For the last year I've primarily been switching between two pairs of shorts for long runs: Patagonia Strider Pro and The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul. Now we've got a third wheel: Pearl Izumi Ultra Split.
All the specifications can be found on the manufacturers' links above, so I'll just highlight a few things on each pair that may be useful if you're looking at any of these shorts.
The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul
|Three small pockets, the top elastic on the two rear-side pockets could be a little tighter.|
|Pockets sewn into the boxer-brief liner; I don't think I've ever used them? I do like the rubber grippers inside though!|
- Durability: I had to return my first pair after less than 200 miles as the groin seams had come undone. My replacement pair quickly is losing its TNF logo on the front.
- Fit: true to size and the rubber grippers on the inner shorts are a nice touch.
- Key features: technically they have the most pockets, but I find the ones on the liner are not intuitive to use.
Patagonia Strider Pro
|Five pockets from hip-to-hip across the back; small zippered pocket, but the stretchy envelope pockets are great.|
|I cut out the bikini liner as it was uncomfortable; these groin seams are coming out on the outside, |
but the inner ones still are intact.
- Key features: drawstring is on the outside of the short! Pockets are super stretchy, easy to use and I don't worry about things falling out.
- Durability: a little worried about the seams in the groin, but maybe that's a statement on my thighs...also cut out the liner and wear these with boxer-brief sport underwear.
- Fit: true to size, also the "least expensive" option at $59 MSRP.
Pearl Izumi Ultra Split
|Two flask pockets on the hips, huge zippered pocket.|
- Key features: fewest pockets, but has the largest main pocket. "Flask" pockets are nice and deep but I wish a little wider, though they are very stretchy.
- Fit: small! I wear a small in everything but the shorts/tights in the Pearl Izumi Ultra line: these are size medium. They still fit snug though which keeps any items in the pockets from bouncing.
- Other: only 30 miles on them so far, basically still new. I did not cut out this liner as I feel like I probably can wear them for long runs without chafing (rarity for me with a bikini liner). I think these have the nicest outer shell material of the three.
Last weekend was a sufferfest on Chuckanut with the bad weather...looking forward to a window this weekend to get back in the mountains.