A great balance between lightweight stretchy performance and tough Cordura branded nylon durability, Nukeproof’s Nirvana shorts effectively bridge the gap between cross-country and enduro riding, making them a great all-rounder.
Tough enough to shrug off undergrowth or the odd spill, and long enough to be pad-compatible, they still managed to feel lightweight and unrestrictive when pedalling.
The leg width was generous, meaning the pads had plenty of room to move, but if you like your shorts to be closer fitting that’s something to consider. I found them comfortable and airy, though.
The two zipped hip pockets were plenty deep enough to swallow any cafe stop needs, while the mesh lining kept sweaty legs to a minimum inside.
Double poppers were very welcome for that bit extra security at the waist, but there was little give in the waistband, with no elastic built in, so they needed precise fitting with the Velcro adjusters to get them snug.
I loved the extended lumbar area, which gives extra coverage above the waistband at the base of the back, something other manufacturers should take note of. A long zip fly helped keep them up too, but the lack of a covering flap looked oddly unfinished to me. Surely it wouldn’t be too much trouble to cover the zip?
Another nice touch was the soft eyewear bag that clips into the right hip pocket, which is supplied with a little popper that grips the bottom of the bag to the lower leg outside the pocket – presumably to hold it in place even if the eyewear is too bulky for your pocket.
The shorts are available in a range of colours – black, maroon and purple – and although I really liked the burnt orange of my test pair, they quickly developed a grimy stain at the seat. The darker colours shouldn’t show this up so readily, so perhaps consider going for them if it would bother you.