One of the critical layers that I was missing in my fat bike wardrobe was a high quality outer pant that would be warm and insulating, water resistant, go over the tops of my boots, yet not be so bulky as to get caught up in my chain while pedaling. While perusing Club Ride Apparel’s lineup while writing our holiday gift guide, I spotted the perfect solution: their Fat Jack pant.
Club Ride says that these pants are designed for cool-weather rides, so for winter use I added a thermal layer beneath them. However, the exterior is designed to resist wind and rain, and is made of a very durable yet stretchy polyester/spandex mix–perfect for fat biking.
If you might find yourself overheating, two side vents are easy to unzip for extra breathability.
The waist line rises high in the back, to keep your crack from hanging out.
The Fat Jack also includes two zippered hand pockets–one with a media port–for storage. In the rear there’s only one high-riding pocket, meaning that the butt of these pants rides well on a bike seat.
Out on the Trail
When I first pulled the Fat Jack on, I was amazed at how much it felt like wearing a normal pair of jeans. This feeling is aided by the supportive waist, belt loops, and classic zip and snap closure. The durable fabric construction also feels almost like jeans. I wondered, “how will these actually perform while riding?”
After the initial impressions, the similarity to a pair of jeans ends there. The cut of the legs, while roomy, pulled in close to my legs, with the spandex blend providing easy flex and give.
After kitting up with my 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots and hopping on my fat bike, everything just clicked. I could totally see the inherent performance features of the Fat Jack that were not as obvious on the surface. The lack of obtrusive pockets made sitting on the saddle comfortable and natural. The pant legs didn’t bind or bunch while pedaling, and the pant cuff clung close enough to my boot that I didn’t feel the need to restrain it in any additional way.
For those planning to do a lot of crashing off the bike and who are looking for a totally waterproof pant, the Fat Jack isn’t for you. While these pants are water resistant, I don’t expect them to stand up to constant soaking. That being said, the water resistance was more than enough of a barrier for standard fat bike conditions, and proved to be much more breathable than a waterproof pant.
Bottom line, the Fat Jack did exactly what I was hoping it would: provide a warm, tough, water resistant external layer for fat biking expeditions. But as a bonus, with the level of insulation that this pant provides, I could easily see using it in both spring and fall weather as well, simply by dropping the thermal liner that I used beneath it for winter fat biking.
Thanks to the durable construction and excellent performance, I expect to be using the Fat Jack pants for a long time to come.
MSRP: $120, but on sale for $90 or less on some websites.
Thanks to Club Ride for providing the Fat Jack for review.