Review: Outdoor Vitals Skyline Shorts

My roommates give me flack for owning only five shirts and four pairs of shorts. Well, thanks to the Outdoor Vitals Skyline Trail Shorts, now I have five of each—enough to match any summery mood (don’t worry, I have a three-pant collection for winter, too). The sleek matte black of these shorts is a departure from my raggedy old neon-yellow-and-blue running shorts. They’re a little thicker as well, which is useful on crisp fall trail runs or summer excursions in the alpine. When the chilly wind starts howling, it’s nice to have a little more protection for my below-the-waist vitals. That said, they’re not too burly for summer river days or sweaty gym workouts—both of which I’ve put these shorts through the ringer on.

The cut of the Skyline shorts is on the slimmer side, reducing the chaffing that comes from too much fabric build-up in the crotch area. The material itself is a woven polyester, which is comfortably soft, but stiff enough to hold a little bit of shape. They’re available both with a liner, or without, for those who prefer to wear compression shorts or just like a little more freedom. I opted for the lined version. I’m always a little concerned purchasing lined shorts without trying them on first, but the liners were comfortable and plenty spacious. Outdoor Vitals doesn’t specify the exact length of these shorts (just “above the knees”), but I would say they’re somewhere in the range of an 8” inseam—an ideal cut for versatility.

I might have five pairs of shorts now, but really, I’m only going to need one the rest of the season. After all, it means I can get away with doing even less laundry—a win for a busy, young guy like me.