Designer meets engineer: dirtlej was founded by two brave people with a great deal of passion for mountain biking. It all started with the dirtsuits, which originated from a simple but ingenious concept and embody the MTB style like hardly any other piece of clothing. The young, up-and-coming Wittlingen-based company presented a whole series of shorts this season, called trailscout. These outdoor shorts, which are not only suitable for biking but also for hiking, have a lot in store in terms of design and function. The three versions cover the most diverse demands and weather conditions. Since Steffi doesn’t do things by halves, she decided to test all variations herself.
At first glance
Dirtlej has done everything right and not only produced awesome shorts, but a coherent line, which follows an idea and has equipped the pants with great function and clever highlights. These high-quality shorts make every day on the bike even better.
“The trailscouts are rather small, but the cut of the 3 variants is still ideal: not too narrow, not too wide. Of course, this is also a matter of taste and depends on other factors. If you like your shorts a bit wider or want to wear them along with protector liner shorts, I can only advise you to order one size larger. This is particularly important at the waterproof version, as the waterproof material is not elastic. The fit of the pants is special in the hip area: The integrated stretch band holds the shorts firmly in position and stretches while bending forward so that nothing slips – this is optimal.
The ladies’ shorts are slightly shorter than the men’s shorts and end above the knee. In addition, the shorts for men have 2 back pockets, which isn’t the case for the women’s versions. The trailscouts captivate with bright, strong colors, which were combined in cool ways and perfectly continue the already known dirtlej style. The trailscouts are adjustable in width by means of an externally attached Velcro system. This is possible without the mechanism stretching or twisting, which can be extremely unpleasant. The high-quality workmanship can be felt immediately – the seams are cleanly finished, all materials convince with their durability.
The summer shorts is made of a very elastic material, which promises extremely high wearing comfort. The fabric cools the skin – ideal for hot temperatures! The two front pockets allow you to store the important things for longer biking days.
The waterproof also keeps its promises. You’ll stay perfectly dry under these shorts, even in heavy rain. Due to the waterproof and windproof material (water column 20.000 mm) the waterpoof is not as elastic as its summer sibling. It also has 2 front pockets, which are equipped with taped seams, of course. Everything stays dry in here – all day long. The breathability is also great (10.000 mvp), as there is no accumulation of heat when riding, which is usually typical for rain protection.
Dirtlej decided to use robust Cordura material on the inside of the legs to help against chafing. This is clever, since the fabric behaves like sandpaper and rubs itself up when it gets muddy. This would extremely reduce the longevity of the shorts and probably also damage the saddle in the long run.
half&half: This is certainly the most exciting concept. It has declared war on the “nappy feeling”, as dirtlej says. Whenever it doesn’t rain, but the trails are still wet and muddy, waterproof material protects the back while maintaining ultimate breathability and elasticity at the front. Here, too, the inside of the legs is made of Cordura material to provide the necessary robustness for the mud. The pockets of half&half are also waterproof. It’s perfect for hiking, too, as it defies any wet summer meadow.”
So, Steffi, do you like the shorts?
“Absolutely. I enjoy every variation. The airy and lightweight summer is just fun in the heat, the waterproof and half&half are the perfect choice for riding in bad weather in autumn and winter. The waterproof will probably also be suitable for cold winter days with tights worn underneath it, I’d say. Even four rainy days in a row couldn’t stop me from getting on the bike. Since the sensitive areas are protected and you can fully rely on these shorts, the rain is no longer a reason to be dissuaded from a day on your bike”.
- Fit: The ladies’ versions have a great, comfortable fit – but, as I said, they are a bit small, so it all depends on whether or not you like things a bit wider or you want to wear protector liner shorts. The closure and the stretch tape ensure an excellent fit.
- Optics: sure, it’s a matter of taste, but dirtlej has its very own style, which is simply chic, especially in women’s clothing.
- Price/performance ratio: in any case superb – the trailscouts rank in the middle price range but show a high performance.
- summer: 86,- €
- half&half: 110,- €
- waterproof: 125,- €
- Material: high-quality, robust polyester/elastane mix. Nylon is also processed in waterproof and half&half
- Quality/processing: You can feel and see immediately that the quality here is very high. The seams are top, even the welded seams keep their promise – the robust Cordura parts are clever. This promises long riding pleasure.
- Technical data (waterproof and half&half): water column 20.000 mm – breathability 10.000 mvp