By Jason B
PATH projects is a new company formed in 2015 after the founder, Scott Bailey had spent years running but had been unsatisfied with apparel offered by other companies, especially shorts. The foundation of PATH projects is simple – highest quality apparel, direct to consumer, and their foundation piece is their layering system for their shorts – a separate liner and short for the perfect combination. They offer liners and regular shorts, short and long sleeve shirts and various hats. This review will focus on the Tahoe CL 5” baseliner and the Sykes PX short. I am also reviewing the Cascade SS shirt and the Muir Cap and you can find them by selecting their respective link.
The Tahoe CL 5” baseliner is the foundation of the shorts kit for me. According to PATH Projects it is designed with “performance mesh that prioritizes heat dissipation.” It is body mapped to have less seams than other liners and has “light” compression. The baseliner is made in the USA and retails for $27.
The baseliner features two fabrics – Coolite Mesh, and Tripure Elastic. The Coolite Mesh fabric is described as “ultra-light, super wicking and insanely breathable. It has a “birdseye” pattern in the fabric that is supposed to help with breathability. The Tripure Elastic is supposed to deliver comfort and performance while featuring quick dry capability along with anti-microbial and static free performance.
The fabric is very soft and feels really nice against my skin. I talked to Scott when I picked out my kit and he recommended an XL based on my 35 inch waist size. The compression is very light with these shorts, and when I first took them out of the pouch they arrived in I was skeptical that they would fit. They looked way too big. However, I tried them on and they seemed to fit ok, a little looser than I expected though. I am interested to see how I like the light compression and whether I should have sized down to a large.
All the stitching on the Tahoe liner is flat and looks like it is well sewn with no pulls or excess thread. The birdseye pattern is obvious on the shorts – the look like pinprick holes in the shorts. If I hold the shorts up to a light I can see light through the holes.
For the shorts, I am reviewing the Sykes PX short. The Sykes PX shorts feature their proprietary Toray Prime Flex fabric which uses a spiral yarn that allows the fabric to stretch and is partially made from a corn based material that uses less water in production. They provide in depth detail on all of their fabrics on their website.
The Sykes PX shorts have a nice feel and are stretchy as stated. They have three smaller zippered pockets on the back of the short. The middle pocket is large enough to hold my iPhone 6s in a UAG case. I haven’t tried running or walking with the phone in the pocket yet. There is also a small internal front key pocket.
The waist band is the normal width of most shorts, but the fabric is super soft and has very little stitching. It seems to partner nicely with the liners. There is elastic in the waist band and a flat cord to tie the shorts. I find that I need to use the tie string in the front to make the shorts fit tightly.
The shorts have a very clean and smooth look. There is only one small outer reflective logo on the left leg. The shorts retail for $45.
I have been able to take the liners and shorts on a few walks and a run since receiving them and I am impressed. The liners and shorts work well together and I have not had any chaffing issues even though temperatures have been in the 90s. My run was on the shorter side since I am recovering from Achilles tendinitis, and I am hopeful that the combo will work well on longer runs.
I generally evaluate shorts on three main criteria – comfort, durability and functionality. Are the shorts comfortable to wear for a variety of outdoor activities? Do I experience any chaffing? Is there any restriction of movement or exercises I cannot do in the shorts? Under durability, it is pretty simple, I am hard on gear. Do the shorts last? Do they look good enough to for leisure activities or would I only wear them working out or in the outdoors? Functionality is also fairly simple – are the three pockets useful? Does loading up the pockets cause the shorts to sag or affect my running or hiking? What can I actually fit in the pockets.
This concludes my initial thoughts, check back in about a month for my update.
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and PATH projects for providing the product for this review.