Recently Leatt unveiled their 2021 clothing line for men and women. At the outset, I should say that I was pleasantly surprised to see that the women’s range was not just a single top and shorts in stereotypical colors. Instead, they included a number of clothing options in two interesting colorways, including a women-specific downhill kit. The range covers shorts, trousers, jackets, tops, and gloves. I have been putting the new gear through its paces over the last few months in the worst weather the UK has to offer.
MTB 2.0 Kit
The MTB 2.0 Kit is a lightweight range, orientated toward trail or enduro riding. The women’s line-up includes shorts, long- and short-sleeve jerseys, and a jacket.
The women’s MTB 2.0 Shorts ($80 MSRP, available at Backcountry) are a fairly lightweight choice for trail riding duties. They are made out of four-way-stretch material and are reportedly dirt, water, and stain-resistant thanks to their fabric coating. They also feature zipped pockets that can fit your phone if you are so inclined, and velcro tabs to adjust the waist sizing. If the color in the photos (Onyx) is not your bag, there is also a lovely Jade green version. With a waist of 29″ and a height of 5’6″ I tested a size medium, which is fairly true to size for me, although there are sizes available from XS-XXL so you should be able to find one to fit.
Shorts tend to be a heated topic in the female mountain-bike community as sizing (how is this a large?) and features (or lack thereof) tend to bring up debates between women. Sizing, length, fit, and pockets are some of the key items on women’s checklist, that are often lacking in a number of gear lineups. Being on the larger side of medium, I was curious if these shorts would fit me but there were no worries. These have fairly quickly become one of my favorite shorts as they fit perfectly and have a very comfortable feel. These fall just above the knee for me.
It’s worth noting that the shorts are not insulated or particularly warm, which I have discovered to my detriment on a few brisk morning rides here in the UK.
The range includes the women’s Leatt MTB 2.0 Jersey, in both short-sleeved ($39 MSRP) and long-sleeved ($44 MSRP, at Competitive Cyclist) options. I tested a long-sleeve, size medium in the Copper colorway. The sizes vary between XS and XXL, and there is an option of a Jade color here as well.
The trail jersey is a very comfortable garment. The Moisture Cool material that the jersey is made out of reminds me of a technical t-shirt rather than a jersey. Leatt says that it is supposed to feel more akin to cotton which I think it does. It is soft to the touch, breathable, and comes with a handy glasses wipe at the bottom corner. I am a big fan of the fit, as the long-sleeved version can easily be pulled up to the elbows and the neckline is not too restrictive or too airy. As a trail riding top it is not really intended to offer much in the way of crash protection and, whilst I haven’t put that to the test yet, I suspect that would be the case.
The women’s MTB 2.0 Jacket ($130 MSRP, available at JensonUSA) is supposed to be a lightweight, stretchy, and packable jacket. It is made out of windproof and water-resistant material. The jacket only comes in one color, Onyx, but it has a jazzy lining with blue dots. I have been testing out a size medium and, as with the rest of the range, it comes from sizes XS to XXL.
Right now, the weather is suboptimal, to say the least, and the Leatt Women’s 2.0 jacket has been a blessing. It is a lightweight jacket that fits in its own pocket, which makes it an easy item to pack in a backpack or a bum bag. It’s windproof and waterproof; however, it is not a soft shell jacket so it does have its limits with wind and rain. I have tried it out on a few longer, exposed rides in the wind and the rain and the jacket held up surprisingly well with just a long sleeve top underneath.
The cut of the jacket is reasonably fitted, without being overly tight, and it comes with stretch fit cuffs and a hood that fits over a helmet. Two of my favorite features are the hood magnet solution that keeps the hood shut and out of the way when you are riding, and a “ClimbVent” connector that holds the sides of the jackets together and keeps them from flapping everywhere when you have it unzipped.
MTB 4.0 Kit
Leatt’s MTB 4.0 Kit is a more race-ready, gravity-focused range, aimed at downhill or enduro riders. The women’s specific part of the line is less varied than the MTB 2.0 kit but includes trousers and a jersey.
The MTB 4.0 Pants ($130 MSRP) are made out of stretchy, lightweight material with pre-curved knees for an on-bike fit. What that means in practice is that there is a curve in the design, though it’s probably more obvious when you aren’t wearing them. Much like other elements of Leatt’s latest additions, they state that the MTB 4.0 trousers are not just for DH riders. They also work for longer, more pedally days in the saddle. The trousers have a smaller range of sizes than the MTB 2.0 trail clothing, from XS to XL, and with a 29″ waist I wear a size medium.
The trousers fit well, though they are on the tighter side for someone like me with fairly “pronounced” thighs. Despite that, they were still very comfortable. The Leatt kneepads that I was trying out at the same time fit underneath very well.
The trousers include three pockets. Two of them on the hips are relatively redundant due to the shape of the pant and you might be able to fit a note or a small snack. The third back pocket is the perfect size for a phone if you don’t mind running the risk of sitting on it.
I found the trousers very comfortable whilst riding on a range of trails from local sloppy steepness to trail center red and black routes. Riding in temperatures below 50°F the pants weren’t too hot or too cold, and the material felt breathable and stretchy. At no point did my movement feel restricted. I did have a fairly mild crash whilst wearing the trousers and they dealt with abrasion well. I wasn’t worried that the tough material would tear.
The MTB 4.0 Jersey ($70 MSRP) is made out of stretch mesh fabric and it’s aimed at gravity-focused racing. Consequently, it has been tailored with that in mind. Just like the trousers, the jersey comes in a selection of sizes between XS-XL and it only comes in the black/navy colorway.
The downhill-orientated jersey’s main focus, just like the pant, is being “race-tight.” It is more fitted around the hips and the arms than the trail jersey, making riders more “aero” for those split wins on the race track. The light structure of a mesh fabric with air channels and elbow brush guards is an excellent mixture of light weight and protection.
The overall fit and feel of this jersey is pretty breathable and comfortable, without being too restrictive. It definitely feels like one you could wear for long days in the bike park. However, if you are looking for a more trail focused jersey with a lens wipe, I would recommend circling back to MTB 2.0 jersey.
Leatt has created a comprehensive women’s collection that has a variety of choices available for lots of different riders, including trail and enduro options but extending to a well-rounded downhill race kit. The color choices are fairly on-trend and will work for a lot of riders. They have also managed to keep it exciting with small graphic additions like a polka dot lining. The kit is functional and feels fairly durable, but it’s also comfortable and true to size in my experience. It isn’t the cheapest offering, but so far I have felt like I am getting a range of products that do the job well and will last.
Next year, I hope that Leatt might offer one more type of jacket or gloves to choose from, perhaps aimed at cold weather riding. A well fitted soft shell jacket would be a great addition to the line-up.