Gear Gear Reviews

Oxford Montreal 2.0 – Riding Pants Review

Affordable riding gear offers good looks and functions of far more expensive offerings

Much like the bands Kansas, Chicago, Boston, and Europe, it’s not hard to guess where Oxford Products is based. Though, rather than producing iconic 80s rock the English company has built a reputation for offering motorcycling products that exist in that very small space on a Venn diagram where “Affordable” and “Good” intersect.

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That space is so small, in fact, it’s hard to think of many other companies that exist on the same level as Oxford. Certainly there aren’t many that offer as many different products. From earplugs to luggage to locks to heated grips, Oxford offers it all.

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Up until pretty recently, however, if you wanted its aforementioned Good and Affordable gear you had to make sacrifices in terms of Style. The look of Oxford products had a tendency to be about a decade behind everyone else – the Suzuki of moto gear, if you will. But seemingly overnight the company has stepped up its game, now offering products that are Good, Affordable, and Not Ugly.

And therein you have the short review for the company’s Montreal 2.0 textile pants; feel free to also add the words “Useful,” “Warm,” and “Water Resistant.” Priced at £119.99 (although, I’ve found them for £24 less on FC Moto) and made in Pakistan (No. 110 on the Democracy Index), the Montreal 2.0 pants are available in sizes S to 5XL, with three different leg lengths: Short, Regular, and Long.

Style

As mentioned above, Oxford has really upped its game in recent years, now managing to make gear you’re actually happy to be seen in. The Montreal 2.0 pants are available in three color schemes: Tech Black, Black/Fluo (black with fluorescent highlights), and Desert. Because I’m boring, I opted for Tech Black. Branding is minimal, with a small “Montreal 2.0” logo on the left hip pocket. Here and there, the stitching stands out with red thread, and there are small reflective strips on the thigh pockets.

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These are unapologetically adventure-styled pants, so you may feel a little silly wearing them on a first date, but they don’t have the look of being comically over-engineered that is the curse of many similar pants. The abrasion-resistant polyester used for the majority of the pants’ construction is of reasonable quality – as good or better than the material used on a pair of Triumph-branded Adventure pants I’ve had for a few years, which have sustained a handful of dirt crashes (You can see me wearing them in this story). In addition, the Montreal 2.0 pants have large reinforced patches on the knees and butt, and crotch has an anti-slip fabric.

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The pants come with both a belt and removable suspenders (aka “braces” if you’re British), the latter of which certainly have a negative affect on your coolness. But I keep them attached because they help ensure the pants won’t pull down in a crash. Besides, they can’t be seen when worn with a jacket. Additionally, they attach via a waterproof zip-in “bib” at the rear, which helps mitigate draft and wetness. Incidentally, the jacket you see me wearing them with here is the companion Montreal 3.0 jacket.

Fit

The S-5XL nature of Oxford’s sizing (rather than sizing by inches) means the Montreal 2.0 pants can be a little hit and miss in terms of fit. This is helped, however, by the fact the pants are available in three different lengths – so you don’t have to do the skinny-guy thing of buying too large for the sake of having them be long enough. To that end, I opted for a long pair and am very happy with how well they suit my 6-foot-1-inch frame.

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Fit is also helped by the belt and suspenders, though the suspenders need to be readjusted quite regularly. I wore these pants on a trip down to Cardiff from Scotland back in January (about 500 miles) and found myself tightening the suspenders every other stop. That said, it’s not something that bothered me.

The pants themselves are particularly comfortable to wear, both with and without the quilted liner (more on that in a sec), and are great for tackling really long days in the saddle.

Function

Where the Montreal 2.0 pants really impress is in their myriad features. You get a hell of a lot of stuff for your £120.

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First and foremost, the pants are highly water resistant. Oxford uses the word “waterproof” but I’d like to see manufacturers abandoning that claim. It’s just not true for anyone. No motorcycle gear is truly waterproof; every item will eventually give in if the ride is long enough and the rain unrelenting. However, I’m pretty impressed by just how much these pants can tolerate. I’ve worn them on a number of soggy days without complaint. The removable thermal liner helps keep them extra cozy in rough weather.

THE BIKE I’M RIDING IN THESE PHOTOS: 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 – Ride Review

There are zip vents at the thigh to allow air in when the weather’s not miserable, with snaps to keep the vents open. I wish snaps (or zips) were also used to keep the waterproof thigh pockets shut. Instead they’re secured with Velcro, which means I don’t really trust them to hold anything more valuable than maps and gas receipts.

Not really good for carrying anything on the move, the hip pockets are similar to the pockets you’d find on a normal ol’ pair of pants or jeans – ie, no zips or snaps or Velcros, but easy to slide hands into. Personally, though, I really like that. I’m a simple man who likes being able to shove his hands in his pockets when standing around. Also, I like having a pocket into which my bike key slips easily when I’m at stops.

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Meanwhile, more zips and snaps are to be found at the lower leg. A zip runs most of the way up the calf to help accommodate boots. Snaps allow three different adjustments at the cuff, so you won’t get a draft blowing up your leg. Level 1 knee armor comes standard. The pants also have internal pockets to accommodate hip armor.

 

Verdict

No, the Oxford Montreal 2.0 pants aren’t of Aerostich quality and longevity, but I am really surprised by how much you get for the price. When I brought these to Scotland in January I worried I might be making a mistake – dooming myself to hundreds of miles of cold, wet misery on the road trip home. But they turned out to be so good they’re now part of my go-to crappy weather kit.

Of course, how long that will remain true is an unknown. But based on my abuse of products of similar quality, I’d anticipate these pants will remain top-notch for roughly 20,000 miles (four years, if you’re the average British rider), longer if you limit yourself to primarily good-weather riding.

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I’ll admit to feeling uncertain about the fact the Montreal 2.0 pants are made in Pakistan. That uncertainty has nothing to do with the quality of the actual product but the quality of life for the people who make the product. However, it’s clear that Oxford puts a lot of effort into quality control for its products, so one hopes it puts similar effort into ensuring good conditions for its workers.

Putting that one issue aside, the Oxford Montreal 2.0 pants are feature laden, good looking, functional, and well worth the asking price.

Other Gear Seen in Photos

Helmet: Schuberth C3 Pro
Jacket: Oxford Montreal 3.0
Gloves: Klim Adventure
Boots: Alt-Berg Hogg High All Weather