POC Infinite All-Mountain Shorts Review
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POC Infinite All-Mountain Shorts
|Price||$129.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Comfortable, extended coverage works well with knee pads, dialed fit for trail and all-mountain riding||Comfortable, sharp design, good features||Great ventilation, low-pro waist adjustment, welded leg openings||Lightweight, comfortable, great fit, quick-drying||Clean style, reasonable price, pedal-friendly|
|Cons||Hidden pockets aren't that user-friendly, potentially polarizing design||Single snap closure, baggier than some will like||Small pockets, lightweight material may not be the most durable, asymmetrical waist adjustment||Slightly longer and roomier than previous version||Deep pockets allow contents to flop around while riding|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable pair of all-mountain shorts that work great with knee pads but have some quirks||With great features, a good build, and a sharp look, these shorts represent the best modern design offers||This lightweight, highly breathable trail short is a great choice for cranking out the miles on hot days||Comfortable, lightweight, minimalist shorts for big days in the saddle||Highly functional trail-riding shorts that offer clean styling and a great in-saddle feel|
|Rating Categories||POC Infinite All-Mo...||Troy Lee Designs Sk...||Pearl Izumi Summit...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Specialized Trail S...|
|Fit and Pedal Friendliness (20%)|
|Specs||POC Infinite All-Mo...||Troy Lee Designs Sk...||Pearl Izumi Summit...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Specialized Trail S...|
|Shell Fabric||Stretch fabric blended with Cordura and treated with DWR||87% polyester and 13% spandex with 4-way stretch “Aero Tech” micro ripstop panels||87% recycled polyester, 13% spandex||4-way stretch 90 denier 86% recycled polyester/14% spandex with a DWR||VaporRize woven fabric|
|Inseam Measurement (med or 32" waist)||13||13.5||12.5||12.5||13.5|
|Number of pockets||3||2||2||2||2|
|Weight (grams)||241 grams||291 grams||165 grams||164 grams||224 grams|
|Weight (ounces)||8.5 oz||10.25 oz||5.85 oz||5.8 oz||7.9 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Infinite All-Mountain Shorts are rock solid and feature a unique design. These comfortable shorts fit great, are pedal-friendly, and have a slick knee design that provides a little extra coverage and works great with most knee pads. Style is open to interpretation but we found these shorts to look pretty clean and sleek. We didn't love the pocket design, but otherwise feel these are a great option for trail, all-mountain, and enduro-style riding.
The All-Mountain Shorts are extremely pleasant to wear and posted an impressive score in the comfort metric. We would have no problem wearing these shorts on an all-day epic ride regardless of weather conditions. Whether it is hot and humid or cold and windy, these shorts are fantastic.
The POC shorts are made from a stretch fabric that has been blended with Cordura to add a little durability. The fabric has some wind resistance and a DWR treatment to help keep wind and water at bay. This mid-weight material can feel a bit warm in hotter temperatures, but zipped vents on the thighs help to create some airflow. We found the material to feel very pleasant against the skin, and it caused no irritation. If you happen to have particularly sensitive skin and wear these shorts without knee pads, however, the extended knee coverage could potentially cause some problems, but we didn't have any issues.
Fit and Pedal Friendliness
We loved the fit of the POC shorts. They strike an excellent balance between the trimmer-fitting shorts and the super-relaxed downhill-style shorts. The fit is tailored and clean with no excess material hanging around. The shape is rather flattering and emphasizes an athletic figure.
We found these shorts fit true to size. Our medium test shorts worked excellent for our size 32 waist tester. We'd suggest taking a good look at POC's sizing chart before purchasing. External Velcro waist adjustment tabs allow you to fine-tune the fit with a couple inches of adjustment.
Pedal-friendliness was excellent. Despite their added length, the well-fitting legs do not restrict the pedaling motion in the least. The 4-way stretch material feels nice on the skin and since there is no excess material, the shorts don't catch the wind or flop around at all. When standing up to punch over technical trail features, neither the crotch nor the legs are inclined to snag your saddle.
If we had one minor critique, the windproof, DWR-coated, material is a little noisier than others. In the saddle, you can hear an audible "swoosh" when pedaling. This is nitpicking and isn't all that noticeable over the sound of your tires on the trail, but if you're particularly sensitive to noise it may bother you.
We liked the fit and style of the Infinite All-Mountain Shorts. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about all of the features. Some of the features are great, but we didn't get along great with the hip pocket design.
We'll start with the features of the Infinite All-Mountain shorts that we liked. The 4-way stretch material is blended with Cordura and is wind-resistant and coated with a DWR treatment. The seat of the shorts is reinforced with a Nylon Ripstop material for added durability. The shorts have extended coverage at the front of the knees and are articulated to work seamlessly with knee pads. A zipped vent on each thigh allows you to regulate temperature, and external adjustment tabs on the waistband allow you to quickly and easily fine-tune the fit. A small zipped pocket on the rear of the waistband is perfect for small thin items like a credit card or id.
The Infinite All-Mountain Shorts also have a hip pocket on each side. These pockets load from the top and have an overlapping "envelope" closure. The pockets themselves are fine, but we feel this closure is kinda funky and not particularly user-friendly. It makes it a little harder than we think it should be to get items in and out of the pockets. It seems unlikely that your cargo would just fall out, but since there is no way to secure the opening, we wouldn't necessarily trust the overlapping design either.
Throughout testing, we observed no signs of premature wear. We don't have any special durability concerns with these shorts. The stretch fabric is infused with Cordura to boost toughness and is wind resistant with a DWR coating. When walking around, they have a slight "swoosh" sound if that helps paint a picture of the texture. The seat of the shorts is also reinforced with a Nylon Ripstop fabric for added durability in this high wear area.
The material isn't particularly thick or heavy but feels robust enough for all-mountain use. The material is definitely beefier than some of the light-duty trail shorts in this review. We did crash while testing these shorts. This crash included a slide on our hips/elbow on a dusty surface. The shorts came out unscathed. Additionally, the stitching all remains intact and the snaps and zippers appear to be high quality.
The POC shorts are definitely a little unique. They feature some lines and cuts that are not found on your everyday trail shorts. The fit is tailored and flattering, and there are no clumsy-looking patches of excess material. Our Moonstone Grey test shorts may not be for everyone, but the Infinite shorts come in a more traditional black color as well.
The most defining stylistic feature is the dramatically angled hemline. Many modern trail riding shorts have an angled hem, but the Infinite shorts take it to another level. The shorts are a couple of inches longer at the front of the knee and they are heavily articulated. As a result, these shorts interface very well with knee pads and it is hard to imagine any knee pad gap, even with pads that have a short upper sleeve. Off the bike, however, these shorts might look a little funky. Beyond that, these shorts have a relatively plain appearance, trim fit, and nice lines. There is a POC logo on the right thigh, but otherwise, they have a relatively casual look and feel.
The Infinite All-Mountain shorts offer reasonable amounts of protection. They are wind and weather-resistant, and the extended length of the shorts provides more coverage for the legs whether you wear them with or without knee pads. The material isn't super burly, but it feels more robust than some of the super-light shorts we've tested. We'd say these shorts lean towards the trail and all-mountain riding application, but gravity riders might want to look into some heavier-duty options.
These shorts fall just below the kneecap and integrate extremely well with knee pads. Whether you prefer ultra-slim knee pads or something a little chunkier, the All-Mountain shorts should play well without any gap between the bottom of the short leg and the top of the knee pad sleeve. If you are interested in wearing a super bulky set of downhill knee pads, you may want to consider different shorts as the leg opening might limit how chunky of a knee pad will fit.
Should You Buy The POC Infinite All-Mountain Shorts?
The Infinite All-Mountain shorts are great do-it-all shorts for a wide range of riders. These shorts will work well in most situations from everyday trail riding to enduro racing, and they boast a killer fit, high levels of comfort, great in-saddle feel, and smart knee design. The euro styling with extended knee coverage may be a bit polarizing but the shorts certainly look unique and function very well out on the trail.
What Other Mountain Bike Shorts Should You Consider?
If the extended knee coverage of the Infinite All-Mountain shorts isn't for you but you still want a high-end short, the Rapha Trail Shorts for that bill. These comfortable shorts work well for most types of riding, are made from quality materials, and are packed with features. Those looking to save some cash would be wise to consider the Specialized Trail Short. These less expensive shorts still boast a very high level of comfort and pedal-friendliness and a streamlined design.
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