Review: Polaris Trail Shorts

Adele Mitchell headed off to the iconic trails of Coed y Brenin (as well as the Dolgellau Minor Injuries Unit) to put the Polaris Trail Shorts to the test.

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A weekend’s riding in Wales is a sure fire way of finding out if your kit works or not.  With this in mind I arrived at Coed y Brenin with a bag stuffed with cycling shorts just in case of rain/wear and tear/getting really dirty issues. I started my weekend adventure wearing Polaris’s Trail Shorts – and am happy to report that they were the only pair I needed for the whole weekend.

Not that I didn’t put them to the test: a pedal strike against a protruding rock had me hitting the ground hard – hence the trip to the Minor Injuries Unit. I must admit that I don’t usually take garment testing to this extreme but, for the record, I am pleased to report that the shorts survived unscathed.

Back at Coed Y Brenin I had great fun on singletrack trails that have you riding in and out of the saddle as you climb and descend, splashing through puddles and negotiating craggy rocks and boulders.  The Polaris Trail Shorts shorts were a dream to ride in: the four way stretch and cut of the panels allow for lots of free movement around the saddle. They don’t have a liner pad but you could easily wear a separate liner beneath if you needed to.

The Polaris Trail Shorts fabric features a water-resistant DWR coating that is shower proof and also resistant to spray and mud splattering. It worked really well – the photos of me wearing the shorts (in the rain: note my highly amused friend taking a picture through the window!) were taken after two days on the trails.

These shorts are cut for women and the stretch in the fabric allows them to offer movement without being baggy. They are quite long but easily fit over knee pads (or at least the skinny knee pads that I wear!). The turquoise design adds a little pizzazz without being too ‘out there’, and it is good to see that they are available in sizes up to 16.

The fit on the Polaris Trail Shorts is really good: the waistband features stretch as well as a chunky double stud fastening (no danger of it popping open!) and adjustable side panels with Velcro. It sits quite high at the back so there’s no gaping when you lean forward.

There are three front pockets, one of which has a handy zip (in turquoise – I do like a contrast zip!).  On the downside, the wash label is positioned inside one of the pockets and kept flopping out mid ride – a minor problem and, I am pleased to report, the only one I could find with these shorts.

For: Practical, good looking, tough (and frankly, what more can you ask of a pair of mountain bike shorts?)

Against: Washing label could be elsewhere.

Price: £44.99, available from JeJamesCycles.

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