The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Troy Lee Designs Skyline - Women's Review

The Skyline is an affordable choice for riders who are looking need a pair of shorts to get the job done.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $79.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Four-way stretch material, breathable, secure thigh pocket
Cons:  Bulky and unflattering waist adjustment system, suspect durability
Manufacturer:   Troy Lee Designs
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2019
  • Share this article:
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 7
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 8
  • Protection - 20% 8
  • Pockets - 10% 6
  • Style - 10% 6

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.

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 at $80, they are more affordable than most shorts in our review and have some great features.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $79.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$99.95 at Competitive Cyclist$73.73 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$89.95 at Competitive Cyclist$89.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
73
100
0
91
100
0
90
100
0
84
100
0
84
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Four-way stretch material, breathable, secure thigh pocketFeminine fit, burly material, glide patches for smooth pedaling, easy cinching at the waist, zippered pocketsLightweight, four-way stretch, excellent fit, breathable, super comfortableLightweight, comfortable, flattering fit, perfectly placed zip pocket, four-way stretchDurable material, 13-inch inseam works well with kneepads, comfortable
Cons Bulky and unflattering waist adjustment system, suspect durabilityNot the lightest weightNot as protective for burly terrainNot the best protectionNot the most breathable, a little heavy
Bottom Line The Skyline is an affordable choice for riders who are looking need a pair of shorts to get the job done.A flattering and durable short built with an emphasis on downhill fun.One of the best fitting shorts we have ever tested, the Dirt Roamer is comfortable and super lightweight.The Avery is a lightweight and comfortable riding short.For all day, big rides in technical terrain the Airmatic is protective, comfortable, and durable.
Rating Categories Skyline Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Dirt Roamer Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic - Women's
Fit And Comfort (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Protection (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
Pockets (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Skyline Yeti Cycles Norrie... Dirt Roamer Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic -...
Shell Fabric 87% nylon, 13% spandex Stretch polyester with DWR 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex Stretch polyester Polyester, elastane
Lining Main Fabric None None Sold seperately None None
Chamois None None Sold seperately None None
Inseam Measurement 12 in 12 in 11.75 in 11 in 13 in
Number of pockets 2 4 1 1 3

Our Analysis and Test Results

The newest version of the Troy Lee Skyline has a longer inseam for better overall protection and new fabric that make 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.

Hands-On Review of the Skyline


Breathable and comfortable  the Skyline got us to the skyline!
Breathable and comfortable, the Skyline got us to the skyline!

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. Both the Patagonia Dirt Roamer and the Yeti Norrie 2.0, our Editors' Choice winner, scored at the top of the bunch for their excellent fit and comfort while riding.

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.

The 12-inch inseam works well with kneepads and offers great protection from branches.
The 12-inch inseam works well with kneepads and offers great protection from branches.

Protection


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. The 100% Airmatic has a longer inseam and burlier fabric for stepped up protection.

While it didn't interfere with riding  it just felt weird having a phone on the back of our thigh...
While it didn't interfere with riding, it just felt weird having a phone on the back of our thigh...

Pockets


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.

Style


The look of the new Skyline is heaps better than the old version, but this short 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.
Bubbles of fabric with nowhere to go.

If style matters, take a look at the Yeti Norrie 2.0, which has colorful details, casual hand pockets, and a great fit.

Best Applications


If trending downhill is your thing, these shorts paired with some kneepads will offer seamless protection through the rocks and rollers. Even without kneepads, the Skyline offers great stretch and breathability.

Value


At $79, these shorts 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.

Conclusion


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