The Raptor shorts have a shorter inseam and fewer pockets than many baggies out there, which means you'll need to use a hydration pack or jersey pockets to carry cargo. The result is improved pedalling efficiency and comfort.
With an 11in inseam on our size 34 shorts, knees are exposed both while riding and when standing, but the Raptors hang low enough to avoid any jokes about being a 1970s basketball player. Jett add silk-like panels on the inside front of the lower legs to reduce pedalling restriction even more, as well as two flex-free hook-and-loop waist adjusters to keep the shorts from falling down.
The outer short is made of a Micro-Ripstop shell that holds up impressively to abrasion, as was found out by a high-speed dismount on a gravel road – strictly for testing purposes, of course. Jett use a large panel of elastic material on the backside of the short, as well as two slivers of elastic on both the leg openings and waist. The back panel works well, but the Raptors could benefit from more stretch in key spots to improve flexibility.
The shorts feature front and rear zippered vents on each leg that actually make a noticeable difference in temperature regulation. We found that opening the front vents while keeping the rear vents closed worked best for cooling, as the airflow created a parachute affect that lifted the short legs, allowing cool air to circumnavigate the rider's legs.
Also helping with heat regulation is a perforated chamois liner that comes attached to the outer short via two small tabs. These can be easily cut to separate the two, and the liner can be reattached with the use of two snap tabs, if desired. We found the fit of the liner to be a little loose for the size of the outer short, with slightly tighter than expected leg elastic, but the chamois was quite comfortable and the liner kept everything in place nicely.
Out of the Raptors' four pockets, two double as extra vents with their zipper-accessed mesh-lining. The pockets are pretty small, and anything beyond an ID, a gel pack or a few dollars would be an awkward fit. Like many shorts out there, the Raptors feature a tethered optics cloth in one of these pockets.