Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants Review

Posted in Bike Commuting, Bike Gear, Gear Reviews, Road Bike by Eric Miller - 02.02.2013

We all know that riding in a pair of jeans in uncomfortable. They’re restrictive, they bunch up, and they don’t breathe well. Merrell has been dabbling in bike commute clothing for the past couple of years. This year’s Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants were my introduction to the line. As a daily bike commuter I was eager to get my hands on a pair. Fortunately Merrell sent me a pair to test out this winter.

Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants Features

  • 98% cotton / 2% elastane
  • Traditional 5-pocket jean construction
  • Straight leg with trim leg modern fit
  • Reflective, vertical interior chain print at hem rolls up to varied heights for on-bike visibility
  • Price: $65.00

Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants Review

In short, Merrell nailed it with the Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants.

The biggest strength of the Vagaborne is the 2% elastane. It gives the pants just enough stretch that you can swing your leg over your bike without feeling like your legs are tied together. When riding they give just enough when pedaling that you don’t have to fight your pants. On top of that, the elastane makes for a very comfortable pant for everyday wear. The jeans feel softer than regular jeans but this doesn’t sacrifice durability.

My favorite small detail is the reflective seam on the inside of the pants. When you roll the cuffs you expose the reflective stitching on the inside seam that runs down the outside of your leg. It’s an added visibility bonus. By itself it’s not enough to keep you safe at night but it’s a nice addition to your reflective system.

Durability is strong. I thought with the softer feel the Vagaborne might wear out quickly. I’ve been commuting in them a couple times a week for a past few months and there are practically no signs of wear, even on the back where there’s the most friction with the bike seat. I do a lot of crawling around on the floor with my kids which is usually a death sentence for pants. There are no signs of wear or fading on the knees.

What would I have liked to have seen on the Vagaborne? As is, I think they are a great pant. To make them better I would have added a u-lock loop to the back of the pants. I’d also like to see a zippered option. I’m not particularly fond of the button fly. I’d also like to see an extra belt loop or two. The waist dips between the belt loops.

The Vagaborne does come in two colors in the denim version and you can also get them in twill.

The Good

  • Stretch for a non-restrictive ride
  • Reflective details
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

The Bad

  • Need an extra belt-loop or two
  • Button Fly

Bottom Line:

The Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants are an awesome bike commuting pant. Don’t bike commute? They are ultra comfy too.

Buy Now: Pick up the Merrell Vagaborne Denim Pants

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