Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (4)

Patagonia is a name that has been synonymous with outdoor pursuits since the early 70’s. In spite of their brand recognition from those who are about to climb a mountain or at least want to look like it, Patagonia hasn’t really expanded into the world of mountain bike apparel. Their new Dirt Craft line changes that, with purpose built shorts and a jacket which both pair well with their Forerunner jerseys which straddle the line between trail running and riding.

After giving the new threads some trail time, it looks like Patagonia is well on their way to being competitive in the cycling space – especially if you’ve grown tired of brightly colored kits with an enduro flair…

Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (5) Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (9)

Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (6) Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (7)

At first glance, the Dirt Craft and Forerunner lines are all about simplicity. They aren’t loaded with more features than you’ll ever use, but have a few smart touches that should make riders just looking for casual riding gear very happy. The $149 Dirt Craft shorts are available in black or rattan, and feature a stretchy, water resistant outer fabric with DWR treatment. Like other Patagonia products, they use bluesign approved fabric and continue their manufacturing transparency by stating exactly where the fabrics and shorts are produced right on their site.

The button and zip closure has proven to be secure in all situations, and fit adjustments can be made with the hook and webbing adjustment on the waist. If that’s not enough, there are also belt loops if that’s more your style. Pockets are kept simple with two standard drop in pockets and a third zippered pocket on the left leg.

Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (2)

Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (10) Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (1)

Inside you’ll find a removable liner that is heavy on ventilation with perforations in the 3 layer chamois as well as big mesh panels throughout the short. Another nice touch is the lack of silicone grippers at the legs in lieu of compressive spandex bands like a high end road short. Of all of the clothes, the outer short fit me the best and was comfortable from the start. The liner I found to be a similar fit to the rest of the collection – a bit narrow, sort of the ideal fit for someone very tall and skinny.

Patagonia mountain bike collection shorts jersey jacket dirt craft (15)

Thanks to Adam Newman for the action snaps.

Patagonia mountain bike collection shorts jersey jacket dirt craft (12) Patagonia mountain bike collection shorts jersey jacket dirt craft (13) Patagonia mountain bike collection shorts jersey jacket dirt craft (14)

On fit, that seems to be the area that Patagonia still needs the most work. Personally, I’m 5’8″, 150 lbs, and about a 30″ inseam with a 29″ waist. Usually I’m safe with smalls across the board. In this case, I ended up with a medium short, small jersey and small jacket. Both the jacket and the jersey are a great fit everywhere except for the chest and shoulders which I found to be too narrow. However, after trying on the medium jacket and jersey they were so long in the torso and the sleeves that I chose to go with the smalls. You will probably need to size up on the shorts, while the jersey and jacket will probably run true to size though the tall, skinny types will find the fit to be best.

PRS16 MGÇÖs Dirt Craft Jacket PRS16 MGÇÖs S_S Fore Runner Zip-Neck

Patagonia dirt craft mountain bike clothing review (3)

Fit issues aside, the $129 Dirt Craft jacket and Forerunner jersey are really nice, simple pieces of clothing. Other than a few pockets at the side, a napoleon pocket and an internal draw cord, the jacket is as simple as it gets. Built with a DWR coating, the ripstop nylon/spandex mix is the perfect answer to days that are just cold enough to warrant a jacket with the threat of rain, without going to a full rain jacket. At 297g the jacket is light enough that it rolls up and fits in a bib pocket pretty well and was a layering addition to have on the trail. Available in forge grey, kelp green, and underwater blue.

If the Forerunner jersey fits you better than me, it would make an excellent choice for a light weight jersey. The 100% recycled polyester fabric offers 15 UPF sun protection along with their Polygiene permanent odor control plus the bluesign approved in electron blue, French red, navy blue, and supply green. Weighing just 116g, most of that weight is probably in the 11″ zipper which offers quite a bit of ventilation potential. As noted, for myself I found the chest and shoulders too narrow which caused the sleeves to pull up after a bit of aggressive riding. With the medium like wearing a dress due to its length, the fit just didn’t agree with my physique. Which is too bad, because otherwise it’s a pretty nice jersey, and not super expensive at $45.

PRS16 WGÇÖs Dirt Craft Jacket PRS16 WGÇÖs S_S Fore Runner Zip-Neck

PRS16 W's Dirt Craft Bike INNERSHORT PRS16 W's Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

Available in both men’s and women’s, the Dirt Craft shorts and jacket and Forerunner jersey (LS and SS) are a valiant foray in the world of mountain biking. Perhaps in need of a few tweaks to the fits, Patagonia is bringing some true competition to the premium mountain bike clothing arena for those looking for styles that are a bit more subdued.


  1. AC on

    Hard to justify buying Patagonia as an MTB rider when they support orgs that want to designate our trails as Wilderness thereby closing them to MTB. Perhaps Patagonia will donate the profits from this line to the Sustainable Trails Coalition.

    • ABW on

      I don’t think you’re wrong, but on the whole, I believe the natural world is better off for Patagonia’s efforts, and I believe we would be even better off if more companies embraced their standards for transparency of supply chains. It’s nice to think this might represent a pivot within Patagonia and that they might broaden their perspective and influence to more specifically benefit off-road cyclists.

      • Old fut on

        Sizing is small. My medium shorts are snug. Don’t have to use the g-hook at all for my 33″ waist. Liner is snug but not uncomfortably so. Feel comfy running around the house.

    • Mr. P on

      Patagonia supports building mountain bike trails with $$$.

      Patagonia is a gold member sponsor of Sierra Butte Trail Stewardship – who just recently put in a 5000ft descent trail amongst many other trails. Patagonia is already supporting mountain biking through trail building. And instead of supporting a political lobby organization (STC), they are supporting with $$$, actual trail being built for mountain bikers.

      About the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship:

  2. bearCol on

    We’ll see if they can make it in the extremely picky mtb market. North face gave it a shot and I haven’t seen much from them since they first entered the mtb market. If the price is right I’ll buy this stuff.

  3. Jeremy Moore on

    Patagonia is a fraud in the fair trade business. They make stuff in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Cambodia. I asked them about it and they said they guaranty minimum wage. Wow, that blows. Looking for places with the lowest minimum wages on earth and paying people $1.25 a day to make $900 jackets. At least Walmart does the same thing but sells their jackets for $40. If you’re going to charge $900 for a jacket and have it made in places with the worst worker rights laws on the books, you better pay them 10 fold higher than everyone else. I think Patagonia can easily afford to pay someone $15 a day to make their lousy $900 jackets

  4. Asdrubale on


    and you’re telling me Walmart stuff can compare to Patagonia’s stuff ? Ok it’s 900$ jacket ( altough I’ve paid 300 for mine ) but after 8 years of use and abuse my jacket still looks brand new. And best of all of Patagonia stuff does not run out of style,my 15 years ago fleece still looks and fits good today. You keep buying your Walmart stuff,I’ll keep using my Patagonia’s gear..year after year.

    • Veganpotter on

      No, Walmart obviously sucks. I’m just saying that in some ways, they have an ethical leg up on Patagonia. There’s no excuse for making such expensive stuff and paying people like they’re worthless, while talking up your labor practices

  5. Ben Jones on

    I feel like a company that is even willing to look at the issues, address what they can, and then give back quite a bit is doing a lot more than the nothing that most companies are doing. I don’t think that outsiders can truly understand what it’s like to run an international brand and the costs associated with trying to be considerate and conscious and at some point from a utilitarian point of view, Patagonia is doing more good than bad.

  6. silverlining on

    As a larger company in the premium outdoor gear market, Patagonia probably needs to continually expand in to different niches and test the waters to see if there is growth opportunity there. Marketing slick photos of extreme athletes in extreme conditions only sells so many “overpriced” jackets. Lately the larger brands have been bringing in cheaper quality products that hurts the percieved elite value or they’ve tried expanding their name in to new sports. I look at North Face and Marmot and see the effects of throwing a label on junk that gets sold in a Dicks store. I wish Patagonia luck, but I expect fit, durability and style for $150+ shorts. Other than a welcome subdued color, I’m not that impressed.

  7. MBR on

    Doesn’t tall and skinny translates to lean and mean? So ironic to your experience is that as a ski instructor Patagonia only makes one ski pants model I can wear, which is offered in a long/tall inseam. And tall sizing is almost always only offered in basic black. BTW, I’m 6’1-1/2″, 165# with a 34″ inseam. I’m always providing feedback that I have to turn to REI, LL Bean or Eddie Bauer to get tall sizing if I want long sleeve shirts/jackets or pants. I have to buy at least one size too large to get sleeve length in any Patagonia product. My experience with most of their other non-cycling men’s clothing is that it’s built for shorter and fatter people… er, ah, I mean wider people…


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