To get a sense of relative fit, I’ll do my best to describe my dimensions and build. I’m around 6’3” tall and 175 pounds, with a +5” ape index. Long limbs, pretty skinny. Picture in your head one of the War Boys from Mad Max, if that rings a bell. Like many mountain bikers, I have the big legs small waist thing going on, which can be a tricky fit issue with more standard cuts of apparel. Most of my riding is done in Bellingham Washington, where colder months are typically 35-50° and rainy, with warmer times ranging from 65-80° and fairly humid.
The first thing to touch on here is fit, as I struggled a bit with the Foehn sizing. The Orford shirt was perfect, normal size Large with sleeves long enough for even my lanky self. The Tobin pants, however, were much bigger than typical 32s tend to fit. Luckily there’s a built-in belt with enough adjustment to take in the slack, but this generally led to a baggier-than-ideal fit that was a bit frustrating at times. That said, the cut of the pants is overall a bit looser than your average mountain bike pants from bigger brands, which lends them more towards shuttling and uplift days, as opposed to any longer pedal missions. The looser fit does give the Tobins a bit more versatility for off-bike engagements, assuming you haven’t coated them in mud.
This flexibility of use is a good thing, as the fabric is so comfortable, you’ll hardly want to take them off. Notably heavier in hand than most of the athletic ultralight stuff you see on most kits, the Schoeller fabric used by Foehn is a durable and burly feeling weave that should endure tons of abuse. I had no issues with abrasion or loose stitching, despite plenty of pedaling and abuse. The pants also feature plenty of cargo space, which is pretty nice considering the shift away from riding with packs towards carrying stuff on the bike and your person. Not every pocket has full utility though, as the large thigh zip tends to flop around while pedaling if it contains anything substantial.
On the upper half of this pairing, things are wholly impressive. At first glance I thought the Orford shirt was going to be like any other polyester thermal, i.e. sweaty, stinky, and always too warm. That was far from the case, as the addition of an internal merino layer keeps this jersey cool and light feeling, even when you’re pushing the pace.
I like the Orford so much, it ended up being one of only 3 top layers I brought with me on my through-ride of the Colorado Trail this summer (more on that packing list in a later writeup). Over that trip through the Rockies and San Juans, it proved to be a highly versatile and performative piece, working both as a standalone in warmer temperatures, and as a thermal layer when the mercury dropped. Thanks to the wool blend fabric, it never got too foul, and the shirt continued to stay comfortable even in thunderstorms at 12,000’ – as much as anything can provide comfort in that context.
The Wolf’s Last Word
With a modern and minimalist aesthetic and design sense, Foehn’s approach to mountain bike apparel is both refreshing and unique. The Orford Merino shirt, though expensive, proves itself in the elements, spanning a very wide range of temperatures and climates, all while remaining durable and comfortable. The Tobin pants offer slightly less for the price, as the fit is a bit too baggy for your average ride; but thanks to a high-quality fabric and excellent finishing details, they remain useful and stylish if you’re looking for something to wear beyond the trails.
$199.95 – Tobin Pant
$119.95 – Orford Shirt