So, you have been hitting the trails in your favourite MTB shorts over the last few months. But suddenly temperatures have dropped, and your legs feel a bit stiff from the cold. It is time to upgrade to a pair of MTB trousers.
The best mountain bike trousers are warm but breathable, comfortable but durable, and waterproof while still looking damn good.
This is a big ask, but we have come up with a list of eight of the best MTB trousers that you can get your hands on today that fit the bill. We have lightweight and fleece-lined options, street-style and riding legging choices, and trousers for both men and women.
Don’t see anything you like on our list? We have also put together a complete buying guide covering all the most important things to look for when finding your perfect mountain bike trousers.
Don’t let dropping temperatures keep you from the trail!
8 Best Mountain Bike Trousers
Fox Flexair Unisex Pants
This is one of the most flexible and comfortable pair of MTB trousers that you will find thanks to its four-way stretch fabric.
The fabric is warm and has a water repellent coating to keep you dry in any weather. They are also moisture-wicking to keep you dry from the inside out.
The tapered leg ensures against splash back up the leg, but there is enough room in the knee for a good pair of kneepads. The fabric around the knee is also reinforced.
The elasticated and race ratchet waistband gives these pants a universal fit that makes them appropriate for both men and women. There are two colours and multiple sizes to choose from.
Waterproof Thermal Fleece MTB Pants
These comfortable trousers are made from a quick drying and moisture wicking material that means you are comfortable no-matter the weather conditions. Its four-way stretch means you should never feel like you don’t have enough space.
These pants come with one of the nicer in-built chamois that we have seen. It is made from five layers of 3D high density sponge that both absorbs shocks and feels comfortable. It is also antibacterial for the long-term durability of your trousers.
Prevent moisture splash back with zippers around the ankles that won’t let water in, but make these trousers easy to put on and take off. The knees are also reinforced.
Choose from three colours and six sizes to find the most comfortable fit.
- Four-way stretch fabric
- Quick drying and moisture wicking
- In-built chamois
- Reinforced knees
- Three colours and six sizes
BALEAF Men’s MTB Riding Leggings
If you prefer your mountain biking trousers tight and stretchy, you will love these riding leggings from BALEAF.
They are designed for comfort and mobility rather than to keep you warm, but they stretch in every direction and are made from a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable.
There is an in-built chamois for comfort in the saddle. The padding is made from flexible silicone, and is also moisture wicking for maximum comfort.
The trousers have lots of nice usability features. Zippers around the ankles mean that they can come on and off over shoes, and there are well-placed zipper pockets on the hip and at the back for keeping your valuables secure.
Overall, these trousers and affordable and stylish, and the dark colour, with a selection of three different colour inserts, can leave you feeling less exposed than some other legging-style bike pants.
- Riding leggings
- In-built chamois
- Moisture-wicking fabric
- Hip and back zipper pockets
- Six sizes and three colours available
Souke Sports Trousers
Stay warm with these innovative pull-on pants with elasticated waist from Souke. They combine a warm fleece layer, an inner moisture-wicking layer, and an outer water-repellent layer, each made from polyester. The triple layering means that they are wind-resistant for maximum warmth.
They have a comfortable pull-on design with an elasticated waistband, and combine comfortable open side pockets with a number of zippered pockets for secure storage.
There is a Velcro closure on the cuff, which means these trousers are easy to put on, but won’t let moisture or cold air in.
These affordable trousers are available in five sizes and are great for cycling, but also activities such as camping and hiking. They are a great multipurpose option.
- Fleece-lined trousers
- Three-layered protection
- Moisture-wicking and water repellent
- Elasticated pull-on design
- Black only and five sizes
LHHMZ Men’s Soft-Shell Fleece Lined Trousers
If you are looking for maximum warmth and comfort in the saddle, check out these fleece-lined trousers with stylish, soft-shell outer layer.
The fabric is a little bit stretchy and baggy enough for comfort, and to fit a chamois underneath if desired. They are also reinforced at the knee to ensure that they don’t tear, even under heavy use.
They come in four different black and grey variations, all with a variety of zipper pockets so that you can carry your gear wherever is most comfortable.
These trousers are ideal for transitioning from saddle to street. Choose from five different sizes to find your perfect fit.
- Polyester trousers
- Reinforced knees
- Several zipper pockets
- Five sizes and four colours available
Men’s Breathable Outdoor Sports Trousers
If you are looking for something warm, but you aren’t a fan of fleece lining, check out these trousers made from a polyester-based fabric that is warm, moisture-wicking, quick drying, and durable.
The fabric is also marketed as so water-repellent that they are “shower-proof”. While we don’t recommend taking a shower in them, they will keep you dry on the trail.
These trousers are loose enough that they feel comfortable and you can wear bike pants with chamois underneath, but they don’t feel baggy.
There are nice slim cuffs at the bottom to avoid splashback, but with ankle zippers to let you get them on over shoes and knee pads. There are also several pocket options, all with zippers, for you to store your gear the way you prefer.
At the moment these trousers are only available in black, and there are six sizes to choose from. Sizing goes up to 4XL, but they run very small.
- Polyester trousers
- Moisture-wicking and breathable
- Slim cuffs with zippers
- Several zipper pockets
O’Neal Mayhem Lite Men’s Blocker Pant
There is nothing subtle about these trousers with loud colours and flashy graphics, but also a design for professional riders. These are ideal for both motorbike and mountain bike excursions.
They are made from a durable denier fabric with triple stitching to ensure that they last the test of time.
While the fabric is already durable and water-resistant, there are additional protective panels on the seat, inside leg, and knees for extra protection.
There are also stretch panels in the front and back for additional mobility, and there are ergonomically designed pre-bent padded knee areas that offer protection, and space for knee guards.
There are nine colour options and multiple sizes, so you can find a pair that is distinctively you.
- Ideal for motocross or mountain biking
- Durable, water-resistant denier fabric
- Additional protective padding
- Pre-bent knee area
- Nine colours and multiple sizes
TACVASEN Women’s Trousers
While a lot of the options on this list are great for women as well, if you are looking for something specifically designed for the female body check out these fantastic ladies MTB trousers.
They couple an inner fleece layer for warmth with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to keep you dry.
The fit is great thanks to a partially elasticated waist with zipper and articulated knees that offer extra mobility when cycling.
They have a stylish design with lots of useful zippered pockets, and there are five different colours to choose from to suit every style.
- Women’s trousers
- Water and windproof outer layer
- Articulated knees
- Five colours
MTB Trousers: Buying Guide
When choosing the right trouser for wearing on the trail, aside from something that suits your personal style and leaves you feeling good, there are a number of important factors to consider.
There are a lot of things to consider when finding the right fit for mountain bike trousers. But the first thing is whether you want something tight and stretchy, or loose and spacious.
Whichever way you go, you need something that gives you the range of motion needed without squishing anything, or fabric digging into you uncomfortably.
Also, consider whether you are going to be using knee pads. You’ll either need enough space to slide the kneepads underneath, or the trousers will need to be tight enough that the pads fit comfortably and securely over the top.
If you are mountain biking in the rain, drizzle, or mud (and in the UK, when aren’t you?) then having trousers with a certain level of waterproofness is going to make a big difference to your personal comfort.
Look out for fabrics that are water-resistant or water-repellent. This will often be an outer shell layer that sits over the top of a more comfortable inner layer.
Depending on the conditions that you are cycling in, you are going to want to find something that keeps your legs warm.
There are a variety of fleece-lined options on the market, designed to do just that. They should be simultaneously moisture-wicking so that you don’t end up with sweaty legs.
While you want your trousers to be both waterproof and warm, you need them to be breathable. If you are working hard pedaling on the trails, you are going to sweat. And there are few things worse than having your sweat create a hot and wet environment inside your trousers.
Look for trousers that are described as moisture wicking. This generally means that the fabric of the inside layers is designed to pull sweat away from you and into the fabric, where it will dry quickly.
Some trousers will add vents in order to add additional breathability. In reality, if your trousers are made from nice breathable fabric, these should be unnecessary, so this is more of a style thing than a usability thing.
You will want to decide whether you want MTB trousers with an inbuilt chamois or not.
A chamois is the padded crotch area that provides a bit of extra comfort and cushioning for long hours in the saddle.
If you don’t go for an inbuilt chamois, you may want to consider going for something that leaves enough space for you to wear separate Lycra shorts with a chamois underneath.
Many good MTB trousers will have tapered, tight elastic cuffs, or cuffs that can be closed with Velcro. This is to stop water and mud from splashing up inside your trousers.
If you want to carry your valuables with you, you are going to want pockets.
But be careful about placement, as you don’t want anything that becomes uncomfortable when you are in the saddle. Let’s be realistic, you aren’t going to be using those back pockets.
Side pockets further down the leg are good for larger items, but be aware that they tend to swing about and become uncomfortable when you are peddling. Also, if you have a crash, you may well find yourself with a broken mobile phone.
Hip pockets are better for securing your important items, as long as they are placed correctly and don’t become uncomfortable in the seated position or inhibit your range of motion.
Wherever your pockets are, make sure that they have a zip seal so that things don’t unexpectedly decide to jump out.
What Trousers Do You Wear Mountain Biking?
The best trousers for mountain biking offer you the full range of motion that you need to pedal on the trail.
They should also be breathable and moisture-wicking so that sweat doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
If you are looking for trousers over shorts due to cold temperatures, you will also want something that provides warmth and wind-resistance.
Finally, you will want something that is water-resistant so that you don’t have to worry about water or mud soaking in.
Can You Wear Jeans When Mountain Biking?
While you can wear anything when mountain biking, jeans are not recommended.
They don’t tend to have enough stretch to be comfortable in the saddle. They are also neither waterproof nor moisture-wicking. This means that they can quickly become uncomfortable if you splash through puddles, or when you start to work up a sweat.
Are there padded MTB trousers?
Yes, you can get MTB trousers that have saddle padding, called a chamois, built-in for extra comfort.
The majority of options will not feature this, as they tend to be multi-use sports pants. But there should be enough space in this area that you can wear a pair of bike shorts with chamois underneath the trousers if desired.
Dropping temperatures does not mean that you have to say goodbye to the trail for a few months. A good pair of MTB trousers will keep you warm and comfortable on the trail.
As well as looking for something in a style that you love, look for trousers that are wind-resistant and water-resistant, both of which are essential features for keeping warm. You can also find fleece-lined options for extra warmth.
But make sure the trousers are also comfortable with a good fit that doesn’t see fabric digging into you in any position, and breathable and moisture-wicking so you don’t become uncomfortable when you start to work up a sweat.
Hopefully, you can find something that appeals to you on our list of eight fantastic MTB trousers available right now.
- 7 Chamois Mistakes the Ruin Rides – Bicycling
- How do Moisture-Wicking Fabrics Work? – Udans
- MTB Wet Weather Riding Tips – Red Bull
- Complete Guide to Winter Mountain Biking – BikeRadar
Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API