Reviews You Can Rely On

Troy Lee Designs Skyline - Women's Review

An affordable choice for riders who are looking for a versatile pair of shorts to get the job done
troy lee designs skyline for women mountain bike short review
Credit: Backcountry
Price:  $80 List
Manufacturer:   Troy Lee Designs
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2019
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 6.0
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 8.0
  • Protection - 20% 8.0
  • Pockets - 10% 6.0
  • Style - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

With the Skyline short, Troy Lee Designs presents a ladies' short with a get-it-done attitude. The four-way stretch and breathable material are quite comfortable, and the longer inseam offers good protection with and without kneepads. It has curiously placed though functional and good-sized, zippered pockets.
Four-way stretch material
Secure thigh pocket
Bulky and unflattering waist adjustment system
Suspect durability
The waist adjustment system is bulky and unflattering and we found that the fabric is not the most durable. These shorts are also not the most stylish or feminine. But, they are more affordable than most shorts in our review and have some great features.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Troy Lee Designs no longer makes the Skyline short for women. May 2021

The newest version of the Troy Lee Skyline has a longer inseam for better overall protection that works well with kneepads. The fabric is mega-stretchy, making it a super comfortable pair of shorts. It still has some work to do in the style department, but for technical riding on hot days, these are a great option.

Performance Comparison

troy lee designs skyline for women mountain bike short review - breathable and comfortable, the skyline got us to the skyline!
Breathable and comfortable, the Skyline got us to the skyline!
Credit: Laurel Hunter

Fit and Comfort

The latest version of the Skyline is made with super stretchy and soft material that accommodates most body types. We could not locate a useful fit guide for their women's shorts on Troy Lee's website, so we ordered a size small and it fit pretty well.

Our major gripe with the Skyline is the super bulky external Velcro waistband adjusters. They are easy to adjust on the fly, but the rubber tabs have sharp points that snagged on shirts and bushes. And the extra fabric that gathered in the back didn't really do much for our style. There are more creative and low-profile solutions for fit adjustment.

Pedal Friendliness

Four-way stretch in the Skyline was much appreciated for pedaling, crouching, and bending. It flexed in every direction that we moved on the bike and never held us back. The silicone grippers on the waistline ensure that the shorts do not slip down while riding.

The Skyline uses Coolmax fabric throughout the shorts, and we definitely noticed good breathability on hot days. Additionally, there is a breathable mesh back panel for those extra sweaty rides.

troy lee designs skyline for women mountain bike short review - the 12-inch inseam works well with kneepads and offers great...
The 12-inch inseam works well with kneepads and offers great protection from branches.
Credit: Laurel Hunter


Protection in mountain bike shorts can mean weather protection, a barrier from pokey bushes and brush, and also from the occasional spill off the bike. Fortunately, we didn't have any crashing mishaps during our testing period, but we rode through some pretty tight, brushy trails and the Skyline did a solid job of protecting us from scratches. It has a 12-inch inseam that pairs well with kneepads for additional coverage. We did notice some micro-snags in the fabric which did not affect performance but might indicate a lack of durability over time.

troy lee designs skyline for women mountain bike short review - while it didn't interfere with riding, it just felt weird having a...
While it didn't interfere with riding, it just felt weird having a phone on the back of our thigh...
Credit: Laurel Hunter


Unique among the shorts we tested, the Skyline has a phone-sized zippered pocket on the *back of the thigh*. It's breathable and functional but felt a little bizarre. Still, we are fans of having access to our stuff, and while the placement was strange, at least it didn't inhibit pedaling. We couldn't find a good use for the zippered waistline pocket on the Skyline. It's mesh-lined and deep, but the placement makes it awkward for use.


The look of the new Skyline is heaps better than the old version, but this short still strikes us as more functional than stylish. If the waist fits perfectly with no need to adjust, it has a nice clean look with minimal flair. However, the bubbling waistline fabric when we cinched in the waist just didn't seem to have anywhere to go. It bunched up in back, and it didn't look good.

Bulky, external Velcro waist adjusters on the Skyline.
Bulky, external Velcro waist adjusters on the Skyline.
Bubbles of fabric with nowhere to go.
Bubbles of fabric with nowhere to go.

If style matters, make sure to try these on and adjust the waist to fit. The extra fabric will also hold sweat.


These shorts are not a high price and will more than get the job done. We have some concern about durability, as we found minor snags after riding through some tight bushes, but they are breathable and comfortable and work well with kneepads. As such, they are a decent value.


The Skyline is a great example of function over form. While not the most exciting looking pair of shorts in the test, we were impressed by its stretchy panels, breathable fabric, and good length.

Laurel Hunter
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