Pearl Izumi Rev MTB Short Review

If there’s one thing that every mountain biker needs, it’s a good pair of riding shorts. Some riders lean toward bibs and other tight, lycra-infused affairs, while others (including myself) feel much more comfortable in a pair of baggies. Choosing a pair of baggy shorts like the Rev from Pearl Izumi is really a no-brainer thanks to excellent performance, comfort, and style.


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The Rev Short features a 100% polyester, light stretch fabric exterior with dual cargo pockets and a hidden zippered hip pocket. The removable liner features Pearl Izumi’s MTB 3D chamois. The combination velcro, snap, and zipper closure along with an adjustable internal waistband keep the shorts in place through the high demands of a mountain bike ride.

Out on the Trail

Riding the Blackjack Trail, Buffalo Creek Trail System, Colorado.

I’ve been wearing the Pearl Izumi Rev shorts consistently for several months, and they have quickly become my favorite pair of bike shorts. While the exterior doesn’t feature any vents for air flow, the fabric is light enough that it still ventilates well and transfers moisture with ease.

These shorts feel relatively light and airy and yet somehow the fabric still manages to be surprisingly resilient. I’ve crashed while wearing these shorts several times, and as the result of one unfortunate run-in with a stick, I tore a half-inch hole in the shorts. However, this was over a month ago already, and despite not taking the time to mend the hole and still wearing these shorts at least 3 times a week, the hole has not expanded at all from its original size.

To earn some style points, the Rev features muted graphics up near the hidden hip pocket, and is available in Black/Black and Shadow Grey/Limestone (tested) color options.

StartingThe Whole Enchilada in Moab.

When the cheeks meet the saddle, the Rev continues to perform admirably. The removable liner features Pearl Izumi’s tried and true 3D chamois. The liners have what I’d consider a boxer brief cut, meaning there’s enough additional fabric to hold the chamois in place, but not so much that it adds excessive fabric and heat. The liner fits comfortably snug, but not too tight–in some shorts the chamois just does not seem to be in the right place, but Pearl Izumi has really perfected the fit on all fronts!

Normally when writing a review I try to find something that could be improved upon, but with the Rev that’s nearly impossible. I wouldn’t mind a couple of zippered vents to add even more ventilation when needed, but with the already excellent moisture transfer that these shorts provide, this is a pretty minor point.

Finally, the Rev ($95 MSRP) is versatile enough to appeal to a wide variety of riders. While intended primarily for all mountain riding, these shorts are easily comfortable and light enough for cross country riding, possibly durable and roomy enough for downhill riding, and casual enough to commute to school without having to hide a moose knuckle while sitting in class.

Many thanks to Pearl Izumi for sending the Rev out for review!