Race Face sent out some of their apparel and protective wear for review this Fall. Amongst some of those goods were a pair of their Indy pants and Indy long sleeve jersey. While I’ve ridden a handful of Race Face’s components over the years, I haven’t donned any of their garb until now. Either way, I’ve been wearing this combo quite often in these cooler months and wanted to report back on how it has been treating me…
Indy Pant Details
- Black, Charcoal, Clay (tested)
- Nylon / spandex fabric blend
- DWR water resistant coating
- Zipper fly
- Ratchet closure
- Vented thigh/knee
- XS, S, M (tested), MT, L, LT, XL, XXL
- $140 USD – currently on sale for $70
Starting with pockets – after all, isn’t that what everyone cares about most? The Indy pants feature two singular zip up pockets that are located a bit on the high side and sit right on top of the thigh. This means that slide outs won’t roast your smart phone as you’re extremely unlikely to land where the pockets are located. But on the flip side, it is a little bit more difficult to access things while you’re pedaling your bike.
I appreciated that the fabric is cut to be pre-articulated and generous in the knees, so as to nicely accommodate kneepads and work nicely in the stance/posture that riders have over the bike.
There are also generous laser cut vents behind the knees sitting behind the minimalist branding. The weight of the highly stretchy fabric is just right. Not too heavy and not too light – it strikes the right balance between breathable, easy to move in but still fairly durable.
The zipper fly is closed off by a plastic ratchet. If I had one minor complaint from a design standpoint, it was that this is slight overkill – at least for a mid duty pant anyway. The closure didn’t bother me when riding and it did work nicely in lieu of standard cinch tabs at the side, but I generally just prefer a standard button closure for its lack of bulk and speed of use. Again – I’m being a little nit picky here.
Indy Long Sleeve Jersey Details
- 30 UPF sun protection
- Poly blend fabric
- Black, Charcoal, Coral, Pine
- S, M, L (tested), XL, XXL
- $75 USD – currently on sale for $37.50
The Indy long sleeve jersey is a pretty straight forward, no frills offering. Its fabric is made from a fairly standard poly blend with a nice, but not mind blowing feel, that is well ventilated and prioritizes longevity over freakishly plush fabric. It is quite comfortable no doubt, but I wouldn’t label it cutting edge.
As far as details go, it has all the proper proportions, paneling and cuts in all the right places. The tail drop was nice for keeping trail debris from ending up in your pants when you’re ripping down the steeps.
On the trail
Starting with fit, both items were accurate for the most part. The catch is that the pants do run slightly short. The standard sizes have just 28″-29″ inseams. At six feet tall and with a 33″ inseam I tested a Medium pair. If I had known ahead of time that they are available in “tall” for Medium and Large sizes, I would have requested them in Medium Tall, which has a 31″-32″ inseam. In all of my years of testing I rarely see mountain bike apparel even offer tall sizing, so props to Race Face for offering that, even if only in two sizes, which likely covers the bulk of the riders out there. Anyhow, both pieces fit really nicely in terms of proportionality and coverage.
The pants hit all the right notes for a shoulder season piece of kit. I likely wouldn’t wear them deep into Summer or Winter as they are more mid-weight and ideal for cool days. The fabric repels light moisture nicely and moves freely – partially due to its flexibility and also due to the excellent tailored fit. As far as functionality is concerned, I covered most of the technical aspects above, but the Indy pants are basically an afterthought on trail. The two zippered pockets lean on the somewhat minimalist side and do make it slightly difficult to access while riding, but you don’t need to worry about losing any of your contents at all and they don’t really migrate or shift around while you’re riding, so they aren’t a distraction. The fabric seems to strike a nice balance between durability and breathability, meaning they are quite tough but still run cool.
As for the jersey, it’s just a great all around long sleeve jersey. Much like the pants, the fabric is nicely ventilated and breathable. It is slightly stretchy but not overly so and much like the pants it lands in a nice place between comfort and toughness. I’ve ridden much stretchier, thinner jerseys but they didn’t feel as if they’d be in it for the long haul quite like the fabric the Indy jersey is made from.
Both pieces have survived a couple of small crashes without even showing it and they’ve been very comfortable in moderate temperatures. They’re easy to move in and also easy on the eyes with clean simple color blocking. As far as value is concerned, at $75 and $140, these items are priced fairly. That they’re currently on sale on Race Face’s website for half off is an absolute steal. At that price, think of them as high end utilitarianism meets blue collar.