Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

I was a mountain biker during that awkward transition from spandex shorts to baggies, and most of the early versions were ill-fitting junk bordering on dangerous when you snagged the crotch on the nose of a saddle. So I appreciate a well-fitting, functional pair of shorts, and no question the Terrain shorts from Pactimo are both.

If you’re unfamiliar with Pactimo, they’re a Colorado-based cycle clothing company with a full line of mountain bike and roadie kits for men and women.

The Terrain shorts would be a welcome addition to anyone’s gear bag. I honestly couldn’t ask for better fit and function. I got a size large, and for reference I am 6′ 1″ and weigh 195lbs. I could fine tune the fit with an adjustable inner waist band, and when standing, the legs hang just below my knees. When riding, they’re a hair above them.

Waist band adjusts for the perfect fit.

It would be a stretch to call them baggies because they almost feel tailored. Speaking of stretch, the four-way elasticity of the “Stetchforce” fabric (97 percent nylon, 3 percent spandex) means they conform to any riding position and stay where they belong. They’re light enough to be airy, but the fabric is tough enough to withstand the rigors of mountain biking. The texture reminds me of soft-shell fabric.

If I notice something about riding clothes, it’s usually not a good thing. When you’re riding, you’re focused on the trail, your cadence, the extra spring in your pedal stroke, or lack there of. So it’s ironic that I noticed that I didn’t notice anything awry about these shorts.

Not only were the fit and and fabric well thought out, they are well-designed. The slash front pockets zip, which is good because if I carry something, I want it to stay there. I slipped a roll of Clif Blocks in the pocket, and it didn’t flop around when I pedaled. To further test the pockets, I slipped my iPhone into them, which I normally don’t do because a relatively large, heavy object and riding shorts are typically a bad combination, and I’m reminded of that on every pedal stroke.

The phone didn’t bash me in the leg while I was pedaling, and I could have left it there, but chose not to because my hydro pack still works better for carrying heavier items.

I will nitpick a few points. There’s a zippered back pocket on the right side, and an unzippered one on the left. Seemed a little odd to have one of each, and there are no side cargo pockets.

The shorts have an extra button at the bottom of the legs to adjust them for a more knicker-like fit. Not sure why–I’ve never felt the need to have my shorts fit tighter above the knee.

After numerous rides, they’ve become the first shorts in my rotation. The quality and fit just makes me want to keep wearing them.

At $90 a pair without a chamois liner (sold separately for $60), they cost more than what I would normally pair for shorts with a liner. That begs the question, are they worth the extra money? When I laid them next to another pair of my shorts, based on the thickness of the fabric and stitching, I’m betting they will withstand several seasons of steady use.

If that’s the case, when they eventually wear out, I will probably buy a new pair. For a guy who’d rather spend money on the bike than on riding clothes, that’s a pretty solid endorsement.

MSRP: $95

Thanks to Pactimo for providing the Terrain Shorts for review.

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