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If you’re looking for a pair of pants that will take you seamlessly from the bike trails and mountains to the office and pub, then the Rogue pants from Showers Pass might well be the perfect choice for you. We’re going to take a look at what Showers Pass say about these pants first, then we’ll see what my favorite aspects are (and also look at a minor negative). The tricky part for you is to choose which of the two great colors you like best.
Look up ‘Rogue’ online and you’ll see that it’s the name of a river in Showers Pass’ home State of Oregon. The Rogue river is in the South West corner of the State and flows from the Cascade mountain range a couple hundred miles West to the Pacific. Like all major rivers it changes from an initial trickle of water high up in the hills to the torrent that eventually meets the ocean.
It’s an appropriate name for this pair of pants as they’re also capable of moving seamlessly from one place to another. And that’s no easy task, so kudos to the team at Showers Pass for navigating their way through the rapids to come up with a piece of lower-half apparel that helps you flow from one setting to the next. We’ll go into this in more detail in a moment, but here’s a typical example. These pants have a beautifully tapered cut that look great in the office and give your oars a helpful boost as you paddle towards the corner suite. At the same though, the durable-yet-light nylon/spandex fabric combo that these pants are made from gives an incredible amount of stretch (which you’ll feel particularly around the hips and knees) and this allows you to push hard on the pedals of your bike (or your pedal boat).
Let’s dive in and take a look at these in more detail.
What Showers Pass say about the pants:
1. “Refined but rugged…a feature-rich do-it-all pant”
2. “combine classic style with athletic performance”
3. “refined enough to be worn to the office”
4. “water-resistant with a DWR finish”
What I like about the pants
I’ve been testing out the Rogue pants in the Fatigue Green colorway and in a 34” waist. The pants are available in a men’s cut only and two color options: Black and the Fatigue Green. Waist sizing goes from 28” to 40”. The Fatigue Green color looks great – sufficiently refined for the workplace, yet making me feel like Bear Grylls in the backcountry. I’m normally a 34” and this size fits perfectly around the midriff – there’s also some waist adjustment built in to these pants and I’ll talk about this in a moment. Lengthwise, these 34″ pants are available in one size, which measures approximately 31 ½” on the inseam and 42” from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the leg. On me, at 5’8”, this sits nicely at the ankle with office-friendly shoes, bike shoes, or hiking boots.
The cut / fit is clean
I’ve been wearing these pants for hiking and cycling (where they’ve performed superbly, giving plenty of stretch to allow me to easily pedal or scramble up rocky slopes), but then I’ve gone straight from those activities (on more than one occasion) to the office or the pub. Unlike standard bike shorts/hiking pants, or smart slacks/pub-friendly jeans, the Rogue pants can take you easily from one activity to the next, without a wardrobe change. If there’s such a thing as a ‘quiver killer’ of pants, then the Rogue might well be it. And that makes them perfect for bike commuting on rainy days, particularly when it’s combined with the…
Where I live we get a lot of rain and, by some weird quirk of nature, it feels like every time I get on the bike to cycle to work it starts to pour down. It’s like the Weather Gods take one look at me, and say with a chuckle, “Ben’s getting his bike out to pedal to the office, best turn the ole’ sprinkler system on!” Thankfully, these pants give me an opportunity to fight back with the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, which causes the water to just bead up and roll off.
The DWR finish is great because it means that I can wear the pants as a single layer on days when it might or might not rain. Then, on days when I’m absolutely certain that it’s going to rain (or it already is) I can team the pants up with the fully-waterproof Transit overpants.
An issue I’ve always had with cycling/hiking pants, particularly when I’m adding a waterproof layer over the top, is that I tend to get hot and sweaty. That can be uncomfortable and leaves you in need of a shower before you step into the office cubicle (or pub). Despite plenty of office commutes and pub trips, this hasn’t been a problem with the Rogue pants though and that’s down to a couple factors. Firstly, the lightweight feel of the nylon/Spandex fabric used for the majority of the pants construction (which gives a sub-12 oz total weight for the pants and is cool enough that you won’t overheat).
It’s also due to an extra feature that I love and haven’t seen on a pair of pants before – a black mesh panel at the rear, just below the waistband. I saw this and thought, “That’s the problem I’ve always had with outdoor pants! Why did no-one think of this before?!” The panel turns the breathability up an extra notch and it’s positioned over a slice of lower back that I find gets especially sweaty as I cycle.
Waist features that aren’t wasted
A breathable and water-repellent fabric in a versatile cut is no use though if the pants don’t fit well at the waist. And here the Rogue pants excel. There are a few aspects that I want to highlight which have made a big difference for me. The biggest being the adjustable waistband. Sizing on the Rogues comes in 2” increments from 28” to 40”. That’s great if you’re bang on one of those sizes, but potentially not so great if you’re inbetween. Enter the adjustable waistband. This is a hook and loop fastening along the rear inner waistband that gives you the option to tighten (on good diet days) or loosen (on “OMG! I ate all the kids’ candy!” days).
In between these hook and loop fastenings is a second useful feature – silicone gripper strips. These stop the rear of the pants slipping down and are particularly handy when you’re hunched over the handlebars. You’ll appreciate this because it stops you from getting a cold slice of rear lower back – everyone else will appreciate it because they won’t be subjected to a severe case of plumber’s crack.
At the front of the pants there’s a secure waist closure (made up hook and two press fasteners) – this gives a smooth fastening that’s comfortable to wear and won’t dig into your stomach.
There are also belt loops – though, given the adjustable waistband, these aren’t really necessary for getting a good fit and are more for adding a belt to hook on a camera case or similar (though I’d be more inclined to grab one of Showers Pass’ rather nice hip packs instead of ruining the lines of my pants!)
As an added feature (that you won’t see on the waistband or anywhere else), Showers Pass will make a contribution towards youth outdoor groups with every purchase of Rogue pants through their Enjoy All Elements campaign. Check out the details and get logging hours.
What I dislike about the pants
I love these pants for their comfortable fit and handy features, but there’s a minor niggle that I need to highlight.
They are only available in a men’s fit which is a shame as I’m sure they’d prove to be a popular item with women too. That said, because of the stretch on the nylon/Spandex fabric, these will accommodate a more curvaceous body shape to a certain extent. And, in fact, I’m already getting hints from other family members looking to ‘borrow’ these pants.
Here’s a confession: I spend most of the year, whatever the weather, in a pair of shorts. It takes a special pair of long pants to tempt me into wearing them and hiding my hairy legs. Are the Rogue pants special enough? Yes, I think they are. The tapered cut looks great from trails to office to pub and the lightweight fabric, thoughtful features and water-repellent finish make them incredibly versatile.
The choice then isn’t whether to buy or not, it’s actually: Black or Fatigue Green?