It was just a few years ago that a baggy mountain bike short would have the inner chamois short sewn in place, ensuring an everlasting battle of inner and outer short superiority. Now, the trend is to buy your outer-short, and pick an equally great inner short (often a road bib) as a separate item – yes it’s an expensive way of doing things, but the result is often grand.
Doing everything one could hope of a lightweight outer trail short, the POC Trail Vent short is grand indeed.
Highs: Durable, comfortable and stylish with all the right features
Lows: Expensive once an inner short is factored in, zippered vents increase flapping
POC trail vent shorts do everything expected of a good mountain bike baggy: poc trail vent shorts do everything expected of a good mountain bike baggy
The Trail Vent shorts’ style is subtle, with one large logo
Made of a two-way stretch nylon fabric, the look – and sound – is close to a surfing short, but with soft snag-free lining and far greater flexibility. Soggy shorts are no fun, so the material is water resistant and fast drying too.
The fit of our sample comes in just above the knee when pedaling. There’s a slimness to the cut, which never feels at risk of snagging on the saddle or flapping overly in the wind, yet there’s still enough room to avoid bunching with whatever is worn beneath.
Durability has been amazing – we’ve washed and worn these throughout the Australian summer and there’s little sign of use, with no fading at rub points.
The zippered vents run along most of the leg : the zippered vents run along most of the leg
The vent ports run along most of the leg
Giving name to the shorts, zippered ventilation ports run the length of the legs. They do well to increase airflow; a great thing given that the general wearing of roadie bibs beneath can be a little warm. While airy once open, the vents do make the shorts baggier and with more ‘swish’ to be heard on each pedal stroke – we prefer to ride with them closed unless the weather is uncomfortably warm.
A zippered stash pocket on the right hip is easily large enough for a modern smart phone : a zippered stash pocket on the right hip is easily large enough for a modern smart phone
The Velcro waistband out back is on an elasticated belt. It’s highly adjustable and very comfortable
The zippered fly and sturdy button are tough and never pop undone, something that does happen with the snap-lock buttons of other shorts. Belt loops are given – but perhaps just to add to the casual style, as we found the included elasticated Velcro waist adjustment on the outside was all that’s needed.
Deep hand pockets at the front will hold necessary gear, and there’s an additional zippered pocket on the right hip large enough to hold the latest smartphones. And lastly, although it’s a trail short, POC has included reflective panels for visibility when you’re commuting between your chosen trailheads.