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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 | $74.98 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 14
  • 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. It excels on rough trails but will also tackle mellow rides with style.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award   
Price $74.98 at Competitive Cyclist$34.96 at Competitive Cyclist
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$64.98 at Competitive Cyclist$89.00 at Competitive Cyclist
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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 comfortableStylish patterns, comfortable, protective, good pocketsLightweight, comfortable, flattering fit, perfectly placed zip pocket, four-way stretchDurable material, 13-inch inseam works well with kneepads, comfortable
Cons Not the lightest weightNot as protective for burly terrainSizing is trickyNot the best protectionNot the most breathable, a little heavy
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 Freel is a good looking pair of shorts that doesn't slouch on the details.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 Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Dirt Roamer Wild Rye Freel Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic - Women's
Fit And Comfort (30%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Protection (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Pockets (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Yeti Cycles Norrie... Dirt Roamer Wild Rye Freel Yeti Cycles Avery 100% Airmatic -...
Shell Fabric Stretch polyester with DWR 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex Nylon Stretch polyester Polyester, elastane
Lining Main Fabric None Sold seperately None None None
Chamois None Sold seperately None None None
Inseam Measurement 12 in 11.75 in 12 in 11 in 13 in
Number of pockets 4 1 3 1 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!

If you feel like charging hard and looking good, these are the mountain bike shorts 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.

Performance Comparison


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 the original Norrie, 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!

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, and in fact, it was appreciated when riding in the higher mountains where the weather can change unexpectedly. However, in the hottest days of summer, they might feel a tad warm. For desert dwellers or those that run hot, you may want to look at some of the lighter weight shorts that we tested.

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 and quietly 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.


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. We also are fans of having the zipper on the top of the pocket, which makes it easier to get things in and out when there is more than one thing in a pocket, and also offers some security in case we don't get it all the way zipped.

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 contrasting turquoise stitching, zippers, and webbing. And candy pink zipper pulls and buckles add a fun touch without being overly 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.

Value


The price tag for these shorts 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