Note: These shorts were provided free of charge by Pistol Lake for review.
I’ve been wearing Pistol Lake since they released their Minimalist Tee (our review). They recently updated their All-Around Shorts, taking into account customer feedback, and I was excited to give them a try as they looked like a good combination of workout and casual shorts (more on this later).
These shorts are made from a 90% nylon/10% spandex blend with four-way stretch and a DWR coating. Weighing in at 213 gsm, it is a substantial fabric, but the weight doesn’t take away from the comfort, it simply adds to the durability.
There is no technical sheen here, and minimal texture — the fabric just blends in.
The inside of the fabric does have more of a texture with very low loops, making it feel comfortable against the skin.
Unfortunately, there is some “technical swoosh” while walking. It did tone down some with washing, but I don’t expect it to ever go completely away.
Fit & Style
The fit is great. It is slightly tailored to help make the shorts more versatile, but not so much that they don’t work for exercise. The size chart is spot on (just remember that the waist measurements are actual and not vanity sizing). The 9” inseam works well for me and is a nice middle ground for versatile shorts.
I’ve both worn these out of the house and for working out, and think they do well in both situations. They are certainly a step above gym shorts for casual wear, but remain casual.
The only negatives to the style are the lack of a button (they are elastic waist) and the pocket flare. Pistol Lake did reduce pocket flare with the 2.0 variant, but it’s still there for me, especially on the right side pocket where the cell phone pouch is located.
These shorts perform well. They stay out of the way, don’t bind, and don’t soak up sweat or get clammy. They seem breathable, but I wasn’t able to test them in hot weather.
Being elastic waistband, I’m glad they don’t have an external draw string, but found it strange there was not an internal one. While I didn’t feel like I needed a drawstring, it always is a nice addition on these shorts that are designed to be worn anywhere.
Pistol Lake also included their secure phone pocket, here as a snap secure pocket inside the right front pocket.
They “reshaped pocket bags so they fall toward the middle/outer part of the thigh” for the 2.0 version, and I think the pockets are great — nice and deep without allowing your phone or other larger objects to fall over/twist. There also is a nice back pocket, adding to the feel of them not just being workout shorts.
Pistol Lake did a great job making a pair of shorts that can be versatile. At a price point of $74, they represent a good value. Much cheaper than the New Ways and not too much more than a workout only pair of shorts.
The only caveats are the noise and slight pocket flare, but I don’t think that detracts from the value enough to not recommend these shorts. While not the best out there, they are certainly worth a look, especially at the price.