When heading out to Nepal for a riding trip on a Royal Enfield Himalayan I needed kit that would be versatile. The road conditions meant I had to move around a lot on the bike, stood up on the pegs and shifting my weight to guide the bike past the many obstacles on the road.
The Oxford Rockland textile jacket and trouser combination seemed ideal in advance of the trip, and they both lived up to expectations. This is my review of the trousers, and you can read about the jacket here…
Oxford describe the Rockland trousers as being all about versatility and a true four-season, three-in-one option.
After my experiences in both Nepal and once back home in Lincolnshire I’d have to agree with them on that score.
There’s plenty of width at the bottom to fit over my adventure boots - I wore these with a pair of Gaerne G-Dakar boots - and the waterproof liner also fits easily over them to stop water running into the top of the boots.
I had expected a zip at the bottom so the trousers could be tightened around the boot. What I got was a pair of adjustable velcro straps, which surprised me, and my first reaction wasn’t very positive. After a little time, though, I decided this was a good detail as it meant no snagging of zips, especially when in a rush to get going.
Photography: Joel Blevins
The waist is fastened with a sliding catch and a press stud, and on both sides there is a waist adjuster. The trousers are supplied with a set of braces that are easily removed if you don’t want to use them. The braces required constant adjustment to keep them at the right tension for me, yet I was happy to have them and adjusting them only took a second.
There are two front pockets on the trousers that are fastened by velcro. They are a bellows style and a reasonably good size, my mobile phone fitted into one and was easily taken out when I needed it.
The removable thermal and waterproof liners supplied with the trousers can be used together or separately, and there are two zips for connecting them to an appropriate Oxford jacket.
The long zip attaches to the jacket’s waterproof liner when it is fitted and from my experience this makes for a better waterproof seal between the jacket and the trousers. When riding without the waterproof linings, the short zip connects the trousers to the jacket.
Two front vents on the trousers open to reveal a ventilation mesh, which I found effective at keeping me cool. I was also surprised that no dust got into my base layer, even though the outside was covered by so much dust it made the grey trousers appear to be a sand colour.
The trousers are supplied in a variety of waist sizes, all of which are available in short, regular, and long leg. The regular length on my trousers put the knee armour in the wrong location, so a short leg would have been a better choice.
The armour position can be fine tuned through a velcro fastening in the knee pocket. As I’ve found with most other trousers that use this method, it doesn’t work well as the armour soon works its way to the lowest position in the pocket.
The knee and hip protectors meet the basic Level 1 of the CE standard, are flexible and don’t feel obtrusive. The overall safety level of the trousers within CE is AA.
The warm and sunny weather for my entire Nepalese adventure was great for me although not so good for testing the waterproofing performance of the trousers.
I expected my shifts for the Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service (LEBBS) in December and January would give me a chance to test both the waterproof and thermal liners.
The weather back home didn’t disappoint, with some very wet and cold shifts on flooded roads. Throughout all of them I kept completely warm and dry, which is a credit to this kit.
Oxford don’t say whether the pockets are waterproof, so I put some items in mine to find out - and everything I put in them remained dry.
These are a good set of trousers that I would be happy to take on any trip, even very wet and cold Lincolnshire LEBBS runs.