A little while ago we received the literature for the new season's clothing from Swedish clothing manufacturer POC. There was one garment that stood out - the Consort MTB Dungaree. Before we get into what these are like to ride in, let's just address some things straight off the bat.
First, they're expensive at $500 USD. Second, the expression of ice-cold irreverence that the model wore in the promotional materials was not one that I felt encapsulated how I felt when I wore them. In fact, it would be hard to say that I felt the word "cool" would be representative of how I felt being seen in them. Ultimately, I'm not somebody that likes flashy things. Almost all my clothes are black, I drive a clapped-out Dodge Caravan and I'm more likely to spend money on nice bread than I am on an expensive round of drinks. So maybe they're not for me to begin with.
Consort MTB Dungaree Details
• Six sizes - XS - XXL
• 15 000mm waterproof
• 30 000gsm breathability
• 3-layer fabric Cordura reinforced fabric
• DWR treated
• Zipped sides for ventilation
• Shoulder & waist adjusters
• $500 USD
I do, however, enjoy riding bikes and wouldn't describe myself as a fair-weather rider. If you ever go out puddle bashing or in generally sodden conditions, you may well find that the water coming from the tires is your chief adversary when it comes to staying warm and dry. In these conditions the dungarees are fantastic. In fact, on wet rides when it wasn't actively pouring, I'd often couple them with a long sleeve jersey and found them to work very well together.
When worn with a rain jacket, the dungarees are noticeably warmer than typical waterproof pants, and while pedaling it felt like I was losing a pint of sweat almost instantaneously. There are vents on the side of each leg, which helps, but I'd say these are best suited for cooler temperatures. Truthfully, I find it hard to ride for hours in most waterproof tops and bottoms, but the Consort dungarees do make long wet rides a far better experience and make bog-bashing a far less intimidating prospect. They are also truly excellent for bike-park or shuttle runs.Fit
The fit is definitely more generous than typical riding trousers. I would normally ride a medium size in POCs trousers or shorts, and although they fit well around the legs, at 183cm tall I found I ran out of adjustment of the shoulders. Standing up they were fine, but when riding I found the back panel came under too much tension. This makes the baggy fit slightly more concerning, as the medium was already verging on being too large around the legs.
Both a long zip to get into the garment as well as zippers on both sides to access beneath the dungarees themselves.Features
The dungarees, as you would expect from an item that costs $500 are certainly not short of features. The fabric itself is three-layered and Cordura reinforced with a 15000mm water column rating. The material also features a fluorocarbon free DWR treatment. It claims to be highly breathable, too, with a vapor permeability of 30000gsm/24hr.
The fit around the legs is made with knee pads in mind and it features fit adjustments via the waist and shoulders. There is a chest pocket, zipped hand pockets, and a zipped card pocket on the rear side of the item. There are also zipped sides, should you want to increase the airflow around your legs.
Lots of useable adjustment, if you get the sizing right+
Great for shuttle runs+
Work well in showers combined with a jersey
Slightly baggy around the leg-
Might be hard to get the right fit if you're in between sizes
The dungaree isn't the only new wet-weather trouser from POC. In fact, their Ardour All Weather Pants are completely the other end of the spectrum when it comes to the looks - although their functionality isn't totally dissimilar. The pants have more of an emphasis on mixed conditions and have waterproof material paired with stretch fabric to provide something that will keep you dry and also keep you comfortable. So far, so good. The black trousers also benefit, at least in my opinion, from more conventional looks.
M's Ardour Pants Details
• Five sizes - S - XXL
• 15000mm waterproof from the knee down
• 30000gsm breathability
• 3-layer Cordura fabric
• Elasticated cuffs around ankle
• DWR treated
• Velcro adjusters on waist
• $250 USD
The Ardour pant is an item that a lot of mountain bikers have probably wondered about or wished for at some time or another. Waterproof below the knee and around the saddle but blended with breathable fabrics everywhere else. This is at the core of the Ardour and it works very well.
Personally, as previously mentioned, I'm rarely reaching for waterproofs top and bottom. I'm not saying there isn't a time or a place, but I find it often best to just accept you're going to get wet and make peace with it, especially when it's not only wet but also cold.
The Ardour pant feels like a garment far more suited to pedaling than the dungarees, and because they're more breathable you can combine them with a jacket and run cooler. I see the place of the dungarees for shuttling, but for general riding, I think the more traditional pant would be what I would go for.
On long pedals, they work well and they really feel like they manage to stave off the boil-in-a-bag feeling compared to some full waterproof trousers.Fit
The medium size pant fits true to size in terms of the waist and length, at least by my reckoning. It's also consistent with POC's other items.
The fit itself is again slightly larger around the leg and knee than I would like. They're not baggy, but they're certainly roomier than I would like. I understand the need to have knee pads fit underneath but it feels like they've been taken a step too far. I would love to see the pant with a racier fit, akin to the one you might find on standard riding pants.Features
The pant has many features, some for fit and some for performance. As stated, the trouser features 15000mm water column rated fabrics around the areas you would most commonly get wet or splashed. Much like the dungarees, there is a fluorocarbon-free DWR coating. They boast vapour permeability of 30000gsm/24hr.
There are zipped hand pockets on both sizes and a cardholder at the rear of the pants. The fit also includes waist adjusters and elasticated ankle cuffs. I really like this, and they feel tight and secure around the base of the leg. I only wish that fit was followed up the calf further.
Breathable in key areas+
Slightly baggy around the leg