On our maiden ride to the Himalayas into the Ladakh valley, we wanted to buy a riding pant which would make this adventure a little bit easier. The criterion was simple, it should be wearable in extreme cold, rain and a bit of sunshine too. It should also provide adequate protection and not restrict any body movements. In the riding pants department, we had to choose between Cramster Velocity, DSG Nero and the Spartan Odysseus.
As in the case of DSG Acqua gloves, we stayed away from Cramster products because of their extremely negative reviews on the Xbhp forums. The DSG guys made some crazy mistakes in the size of the Nero, the Large, Medium, Small and Extra Small all were of the same dimensions and fit, hence we couldn’t go for them either. That’s when we got our hands on the Spartan Odysseus and took it for a spin over 3000 Kms. Here we are with the Spartan Odysseus review to answer some questions for the people looking to buy a good riding pant. The picture above has Akhil wearing the pant. For more awesome photos of the ride, check this out.
Spartan Odysseus review: Is it cold proof?
Yes. This riding pant, like most of Spartan’s products, is made like a Tank. It is very heavy, and is made even heavier with the removable warm liner attachment. Even when it was snowing at Khardungla pass, we couldn’t feel a thing inside these pants. But there is another side to this story, when rain comes along. Read on to find out.
Is it waterproof?
Hell no! The pant itself is completely water proof, including 2 zipped front pockets, but the problem occurs at the ass-patch on the back side. The Spartan Odysseus has a patch of somewhat abrasive material sewn onto the back side. It does its job and doesn’t let you slip even under bad conditions. However, this part of the pant is not waterproof!
So you think all is jolly and ride through an ice cold rain session. Suddenly you feel there is a chainsaw made of ice that has been stuck up your ass in one clean motion. We faced this situation at the Tanglang la pass and believe us friends, it is not something you want to experience. If there is one thing this Spartan Odysseus review tells you, it’s not to take this pant to rain.
Does it provide protection?
No it doesn’t, let me explain why. This pant comes with 2 knee protectors and 2 hip pads. Calling them hip pads is a kind of misnomer, as they sit right on your pelvic bones, not on the hips. We aren’t sure how much protection they will be able to provide, since they are just hard pieces of foam.
Next up you have removable Knox knee guards, but they are completely useless! The reason for that is they are so uncomfortable to drive with, you will remove them from the pant just a few kilometers after your ride begins. The reason for so much problem is that the knee guards are placed inside a wire mesh near the knee area, but their shape is quite hard and inflexible. So when you sit on the bike and bend your knee, the wire mesh digs inside your flesh. For guys with hair on their legs, this can turn into a real nightmare. I had to go through so much pain for this Spartan Odysseus review!
So, the Spartan Odysseus has 2 useless pelvis protectors and 2 knee guards you will never wear inside the pant. Hence no protection.
Is it comfortable to wear?
We can’t say yes. If you remove the knee guards, then it is a rather good fit and doesn’t bother you much. However, if you want to stop and take a quick piss, that’s when trouble begins. It has a zip like a pant does, but you need to open up the whole thing to take a leak. This is because of the waterproof layer that comes in front and blocks the way.
So you open 2 velcro straps, then a velcro in front of the zip, then unzip it and do your thing. Once you are finished, you reverse the process to get it back closed. The fitting is rather good and looks nice on the rider too. However, a riding pant without any protection isn’t a riding pant at all. So this Spartan Odysseus review tells us, it is not that comfortable after all.
Should you take them to Ladakh?
That would be a really bad decision. They don’t provide any useable protection, they aren’t completely waterproof, and they aren’t that comfortable either. Ladakh is a ride on which you want to focus on your riding and not on the wires cutting through your knees and pulling out the hair. This Spartan Odysseus review tells us that that is not going to be the case if you take it there.
Can you wear it in summer?
No you can’t. The Spartan Odysseus contains only 2 zips upfront for ventilation, near the thighs. That isn’t nearly enough to make it comfortable on a long, hot day. The one we got is black in color, which is going to heat up like a furnace when the sun comes up. It you don’t sweat much and there isn’t going to be any traffic to hold up your drive, you might consider wearing this pant. But if get stuck in traffic, you are going to get fried.
Spartan Odysseus review: Verdict
In this Spartan Odysseus review, we have seen that this riding pant isn’t any good for summer, nor is it for rains. It is very cosy for a winter drive, but if it happens to rain, you will be in a rough spot. The knee protectors are unusable. For over 6000 rupees, this pant is a let down.
RiderZone recommends NOT to buy this riding pant.