Forrestwrote a review of Pearl Izumi Elevate Short - Men's on June 25, 2020
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Let's be straight, $175 is an eye-watering price tag for baggy shorts.
and the liner that comes with 99.9% of baggy shorts is pretty much guaranteed to be terrible.
That's just how it is.
I buy some shorts, toss the liner and wear road bib shorts instead because apparently the MTB shorts designers don't communicate with the Road shorts designers.
So typically I am wearing a set of $200+ bibs under a set of $70-$100 baggies.
I suspect most Mountain bikers that have been into road cycling are on the same program too. Road cyclists get the best chamois.
So simple math here. $200 road bib + $70 Baggies is $270 (I can math)
The reason I bring this up is because these Pearl Izumi Elevate shorts come with a liner. Not only do they come with a liner, but it is easily the best "included" liner I have ever used, and while it isn't a bib liner (which I prefer) it is every bit as good as the chamois in my $200 road bibs. So now $175 really doesn't seem so bad does it.
Moving on from price, I typically wear a size 34 waist in most denim. In some Fox shorts I have to size up to a 36, but in these, I have a size 34 and would say they run a little larger in the waist than I was expecting. Not too big, but a little larger.
The BOA dial for cinching the shorts nice and snug works quite well and offers a good range of adjustment. I thought I would notice it digging into my back with a hip pack on, but I don't, which surprised me because I was expecting it to.
The reverse pockets are weird at first, but then you ride with your phone, wallet, or keys in them and it all makes sense when you are pedaling up. They keep everything situated nicely and I have grown to really like the design.
The materials are light and stretchy but still feels tough. Tougher than some other shorts I have owned, I have crashed in them once (mid-speed on a relatively smooth packed dirt trail) and no damage occurred.
The length is nice, doesn't feel too long and covers my pads nicely.
I never really think of Pearl as a MTB brand but these shorts are a killer offering and are my favorite right now.
When I am going for a longer ride during these warmer months, these are my go-to shorts.