Shorts Review. A couple things, I have no idea why the photos wont post correctly. No matter what I do…this is their orientation. Sorry.
Second, These are my opinions and experiences with these shorts and I might have the most sensitive skin on the face of the planet, so take what I say with that in mind. In the photos below are the shorts tested, I will talk about my “GO TO” short and I will talk about the new shorts I found at greater length (not much greater) than the shorts that just went in the “nope” pile….maybe
Altra Performance 2.0
Patagonia Pro Strider 5″
North Face Barely Naked 5″
La Sportiva Auster
My “GO TO” trail short is the Patagonia Strider pro 5″ Link: https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-strider-pro-running-shorts-5-inch/24632.html?dwvar_24632_color=VIK&cgid=mens#tile-12=&prefn1=sport&prefv1=trail-running&start=1&sz=36
I like the cut, I like the fit, I like the outside drawstring….the pockets are well thought out and I have used them for running and back packing for about 4 years now. The fabric does get wet and clingy, when I sweat and I would say they dont really dry out on the run. But if I have put on the correct amount of anti chafe in the right spots, the wetness isnt a problem. These shorts have been really good to me. I have even grown fond of their wacky color options. I am just tired of black shorts. That being said, warning….I didnt pee my shorts if you see me out there running in non dark colored shorts… my crotch just sweats that much. I apologize in advance. thumbs up, love these, own a lot of them.
Next I will give you the “Nope” Pile
North Face Barely Naked 5″
La Sportiva Auster
From left to right, top to bottom
The Raid Light Ultralight short, https://us.raidlight.com/shorts/4896-ultralight-short.html#/
When I first got these I was so hopeful, but a little worried that the length would bug me. I tend to like a shorter split short, but I wanted to try this 2 in 1 longer short, in an attempt to see if maybe I was wrong and should abandon the short split trail short style. I was really stoked at first, these shorts are incredibly light weight and very soft to the touch. The pockets are good, 2 of the 5 pockets are a little clumsy, but not a deal breaker. When I put them on I didnt love them, but committed to a 10 mile run in them. 2 things I didnt like: the draw string is on the inside of the short, this will wear a hole in my stomach for sure. And second, the outer short is stitched to the longer, inner short down the outside of the leg…so you cant adjust the length of the inner short without bunching up the outer short. <<< that I dont like. Out the door I went in these, and they felt good. Well supported, comfy….huh, maybe I was wrong about the longer shorts….. but within a couple of miles I realized there was no way I wanted to put these in the “Yes” pile. The inner short was so hot (it was not a hot day) my boys were cooking! I started to sweat like a beast in the nether region and before too long I was wearing a 2 piece soggy short system that was no longer soft or light weight. Soggy diaper came to mind. To the “Nope” pile for me. I also got some pretty major chafing despite my best efforts and application of anti chafe product.
Next was the North Face Better than Naked 5″, they dont make it anymore, so no link. This short was very comfortable but very fragile. ( I got an inch long cut from a sticker bush, just running by) The fit and feel are incredible in these shorts minus the fact that the drawstring is on the inside of the waist band. So why in the “nope” pile. The fabric and the elastic in the inner brief chafed me horribly. ***despite my best efforts
The next short is from Ruhn, a Salt Lake City company, a place I hold dear to my heart. Compression style shorts have never appealed to me because I have spent enough of my life wearing tight cycling shorts, I just dont need that anymore….but their claims of Zero Chafing kept me curious. I ordered a pair of the original short (9″)….they were so long, down to my knee caps….I just never ever ran in them. I cant handle that for some odd reason, so those just got put in the back of the drawer, not even the “nope” Pile. I even raced bikes in short shorts
But a few weeks later, they launched a pre order for a 6″ version. Even though I worried that these might be too revealing for the local trails….I ordered some. https://www.ruhn.co/mens/ruhn-base-compression-short-20-pc9ma
Ruhn claims a chafe free experience… They go so far as to say no more anti chafe required products required..sounds promising, count me in on that. The day they arrived, I put them on and ran out in the living room and asked my wife if it was ok for me to go in public with these shorts….she gave me her blessing and to the trails I went. Here we go, Chafe free….ready! Long story short, I went for 18 miles. There was chafing. In fact some of the worst I have ever experienced and in some spots I had never had an issue before. If that werent bad enough, these things got hot and again my boys were cooking! With the heat, came the sweat and these things got super soggy and heavy. so….”nope”
OK, the last “nope” for this review makes me a little sad. I really really like this short. The cut, the fit, the pockets, the brief, the ventilation..they felt wonderful on in the living room. Unfortunately the fabrics and the elastic in the brief chafe me badly and incredibly quickly *** regardless of my best efforts. I want this short to work so bad, I ran in them a week straight (washing them of course) to see if I needed to just toughen up the chafed areas….no luck. I will keep my eyes out on La Sportiva shorts…I think they are on it with the cut and design, just need to select different fabrics
Last category, the new “yes” pile of my review come from the same company, 2 new shorts from Altra. Now, I know… how can I give a fair review because I am on Altra Red team…But I will tell you this, their shorts I tried last year…….were sooooo bad that I retired them for good and committed to my “Go To” patagonia shorts. So when these 2 latest versions came out….I figured I would stay true to form and give them a try, but had zero expectations. I ordered a pair of each, the Performance 2.0 and the Trail 2.0. Upon receiving the shorts, the “test” was almost over. I ordered a medium, same in all of the shorts in this review…and the fit on the mediums was confusing. The shorts were so big, I think Hollie could have jumped in them with me. She refused… But I tried to get her to. Disheartened I emailed and requested a return. Reflecting on the fact that at least the patagonia shorts work pretty good for me and I should just be happy with those. Within a couple minutes, I had an email back from Altra saying that they could process a refund or exchange sizes. The fabric, the pockets and the outside drawstring convinced me to try the smalls. SO I went for the exchange.
Smalls it is for me!
The Trail short was the first model I took out for a spin. This short is $10 less than the performance short. I cant tell why but I can tell you this: The trail short has well thought out pockets and a unique “double” pocket thing that is really cool on the back of the waist. Instead of a brief liner it has a longer liner that has 2 different materials built in it. One for support and compression and one for ventilation. Here is my only problem with this short. The stitch where the 2 materials meet, chafe me. The outer fabric is very nice, its light and has a small “split” on the outside of the leg, Which I like and could ask for more split. Pretty happy with these and the reason why the chafing doesnt relegate them to the “nope” pile, is because the chafing is minor and doesnt happen until 3 + hours are run. So I think this could be preventable with diligent anti chafe procedure or even a smoother joining process. These are pretty cool shorts, but did stay wet after I started to sweat. Maybe there is no true “fast drying” short. here is a link:
OK, Last but not least this short is in the “yes” and “go to” pile, in fact I will be racing the TRT 50m in them this weekend. The Altra Performance 2.0. Link:
These shorts are actually (without being race tested yet) better than the current “go to” short. Fit is great (although I had to size down) the fabric is awesome and the brief is perfect for me. No chafing….and I have even done some runs with zero anti chafe just to really test that out. I cant believe it! Pretty pumped!
Its not all rainbows though. There are 3 things I would change. (besides only offereing dark colors) 1st, this shorts pannel isnt split. I wish it were and I wish it was split much higher than the Trail 2.0.
2nd, I wish the short was a touch shorter, like a 5″split short. I would guess its 6 to 6.5″
3rd there is a pocket on the right butt cheek, like a wallet pocket that I just dont see as necessary and in fact it gets a little hot on the cheek…..I would say if the purpose of that pocket is for packing a light weight jacket…get rid of it and use the double pocket thing from the trail 2.0 maybe for stashing.
That is all I got on that! If there is a short you dig that you think I should try..let me know. I buy all these, no gives me these shorts for review. Feel free to comment.