From across the pond in good old Germany comes Maloja clothing, named after a pass in the Swiss Alps or a Swiss village or something like that. They've been around since 2004, have a very cool office and they specialize in making very high quality – and very expensive – outdoor clothing. If you're a subscriber to the buy once, cry once philosophy, you'll want to take a look.
We tried out the women's LoveroM (don't ask, we're not sure what the capital letters after the product names are for) multisport rain pants (blue in the picture) and the men's NabalM biking rain shorts(green in the pic). Both are made from a very light synthetic fabric that is oddly listed as water resistant on the Maloja product pages for these two items. But a 10,000mm water column rating, also listed on the product page, puts them in the mid-range of waterproofness, and after testing we can verify that they're pretty darn waterproof under normal hiking-biking type usage.
In any case both the pants and the shorts are very well made, with taped seams and a bit of articulation in the cut. The pants have a nice stretchy waist with belt loops and snap closure, as well as a single zipped thigh pocket with a wedge-shaped inside. The pocket's odd shape and largish capacity makes a phone sit a little strangely inside, tilted forward because of the wedge shape. The cuffs have a cinch cord with a different sort of pinch adjustment; it works, and takes up less space than a normal cordlock.
The double-snap-closure shorts have both stretch in the belt-looped waistband and rip-and-stick adjustments, which together make for easy sizing, especially for those of us who seem to move up and down in waist size by the week. The same pocket as on the pants is present, and there is a reinforced seat and crotch to withstand the inevitable extra abuse those areas receive in the saddle. The inseam is quite long on the shorts, and in fact Maloja calls them pants although knickers would be a more apt description. We've been knicker a.ka.a. pedal pusher a.k.a. 3/4 pant fans since a long trip to Thailand some years ago, so no gripes here.
We appreciated the quality of construction on both pieces. The graphics on the rear of the shorts – and even the more subtle "made for the mountains" tagline on the rear of the pants – were a bit much for us, but maybe that's a European thing, and there are plenty of more subdued pieces in Maloja's lineup. The material is plenty breathable, clearly durable and as light and packable as you could wish. If you're looking for something a bit different in a good way, check out Maloja.