Nine Trails Shorts – The Tech
Solidly built shorts have an outer shell which uses a mix of recycled Polyester and Spandex and a floating, long-legged, wicking boxer-brief liner. The fabric’s treated with permanent Polygiene anti-odour stuff and a DWR to help shrug off light showers and water splashes.
Up top you get an elasticated waistband, backed up with a drawcord for extra security. Finally there’s some reflective detail for added safety.
Nine Trails Shorts – Performance
These shorts are almost the polar opposite of the Arc’teryx Adan Short we’ve just reviewed. For a start they weigh over twice as much at over 200g for a medium, the stretch fabric is heavier and thicker and the internal ‘boxer-brief’ is as long as the outer short to reduce the possibility of chafing.
As with the Salomon Fast Wing TW short, it’s a little like wearing a Lycra undershort, but the Patagonia version is cut looser and there’s no seamless inner panel, so the shorts look 100% normal.
We found them really comfortable in use with no chafing or fabric rucking up. They’re not as light and airy feeling as the Arc’teryx shorts, but they still feel reasonably cool and fast wicking and drying. The relaxed styling isn’t super slick, but we quite liked the laid-back vibe.
You get three pockets, all zipped. Two front ‘hand-warmer’ ones that we didn’t really use much plus on rear side pocket that’s fine for a key and a fiver. Generally we prefer a central rear pocket, but you could, we guess, use this with a bum-bag if you wanted to.
We’d like to say that the Polygiene treatment meant the shorts stayed fresh and happy, but our honest experience is that running shorts end up ponging whatever you try, so despite our positive experiences with Polygiene on baselayer tops, we wouldn’t expect too much down below.
A proper solid feeling short that’s a little on the heavy side, but very comfortable in use. In particular, the extended liner short means there are no issues with elasticated hems riding up and rubbing in unfortunate areas.
The combination of a loose-ish cut and stretch fabric means movement isn’t restricted and they’re a good choice if you think ‘racy’ is an adjective best reserved for ‘going out’ wear rather than running kit.