SHOWERS PASS MENS APEX DWR SHORTS
259g Size 36 Fatigue Green £82
Coming in Black or Fatigue Green, Showers Pass Apex DWR Shorts share many features with their siblings. Designed with “movement” in mind, they are comfortable on and off the bike, making them a favourite of mine over the summer months. Having said that, the choice from the Showers Pass range may depend as much on the length of time you plan to spend on the bike in proportion to other outdoor activities – or, indeed, just lazing about.
Pros: great for lots of outdoor activities.
Cons: no reinforcement for contact points when cycling.
Durable nylon (81%) -spandex (9%) fabric offering four-way stretch, with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish to keep light rain and drink spills at bay are key features. It also offers 50plus UPF protection (although the effectiveness of this can be a matter of debate). There are Velcro waist adjusters, whilst the stretchy fabric can easily accommodate undergarments, including bib-shorts. The fabric is also designed to be quick drying.
There’s a zip back-pocket, two-slanted thigh pockets, and two hip-pockets. All are mesh-lined, with the thigh pockets also acting as vents. There’s further venting via a panel on the back, just below the waistband. That also offers greater stretch when leaning forward over the handle-bars. The familiar Showers Pass silicon waistband grips also helps keep things covered.
Reflective strips promise some presence.
Fastenings are gunmetal with “2 snap” (press stud type) and a hook and bar closures.
Size and fit 3.75/5
Ours are size 36, with the available range running from 28 to 40. With an in-seam of 12”, they drop to just above my knee. That feels very much like MTB baggy territory, although they lack the bagginess. They’re longer than both the Gravel and Cross Country Shorts.
36 would not be my usual choice – afraid that is generally 38 these days – but they’ve fitted perfectly, with a little help from
the generous adjusters. That is quite interesting, as Showers Pass describe these as their “most adjustable” shorts, recommending going up a size if in doubt. Consult the sizing chart – maybe I’m slimmer than I thought! I’d say, they are akin in “trim” to their Gravel shorts, with a stretchier feel to the Cross-Country shorts.
Care is simple. Cool machine wash (30C or below). Followed by hang-drying or tumble-dry on a low heat. Being a bit on the cautious side, I tend to use technical washes for anything with a technical coating, but that’s not really necessary according to Showers Pass.
Hang drying is best, and, following a spin cycle, this has been accomplished in less than an hour outdoors on a good drying day. Indoors, away from heat, they’ve been perfectly dry overnight – and, had I been awake, probably sooner.
Firstly, whilst these are good shorts for cycling, they are comfortable and tidy away from the bike, too. I’ve worn them for walking – hikes and dog-strolls – general outdoor use, and even gardening. When showers Pass say they are designed for “movement”, I can’t help but agree. Even better, they’ve felt well-ventilated on hot days (top twenties and thirties centigrade – we do get some in the UK).
As we are a cycling website, we’d better say something about them on the bike. Well, although they come without padding and reinforcement in contact areas. That is not as odd as it sounds. Firstly, the fabric seems incredibly durable. Prolonged use on and off bike has not led to any sign of distress on gusset or inner thigh. For longer rides I have paired them with Funkier’s Seamless Boxer Shorts, although for shorter rides and commutes, I’ve gone civilian.
As I expected form previous experience of Showers Pass garments, the fabric seems to move with the body, without being a ‘second-skin’ as one hopes for with Lycra. That’s great for single-track and gravel riding, but I’d probably, go for the Gravel shorts for touring, especially over mixed surfaces or faster gravel riding. It also means that the waist stays in place, keeping things covered.
Comfortable and breathable in the sun, they dry quickly after a rain shower. The DWR coating will protect against light rain and short showers, however, expect things to get sodden when the Heaven’s really open up. I have ridden for twenty miles in light drizzle without wetness really registering, and been soaked in two minutes in a thunderstorm. Fortunately, they dry pretty rapidly, but expect on hour or son on the bike in the sunshine after a thorough dowsing.
I’m not a great one for stuffing things in shorts’ pockets when cycling. However, the rear pocket takes my wallet and the side pockets can take essentials. I’ve limited that to tissues, credit card, D-lock key, and such stuff. Certainly, I’ve not noticed any discomfort.
There’s a resemblance to MTB shorts, but I’d probably go for the latter in the remote possibility that I was going to go harum-scarum through the undergrowth on serious single-track. I’m sure the fabric is durable, but I value the shorts too much to put it to trial by combat with bramble, thorn, and rock.
I’ve seen these with a seasonal discount on the Shower Pass website. That makes value even greater. An official £82 pounds put these at the pricey end of the market, and there’ll be some who suggest getting a couple of cheaper pairs for the same lay-out. Mind you, you’d do well to find something that offers so much on and off bike.
Showers Pass offer a range of shorts. The Apex’s sibling Gravel and Cross Country amongst them. They are really on a continuum, in my opinion. I’d go Cross Country for faster riding off the beaten track and spending most time on the bike; I’d pu the Apex at the other end – with more potential for general outdoor activities as well as some pacey gravel or general touring work; I’d have the Gravel in the middle. That is just my opinion, based on my experience. All are the same price.
Altura’s Attack One 80 shorts are around twenty pounds cheaper, and have been used on touring ventures by me, but are aimed more directly at the trail brethren, and, I’d say, are not so comfortable away from the bike.
Great all-round shorts, for general outdoor activities, as well as cycling. They’ll serve well, whatever you do, but the more specialist your tendencies, the more you will find more suitable alternatives.