Patagonia Dirt Roamer Review

July 14, 2018
Patagonia Dirt Roamer
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Image_02_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer On the tight side
Patagonia Dirt Roamer Image_01_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer Image_08_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer Image_05_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer Image_04_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer Image_03_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer Image_02_Patagonia_Dirt_Roamer
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
79
Fit/Style
6
Features
5
Durability
5
Protection
6
Comfort
7

The Good

  • Eco-friendly
  • Comfortable
  • Stretchy fabric

The Bad

  • Runs small
  • Minimal features
  • Limited kneepad compatibility
THE VERDICT
The Patagonia Dirt Roamer shorts have a streamlined slim fit. They are made with a lightweight fabric that is Bluesign approved and breathes well on warm days. However, they run small and the tapered legs have limited kneepad compatibility.
FULL REVIEW

Fit/Style

The Patagonia Dirt Roamer are lightweight with a streamlined slim fit with no bagginess or unnecessary bunching of fabric in the hips, rear or behind the knee. The inseam on the size small runs 11.5” and hit our testers mid-thigh when seated and about three inches above the knee when standing. The legs are very tapered and the back is approximately an inch shorter behind the legs to ensure no bunching. However, kneepad compatibility is limited due to the tapered slim fit. We found that kneepads can be worn as long as the rider understands the fabric will hit at the top of the kneepad rather than reach over them. When standing, they hit about three inches above the knee. When seated, they ended mid-thigh. Fit runs on the small side, although we found that they still accommodated a chamois. Riders with larger thighs may find that the tapered legs are slightly restrictive when pedaling.

Features

With only one secured zippered pocket on the thigh, the Patagonia Dirt Roamers are not flush with features. The zipper pull itself is small and glove-friendly only if gloves are thinner summer riding gloves. We found that single zippered pocket best accommodated a car key, a light snack or a multi-tool—but not all at the same time.

However, as is no surprise coming from Patagonia, they are Bluesign-approved and made from a blend of recycled Polyester and Spandex which means they meet the most stringent of sustainability standards of all the shorts in the test. The Dirt Roamers accommodated a number of other chamois, including bibs and knickers. We also found that the low-rise waistband was very comfortable in aggressive riding positions and laid flat against her abdomen with no bunching of fabric. The adjustable waist mitigated most back-gap.

Additionally, a coating of DWR makes them water-resistant while still promoting outstanding breathability. The fly is secured with a sturdy zipper and two sturdy snap loops. Their 11.5” inseam easily accommodates knee pads as long as the cyclist understands that they legs won’t fit over the top of the pads. 

Durability

Although we did not experience any crashes, the Patagonia Dirt Roamers’ lightweight stretch ripstop fabric did not seem as abrasion-resistant as shorts made from a medium- or heavyweight fabric. However the sonic-welded seams are very straight and looks to provide long-term durability over normal use.

Protection

The Patagonia Dirt Roamers are made from lightweight stretchy ripstop fabric with sonic-welded seams for long-term durability. The 11.5” inseam on the size small hit our testers just above the knees. The legs are too tapered to wear over knee pads but can be worn with knee pads below the end of the shorts. They could be worn so leg skin was not exposed.  

Comfort

The Patagonia Dirt Roamers’ lightweight blend of recycled Polyester and Spandex have an excellent degree of stretch to promote full pedaling motion as long the rider does not have large thighs. We did find that of all the shorts in the test, the Dirt Roamers were the most constrictive. The removable 3D Tour Chamois that is included is comfortable enough for long rides. However the Dirt Roamers accommodated a number of other chamois, as well as bibs and knickers.

A low-rise waistband delivers comfort in aggressive riding positions with very minimal bunching of fabric against the abdomen. Back-gap was mitigated by the adjustable waist. Despite their DWR coating, we found the Dirt Roamers to be moderately breathable in humid weather and one of the fastest drying shorts in the test.

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HOW WE TESTED

Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, singletrack in temperatures ranging from the low 40’s to the mid-90’s and on distances that ranged from six miles to 56. Our testing team did not intentionally set out to test the durability of each pair of shorts in a crash. Instead, to judge the shorts’ ability to withstand impact, they scrutinized their construction materials, the weight of the fabric and the stitching. Though, there may have been some crashes anyway.

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