Most breathable MTB shorts on market?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Most breathable MTB shorts on market?

    This QQ is purely aimed at finding the most breathable, comfortable, and flexible MTB baggy shorts available, for wear over a base layer. (I already have the base layer dialed - I alternate between lightweight bibs & armored compression shorts when the going gets rough.)
    I live & ride in a high-desert climate, where summertime temps are routinely in the 90s, so ventilation & fit are a much higher priority than abrasion resistance, etc: the lighter the face fabric the better.
    My current go-to shorts are an older version of the Fox Attack Q4 short. They have a nice, light polyester/lycra face fabric and well placed vents.
The new version of the short has unfortunately been “upgraded” to a much heavier face fabric & a clunky plastic ratchet buckle, so I’m in the market for something better vented.
    Anyone else know of a model that will breathe as well or better than what I currently run?

  2. #2
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    TLD just came out with the Skyline Air shorts. They market them as hot weather specific and they look to be made with lots of mesh-like material. Kind of semi see through by the looks of the pictures.

  3. #3
    C__Corax
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    royal: impact or drift. and the skyline from tld are super thin

  4. #4
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    I just ordered a pair of Fly Racing Hydrogen shorts. No experience with them yet, but from the pictures they look super ventilated, all the material is mesh and they have a bigger mesh strip down each side. Jenson has them on sale right now for $35 so I figured I'd give them a try.

    Fly Racing Hydrogen Shorts > Apparel > Shorts > Men's Shorts | Jenson USA

  5. #5
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    Emperor's: With the Emperor's new shorts you can't even tell you're wearing them.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
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    The new Dobies were just released.

    2017 Dobies - Shorts - Nzo Original Products

  7. #7
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    The Fly Racing Hydrogens, as mentioned, are super light and ventilated. Extremely comfortable. Ordering another few pairs right now.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Sweet - these are some really promising options that hadn't crossed my radar. The TLD Skyline Airs look wild: never been in something full-front mesh before.
    The Fly R. Hydrogens look really similar in cut to my Fox Attack Q4s, & I dig the minimalist approach of just two zippered hand pockets. The price is quite nice as well, given my likelihood of snagging sharp branches or crashing holes in kit seems to be directly proportional to what I pay for it...
    Keep the ideas coming - and if you have any fit advice ("runs small, size up...") I'm 6'1", lean build, & wear a size 34 in Fox shorts.
    Since I'm rather picky about fit, the plan is to find someone who carries a couple of these models, order them up together, & keep what works best.

  10. #10
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    The nex fox attack shorts' buckle is rubber. I greatly prefer it to the two snap because it wasn't enough waist adjustment for me. I have the new attack pro's and they are pretty light.

  11. #11
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    The AttackQ4s I prefer were the older, single-snap version. They have an even lighter, more breathable, & supple fabric than the two-button version that followed (I have both). As for the Pro update, if they had improved venting I'd give the buckle a try. Instead, they deleted all the mesh inserts, which leads us to this search for the rebirth of cool...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrkT View Post
    The new Dobies were just released.

    2017 Dobies - Shorts - Nzo Original Products
    Those don't look all that different from the older ones, and I wouldn't exactly call NZO Dobies a heavily ventilated short (I have a pair and they tend toward the burlier end of the spectrum). Also, the softer knit fabric in the crotch doesn't hold up well to abrasive conditions (mine are getting a hole worn there after a couple seasons).

    Though they're super 'spensive, the Kitsbow Ventilated AM short is a super breezy short. I got to put my hands on a pair in Sedona. They're really nice. I had to settle for some Haskells, which use a heavier fabric. Still very nice shorts, but different.

  13. #13
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    The sponsor of the Apparel and Protection forum, Dirt Baggies makes some light weight stuff. Had terrible luck with Fox Attack just coming apart at the seems ...the shorts not me. It seems to me a minimal liner is just as critical as the outer layer.

  14. #14
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    Am with you regarding base layer, but wish to keep focus here strictly on current baggy outer shorts so the discussion does not get lost in ultra-subjective woods of chamois ergonomics.
    Will check out Dirt Baggies to honor their role in keeping the lights on here...

  15. #15
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    Dirt baggies ventilator.
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  16. #16
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    POC has a new line out but they're really expensive. Zoic makes nice stuff as well.
    '16 Intense Tracer DVO edition
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  17. #17
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    Another vote for Zoic and Royal.. Have both, live in the high desert (Northern NV) where temps can be in the 100s during the summer and down to the single digits in winter (normally only wear them til around the 30s-40s with merino wool baselayers) and have had great luck.

  18. #18
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    Dakine Boundary, Specialized Atlas, Fox Attack for breathability and I've tried a bunch. Boundary and attack are the only models I've ever bought twice. Another options is to go really loose fitting like Specialized Enduro or Fox Indicator. Don't get anything waterproof.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    These. I live in hot tropical Australia and I ride in these exclusively. Great value.

  20. #20
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    Champion long mesh basketball shorts. Dirt cheap, surprisingly durable, deep pockets so stuff doesn't bounce out and breathable as wearing nothing at all.

  21. #21
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    I've recently switched to surf trunks for my baggies. Over the last decade all the companies have been using a very light stretchy fabric that dries almost instantly. Its great for pedaling. I always buy new trunks every year when the wife and I go on vacation, so I have several that I didn't mind ruining. The material isn't strong enough to withstand crashes but they're perfect otherwise. Usually just one pocket on board shorts but I always ride with a pack; dont need 6 pockets. Im currently riding in trunks from Hurley, billabong and Lost. They're all 20" inseam.
    These types of shorts usually retail around $50, but since the companies come out with new colorways every spring, you can get last years leftovers for half off pretty easily.

  22. #22
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    bump....

    looking for the most breathable/ventilated padded base layer and shorts available what is everyone wearing?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpeddler View Post
    bump....

    looking for the most breathable/ventilated padded base layer and shorts available what is everyone wearing?
    Not only is Club Ride's Woodchuck liner my favorite due to its padding and fit, I'd say its definitely on the cooler sider of liners.


    That said, lately I've drug out the old spandex shorts. I ride in pretty unpopulated areas so the appearance thing is a non-issue. Forgot how much better a good spandex short feels compared to a baggy.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpeddler View Post
    bump....

    looking for the most breathable/ventilated padded base layer and shorts available what is everyone wearing?
    I suspect you mean chamois that goes under the baggy shorts, like most systems? Go to your local shop and look around. I have some zoics that have a mesh chamois that is padded, but there's not much to it otherwise, definitely wouldn't want to wear it out in public, unless you are into that kind of thing, JK...but seriously.

    Otherwise, putting a layer of baggy shorts on anything is always going to end up not very breathable. Even with both being mesh. At least compared to chamois. The reason is your butt crack and other associate parts will stay clammy and wet when wearing layers, even when the outer layer dries. With only chamois, it will dry out. That's just the penalty of baggies.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  25. #25
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    TLD skyline air. going on 2 seasons, and holding up well. doubt you'll find any more breathable, as it has a bunch of mesh on the front. The liner short is pretty top notch too with a good chamois. I'm going to pick up another pair, if I find a sale sometime.

  26. #26
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    I've been using the Pearl Izumi Canyon shorts as they are the most comfortable baggies I've ever had and have used Fox, Endura, Zoic, etc. over the years. Nice lightweight fabric and they have a nice liner in them. First tried them when I came across them for $25 on Amazon a couple of years ago and loved them only to find the price had gone back up. Even if you can find them at $50 they are pretty reasonable for bike shorts these days.

  27. #27
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    I like wearing my Troy Lee Skyline AIR. Breathable and not too baggy.

  28. #28
    I am Walt
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    TLD Skyline Air, FTW. Also, some of the Fox shorts and Zoic are decent, but TLD’s are the best.


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    Ride more; post less...

  29. #29
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    I wear the
    Kitsbow MESCAL VENTILATED SHORT
    And
    ClubRide LightWave Short

    Both are great but ClubRide have belt loops which I Prefer and are cheaper. The Kitsbow built in belt slips.

  30. #30
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    Picked up a set of TLD Skyline Airs after reading though this thread and they're the real deal. They do run a little on the big side, way looser than my Fox shorts. Ventilation is awesome, on par with my Fly racing shorts, but way more comfortable fitting and the liner is great.

  31. #31
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    I'm hard on bike clothes... rip 'em, tear 'em, etc. So I tend to look for less expensive, more disposable (cost wise), duds. That's just me. I recently tried these from Amazon. I am impressed. At $34 with liner ($26 w/o), hands down as comfortable and functional as $80 Zoics. Although the description indicates the size runs small, I found that they actually fit as expected. These are quickly becoming my favorite MTB shorts. Very light and airy. Great for summer (or year 'round here in Texas).
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  32. #32
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    ^^^ sexy looking liner! Not something I'd want to be seen in...except perhaps by my SO.
    Do the math.

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