Having decent outerwear when the weather turns nasty can make a big difference to your enjoyment on the trail and help make your ride more comfortable. Pearl Izumi has designed the Summit WxB Shell shorts for exactly such occasions, so you can hopefully ride happier, for longer.
Pearl Izumi Summit WxB Shell shorts details
Pearl Izumi’s Summit WxB Shell shorts have a smart design, using a more breathable 2.5-layer nylon fabric for the front panels, with a claimed 10,000mm waterproof rating, 30,000g/m2/24h breathability and 3-layer nylon fabric for the rear panels, with a 10k/10k waterproof and breathability rating for additional durability.
The shorts are coated with an eco-friendly DWR coating to help the outer fabric shed water and maintain breathability.
However, there isn’t an additional seat patch, as found on many other waterproof shorts such as the Troy Lee Design Resist. The fabric isn’t particularly stretchy either, although it feels pretty tough and durable.
There are sealed seams throughout to help prevent leaks, and the hem is bonded rather than sewn to stop the shorts from catching on knee pads.
The Summit shorts use a non-waterproof fly zip, tucked behind a storm flap with a single button popper and hook and loop tabs to secure them in place. Unfortunately, there’s no elastic or silicone in the waistband to provide a more secure fit.
They have two waterproof zipped hand pockets tucked behind storm flaps. The pockets hold their contents on the side of the legs rather than on top.
Pearl Izumi Summit WxB Shell shorts performance
The fit of the Summit shorts is on the tighter side. However, they are cut long, so they cover plenty of knee pad, and I didn’t find they interfered with the pads when pedalling.
Even though the waistband doesn’t have elastic to help tailor the fit or silicone to help prevent the shorts slipping, they remained secure enough even when caked in mud thanks to the two hook and loop tabs you can pull tight.
Despite lacking stretch, pedalling in Pearl Izumi’s shorts wasn’t a chore. Still, though, they’re not as comfortable as the best on test. The material is a little noisy, but not off-putting when pedalling.
The rear seat panels did a decent job of keeping the back of my chamois dry. However, my crotch became wet, perhaps leaking through the non-waterproof fly zip.
That said, the Summit WxB Shell shorts did a respectable job of keeping the worst of the weather out and were comfortable to pedal in. Even though they don’t feature any vents, I never found them clammy or had any problems with breathability.
I don’t like having the pocket located on the side of the legs. I feel that if a phone or keys are stored there, they would be the first thing you’d land on in the event of a crash.
Pearl Izumi Summit WxB Shell shorts bottom line
There are plenty of things to like about the Summit WxB Shell shorts, and the fabric worked well at keeping me comfortable during miserable conditions.
However, while they were held in place well, an elastic waistband would make them more comfortable, and the pocket placement is a miss for me.
How we tested
To give these shorts a thorough test, I took them out in typical British weather, with persistent rain and puddle-soaked trails. I used singletrack trails with enduro-style rides to see how they handled most of the types of riding I would expect them to have to deal with.
I tested these shorts alongside five other pairs, always making sure I used a fresh, dry chamois and clean shorts before each outing, so there would be a fair baseline for comparison.
Also on test
- Giro Havoc H20 shorts
- Endura Hummvee waterproof shorts
- Troy Lee Designs Resist shorts
- Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts
- Nukeproof Blackline Winter shorts