Editor’s Note – The cats at Zoic clothing showed us their 2013 line of MTB clothing and since their home office is just a short bike ride away from BBR Test Pilot Cale’s house, we asked him to ride over and pick up a set of clothes to test.
I just got the clothes a few weeks ago and have a few rides on them but I plan on putting them to the test with a few multi day bikepacking rides so consider this an out of the box and Initial impression not a full fledged review. The first piece and the one I am most excited about are the Zip off pants, maybe its just me but I love zip off pants for bikepacking. Ride in the shorts all day and pop the legs on for sitting around camp in the cooler evenings. These pants are really nice and come with a few extras like an eyeglass lens wipe in a front zip pocket and reflective panels inside the legs, The liner short is quite comfortable and uses a more breathable Spandex than your standard XC short which is really nice since you are going from one layer to two, The liner is also easily removable so popping it out after a ride and washing it while wearing the outer short is easy .
One of my pet peeves is baggy zip off pants, Why must every zip off pant be straight leg? It’s impossible to ride in straight leg pants without either cuffing them up or using one of those commuter leg bands, both are things I find annoying so when I got these pants out of the bag and saw the leg width I was quite pleased. You can easily ride around without to much fear of getting your pants sucked into your drivetrain which is a big plus if your ride starts to get a bit too cool for shorts.
Take a look at the specs here –
- Elastic back waist and an adjustable nylon webbing belt with snap buckle to dial in your perfect fit
- Detachable RPL Essential Liner with ZO-Tech chamois pad
- Lightweight, quick-drying 4-way stretch nylon with spandex for active use
- Fusion gusset inseam provides superior range of motion and eliminates seat hang-ups
- Leg pockets that provide easy access while riding
- Cell phone/mp3 player pocket, to keep in touch or carry your tunes
- Locking pocket zippers to secure your stash
- 2 deep open front hand pockets
- 11” Inseam with shorts that fall just above the knee
- Button-up leg cuffs with reflective front and back panels for visibility on the road
95% Nylon/5% Spandex
Paramount Jersey –
The second peice is the Paramount jersey which to me is a bit of a combination between a Tech-T and a jersey. It’s got one large pocket in the back as well as a smaller key pocket. It’s also much looser then a standard jersey and has a much lower T-shirt style collar. I usually use a variety of Tech-T’s when on bikepacking trips because im usually riding with a bag and cant use rear pockets anyways, the relaxed fit can be a plus when you dont want weird looks off the bike such as heading into restaurants and grocery stores while on tour. On the few shorter Rides I’ve worn it on so for its been quite comfy and wicks quite well, however because of the loose fit (something I was aware of before I even got the jersey) I cannot put anything into the rear pockets, they sag or want to slide to the side which I find slightly irritating. In any case I never planned to ride with things in the pockets, I plan on wearing this with a pack so it shouldn’t really matter in the end.
Once again here are the Specs for you to peruse.
- Relaxed fit with raglan sleeves, slightly longer in back
- Polyester fabric wicks and breathes with a soft feel that also stands up to outdoor abuse
- UPF 40 rated fabric shields your skin from harmful UV rays
- Integrated Air Flow mesh panels underarm
- Mesh-lined 3/4” collar
- 9” locking zipper at neck slides easy when it’s upright but stays put when it’s down
- Roomy center rear pocket with mesh-lining and 9” zipper with E-Z-grip silicone pull
- Tech pocket on right side features internal headphone cable slit
- Reflective logo screen print on right back shoulder
- Tagless neck label eliminates itching and irritation
- 100% Nanomineral Polyester
So stay tuned for part 2 after we get a few bikepacking trips in to see how they hold up to multi-day abuse.