Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts review

Do Patagonia’s MTB-specific shorts live up to the brand’s reputation?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £90
Patagonia Dirt Roamer mountain bike riding shorts

Our review

A tighter fitting trail short that looks great and stays comfortable after miles in the saddle
Pros: Simplistic looks and great comfort make these a great bit of go-to kit
Cons: The tighter fit might not be to everyone’s taste

It’s hard to fault Patagonia’s company ethos, which promotes fair labour practices that include safe working conditions and environmental responsibility across the whole of its supply chain, and aims to use as many recycled materials in the production of its clothes as possible.

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The Dirt Roamer shorts are no exception, made from a recycled polyester and elastane mix that Patagonia hopes strike a good balance between durability and weight.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts details and features

Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts
Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts look smart
Steve Behr

The material mix is biased towards recycled polyester that makes up 87 percent of the shorts’ composition. The remaining 13 percent is elastane, giving the garment four-way stretch properties to help it flex around your body’s movements.

To top it off, the shorts have a water repellent DWR coating and, Patagonia claims, the ability to wick away moisture from your body.

The shorts’ panels are sonic-welded, which means there is no stitching or defined splits between each section of fabric. As a result, the fabric, Patagonia claims, can stretch as one which helps to reduce chafing on long rides.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer mountain bike riding shorts
For trail riding the Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts are perfect
Pirelli Tyres

There’s a small zip pocket on the left thigh that’s just about big enough to fit a moderately-sized phone. There are also tabs to adjust the waist fitment so you can get them extra snug.

The shorts have been designed with Patagonia’s Endless Ride Liner shorts and bibs, with tabs that allow you to attach the two together. The liners are sold separately, though.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts performance

Mountain biker wearing Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts
Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts are stretchy and comfy
Pirelli Tyres

When you first put the shorts on you’ll notice their snug fit and body-hugging cut, but as soon as you jump on your bike, any worry or concerns about just how slim the shorts are dissipate as they flex and transform around your every move.

The material’s flex certainly helps them feel exceptionally comfy without feeling wafer-thin, like they’ll rip or tear when you start to play dirty out on the bike.

The 11.5-inch inseam is just about long enough to cover up thin knee pads. Anything bulkier than a 661 Recon knee pad and the shorts are less likely to fit over them, instead bunching up above or producing that unsightly bit of thigh gap we all (should) try our hardest to cover up.

Patagonia mountain bike shorts
The rugged backdrop of Mount Etna was good for testing
Pirelli Tyres

The shorts’ waist is tight fitting and if you’re into wearing bulkier undies or a thicker set of liner shorts or bibs, there isn’t much space. And no, this isn’t because I’ve got a muffin top, they just come up a bit tight.

Mate the shorts with Patagonia’s Endless Ride liner shorts, though, and you’ve got a killer combination that offers fantastic comfort for longer outings on the bike.

The DWR coating shrugged off rain showers with ease but when the conditions are truly moist and muddy the shorts do become saturated. But that’s fine — they’re not waterproofs and I wasn’t expecting them to repel water like a duck’s back.

Thanks to the tighter fitting cut, when they are drenched and dirt-covered the shorts don’t sag or fall down. And, because they’re light, despite the extra weight of the water and mud they don’t feel heavy.

Patagonia mountain bike shorts
Volcanic rock is dramatic and tough to ride on and the shorts didn’t hinder our progress
Pirelli Tyres

That tighter cut is matched perfectly to the shorts’ minimalistic look that reeks of sophistication and style.

Overall, these are a fantastically-made pair of responsibly constructed and sharp-looking shorts that are best suited to XC and trail riding thanks to their lighter weight and slimmer cut.

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Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts specifications

  • Sizes (*tested): 28, 30, 32*, 34, 36, 38, 40
  • Material: 87% recycled polyester/13% elastane
  • Weight: 153 g (claimed)
  • Colours: Corriander brown, carbon, forge grey
  • DWR coating
  • Zip pocket on left thigh
  • Adjustable waistband
  • £90 / $99