It's starting to feel a lot like, dare I say it, summer. With the warmer temperatures beckoning us out on our bikes, fresh new kit is landing on the shelves left, right and centre to give us some extra motivation to get out there and feel great.
Surf-inspired brand, ION Sports, has become a key player in women's MTB with their growing range of clothing, shoes, protection and post-ride apparel. We've been pretty impressed over their ability to offer both bombproof winter kits and cooling summer trail attire, and for SS18, we've been out riding in the new Traze and Seek kits from the ION Women's MTB Collection.
ION Traze Women's Range
The Traze collection is for those warm fair weather trail days when you need something loose, comfortable and totally breathable.
The jersey is constructed from a super stretchy polyester and elastane blend which has been made to breathe and wick moisture away from the skin as you sweat, all in a slim fit cut with ventilated mesh panels.
There's a small zipped stash pocket in the rear which is ideal for your essential bits and bobs. There are two small popper buttons at the neck of the jersey which can be easily un/fastened when you need to adjust them, however, I left mine done up because I didn't feel a great difference between the two states.
It's more so in road cycling jerseys that you would fit a silicone grip on the hem, but in this case, it was quite welcomed. The Traze jersey effortlessly gripped to the Traze shorts and stayed in place as I rode so there was no draught or unwanted bareback displays.
Like the Traze jersey, the Traze shorts are also super stretchy and versatile for a range of riding.
These regular fit shorts are constructed from 4-way stretch fabric for freedom of movement and have Velcro tabs to adjust the waist width for a personal fit. There are ventilation holes on the inside of the leg to improve airflow and two front zipped pockets, there's not a whole lot more you could want from a good pair of trail shorts.
What was refreshing to find is the leg length of the Traze shorts being ample, and personally, I didn't suffer from any frustrating thigh-gap when wearing with my knee pads.
ION's Seek Women's Range
If you're looking for a little more coverage, a little more oomph to your trail riding kit, then check out the Seek collection which has been inspired to perform its best for long adventure days in the saddle.
The long-sleeved women's Seek jersey is constructed from Drirelease® Jacquard Mesh which is a quick-drying fabric that's incredibly soft to feel just like cotton, but dry four times faster.
There is some subtle reflective detail in the jersey and an integrated glasses wipe on the inside of the waist hem, ideal for removing mud splooge from your eyewear.
The fit is rather loose which is quite nice because you can easily pop an underlayer on if the weather is slightly chilly, and on warm days, it's nice to have that loose fit billow a little to allow the air to circulate.
For me, the cotton-like feel is lovely, feels and looks like a regular top and I'd be lying if I said I've not popped it on for a trip to the shops! It washes well when following the care instructions and the sleeves comfortably push up the forearms when you need a little more skin exposure.
ION's Seek freeride shorts resemble a denim pattern design in both colour and pocket detailing, but they are far from share the same qualities when it comes to fit and performance.
These cargo-like shorts are constructed for bike riding in a 2-way stretch fabric with five ample pockets, triple-stitched seams for durability and velcro adjustable cuffs at the knees. The elastic insert in the back of the shorts improve fit and comfort, and if you really fancied, belt loops are provided too.
While these shorts are certainly comfortable and long in the leg, I found the adjustable cuff a little strange to get on with. For one, they shape the shorts to look more like bloomers and another thing, I never found a reason to adjust them. Being an admirer of pockets, I was pleased to see a few dotted around the shorts, however, only the side one had any security about it as the other four are open which doesn't fill me with a great deal of confidence when storing essentials like keys, money or phone so it would have been nice to see either a popper, velcro or zip fastening on the front two pockets at the very least.
For more information on the ION Women's MTB Collection, head over to their website here.
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