Altura Esker Women’s Trail Trousers review – a lightweight and stylish option

Versatile and lightweight pants for trail riding

Altura Esker Tail Trouser in a tapered fit
(Image: © Rhian Atherton)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Flexible, comfortable with weather defence and useful features for off-road riding.


  • +

    Very comfortable

  • +

    Flexible material

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    Great price


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    Pocket in an awkward position

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    Too long

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    No adjustment

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Altura’s Esker Women’s Trail Trousers are high-quality, lightweight and durable trousers that ride well in unpleasant conditions and with a large zipped pocket to carry your small items on the go. Stretch in the right places and with a soft waistband for all-day comfort., although it does lack adjustability. Articulated knee allows the choice of wearing with or without knee pads, and the tapered lower leg keeps the trousers where you want them.

Zip pocket on the side of trousers

The Altura Esker's side zip pocket (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)

There is an abundance of choice out there when deciding on a pair of off-road women's specific trousers. It’s only quite recently though that women even had options. Women's tailored clothing never mind trousers are now popping up in more brands range. There are many things to consider when choosing the best MTB pants such as the features, fit, design, whether they are waterproof or not. These trousers by Altura are ideal for your trail riding exploits and are just as much of an important kit choice as your MTB jacket.

Design and specifications

The material is soft but durable and flexible, with a water-repellent coating for wet weather protection. The articulated knee design accommodates trail riding where knee pads may be worn underneath. There are stretchy panels in specific places around the waist and the sides of the upper thigh, and the lower leg for more flexibility while riding. There is a large zipped pocket on the right thigh with a long zip pull. The lower leg features a zip to offer more space in the ankle area as the legs are tapered.

Hem of Altura trousers showing long length

The sizing came up a little long for my petite length legs (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)


These trail trousers blend simplicity with high performance. They slide on so easily without any zips, buttons or belts involved. A side note to this is that because of no adjustment around the waist, it’s important to get the correct size and possibly, like me, size up to be on the safe side. The waist is super soft and features stretchy elasticated sections in specific areas for comfortable moving on the bike. The stretchy material is on the side of the waist that floors down to the upper thigh and sections in the lower leg. This is a welcome feature to be comfortable for a long period.

Front of trousers showing stretch

The waist is snug and stretchy, but there's no zipped opening (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)

Straight away, putting the trousers on, they are comfortable. They are stretchy and will flex during a bike ride, and they certainly did just that. Bending the knees, there is plenty of room to move, and they have an articulated knee that's pre-shaped to accommodate the typical cycling position. I found the waist quite tight sometimes, especially with my chamois shorts, as it fills the bum area more. Maybe this means no post-ride cake… who knows? Impressive that they allow for inner shorts as well as knee pads. Looking at them, you would think they would struggle to allow anything else underneath.

Back of the trousers show the different stretchy materials

The material is flexible and gives a slim fit (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)

The trousers feature one pocket. It's located on the right thigh area and is quite large. I could fit my phone inside it and small tools, but I opted out of this as when I started riding the things inside the pocket pushed against my leg. It's a shame because the pocket is useful to have while riding. There is no other pocket on the trousers to carry items, so if you don't use that, you are limited to using different options. The design appeal means your items don't interfere with the crease in your leg while riding.

Zipped pocket on the right side of the thigh

Zipped thigh pocket is big enough to fit a phone (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)

A lower leg zip is useful to some riders who want more leg room, but I prefer it zipped up to create a tapered feel and stop more mud and water from getting inside my socks. Nice to have the option, though. The leg length is a little too long for me.

I used these trousers for my more cross-country type riding, where there was a mix of steep climbs and techy descents, and they performed excellently. They were quite thin in the material, as I found out when falling off the slippery narrow trail and scrapping past overgrown spikey gorse bush. The delicate material may rip easily with a nasty scrap and a few accidents.

Altura's Esker Trail Trousers remind me of my walking-style trousers, and I will even wear these on my hikes too. They look smart at the coffee shop post-ride (ignore the mud-covered bum!) and can be styled with or without knee pads. The neutral color fits well with my other kit and is a refreshing change to the usual black trousers commonly found elsewhere.

Front full length of Altura trousers

The tapered leg design (Image credit: Rhian Atherton)


Overall, these trousers are highly comfortable and work well with the body during a trail ride. They offer wet weather protection, but the material is a little thin for wintery cold weather where there may be a downpour of heavy rain. They kept me dry even when covered in mud and a slight drizzle. The pocket isn’t in the best place when carrying more than one item, and the length is a little long if you have petite legs like myself, but this didn't interfere with riding performance. Compared to the Women’s Rapha Trail Lightweight Trousers that come out at £110, I could comfortably fit my inner chamois shorts underneath and knee pads without any resistance in moveability.

Tech specs: Altura Esker Women's Trail Trousers

  • Price: $92.65 / £75.00
  • Sizes:  UK 8 - 18
  • Colour options: Black, gray
Rhian Atherton
Freelance writer

Living in a quaint village surrounded by Shropshire’s rolling hills, Rhian is usually found exploring on the gravel bike or shredding her full-suspension machine a bike park, finishing in the cafe to sample the coffee and cake. She still enjoys dipping her toe in racing, even after 29 years. Rhian has a BA Hons in Sports Journalism, and a passion for writing and sharing her knowledge that has seen her contribute to Bike Perfect, Cyclist, and other international cycling websites.