The item in this review was provided for review purposes by OLIVERS.
There’s fierce competition in the one short to rule them all arena. Many brands are claiming their shorts are as good in the gym, and in water, as they are out to dinner. OLIVER’s adds the Capital Shorts to this growing list, and they are billed for just the type of person who doesn’t want, or need, tons of shorts. A solid pair or two is all you want.
The fabric on these is OLIVER’s “All Over Stretch Weave”, and at first blush they reminded me a lot of Outlier’s OG Cloth (though they are not the same material). They are very technical feeling with a smooth face like a soft shell fleece (less shiny though) and a lot of stretch. These are 88% Nylon and 12% spandex, and I believe they have some sort of DWR coating on them to make water bead right off. These are stretchy and yet durable shorts.
Fit and Sizing
Shorts are a particular thing for men, as each person has their own idea of how long a pair of shorts should be. The Capital Shorts are on the shorter end of my comfort with a 8.75” inseam. Additionally, I had to size down from what I normally wear as I found the 36s to be much too large and the 34s to be correct (for comparison I wear 35 in most brands), as the 36s wouldn’t even stay on me.
My tip is to size down one size. The fit is otherwise very solid and well done.
Performance and Comfort
This is where these shorts really excel. Combining the stretch of the fabric (and there is a lot of stretch) with a gusset in the crotch — there’s never any restriction on your leg motion when you wear these. They wear cool, as you want from shorts.
They look sharp, and not ‘for technical shorts’. Outlier’s New Way shorts look more like typical cotton shorts, than the Capital Shorts, as you can see it more readily in the sheen on the material and the way they drape. The tell tale sign that these are not your average shorts is when you get them wet as the water rolls right off. This bodes well for getting a lot of wears out of the shorts between washes as dirt will find itself hard pressed to find a spot to stay on these. Not only do I think they perform well, but even lounging in the evenings while wearing these is exceedingly comfortable.
Drying time on these shorts is moderately better than Outlier’s short offerings, but slower than dedicated swim trunks. Because they are shorts, and the pocket material is very thin, you could put them on damp and they would dry quick. Likewise it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect them to dry while you sleep. Lastly, the pockets are a tough one on these shorts. The material is great, and I still cannot figure out if it is a really hidden mesh, or just a very thin material. Either way they breathe well and I have little durability concerns. That said, the pocket angle is less than ideal, I found many times my iPhone sliding back out of the pocket.
I really am impressed with these shorts, and I would add them to your list of summer buys. The only thing I wish was better is the angle of the pocket opening, as your phone tends to slide right out when you are lounging on a couch.
The Capital Shorts aren’t likely to solve your swimming needs, but I can’t imagine any other scenario where I these shorts wouldn’t perform well. OLIVER’s has hit the nail on the head.