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These shorts are so good there’s almost no reason to buy anything more expensive. They have tons of logical features, most notably the pockets: two rear pockets, one open and one zipped; and two zipped front pockets.
This may seem like a lot of pockets, but frankly, I’ve been asking for this for a long time. Before or after a ride, I stow my wallet, phone, and keys so I can swing by the coffee shop or the bar for a beverage. And on the trail, if I don’t carry a hydration pack on a short ride, I need a place to stow a gel or my keys. I’m not sure where the notion of ditching pockets came from, but I’m glad Pactimo has bucked the trend.
The cut falls somewhere between XC and Trail, with an adjustable hem at the knees. If you’re wearing knee pads or just like a loose fit, secure the button snap in the wide position. If you prefer a snugger fit, just snap the strap on the narrow position. Easy and quick. The four-way stretch fabric throughout is forgiving and allows freedom of movement, which comes in handy when you’re swinging your weight back over the rear wheel on a steep descent. Two hard crashes tell me this fabric is plenty durable, too; there wasn’t so much as a scuff after eating it at high speed on Colorado’s concrete-like summer dirt.
I could only find one fault with these shorts. The adjustment at the hips is necessary, and Pactimo wisely avoids using Velcro here, instead choosing a simple button with a notched, stretchy strap that snugs things up on either side of your hips. The problem with this system isn’t the system itself, but the choice of material: The strap stretches, which means no matter how snugly you set your buttons, the material will relax, and the shorts can fall. Pactimo can solve this by using a material that doesn’t stretch laterally, allowing the buttons to hold the system securely around your waist.
Despite that, the shorts are about as comfortable as any I’ve tested, and durable to boot (two crashes haven’t so much as scuffed these shorts…can’t say the same for my ego).
But that’s it. That’s the only complaint. If you’re looking for simplicity and function in an affordable short, look no further.