Pearl Izumi Launch Pant – Slim Fit and Good Looks

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant – Slim Fit and Good Looks

Kate Agathon

Five months have passed since Bicycling Magazine included the popular Pearl Izumi Launch pant in the 2021 Gear of the Year list and I was able to receive a pair to review.


Fortunately, the winter has been unseasonably warm, and the week the Launch pants arrived had a forecast of the high 40s.

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant - Slim Fit and Good Looks 1Women’s Launch Trail Pant


Admittedly, I was more interested in the Launch pants for bike commuting, rather than mountain biking or fat biking.


Up until now, I haven’t owned any pants designed for riding a bike. I was curious to see what the difference was between wearing just a regular pair of pants and a pair of bike pants while riding.

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant


Let’s first take a look at the technology and rider-specific details that Pearl Izumi incorporates in the Launch pant:


  • Lightweight 4-way stretch Cordura® nylon fabric with PI Dry®® water-shedding technology.

  • PI Dry®® technology for permanent water-shedding performance.

  • Two zippered Trail Access side pockets shift contents to back of leg for pedaling comfort.

  • External hook-and-loop waist adjustments provide a secure, sag-free fit with less bulk.

The nylon fabric is super stretchy and feels softer while wearing them, rather than just touching them off the rack.

Before even getting on a bike, I stretched in all directions, I squatted, I contorted my body in a dozen ways and was happy to see that the pants flexed with me as if I was wearing tights. Furthermore, the thoughtfully designed high waist stayed in place. I was impressed.

Wearing the Launch pant while riding was effortless (again, that superior stretch), and there was no constriction anywhere (any cyclist will tell you that freedom of movement is key). I was initially skeptical that a pant could feel that comfortable and simultaneously look professional to wear in any environment, but Pearl Izumi managed to do it with the Launch. Good job!

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant

Pearl Izumi Launch Pant

The full-length pant is slim-fit with tapered legs so that it doesn’t scream tech gear. I tried them first with a base layer underneath (good for chilly morning commutes) and then with some padded chamois shorts. To be honest, I was surprised that the padded chamois shorts fit, despite the fact the pants were designed to accommodate them.

The Launch pant is good pants that I look forward to using as a bike commuter. I’m always leery about trying pants because of my stature and because I am a middle-aged woman who is a tad bit overweight.

Once I had the Launch pants on, I was somewhat relieved. They were slimming, looked great in the butt, and were not too constrictive. However, because I’m petite, the pants will have to get hemmed. Also, the placement of the deep Trail Access side pockets felt odd to me, like they were too close to the front.

Overall, Pearl Izumi’s Launch pant is great for bike commuters for its stretchy, weather-resistant fabric, and modern-looking design. It’s not difficult to see why Bicycling Magazine included it in Gear of the Year, and for me, worth the wait.

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