Backcountry Full Suspension Shorts-Men’s ReviewJuly 20, 2018
- Low priced
- Lots of pockets
- Only comes in black
- Hook-and-loop system less effective than Velcro
The Full Suspension Shorts fit exactly how you want them to—snug enough to avoid snags but loose enough not to constrict. Stretchy fabric helps on both counts. They have a 14-inch inseam, pretty standard for most trail shorts these days, meaning more protection in a wipe-out. A hook-and-loop tightening system on both hips helps you dial in fit (though is less versatile than Velcro) and twin snaps provide redundancy to keep the shorts on.
Low key enough to stand in for an around-town short, the Full Suspension Short is mountain standard, which is a good thing for those of us who just want to mind our own business and ride dirt.
The medium weight fabric has plenty of stretch, so there’s little constriction, even furiously spinning up hill. The crotch is laser-perforated to help drain the swamp.
There are pockets o’ plenty on the Full Suspension Short—a pair of hand pockets, a snap pocket on the back, and a hip pocket for your phone or whatnot. That hip pocket is just big enough to fit a plus-sized phone. The pockets are all mesh-lined to promote quick drying in case of a deluge.
With a 14-inch inseam the shorts bridge the gap to a pair of knee pads, making for a very protective short. The medium weight, stretchy fabric should hold up well even in the event of a washout on a gravel corner.Continue Reading
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona, Jackson, Wyoming and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, and singletrack in temperatures ranging from the low 40’s to the mid-90’s and on distances that ranged from six miles to 56. Our testing team did not intentionally set out to test the durability of each pair of shorts in a crash. Instead, to judge the shorts’ ability to withstand impact, they scrutinized their construction materials, the weight of the fabric and the stitching. Though, there may have been some crashes anyway.
Frederick Reimers was the editor of Canoe and Kayak Magazine from 2007-09 and has been writing for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing and Powder ever since.