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I have been trying to find suitable trousers for cycling for a while. As a utility cyclist, I’ve struggled to get the right balance between practicality and style, especially when riding to work or to meet friends.
So when I had the opportunity to try out Vaela’s cycling jeans, I was very keen to give them a go. Not just because it may mean my trouser search would be over, but also because I can very much relate to their story of “being serially disappointed by the cycle clothes available to women” and “the general difficulties faced by women who wish to ride more easily and more often”.
I appreciate their mission to address this, and also the way they go about their business. With a B corporation certification pending, they are serious and vocal about embedding innovation, inclusivity and sustainability at the core of everything they do.
Vaela Cycling Jeans
Vaela Cycling Jeans are designed for urban cyclists, featuring a stretchy denim fabric with reinforced seams, reflective accents, and a hidden U-lock holder.
- Very comfortable
- Good fit for cycling
- Reflective detailing
- Higher waist cut
Women’s Cycling Jeans
Vaela’s commitment to the environment is clear from the moment the jeans arrived in UK sourced, sustainable packaging that is recyclable and free from animal products.
Once opened, the jeans were beautifully presented and came with some useful cards with information about the company and their vision, as well as a short bio of cycling heroine Lady Harberton.
I run my own cycling organisation to support more girls, women and non-binary people to cycle so their decision to raise awareness of women’s advocacy meant I was already sold, and that was before I found out they “actively support organisations promoting change and donate 2% of our revenue to organisations chosen by our customers whose visions are in line with our own”.
With regards to the jeans, the material feels very high quality and soft. I like their neutral indigo colour and strategic logo placement.
I was immediately drawn to the many decent sized pockets (a rarity on any women’s clothing!). In particular, I enjoyed the clever use of the lining of the front pockets to display product care information, a message to say thank you and encourage feedback, as well as the kind and handy offer to help with any repairs.
On top of the size and quantity, these are the only jean pockets that I can actually fit my standard sized smartphone in, plus when it is inside it is barely noticeable and feels very secure. This makes a big difference as it means not having to always carry an additional bag for my phone when I cycle.
- A single panel running the complete inside length of both legs means no seams to cause discomfort when riding
- Soft denim with a small degree of stretch to ensure comfort
- Waist cut higher at the back and on a curve to improve comfort and fit, and to avoid bum-cleavage
- Hidden reflective elements printed inside the right leg
- Additional rear pocket for phone aids access and security
- Reinforced belt loops to resist tearing
- Rivet free construction
- Zip fly
- Subtly branded with a small embroidered logo on the rear pocket
As soon as I put the jeans on, I noticed how comfortable they were. The amount of stretch was perfect for a secure fit but also flexible enough to ride in. I was also relieved that I didn’t have to worry about them falling down at the back when I was cycling.
I have been wearing them on my rides to and from work, and during my shifts, for the past few weeks to give them a thorough test. They were versatile, durable and also fitted in with my smart casual dress code due to their colour and style.
The above key features came in handy, in particular the lack of seams and also the reinforced belt loops which I used to attach my helmet to when walking into work.
They also felt warmer than my usual jeans and cycling trousers which is a big bonus as it means not having to wear bulky over trousers in colder weather.
The reflective lining is a subtle but invaluable feature that will help on those winter commutes. I was pleasantly surprised to see how far it went up the right trouser leg because as a slightly smaller than average woman, I did have to turn them up a few times.
Vaela Jeans – Verdict
In a world of fast fashion, and where cycling is still male dominated, Vaela’s cycling jeans and their company values are a welcome shift to a new direction for cycling clothing.
It is evident that Vaela’s extensive testing of other products, consultation in the design process, and their passion for their mission has paid off.
Although it does come at a cost. At £160, these jeans will be out of many women’s budgets. This is particularly the case for women who may be new to cycling and would benefit the most, but who may be reluctant or unable to spend this much when there are cheaper, albeit lower quality, alternatives.
To help reduce the financial burden for Discerning Cyclists, Vaela will give you 10% off when you use code “DISCERNING” at the checkout.
For those who can afford it, these jeans are a solid investment in a better cycling experience. In addition to these jeans, Vaela also have a stylish bag and jacket for sale so if you’re keen to be fully kitted out in gear that has been tailored for women then be sure to check them out.
I’m looking forward to seeing what products Vaela release in the future and the wider impact they have on the cycling sector as they continue to grow.
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