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Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Review

A flattering and durable short built with an emphasis on downhill fun.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Pros:  Feminine fit, burly material, glide patches for smooth pedaling, easy cinching at the waist, zippered pockets
Cons:  Not the lightest weight
Manufacturer:   Yeti
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 2, 2019
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91
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 10
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 9
  • Protection - 20% 8
  • Pockets - 10% 9
  • Style - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Yeti toned down the color with this update, but the Norrie 2.0 still looks plenty stylish, and won us right over with a new and improved pocket design. The fabric is durable for downhill and comfortable for pedaling. We appreciate details like the simple but smart waistband adjusters, the glide patches that keep the shorts from riding up, and the silicone grippers on the waistband.

With smart updates, the Yeti Norrie 2.0 easily maintains it's status as our Editors' Choice.

If you don't relish the roughest trails around and can get by with a little less protection, check out Yeti's excellent Avery short. They'll save you a few dollars and keep you a little cooler.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $99.95 at Competitive Cyclist$73.73 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$89.95 at Competitive Cyclist$89.00 at Competitive Cyclist
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$98.00 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Feminine 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, comfortableFun patterns, good stretch, comfortable
Cons Not the lightest weightNot as protective for burly terrainNot the best protectionNot the most breathable, a little heavyAwkward waist adjusters, no zippered pocket
Bottom Line 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.Shredly MTB Shorts are comfortable, durable, and have wild style.
Rating Categories Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Dirt Roamer Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic - Women's Shredly MTB Short
Fit And Comfort (30%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Protection (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Pockets (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Style (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Yeti Cycles Norrie... Dirt Roamer Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic -... Shredly MTB Short
Shell Fabric Stretch polyester with DWR 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex Stretch polyester Polyester, elastane 90% polyester, 10% spandex
Lining Main Fabric None Sold seperately None None None
Chamois None Sold seperately None None Sold seperately
Inseam Measurement 12 in 11.75 in 11 in 13 in 10.5 in
Number of pockets 4 1 1 3 3

Our Analysis and Test Results

It's like Yeti read our minds (or our review) and added usable pockets to our favorite shorts. The Norrie 2.0 has easily become the new Editors' Choice, adding smartly designed pockets while maintaining style, comfort, and durability. Yee Haw!

Hands-On Review of the Norrie


With the Norrie 2.0 has Yeti Cycles finally made the perfect short? The main improvement to this new version is two phone-sized zippered pockets, one on the outside of each leg. We do not miss the mesh back panel, and they haven't changed the durable construction, comfortable stretch, attention to detail, and inseam length that made it a winner. There is nothing to not love about the Norrie, quite frankly, making it the obvious Editors' Choice.

Yeti's Norrie 2.0 is just as capable as the Norrie was - handling all kinds of riding with ease.
Yeti's Norrie 2.0 is just as capable as the Norrie was - handling all kinds of riding with ease.

Fit and Comfort


The Norrie 2.0 fits the same as last year's model, though we recommend using the Yeti sizing chart to find your size. We tested an extra small in this model, while we chose a small in other brands. There is plenty of room in the legs for strong thighs, and they are comfortable with kneepads.

The Norrie 2.0 has clever little external webbing straps and buckles to customize the waistband. This design is minimal and easy to adjust while adding some color and flair to the look of the short. We appreciate the innovative design and prefer it to the Velcro closures that are, fortunately, becoming less common in other brands of shorts. Similar to how you tighten a backpack strap, simply pull the blue nylon webbing strap forward to tighten the waist and push back the buckle to loosen the webbing. The straps do not slip during a ride, and the ends are tipped in grippy rubber and simple to operate, even with gloved fingers, should you need to adjust them on the fly.

Adjusting the waistband is a cinch!
Adjusting the waistband is a cinch!

We are happy to see that low profile waistbands are becoming more common, including another one from Yeti that we like, on the Avery, as well as the super sleek button-and-webbing adjuster on the Patagonia Dirt Roamer.


You do not need to worry about your shorts sliding down your backside, as the Norrie 2.0 has a large silicon logo on the inside of the waistband which provides a no-slip grip at the waist. The Norrie 2.0 does not have the ventilation panel on the lower back as the old Norrie did, but we found that we did not miss it. Perhaps this is because the leg openings are a bit wider than before, providing a little more ventilation.

The fabric is a little heavier than some shorts, which makes them a bit hotter. We tested in the spring, so this was not a problem. However, in the hottest days of summer, they might feel a tad warm. If light and fast is your game, make sure and look at the Patagonia Dirt Roamer which is minimal and light, if not as protective.

These shorts are comfortable for pedaling and protective against grabbing bushes.
These shorts are comfortable for pedaling and protective against grabbing bushes.

Pedal Friendliness


Designed with durable construction, these shorts feel surprisingly supple while pedaling. Yeti uses 2-way stretch material throughout the Norrie 2.0, with a rear stretch panel for extra comfort while riding. They flex perfectly and the waistband stayed flat on our lower backs.


They also incorporate internal silky "glide patches" which allow the fabric to slide easily as you pedal. Overall, the glide patches work really well to keep the legs from riding up. They add a small amount of bulk and the stretch is reduced in that area, but we think it is worth it!

Protection


Designed with enough durability for downhill riding, the Norrie 2.0 is constructed of burly polyester that holds up against tree branch grabs and rock encounters, earning it high scores in protection. The 12-inch inseam provides enough coverage for familiar technical terrain, while also being long enough to overlap the tops of kneepads when we wanted additional protection. Pad up and you're ready to rock and roll.


If protection is not your top concern, check out the Yeti Avery which is lighter weight while still providing length and durability. It doesn't provide as much protection, but sometimes you don't need it.

Perfectly placed and ready for holding your snacks and valuables. These shorts have the ideal pockets.
Perfectly placed and ready for holding your snacks and valuables. These shorts have the ideal pockets.

Pockets


The pockets are the most noticeable change in the Norrie 2.0, and we couldn't be happier! It has four pockets total, presented in a very symmetrical fashion. There are two hand pockets, and two zippered pockets — one on the outside of each leg. The zippered pockets are big enough to hold an iPhone 8 and some lip balm, or a few snacks and extra gear. The hand pockets are awesome for casual use, pre- or post-ride. We're not big fans of placing anything valuable inside of pockets without zippers while riding, having lost a few items after bouncing through rock gardens. However, we do like having casual hand pockets for holding keys, for example, while we stop at the store on the way home. Yeti nailed the pockets on the Norrie 2.0.


Flattering and functional! We love these shorts.
Flattering and functional! We love these shorts.

Style


The Norrie 2.0 is not as flashy as the Norrie 1.0 was in bright Yeti turquoise blue, but it still gets high praise for style. The rich "Storm" color that we tested incorporates turquoise stitching, zippers, and webbing. And lipstick pink zipper pulls and buckles add a fun touch without being too girlie.


Most importantly, these shorts are flattering and feminine while still being tough and comfortable, which is why we once again awarded it Editors' Choice.

These shorts are so versatile  we never felt like we were wearing the wrong short for the job.
These shorts are so versatile, we never felt like we were wearing the wrong short for the job.

Best Applications


If you feel like charging hard and looking good, the Norrie 2.0 is the mountain bike short for you. The material is durable enough to handle the technical downhills, stretchy enough for maximum comfort while pedaling, and they'll look great hanging out at the pub afterward. You might find them to be a little warm for the hottest days of summer but are pretty much ideal for the rest of your riding.

Value


The $100 price tag falls on the high side of average, though it remains unchanged from the old version. The Norrie 2.0 has style, durability, and a great fit. Now that they have functional pockets to boot, we'd say they are a great value.

Conclusion


Yeti answered our pocket prayers with this update and we can't find anything to not like about the Norrie 2.0. Over and over again we reached for these shorts and especially appreciated them when protection was required. We loved them for mellow rides, too, because the stretch is comfortable and the pockets hold all our snacks. They are stylish and functional and if you only want to buy one pair of mountain bike shorts, this might be the answer.


Laurel Hunter