Patagonia might be best known for its puffy coats and ecological credentials, but these Dirt Roamer baggy shorts should be on your shortlist of the best mountain bike shorts if you want a lightweight summer trail riding short that looks great and performs admirably with a comfortable slim fit and smart details.
Design and aesthetics
The Dirt Roamer shorts look great in a very understated way. They come in three colors, giving a very subdued look that, along with the absence of garish logos, ensures these are perfect shorts for blending in rather than standing out. They also look great off the bike for post-ride beverages and snacks too. The fit is slim but they’re baggy enough to use with your choice best MTB knee pads, and you get a couple of zipped pockets and easy waist adjustment.
The Dirt Roamer shorts are made from recycled polyester and elastane, which gives ample four-way stretch to ensure a comfortable fit and unrestricted pedaling. It’s also moisture-wicking, which fits the warm weather conditions they are designed for. All seams are sonic-welded to keep the weight low whilst also preventing chafing and allowing more stretch. The waistband is adjustable with a fly zipper and two popper closures at the front. Inside snap loops are compatible with the company’s own liner bib shorts. An 11.5in inseam sits the shorts over the top of the kneecaps and there are two zipped pockets.
The extremely low weight and thin fabric of the Dirt Roamer shorts make them almost disappear on the bike. This lack of weight makes them perfect for cross-country and trail riding where the bulk of heavier shorts can be cumbersome when pedaling. The cut is suited to fast pedaling, with angled legs and a length that sits just over the knee cap. They are a slim cut - some might want to size up - but are baggy enough to be worn with knee pads. The lightness makes them ideally suited to warmer weather while the DWR coating handles occasional showers.
These are thoughtfully designed shorts that get the key details right and eschew the frills and loud designs of other shorts. The fit is good and the stretch of the fabric sees the shorts easily moving with you as you pedal and throw the bike around the tail. The waistband adjustment is enough to tailor the fit and they don’t shift about or slide down when riding. Any concerns about the light fabric not being durable have proven unfounded so far, and the welded stitching is super tough. All things considered, they are a top option for cross-country and light trail riding action.
Tech specs: Patagonia Dirt Roamer bike shorts
- Price: $99 / £90
- Colors: Black, Forge Grey, Superior Blue
- Material: Recycled polyester and Elastane. Includes four-way stretch and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- Weight: 153 g