Outdoor clothing company The North Face last year launched its first proper mountain bike range of clothing and we’ve been testing the Muddy Tracks jacket and Levada baggy shorts over the winter months.
So far we’ve been impressed. The Muddy Tracks jacket proved to offer the right balance between a light outer layer with a fabric that easily repels water and other elements, while managing to stand out from the more typical mountain bike brands on the trail.
Today we draw your attention to the Levada baggy shorts. They are made from a DWR treated four-way stretch fabric that is light and unrestrictive on the bike. Intended as a general purpose lightweight trail short, they’ve kept things simple, with no clutter of features, and as a result they do exactly what we expect of a pair of baggies.
A good length, sitting just over the knees, and a ‘bagginess’ that isn’t too excessive or restrictive. Often shorts can veer to one extreme or the other, so it’s nice to find a short that gets it bang on perfect. The lightness of the fabric and the quick drying nature of the fabric helps to ensure they never ‘feel heavy’ after several hours riding through mud and puddles. While not as weatherproof as winter-specific shorts, they’re good for most winter riding, but they’re clearly intended for less extreme weather.
Inside the short there’s a detachable padded liner inside which is comfortable enough and there’s more than enough pockets, six in fact, with four of them zipped to stop valuables flying out on the descents. There’s a venting panel round the back of the shorts but considering the conditions we’ve been riding in, that isn’t a feature that has come into play.
While the fit is great, it would be nice to see some sort of waist adjustment, elasticated puller cords or similar to pull them a little snugger on this testers waist. There are belt loops however, but who wears a belt on their mountain bike baggy shorts? Not us, that’s for sure.
An impressive entry into the baggy short arena from The North Face with a focus on getting the basics right, and this has worked out nicely. We’re impressed.
Price is £75 with a choice of two colours and six sizes for men and women.