I wore the RST Pro Series Ranger trousers with the matching jacket for a recent adventure in Morocco, which seemed like a good test for what RST describe as “the ultimate go anywhere” combination.
The weather during my trip was exactly what I expected – rain all the way from my home in Lincolnshire to the ferry terminal in Plymouth, a range from pleasantly warm to hot in Spain and very high temperatures reaching 43°C in the south of Morocco.
This range of weather conditions provided the ideal environment to test the wide variety of features on the Ranger trousers.
The trousers boast the same modular construction as the RST Pro Series Ranger jacket, with a mid-weight detachable thermal liner to be worn inside and a pair of waterproof trousers to go over the top.
It rained throughout my 295-mile journey to Plymouth and the over-trousers kept me completely dry. There was also a very long wait to board the ferry in some torrential rain, without shelter, and the trousers continued to keep me dry.
The waist is fastened by a Velcro belt that feeds through a loop, with a second belt adjusting the fit around the waist.
The trousers have a long zip to connect to the Ranger jacket, long enough for me to easily link the two without having to be a contortionist.
In most trousers I take a medium size, which usually converts to a 32in waist. With these I needed a size small, which RST’s sizing suggests is a 30in waist. I wore the short-leg option and I found this was a good choice for me. I find the armour becomes too tight over my knees with some trousers in short-leg size, though that was not the case with these trousers. Even with a good, close fit there was no discomfort from the armour pulling on my knees.
There are four pockets on the trousers, two jean-style pockets with zip closures and two bellows pockets on the outer of each leg that fasten with Velcro flaps.
RST describe these as waterproof pockets, even though the trousers themselves aren't waterproof. This is useful for keeping the contents dry if it starts raining and you can’t stop immediately to put on the waterproof over-trousers.
There’s a good amount of ventilation with these trousers. Two panels on the front have a fastening zip each on the long side and a Velcro strip at the top and bottom.
Once opened, the flap covering each vent is tucked away and a further zip keeps it folded away to expose maximum vent area and also tidy up the front of the trousers. There are also two-way zips at the back of each calf that can be opened to allow warm air out of the trousers.
At first this all seemed a bit fiddly. On the road, though, setting the trousers up for the differing amount of ventilation needed for each journey was relatively easy.
Each opening can be adjusted in size to increase or decrease the amount of ventilation and I found its performance very effective.
In the Saharan temperatures of 43°C I rode through a sandstorm that covered the road in slippery sand, reducing visibility to less than 40 metres. All the vents were open yet not a grain got through the trouser vents. In my view this was remarkable because sand got everywhere else - inside my helmet, behind my neck tube… but not through the trouser vents.
The gusset at the bottom of each leg, which is fastened with a zip and two Velcro straps, opens up very wide and gave plenty of room for the trouser legs to slide over my chunky Sidi Adventure 2 Gore-Tex boots.
The knee and hip armour supplied with the trousers is approved to CE Level 2, the higher of two pass levels, and the CE approval rating for the trousers as a whole is AA, the middle of three levels. A full set of Level 2 armour is a good feature - and the knees also have hard plastic external knee cups as additional protection,.
The waterproof over-trousers are supplied in a separate bag. I was able to put these on without removing my boots, although an extra 25mm in the leg width would make this much easier.
The separate thermal liner doesn’t have a storage bag of its own, something I feel would help as such things are easier to carry when they packed in a small bag.
In conclusion, these trousers combined with the matching jacket to make a good choice for my trip to Morocco.
They are very comfortable and feel well made. The modular system works well and while I didn’t need to use the thermal insulating layer on my trip it has proved to be effective in use back home in England.
I’ve seen enough on my travels in this kit to suggest it would give many years and miles of comfortable service.