Canari Cyclewear Canyon II Review
Cons: Liner doesn't separate, no usable pockets, funky styling, incorrectly positioned chamois
Manufacturer: Canari Cyclewear
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Canari Canyon is the least expensive short we tested and the only one with a gel chamois. Other than the chamois, which is incorrectly positioned, the Canyon has very little in the way of bike specific features.
The Canari Canyon is very similar to a pair of baggy gym shorts. The full elastic waistband is neither flattering or stylish. To top it off, Canari used contrasting thread which stands out in an unsightly way.
Lacking snaps or zippers which are likely to fail, this simple short will last a while. However ugly, the contrasting stitching on the outer short held up to our tests.
The pair of shorts that we received for our test had an incorrectly sewn right hand pocket. The bottom-most part of the mesh pocket was sewn into the side seam rather than hanging freely like the left pocket. This made the pocket awkward even as a hand warmer. Not the best quality control from Canari here.
For bike-friendly features, the Canyon has two slit hand pockets and one cargo pocket. The hand pockets do not close with zippers or velcro, which means that we were reluctant to carry anything of value in them. On top of the lack of closure, the pockets are not very deep compared to their opening, and tend to open up while riding. The cargo pocket is closed with a small patch of velcro which closes less than half of the opening. Again, not very secure.
The full elastic waistband has a tie hidden-drawstring to tighten the waist, which offers some adjustability.
The Gel chamois is the best feature of the Canyon II, and is the densest most padded chamois in the review. Unfortunately the chamois is part of a poorly designed inner/outer short combo. We found that because the outer short and liner do not separate, we had to hike the short up to near armpit levels to engage the chamois against the usual parts. Once we did this, we noticed that the chamois is placed much too anteriorly compared to the anatomy that it's trying to protect. When seated on the bike we found it hard to position the chamois between us and the saddle. Most of the heavy gel would end up much too far forward to do any good. This was very disappointing because the Gel chamois looked like it would be one of the most protective chamois. No amount of padding is effective if it is not positioned correctly.
The liner short uses elastic leg grippers, similar but slightly less irritating than the ones found on the Zoic Ether. There are many ways to keep the legs of the liner short in place but elastic grippers are our least favorite. Silicone is a common way to keep the shorts down, but is sometimes irritating as well depending on the width of the band. High end road cycling shorts use either a thicker stretch material or sometimes nothing at all.
The baggy fit and relatively short 11" inseam means that the outer short would likely be pushed up in a crash. If you are looking for a short to inspire confidence when charging harder lines, consider our Editors' Choice award winner the Pearl Izumi Elevate which has a longer inseam, fits well with kneepads, and is constructed from a much burlier material.
When pedaling in the Canyon we couldn't get past the improperly positioned chamois, which made us want to constantly pull up the back of the short. The chamois, aside from the short, has a baggy cut which bunched up in the front while in the seated position but didn't restrict motion. There is a lycra gusset in the inseam of the short which allows for a good amount of stretch. The rest of the outer short does not stretch at all.
We find that a short front rise combined with a long inseam and extra room or stretch in the seat provide for the best pedaling fit in a trail short. The Canyon lacks all of these qualities, with a relatively long rise in both front and rear along with a short inseam. The Canyon is not restrictive, however, due to its baggy fit and lycra gusset. Lacking the ergonomic cut found on higher-end mountain biking shorts, the Canyon feels like a baggy gym short with a poorly placed chamois as opposed to a purpose built mountain biking short.
The Canyon falls in the middle of the field in overall weight of the short, but it has a heavy feel when wearing it. We think this is due to the Gel chamois, which is hard to snug up against the skin when off the bike.
This is the least expensive short in our review, but you don't get much for your money. For just $19 more you can get our Best Buy Award winning Zoic Ether which is packed with features and more comfortable.
This was our least favorite short we tested. The shell and liner short do not separate, which decrease the uses of this short. The gel chamois is the most padded we found, but it is ineffective since it is positioned poorly in the liner short. Though it is the least expensive pair in the review, we feel that you would be better off spending a bit more and going with a more comfortable and featured short.
— Luke Lydiard