A technical riding pant at a competitive price, the Backcountry Slickrock Pant is nice addition to riding pant options available. Featuring a well-considered design and constructed of quality materials, it’s suitable for cool weather riding, and pairs well with the matching Hero Dirt Hoodie. (also from Backcountry)
The Hero Dirt Hoodie is great, but I have to say, I’ve become obsessed with riding in pants. For the last few seasons, riding in pants has been a joy… for so many reasons. Not only do pants help keep poison oak and ticks at bay, they also make for easy post-ride clean-up: take off pants, wipe off sweat—done. This makes them rather ideal for MTB road trips, in addition to being lower leg coverings.
Available only at Backcountry.com and CompetitiveCyclist.com, the Slickrock Pant is part of an in-house collection of technical cyclist apparel that offers a welcome option to the existing offerings. Thankfully for those of us that don’t like being a walking advertisement, the branding on the pants is minimal; they feature the Backcountry Goat graphic with a small subdued logo and nothing else.
- 4-way stretch fabric (85% recycled nylon, 15% spandex) wicks moisture and doesn’t restrict mobility
- DWR treatment for water resistance
- Thigh vents for airflow when temperatures increase
- Zippered ankle aids in putting on
- Reflective details for visibility
- 2 zippered hand pockets
On the trail
I get cold easily and pants do a fine job covering the parts of one’s legs that shorts don’t. The Slickrock pant has arrived at an optimal time; most cycling pants seem to perpetually be out of stock — it’s clear that cycling apparel brands have underestimated the popularity of cycling in pants. Although we’re starting to come into the warmer weather here in the PNW, other than our few short months of summer riding, I get a lot of riding time during pants season. In the spring, the only time my shorts have been making an appearance is on riding trips to southern Oregon.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how good these pants are. They’re ridiculously comfortable, so much so that for the first few days after opening them up, I simply wore them around the house like they were soccer/track pants.
I like the fit quite a bit, and they’re similar to a pair of Adidas soccer pants I’ve been rocking. I prefer my riding pants on the fitted side, as they work better on the bike; the Slickrock pant is streamlined without that horrible lycra tights look, and with two functional and useable zipper pockets, I am happy to wear them into the store pre-and post-ride.
Though the Slickrock pant is listed under “Men’s Downhill Pants” on Competitive Cyclist, these would are better-labeled trail riding pants. Lightweight, comfort, and mobility were clearly the priority based on the choice of the materials, and the garment is better served because of it. If you’re a fan of riding in pants, they’re an excellent option. If you’re primarily doing bike park laps, and are concerned with “crashability” you might be better off choosing a different pant, and saving these for longer trail rides.
Though these pants are treated with a water-resistant coating, they’re not what I’d consider ideal for wet weather, but the DWR coating should help keep moisture at bay for a bit during light sprinkles or the occasional splash. There are better pants suited for wet weather, but again, these pants are better not trying to do it all.
My current go-to cycling pants have been the Fox Attack Water Pants and the IXS Trigger Pant. The fit of the Slickrock pant is described as a semi-fitted pant and while it seems accurate, I’d describe it as more fitted. Regardless of how you describe the cut, it fits me very well. It has a fit similar to the Trigger pant, (note the Trigger is a size medium so I’m speculating somewhat that the size small would scale down a bit) with significantly more stretch to the material. I’m running lean these days with a 31″ waist, so I sized down to the size small, as the medium IXS pants are just way too big and have a tendency to slide down while wearing a waist pack. While the small waist is on the snug side, it is nice and secure and features ample stretch, is comfortable and has plenty of mobility. My slim Leatt knee pads squeeze in with no problems and so far the material stretching at the knee area bounces back.
I like these pants quite a bit and have been considering purchasing a second set for a backup. I wouldn’t expect to enjoy wearing cycling pants on longer XC rides but have greatly enjoyed wearing the Slickrock pant.
The inseam length of 29″ works well for my 31″ legs, and stays out of the way on the bike. My only complaint with the Slickrock pant is the hand pockets feel a bit shallow. I wish they were at least an inch deeper, but as they are able to hold my larger iPhone, it’s by no means a dealbreaker. I don’t have enough hours to speak on the long-term durability in regards to wear and tear over time, but as previously mentioned, I like the pants enough that I’m considering adding a second pair to the gear bag.
The Backcountry Slickrock Pant sells for $99.00. If you sign up for their newsletter you can score a discount code good for 15% off, which makes the price quite reasonable, so if you’re curious, I’d order some up before stock disappears. Check it out at CompetitiveCyclist.com or Backcountry.com
Backcountry Hero Dirt Hoodie
We do so love our matching kit, so having the Hero Dirt Hoodie on hand to pair with the Slickrock pant was a treat for those cool weather rides. Light enough to wear all day, the synthetic material blend is breathable and fast-drying.
- Material: 69% nylon, 17% polyester, 14% spandex with DWR finish
- “Active” fit
- Zippered shoulder-seam vents
- Classic kangaroo hoodie pouch pocket, 1 zippered rear pocket and two jersey-style rear pockets
- Drawcord-adjustable hood
- Reflective details
On the trail
I have been pairing the Hero Dirt Hoodie with a base layer and it’s been a good setup for me. I was a bit concerned with overheating but it’s in line with middleweight a long sleeve jersey in terms of heft, and with a compactable and lightweight wind vest, I’m well covered for a range of riding conditions.
Designed as a layering piece I went with a size small, which makes it a bit more fitted on me. According to the size chart, I’m a size medium, but I wanted it to be a bit more streamlined.
The more fitted size makes it well suited for crossover activities, and I’ve been wearing it trail running in addition to urban cycling, gravel riding, and mountain biking. I like it a bit more fitted, as adding items to the rear jersey pockets weighs them down a bit, and the more streamlined fit makes it function more in line with a road cycling jersey. (without that roadie look)