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To be honest, I didn’t really get into wearing women’s mountain bike pants until recently. I’ve always been a baggy shorts girl with a chamois layered underneath.
But after testing out a few pairs of women’s mtb pants, I’m a convert! They’re great for cool or cold weather pedaling and ideal for downhill bike park days.
Like most women’s mountain bike gear and clothing, pants have come a long way over the past few years and now there are some excellent options for lady shredders.
In this post, I share my favorite pairs including what they’re best for, what I love about them, what I don’t, and more.
Best Women’s MTB Pants At A Glance
- Most comfortable: Troy Lee Design Luxe
- Popular choice: Fox Defend Pants
- Runner up: DHaRCHO Gravity pants
- Best for bike parks: Revel Rider Flow Pants
- Best for cool weather pedaling: Troy Lee Designs Lillium
- Lightweight option: Patagonia Dirt Craft
- Best for cold/rainy weather: POC Ardour Pants
- Versatile pants: SHREDLY High-Rise Pant
- Best design features: Wild Rye Freya
1. Troy Lee Design Luxe
Where to shop
- Great for: Cool weather pedaling, everyday riding
- What I like: Awesome contoured fit, soft material, easy to pedal in
- What I don’t like: A little short on the inseam for taller people, not weather-resistant
The moment I pulled on the Troy Lee Designs Luxe pants, I was in love. I even dig the leopard print even though I don’t typically gravitate toward flashy styles!
These pants are made from lightweight, breathable material, but they have enough sustenance to keep your legs warm on cooler fall or spring days.
The thing I love the most about these pants, though, is the fit. They are contoured to fit snugly, but still leave enough room in all the right places to not restrict movement.
The only downside to these pants is that the inseam is a little short for taller ladies. I’m 5’8 and usually prefer a 30″ or 31″ inseam – these have a 29.5″ inseam.
They’re also not the best choice for wet weather as they aren’t waterproof or water-resistant. But if you’re looking for a dry-weather shoulder season pant, these are an excellent option.
2. Fox Defend Pants
Where to shop
- Great for: Rugged terrain, downhill riding, colder days
- What I like: Loose fit makes them easy to move in, durable material, reinforced knees, can wear pads underneath, tapered legs
- What I don’t like: Expensive, not as lightweight or breathable as other options on this list
For women looking for a more relaxed fit, the Fox Defend Women’s Mountain Bike Pants are a popular option among lady shredders.
They’re designed for rugged and rowdy riding with stretchy material that is also super durable and reinforced in high-wear areas like the knees.
The tapered leg ensures these pants stay clear of the pedals, but are still loose enough to wear pads underneath.
While these pants do have perforated ventilation holes in the front and the rear, they are a bit heavier and warmer than other options on this list, so they’re best for cooler days or gravity-fed fun where pedaling is kept to a minimum.
3. DHaRCHO Gravity pants
Popular choice – Runner up
Where to shop
- Great for: Everyday pedaling, cooler days
- What I like: Slim fit is flattering and comfortable, water-resistant finish
- What I don’t like: Not well-ventilated, some women won’t like the slim fit
The DHaRCHO Gravity Pants are another popular choice for women riders and one that has been around for a while and has seen several iterations. My friend and fellow coach Joanna wears these and loves the slim fit and fun prints.
DHaRCHO is an Australian-based mountain bike brand with a motto of ‘No Ordinary Life”. Their clothes follow a fun theme with bright colors and prints, although they have introduced tamer options like solid black.
The Gravity Pants are a good option for everyday pedaling or for colder days. However, they don’t have a ton of ventilation, so leave them at home during the summer months.
4. Revel Rider Flow Pants
Best for bike parks
Where to shop
- Great for: Bike park shredding, colder days
- What I like: Awesome fit, durable material, woman-owned and designed, clever hook and loop waist adjustment
- What I don’t like: Cuffs not as tapered as I’d like, zipper at the ankle can be felt knocking around when pedaling, expensive
If you’re looking for a women’s mountain bike pant that is designed for women by a woman, then look no further than the Revel Rider Flow Pant.
I tested these out and was really impressed with their quality, fit, and durability. They are on the heavier side, which makes them great for rowdy downhilling and bike parks.
They are also treated with a light DWR finish, so they repel moisture and light rain, making them a great choice for shoulder or winter-season riding.
The one thing I didn’t love about these pants are the ankles. The cuffs could be tapered a bit more to avoid hitting the cranks. The zipper pulls on the calves are also a bit heavy and bulky and I can feel them knocking against my ankles when pedaling, which is why I prefer them for downhill bike parks.
5. Troy Lee Designs Lillum
Best for cool weather pedaling
Where to shop
- Great for: Cool weather pedaling
- What I like: Lightweight material, great fit
- What I don’t like: Not much!
The Troy Lee Designs Lilium women’s mountain bike pants are a great option for cool – not cold – weather pedaling.
The fabric is just thick enough to provide protection from the wind and elements, but still lightweight and breathable to keep you comfortable as you work up a sweat.
I tested out these pants and loved how stretchy the material is. They have a more durable feel compared to the TLD Luxe Pants above, so they are a better choice for more rugged riding and drizzly days.
6. Patagonia Dirt Craft
Where to shop
- Great for: Every day pedaling, warmer weather
- What I like: Lightweight and breathable, deep side pockets
- What I don’t like: Patagonia tends to fit slim body types better than curvy
Are you the type of rider who prefers to wear pants over shorts? Or maybe you want a pair of women’s mountain bike pants that you can wear in any weather.
Whichever the case, the Patagonia Dirt Craft pants are a versatile option. They are super lightweight and breathable, but still have a light DWR finish to repel moisture and are made from durable material to block the wind.
They can be worn on warm summer days or on cooler rides or even stuffed into a pack if the temps warm up (or drop) when you’re out on the trail.
My only critique for these pants is that I find Patagonia bottoms to work better for slimmer body types rather than curvy or athletic women.
7. POC Ardour Pants
Best for cold/rainy weather
Where to shop
- Great for: Bad weather or cold temps
- What I like: Waterproof from the knees down, water-resistant everywhere else, they fit great, warm
- What I don’t like: Expensive, not versatile
POC makes my all-time favorite mountain bike shorts, so it’s no surprise that I love their women’s mountain bike pants.
The POC Ardour pants are an all-weather pant, but they’re really meant for nasty, cold weather. Made with highly durable materials and waterproof from the knees down, these pants will keep you (mostly) dry and warm even when the weather turns.
They are an investment at $280, but if you live in an area that sees a lot of precipitation, they could definitely be worth the money.
8. SHREDLY High-Rise Limitless Pant
Where to shop
- Great for: Cooler weather pedaling, hiking and other outdoor pursuits
- What I like: Comfy elastic waistband, designed by women for women
- What I don’t like: Pockets aren’t zippered, often out of sizes, I find the material SHREDLY uses to be heavy and bulky, no ventilation
SHREDLY makes some of the most popular women’s mountain bike shorts and they recently introduced some pants for colder-weather riders.
The SHREDLY High-Rise Limitless Pants are a versatile option that can be used on and off the bike for women who enjoy multiple outdoor activities from hiking to backpacking to climbing and more.
I do find that the material SHREDLY uses for their apparel is a bit heavy and bulky, but their clothes are designed for women by women, which is a big plus.
One other thing I like about these pants are the elastic ankle cuffs, which most other pants don’t have. This is a nice feature that prevents the cuffs from brushing against the pedals or cranks.
9. Wild Rye Freya
Best Design Features
Where to shop
- Great for: Downhill days, cooler weather
- What I like: Thoughtful design features, great colors, relaxed fit
- What I don’t like: The belt loops, expensive
The Wild Rye Freya Pants are thoughtfully designed (by women) with some features you don’t see on other women’s mountain bike pants.
They have velcro at the cuffs so you can get a snug fit around the ankles and they also have a zipper that goes all the way up to just below the knee so you can easily pull on knee pads without taking the pants off.
They are reinforced at the knees with double layers of durable fabric and have perforated ventilation zones along the back panels to keep you cool while pedaling.
The only thing I don’t love about these pants are the belt loops. I don’t see myself ever wearing a belt while mountain biking. I wish they had velcro tabs or a hook-and-loop system like the Revel Rider Flow pants above.
Women’s Mountain Bike Pants Features
Not sure what to look for when shopping around for some mtb pants? Here are a few key features to consider before purchasing your next (or first) pair:
Material: durability & ventilation
Most women’s mountain bike pants will be made from durable, synthetic, stretchy materials like nylon. However, the thickness and waterproofness of the material will differ.
Think about what kind of riding you will be doing most: if you’ll be at the bike park you’ll probably want something with a little more thickness and sustenance so they don’t rip or tear if (when) you crash. The Revel Rider Flow Pants are my pick for downhill days because they’re made from a thicker material and have reinforced knee panels.
If you’ll be mostly pedaling in your pants, choose one that is lighter in weight and has ample ventilation to help keep you cool and dry like the Troy Lee Designs Luxe Pants.
Women’s mountain bike apparel has come a long way over the past few years and now we ladies can actually find pants that fit the way we want them to. Yay!
Mountain bike pants come in a range of styles from tights to contoured to loose and baggy.
There is no right answer when it comes to which style is best for riding, so think about how you like your pants to fit – form-fitting or a bit on the loose side?
Personally, I like a contoured fit that is snug around the hips and waist and a little looser in the legs like the Troy Lee Designs Lilium Pant.
There are a handful of different waist closure options and, like fit, it really comes down to personal preference.
Most women’s mountain bike pants will have a bit of weatherproofing, but some definitely have more than others.
If you’ll be riding in wet, muddy conditions, you’ll want a pant that is waterproof or at least very water-resistant.
If you’re like me, pockets are an important consideration for mountain bike pants and shorts. I like to carry my phone in my pocket, so they need to be deep, wide, and zippered.
If pockets are important to you, be sure to check the pocket situation before buying.
I hope this post has pointed you in the right direction for choosing the best women’s mountain biking pants.
It’s important to remember that there is no one ‘best’ answer, but rather it really comes down to personal preference, budget, and what kind of riding you’ll be doing the most.
Looking for more women’s mountain bike gear? Check out these related blog posts:
- The Best Women’s Mountain Bikes (and do you really need one?)
- Best Women’s Mountain Bike Jerseys
- Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes: Flat & clipless options
- Gear Review: Ride Concepts Livewires
- Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts
- Gear Review: POC Women’s Essential MTB Shorts
- Best Women’s Padded Bike Shorts, Liners, & Chamois
Do you have a favorite pair of women’s mountain bike shorts? Which ones are they and what do you love about them? What questions do you still have? Leave a comment below!