by Jason B.
I honestly don’t think much about the fashion sense of the gear that I use to run, hike or hit the gym in. I grab what has functioned in the past and use that. Rhone is a company that wants to change that. They advertise that they make “men’s premium activewear engineered with principle, performance and progress for the modern man.” I will be reviewing the Rhone Mako Short over the next several months to see if they truly bridge the gap between performance and fashion.
As I mentioned in my opening, Rhone is a “men’s premium activewear” company and my interpretation of their “story” on their website is they have made it a priority to have functional fitness clothes for men that are also fashionable. They design their clothes in the US – Portland and New York, but the materials for the apparel is sourced internationally. They have a dynamic website with a ton of information and descriptions of their products. It is worth visiting.
According to Rhone, the Mako short is their best selling short and is comprised of a lightweight four way stretch fabric that wicks sweat well. The shorts feature two standard side pockets, a media sleeve in the right pocket, and an additional zippered pocket on the left side and a zippered back right pocket. The shorts have a wide elastic waist band and a cord tie. They are fairly decorative free with the exception of the Rhone name under the back right pocket, and a small three line logo on the left leg at the hem. I like the clean look of the shorts.
The Rhone Mako shorts seem to be high quality. They have a nice overall feel, smooth to the touch and against the skin. They seem to be a bit heavier than my typical workout shorts, but not so much that they are uncomfortable. The waist band is wide and comfortable, but I do wonder how they will do under a pack hip belt because of the single cord, think round shoe lace, that runs the circumference of the short. It is noticeable as I touch the seam and I am concerned that a heavy backpack will press it into my hips and waist. I will have to see while backpacking. The 9 inch inseam is good. The shorts are long, but they do not inhibit movement in any way. The fabric stretches nicely and they have been comfortable to wear around the house where I tried them on.
I plan on using the shorts for running, hiking, spinning and general weight lifting sessions over the next few months. I generally evaluate shorts on two main criteria – comfort and durability. 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?
Update May 23, 2017
I have used the Rhone Mako Shorts for over 120 miles of running, hiking, weightlifting and overall outdoor use. They are very comfortable and seem to be durable with no obvious defects or wear spots.
I used the shorts as much as possible over the past couple months. I put 122 miles on them on the following trips: Camping at Fountainbleau State Park, LA; backpacking in the Black Creek Wilderness in MS; hiking and camping at the Longleaf Horse Camp, MS; hiking at the Woodlands Conservancy, LA; Ran the Shamrock 8k in Virginia Beach, and hiking on the Mississippi River Levy trail near New Orleans. In addition to hiking I used the shorts during Body Pump classes, playing softball, and weightlifting. Basically, I have done everything short of running a marathon in them. Conditions were hot and humid with little in the way of precipitation.
Overall the shorts performed well. As I mentioned in my initial review I will evaluate the shorts on two main criteria – comfort and durability. The comfort of the shorts has been amazing. The fabric is smooth and felt comfortable next to my skin. For running, I found that they are a little longer than the shorts I normally use, but they did fine. When running, I prefer to wear compression shorts under my running shorts and I did the same with these with no issues. I mentioned it was hot and humid, but when I ran the Shamrock 8k in Virginia Beach it was overcast, windy and in the 50s. Regardless the shorts performed great. I never experienced any chaffing or restriction of movement, even when doing a million squats and deadlifts in my Body Pump classes.
The pockets on the shorts are very useful. They are deep and hold more stuff than should be allowed. The only issue with such deep pockets is that the contents swing back and forth while hiking or running. The media pocket is nice to hold a phone in place while working out and hiking. I found that the elastic pocket was not strong enough to keep the phone from swinging vigorously while running though. I also like the zippered pocket. I used this pocket to keep valuables safe while wearing the shorts and felt extra comfortable wearing the shorts in the city knowing that it would be difficult for this pocket to be accessed.
I was also initially concerned with the single cord used to secure the shorts that runs through the waistband. However, my concerns were unfounded. I backpacked numerous times including a 15 mile day with no issue at all. The waistband felt comfortable under my backpack hipbelt.
My second criteria is durability. Again the shorts have performed well. There are no pulls or tears in the shorts even with several off trail adventures. The fabric looks like it did when the shorts arrived. Care has been easy – I just throw them in the washer and dryer with my other clothes and have had no negative outcomes.
I have another month of use on the Rhone Mako shorts before my final evaluation. I will continue to monitor durability and comfort as the heat and humidity ramps up with summer here in the Big Easy.
Final update August 2, 2017
Running, hiking, backpacking, these shorts have done it all. 220 miles of use plus significant gym time and the shorts continue to look great.
Since my last update, I have used the shorts while running the Rock and Roll Nashville one mile race, Rock and Roll San Diego 5k, training runs on the Mississippi River levy, the Fat Boy 5k in New Orleans, car camping and hiking at Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi, on a 40 mile backpacking trip on the Black Creek Trail in Mississippi, and trail running in the mountains around Juneau, Alaska. Basically anytime I needed shorts to run, hike or camp I had these shorts on. Weather was all over the place with extreme heat in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, and cool and overcast in California. I didn’t use the shorts in any appreciable precipitation but I did use them in 100% humidity here in the South.
I have continued to be impressed with the shorts. They definitely make the bridge between lifestyle and active pursuits. As I said in my first update, the two criteria I look for in shorts are comfort and durability. The shorts are comfortable, no doubt about it. On my 40 mile backpacking trip, I wore the shorts for almost 36 hours straight hiking in the upper 90s with high humidity with no issues. I had no chaffing issues, but because of the heat and high exertion I did use Body Glide in sensitive areas and wore performance boxer briefs to provide extra protection from heat and rubbing. The shorts dried quickly from sweat and were still comfortable for sleeping in my hammock the two nights I was on the trail.
Durability has also been amazing. I don’t baby gear, and these shorts have held up everything – running, hiking, gym time, everything. I wore them for a 7 hour mountain run in Alaska up and down snow fields, through heather fields, and rocky goat trails with no ill effects on the shorts. There aren’t even any obvious signs of wear on the right leg where I pin my bib for races. My only comment here is that Rhone may have made them too good. I think I can easily wear them for another 200 miles of running and hiking with no issues.
The Rhone Mako Shorts retail for $64.99 on their website but can be found at other retailers for a discount.
Overall, I very pleased with the performance of these shorts. They are perfect for the man who wants a pair of shorts that looks equally good in the gym or while grabbing a beverage with friends.
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Rhone for supplying the shorts for this review