ZOIC Navaeh Shorts ReviewAugust 4, 2016
- Outstanding fit
- Challenging to wear with kneepads
- Minimal durability
- Minimal crash protection
The ZOIC Naveah shorts are the most pedaling-friendly shorts in the test. They offer an articulated fit with plenty of room in the seat to accommodate all cycling positions. However the tapered legs and 11.5-inseam length don’t allow for the best fit with kneepads.
The ZOIC Naveah shorts run true to size with a very relaxed style through the hips but tapered and fitted in the legs. The 11.5-inch inseam of the size small hits right above the knee. A soft, highly-adjustable waistband with Velcro and elastic straps ensures an accurate fit for a variety of waist sizes. Though the shorts are relaxed through the hips there is very minimal bunching to get caught on a bike seat.
The ZOIC Naveah’s come with an integrated chamois but our tester found that that it did not offer enough support on longer rides. However, because of the ZOIC Naveah’s more relaxed fit through the hips, they easily accommodated any chamois. The more tapered legs proved to be constrictive when wearing with chamois’d cycling knickers on cooler days.
The ZOIC Naveah shorts have a low-rise comfortable waistband. The internal elastic band and external Velcro tabs allow for adjustability but also mean potentially snagging a jersey on exposed Velcro. Two sturdy snap buttons and a zipper fly allow the shorts to sit perfectly flat at abdomen without any bulges. The waistband, which is comprised of both Velcro tabs and elastic tabs, is comfortable and highly adjustable for most waist sizes. However, our tester experienced moderate back-gap due the lower rise in the back even after adjusting the tabs.
Pocket number, placement and functionality are outstanding. The ZOIC Naveah shorts come with five zippered security pockets. The zipper pulls are small and not the most glove-friendly. A small fabric loop above the right rear pocket keeps the headphone cord out of the way when riding.
However, because the SuperLight Stretch fabric of the ZOIC Naveah shorts is so lightweight and forgiving, it does not support carrying items in the pockets that are bulky or heavier than a car key, MP3 player, identification card or a Honey Stinger waffle. Our tester also found that carrying any items in the leg pockets interfered with pedaling.
An integrated chamois comes with the ZOIC Naveah shorts however our tester found that they accommodated seperate chamois worn. A stitchless thicker non-stretchy band on the legs prevents the shorts from bunching up on the legs in more aggressive riding positions. However due to the narrow leg openings, the ZOIC Naveah’s are not the most kneepad compatible.
The single stitching of the ZOIC Naveah is moderately straight with a medium-weight thread. Seams are well-placed but the SuperLight Stretch fabric is not as abrasion-resistant as other mountain bike shorts.
The ZOIC Naveah shorts’ very lightweight SuperLight Stretch fabric lends itself to minimal protection during low-impact crashes. The 11.5-inch inseam length accommodates kneepads, though the narrow leg openings mean the fabric bunches up above kneepads. However the stitchless hem does a decent job of minimizing the skin exposed between the hem of the short and the top of the kneepad.
The ergonomic cut and SuperLight Stretch fabric of the ZOIC Naveah shorts make them the most pedal-friendly for cross-country riding. The included ZO-Tech women’s-specific contoured chamois is fully removable but is average in terms of true comfort and quality. It also lacks rubber leg grips to hold them in place during aggressive riding.
However the combination of the relaxed fit through the rear and hips means the cyclist can add a higher-quality liner or chamois and still have full range of motion. The ZOIC Naveah shorts are also the fastest drying and most breathable in the test thanks to the lightweight fabric.
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, 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.