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The Pas Normal Studios Escapism Pants are extremely good – they're stretchy, fit and hang well, feel really nicely made and are very comfortable both on the bike and off. They're considerably more expensive than some really strong competition, though.
Imagine some stretchy walking trousers and you've mostly got the picture here, though there are some subtle cycle-specific features to go with that not-exactly-subtle logo.
The waist is high at the back and, with its well-judged stretch and adjustable (mostly hidden) webbing belt, stays well put as your ride and doesn't leave you exposed to draughts.
I found the legs narrow enough to cause no issues too, though I used these on a bike with a single chainring – if you do find them catching, both hems have toggled elastic adjusters for cinching them in.
When I first put them on I fully expected these trousers to rise up to mid-calf – exposing waaaay too much sock in proper old-school headmaster style – just as soon as I started pedalling. The fabric is stretchy and very light; I really though it would just creep up. In reality it doesn't. No matter how hard I rode or how warm or damp I got, they happily sat at a perfectly reasonable level.
I rarely got too warm as they're very breathable and (as I said) feel very light. I was happy in these on days around 15°C, even working really hard on steep climbs, and for the most part – given the casual riding they're aimed at – you'll be comfortable on much warmer days than that.
They also keep off the worst of quite chill winds in high single figures, though as temperatures drop you can feel really sharp gusts through them. Their operating window, as it were, is pleasingly broad. So long as it's not freezing, boiling or pouring down you'll be comfortable.
I managed to avoid any serious downpours, but the DWR coating did very well at keeping various showers off and they never got any less comfortable when damp. They dry reasonably quickly too.
I also tried these while walking to see if they were any cooler/too cool for making less effort in, and found they were great in those conditions too. So they're pretty versatile, though (being picky) I did find them annoyingly swooshy to wear indoors. Outside, walking or riding, I never noticed the sound at all.
If you want to make a statement you can get these in white or purple as well as black, brown or this olive green, though as soon as you go through a muddy puddle in white ones you're going to look like you've soiled yourself.
If you really, really want to make a statement, just leave the price ticket on. Because at £170 these are furiously expensive trousers. Even Rapha's chino-like Technical Trousers are 'only' £110 (we tested them in 2020), and Rapha is hardly known as a budget brand, while there are plenty of good quality options around the £90-£100 level.
The Pearl Izumi Men's Rove Trousers, tested by Matt in 2020, are fairly similar to the PNS ones and £99.99, for instance, while the Vulpine Men's City Chinos are much the same at £100. Unfortunately those lack belt loops so can slip down as you ride – Vulpine's Men's Omnia Cycling Jeans don't make the same mistake, and scored highly at the same £100 asking price, though.
Overall, these are lovely, comfortable and stylish trousers for riding and general outdoorsery, but oh my flipping blinking word that price. I do rather like the purple ones, though...
Lovely casual and very effective trousers for gravel, town or just general riding, but very expensive too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pas Normal Studios Escapism Pants
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Pas Normal Studios says: "The Escapism Pants are a smart, functional piece for year-round use. These pants take on a casual fit while retaining highly stretchable properties to move with you through your daily life, taking you easily from the streets to the trails."
Certainly you don't want your trousers staying behind as you move through your daily life.
"The Escapism Collection is our model for exploring beyond the white lines on the road and giving meaning to everything that exists outside these boundaries."
So these trousers both give meaning to the universe AND keep your legs warm.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pas Normal Studios lists:
Natural stretchability from nylon and spandex fibres
Open side pockets and a lapped zip back pocket
Redesigned zippers and zip pullers for pockets
Canvas waist adjustment with locking buckle
Adjustable drawstring on bonded hems
Water-resistant DWR finish
Made in Taiwan
Very neat and tidy.
They're very expensive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're very comfortable, stretchy and light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They rustle loudly when walking and are incredibly expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Really badly... most rivals sit between £80 and £110. Even waterproof overtrousers made from class-leading Gore-Tex can be had for less than this.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If they were sensibly priced, absolutely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? One with lots of money, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are excellent trousers for casual riding and walking – in performance, quality and comfort there's really nothing to complain about. The price, however, is massively higher than most similar trousers. If these were closer to the competition they'd score higher, but £60-£70 really is a huge premium over some very good rivals.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,