Review: Rivendell MUSA Pants

Review: Rivendell MUSA pants

While on my grand bicycle tour of these United States, I had the chance to stop at Rivendell HQ. When we left, the great guys at Riv. gifted us with some goodies and one of them was their Rivendell MUSA pants. It was something I was always curious about but never got around to ordering before we left for our trip.

I’m writing this review now almost 4 months later from the inside of my tent just outside of Carlsbad Caverns (yes, I get internet here!), so this is more or less my long term assessment of these pants.

The pants come in two colors, olive and grey with a dark blue gusset in the crotch area. When you pull them out of their bag, your first response will be – “wow, these are a lot shinier than I thought.” They are a synthetic material and when brand spanking new there’s a bit of a sheen to them. Don’t worry though, with some use they become more matte and wear in great.

It’s bike specific features are the nice deep pockets, generous cut in the legs to allow plenty of movement and the very effective velcro ankle cuff. Up until I had these pants, i was riding with some Ex Officio camp pants and a velcro pant protector that I absolutely hated. The integrated ankle cuff on the MUSA pants are far more effective and far less annoying than a separate strap that moves around and comes undone. The ankle cuff, coincidentally, makes these great camp pants! Combined with thick socks it has protected me from getting any poison oak in the forest or pricked by cacti in the desert or ticks everywhere else. They are truly versatile pants that are great on the bike and at camp.

When it’s really hot out, I will usually just wear bike shorts. On moderate days 60s-70s I’ll ride with these pants on. When it’s cold and windy, I definitely ride with these pants on. They make a great lightweight wind shell and work to a lesser degree as rain pants in a light rain. The material is thin and dries very quickly which makes it great for a light drizzle. The quick dryingness of the fact also makes them ideal for camping when you have to air dry your clothes.

I really like these pants. No, you will definitely not win any fashion awards wearing them, but as far as a functional and well made pair of bike camping pants these are tough to beat. Having worn mine nearly every single day for the last four months in various weather conditions, I can’t imagine going on another bike tour without these. In fact, I liked mine so much that I ordered a second pair when I had the chance. I have since sent back my Ex Officio pants and a pair of plus fours and ride/camp in these all the time.