All too often women are left out of the commuter trouser party, with many brands (who shall remain nameless) never stepping up to cater to our needs. Thankfully Vulpine is not one of them.
Since launching Vulpine back in March 2012, founder Nick Hussey has built a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, superb quality and he’s a true advocate of women’s cycling too, backing Matrix Fitness – Vulpine a professional team who raced in The Women’s Tour last week.
It’s clear Hussey is passionate about his brand and the products he produces, and it’s not gone unnoticed. After just two years, Vulpine is already compared to cycling labels that have been around for decades. This hard work and dedication has been rewarded with rave reviews both from the industry and mainstream media.
At the end of last year, Vulpine focused on expanding their womenswear collection, and we’re so glad that they did.
Putting it simply, the women’s cotton rain trousers are wonderful. Let’s get things straight – they’re not perfect, but they’re so darn close that I bet you couldn’t find a more comfortable, chic and cycling-friendly pair of trousers for women to ride in. Yes, I’m putting it out there!
Well, where do I start? Overall, at first glance these look like a smart pair of chinos, best suited (apart from cycling!) for a casual office, trip to pub, walking the dog – in fact most situations. I have to admit that I’ve replaced wearing my jeans for these, they’re that comfy and stylish.
Achieving a comfortable fit for cyclists thighs in trousers is tough, but Vulpine seem to have managed it. There were no screaming thigh seams as I rode thanks to impeccable tailoring. The articulated knees allowed for unrestricted movement with every pedal stroke and combined with a seamless gusset I was exceptionally comfortable on every ride.
Admittedly, as someone who’s accustomed to wearing slim-fit jeans, it did take a little while to get used to the look of the generous style. But, as I’ve worn through the tight thighs of pair after pair of jeans, I’m not complaining about this new style – in fact it’s a welcome relief to find that Vulpine’s trousers sat beautifully on my waist while giving my thighs room to breath.
I’m a pretty curvy size 10, and I got on perfectly with Vulpine’s small. Leg length is also usually an issue, as I’m 5’3”, however these were bang on – perhaps if you’re tall these may not be the best trouser for you.
These trousers came into their absolute element as I rode through spring showers. Constructed from Epic Cotton, which Vulpine say is “tough against rain and wind but holds tailoring beautifully” I was pleased to see water beading and running off the surface. After a prolonged shower, I was left a tad dank, especially around the seams and areas that creased, but the beauty of the trousers is that they dried out in a flash.
Although the Epic Cotton is a tad rustily to walk/ride in, you get used to the noise, and I’d rather a little rustle than a wet bottom on my bike!
If that wasn’t enough, I’ve barely touched on all the features Vulpine have included to make these trousers suitable for cycling in. There’s the button adjustment on the bottom of the right leg to make sure your chain doesn’t eat the bottom of your trousers. Inside both legs the seams are covered with reflective tape to keep you visible.
Storage isn’t an issue, not that I like to carry a lot in my pockets, but if you do, there are more than enough to keep you happy.
The front left side has two, a zip pocket behind the main pocket, which incidentally is the only one I use to keep a little spare change in. On the right hand side there’s a carabiner to pop keys on to and the rear has a flap, with a flash of Vulpine green on the underside, a magnetic closure and a hidden light loop.
As with all things, there are a couple of things to look out for. Inside the waistband sits a thick band with 3 lines of grippy rubber running through it. It’s obviously to help keep your trousers/modesty in tact, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
The trousers are well cut and sit properly on your waist, about an inch below your belly button. Because of this, the grippy rubber band is redundant as there’s enough material to keep you covered. As I wear most of my tops outside of my trousers, rather than tucking them in, on hot days the rubber unfortunately irritated my rather delicate tummy skin.
Also, a random detail, and perhaps just me, but the zipper closes the wrong way. I’m used to fastening the left waist flap over the right.
Don’t want to carry a spare set of clothes or don Lycra on the way to work? Well we’ve just found the answer, supremely comfortable, well thought through cycling trousers that are a pleasure to wear both on and off the bike. Yes they are expensive, but effectively you’re getting two for the price of one, cycle kit and work wear!
Cut for proper women’s fit
No irritating seams to be found anywhere
Awash with cycle specific features
On the short side, so not best suited for tall women
Waistband could irritate some people’s skin
Price: RRP £140
Size: XS – L
Colour: Sahara, Indigo
More info: Vulpine
We’ve also been covering 8 of the Best Alternative Commuter Jackets if you’re looking for a full on new commuter outfit.