For 2020, Outlier updated one of our favorite pairs of shorts with a simple, but awesome change. There is only one thing about these New-New Ways (and New Way Longs that has been changed, and that is the pocket material.
Outlier has always billed the New Ways as a singular pair of shorts, which can do everything. They can be dressed up for a night out, the are durable and rugged for wooded adventures, and they are always pool ready. New Ways have been my primary shorts since 2016 (and the only ones I wear outside of items for review here). I have swam in them and traveled with them all over.
This update is fantastic.
A core part of any item which you rely on to keep you cool, is the ability for that item to breathe — to allow moisture to easily escape your body. One obvious area that most items gets tripped up is the pockets — the addition of any material makes for reduced breathability here. We’ve all felt that pain.
Pockets are also doubly important to be designed correctly to keep items in them. And, when talking about swimming, to drain water quickly out of them. To handle this, New Ways originally had a mostly Supplex pocket, with a strong mesh “port” full width along the bottom of each pocket. This allowed for the pockets to be durable, drain quick enough to swim in, and hold items well.
However they didn’t drain that well, and they held moisture on a hot and humid day.
This is no more. The updated New Ways have full mesh pockets in the front (it is a finer, elastic mesh) and the back pockets retain Supplex against your body, and full mesh on the outer face (this helps them lay flat).
This change is fantastic. If you swim in New Ways, the performance add is enormous. If you live in a hot and humid area (as I do in Houston) you will immediately notice that the breathability of the front pocket areas is tremendously better.
The one area of compromise: how the pockets carry. As I mentioned, they are elastic, and so really heavy items will bounce a bit in the pocket. But I have yet to find this to be problematic in use. To test how well they carried items, I have been alternating between the original New Ways and the updated variants around my house to see if I lose any items. Thankfully I cannot tell the difference at all, these hold items just as well as the old New Ways.
This is a great update, and one you might want to take the plunge into if your life has you doing a lot of impromptu swimming, or if your humidity levels live well about habitable. Great work all around.