Review – Vaude Vatten Lightweight Waterproof Cycling Trousers

Vaude Vatten Lightweight Waterproof Cycling Trousers
I have not opted for waterproof cycling trousers on past bikepacking and cycle tours, but after reading up on kit lists for the Tour Divide, I decided that a pair of 'rain pants' could be a worthwhile investment. The Vaude Vatten Lightweight Waterproof Cycling Trousers are an impressive and well-made choice.

On past bike tours I have taken water-resistant leg warmers as my shielding layer for my lower limbs in cold and wet conditions; normally the GripGrab AquaRepel Leg Warmers or the Sportful NoRain Leg Warmers. These have several advantages: they supply warmth and light water-resistance, and they take up minimal room in your pannier or seat-pack. The downside of just using leg warmers is that on tough days in the saddle the fabric inevitably becomes saturated, and with that loses it wind and water protection properties. This, is where the addition of waterproof rain pants comes in…

The Vaude Vatten Waterproof Cycling Trousers are specifically design for bike riding—with a close-fitting cut and ankle Velcro straps to bunch up spare material and keep the garment away from your drivetrain. The lightweight 2.5-layer fabric uses Vaude's recycled Ceplex Green membrane—made of S-Cafe®—an innovative waterproofing that uses recycled coffee bean oil. Vaude have finished the trousers with fully taped seams and an internal print that stops the fabric sticking to your skin; the result, is a highly breathable but completely windproof and waterproof layer.

If you followed my 2019 #CelticCrossTrail adventure you will know that I got caught out in some fairly horrendous weather in both Scotland and Ireland—with days of gale force winds and torrential rain. Despite having some of the best cycling kit on the market with me, there were two days when I almost packed it in for safety reasons—the conditions were that severe. In these situations, and on other days on previous tours such as the #7Countries7Passes and #CoastsandCols, I could really have benefitted from waterproof cycling trousers—the would have provided an additional shielding layer for my legs—one that did not deteriorate in performance and protection as the rain continued to fall for eight plus hours on end.

The Vaude Vatten pants are comfortable, stretchy, and extremely lightweight at just 153 grams for a medium size pair. They are quick and easy to pull on but supply invaluable protection from the elements.

It is also worth touting Vaude's impressive green credentials—the material is certified under the Bluesign® environmental standard and follows Vaude's Green Shape label standard for environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials.

There is no doubt that these waterproof cycling trousers are on my Bikepacking Kit List for all future long-distance cycling tours…

Vaude Vatten Lightweight Waterproof Cycling Trousers

Vaude Vatten Lightweight Waterproof Cycling Trousers


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