much akin to the skinny vs baggy jean argument. The ankle cuff with zipper keeps the cuffs tight enough to prevent dirt and debris from coming up the cuff and allows for an easy on and off experience.
It is hard to beat a good set of breathable bike pants for cooler days or a shred sesh in the park. We are stoked on the Backcountry Slickrock, it is a well-designed pant that can withstand light rain and snow with enough breathability for warmer days. After a few soft falls and wearing them for the past month, they show very few signs of wear, and all the zippers still work like new. For $100, Backcountry had hit the nail on the head for affordable quality. Just make sure you like a tighter fit before you purchase.
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