North Vancouver’s Sombrio Cartel is best known for its more laid-back approach to clothing, flannel mixing with high-tech fabrics. With the Vanquish line, the twenty-year-old Canadian brand adds a more performance-oriented clothing line.
Vanquish includes shorts, pants, and jerseys for men and women. The line blends toughness with a lighter weight that’s ready to pedal with the same North Shore toughness that other apparel brands are known for. It can be a tough line to walk, but the Vanquish pants and jersey do it so well.
Review: Sombrio Vanquish Pants
The Vanquish pants (and shorts) use a stretchy, water-resistant fabric with a DWR finish. They’re not waterproof, partly due to the laser-cut venting, but they also won’t soak up any precipitation or puddles you pass through. Quattro Flex Dura fabric is lightweight, yet durable. This makes the Vanquish pants comfortable enough to pedal without feeling like they’re falling apart the first time you bump into a tree. In fact, they feel incredibly durable, especially considering how light and heavy they are. Not lightweight pants I would wear in hot weather, but they are comfortable in a good temperature range. A seamless crotch panel makes the Vanquish pants comfortable to sit on and pedal too.
When it comes to fit, the Vanquish pants don’t follow the current slim-fitting trend. They have a more relaxed fit which, to be honest, will probably be welcomed by many riders. Not everyone wants their pants clinging to their calves and thighs. The Sombrios leave more room, without feeling bulky. The wide waist pants I tested are supposed to fit a 34-36 waist. They were on the bigger size of that. Two Velcro tabs on each side help to properly size the pants, while a grip tape inside the waistband prevents them from moving or slipping while riding. When riding, they fit comfortably even in large knee pads without pulling when pedaling or restricting movement. Two pockets, one on each size, are large enough to comfortably hold a phone without letting it bounce or jiggle while riding.
Sombrio offers the Vanquish pants in two colors, black and “milky coffee” in six sizes from XS to XXL. At $253, however, they are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. If you want a quality pair of tough but lightweight pants with a more relaxed fit from a Canadian brand, the Vanquish pants fit the bill. But they are not cheap and there is no model dedicated to women.
Sombrio Vanquish Jersey
The Vanquish jersey follows a design similar to that of the pants: light and resistant. With a mix of fabrics including Dura Mesh and Lycra PFP, even the long sleeve jersey is light and breathable enough for hot summer rides. A microfiber cloth inside the jersey will help keep the goggles clean, but there are no pockets to be found.
In hot weather, the mesh breathes well and wicks moisture away from the skin without being soaking wet or heavy and dries quickly. It fits well, with the arms cut just close enough that they don’t move without being constricted or taut. It’s a comfortable, well-made jersey that will work in a good range of conditions.
The Vanquish jersey retails for $150 and comes in both men’s and women’s styles. Again, this puts Sombrio on the more expensive end of the spectrum, even compared to brands like Rapha. It’s a well-made jersey, sure, but comes with a hefty price tag.