Tour Master Element Cooling Leather Pants
- 1.1-1.2mm waterproof cowhide leather
- Water-resistant construction
- TFL cooling leather treatment reflects UV rays, resulting in the temperature of the leather surface being reduced by up to 15%, compared to standard leather
three-position, CE-approved armor at the knees (the pant armor is not adjustable)
- Accordion stretch panels in the knees and back waist
- 360 degree and 8-inch jacket-to-pant zipper attachments
- Stretch panels at the waist for added comfort
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These pants are sold in men’s “alpha sizes”. Each pair has the alpha size and also the waist size tagged in each pant. Below is the chart provided by Tour Master on the waist size for each alpha size. I measured a selection of these pants and found the fit in the waist to be accurate in the relaxed position. But with the stretch panels, they’ll give a couple more inches beyond that.
As I said, the waist band has a flex zone built into each side and so the waist doesn’t snug up like a normal pant/belt arrangement. The idea is that you’ll pair these pants with a jacket that has a full zip connection and that will hold them up on your waist properly. There is both a short rear and a full-around zipper for this purpose. They also give you the mating halves of each of those zippers so you could adapt these pants to any jacket with minimal fuss. Another idea would be to use clip on suspenders to wear with other jackets. But if you don’t use the zip connection or suspenders, the waist band alone isn’t going to hold up the pants properly if you choose the size you normally wear. So my advice would be this: choose the size you normally wear in pants if you will be attaching the pants to a jacket or will be using suspenders, but if you don’t plan on either of those options, buy one size smaller. If you are between sizes, choose the smaller.
When you measure yourself for a pant like this, I’d advise measuring up higher on your waist just under the navel, because these pants will ride higher on your waist than ordinary jeans (see the link below for more help with this).
The inseam is on these pants is shorter than normal! These pants look a bit like sport pants with the knee armor, expansion panel above the knee and all, but the end of the pant leg doesn’t taper like a sport pant, which is intended to be tucked into sport/race boots. The pant leg on these pants is wide like an overpant or jean so they’ll go over boots. But the inseams measure out like a sport pant… shorter than average. Unfortunately this means that for most, the pants will be a bit short. But if you normally wear around a 29” to 31” inseam then you’ll consider these to be a rare find. In summary, I think these “regular” inseam pants, more or less, fit like “short inseam” pants. As I have indicated in the bullet list of features, the armor is not adjustable up or down as Tour Master advertises.
|Pant Size||Waist Range||Measured Inseam|
Our Two Cents
I was really excited about these Element Cooling Leather Pants because I had just reviewed the jacket and really liked it a lot. And I really like the pants too, but I’m afraid the inseam issue I’ve described above is going to exclude a lot of us from being able to buy this style of pants. But let’s set that issue aside and I’ll tell you what I see with these pants…
From about the shin up, the construction of these pants is a lot like sport/race pants we are all used to seeing, but with a little more “touring” and a little less “race”. Like a race pant, there are expansion panels below the waist in back and above the knee, and also there is stretch fabric built into the crotch and inside leg areas which helps with fit and comfort when sitting. And the way the knee is styled sort of highlights the fact that knee armor is included and is fitted inside. Also, the same stretch material used in the crotch is also used behind the knee… again to cut down on bulk and make the pants more comfortable when sitting.
But overall, these pants don’t fit as snug as a true race pant… rather they are more relaxed and less tight which would be welcome on long rides. To me, they even seen roomy enough to slide over light pants and could be used as overpants for commuters. Also, there are no knee sliders below the knee, and the pants don’t taper below the knee like race pants. The leg ends on these pants are sort of like jeans. There is, however, a zipper at the end of the legs so you can more easily slip the pants over shoes/boots or your feet. Without shoes or boots on, I was able to slip my feet through easily without unzipping.
As for cooling… Tour Master advertises these pants as being special… they say the leather is treated to retain less heat and therefore makes the pants comfortable in warmer temps as compared to non-treated leather. I guess we’ll just have to take their word for this since it isn’t something easily evaluated. I see two front zip vents to allow some air to enter on hot days, but frankly the placement of the vents is such that I really can’t see those as doing a lot. Even with the possible cooling effect of the leather treatment, I’d recommend these pants for cold to warm weather, but not hot weather.
Honestly, I really like the style, but I’m bummed about the inseam length. Maybe Tour Master will decide they missed the mark and will deem the pants we have here as “shorts” and make some new pants to be the “regulars”. But I guess if you are leg-length-challenged, there is no reason to be bummed like me… just buy them! :: Paul, 10-27-14