- Nema Crown Jewel shorts
- 01423 780088
Nema’s Crown Jewel shorts were one of the original baggies and they’ve been tweaked and upgraded over the years to keep pace with the pack. They’re described as “the ultimate cross country short”, and the lightweight fabric and airy feel goes along with that.
The shell features a pair of small zippered pockets on the front of the legs and a little Velcroed pouch at the bottom of one leg. We’re not quite sure what it’s for, although it’s a good size for a wedge of business cards. We’re not great fans of huge pockets – they’re too easy to fill with stuff that rattles around – and the ones here are handy for keys and change and things. It’d be nice to have a pocket big enough to stuff a pair of gloves in, though.
There’s another pair of vents in the front that open to reveal a narrow pair of mesh vents in what we’ll describe as a “strategic location” – if we call them pit zips for your legs you’ll get the idea.
The liner is stitched in at the waist and joined at the legs with a mesh piece that allows plenty of movement between liner and shell. The synthetic chamois is described as “bi-density moulded”. It feels very bulky initially, although once it’s conformed to your shape it’s a lot better. We never stopped noticing it, though, unlike some shorts we’ve tried.
Like the Nema jersey we tested earlier in the year, the fit of the Crown Jewels seems to encourage a more upright riding stance. They’re not particularly high at the back, so as you lean forward a bit of a gap tends to open up. We also didn’t find the waistband all that comfy – it’s elasticated with useful drawcord adjusters at each side but we found ourselves constantly fiddling with them to adjust the fit. We’re not going to pretend that we’re the same shape as everyone else, though – just because they didn’t quite suit us doesn’t mean that they won’t suit you.
The lightweight construction and venting is very agreeable on warmer days, and they seem to be decently enough put together. As well as the all-black colour scheme shown here, you can also get “Black/Dune” or “Carbon/Blood” variants.
Positives: Lightweight, airy, effective vents
Negatives: Somewhat low-slung on some riders, non-removable liner
The Crown Jewels are fine shorts. They’re not up to the standards of our favourite Sugoi Gusto shorts, but the Nemas are a lot cheaper. Well worth a try.