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On the search for some lightweight, low bulk and affordable rain gear we recently stumbled across the product line of CRAFT (www.craft-sports.de). At € 129.90 they are decently priced and looked good off the catalog and at a weight of about 161 g w/o and 233 g with suspenders (size M) they more than met our needs for lightweight.

Often we see clothing products that claim to be waterproof and or windproof, and then the price gets jacked and all these crazy technological advancements in the fabric are listed for us to read, products for which we then shell out big bucks and find ourselves often disappointed, cold, and wet none the less. We have all been there and all want to avoid the disappointment down the road. I can assure you, these pants don’t!

These Craft Performance Rain Pants are excellent rain stoppers made of soft and flexible polyester fabrics (called VentiAir Light) which prove quite comfortable in the saddle. Out of the saddle walking around the suspenders keep things nice and high which make it feel like the crotch is cut a bit high for my taste, but I am not wearing them for a stroll now am I. They have elastic inserts and pre-shaped knees, allowing completely adequate flexibility and also include a reinforced fabric in the seat for which I was extremely grateful for at first glance.

After forging out they proved themselves as being truly windproof and have kept me dry even on the wettest and sloppiest of days. The only moisture to speak of was my own, I was able to go out for a few hours with just the rain pants over shorts on day that were hovering just above or below freezing and was completely fine which was impressive to me, mainly cause I am not a huge fan of the cold. My toes or fingers were the only ones complaining. My legs weren’t sitting there pruning either, these pants breathe very well. The fabric is truly awesome, I have been very impressed and would most definitely say that they live up to being wind and waterproof. The chain ring could be a pant leg eater if it wasn’t for the Velcro straps, which they have thankfully provided two, which efficiently snug everything up on both sides from the mid calf down. Though when everything gets muddy, the Velcro can clog up a bit and the Velcro isn’t quite as efficient. But that’s starting to split hairs …

When we received the pants we were dearly impressed (and shocked the same for a bike product) by the extremely light weight and thin fabric which leads to the only real downside of these pants: Long term durability. Being a mountain biker and riding with a fabric that is so light, it is susceptible to tears. The knees are reinforced some, but I managed to put a few holes in the knees on a washed out rear end on some loose rocks. Nothing major, and nothing a few glue on patches couldn’t handle, but the point is that they won´t take to kindly to crashes.

Not necessarily a drawback but a heads up is that the sizing runs small. I am 6 ft tall and am about 165 lbs and am almost universally a size medium. In this case a large fits me like I a medium, so sizing up would be recommended, or trying them on somewhere before you buy. Same for c_g, who usually runs size L but here needed a size XL. He also commented how the pants are slim for around the thighs –something I usually don´t notice much ;).

VERDICT:
Bottom line, these puppies aren’t super cheap but excellent value, given the function and performance. Due to the light weight material they may not be ideal for hardcore shredding long term, but for regular mountain biking and to get you through those rainy days these are premium quality rain pants that I have loved . I am thoroughly enjoying these pants and am completely impressed.

Thumbs up for CRAFT on their Performance Rain pants.