The best option for damp trails?
The Dirtlej Trailscout Half and Half short is perfect for use when trails are wet and muddy. Waterproof at the rear, comfortable and stretchy at the front.
Most readers will probably be more familiar with the waterproof onesie that German brand Dirtlej brought to our attention last year. But they also make more than just the one item. The Dirtlej Trailscout Half and Half is a short with a split personality.
Dirtlej Trailscout Half and Half short review
There are times when weather and trail conditions leave you in a bit of a kit quandary, normally in the transitional times between autumn, winter and spring. Often it can be pretty mild but with plenty of moisture on the trails so a full set of waterproofs is a little too warm but normal baggies don’t protect you from the mud and spray. The Trailscout Half and Half has been designed to be the perfect short for these conditions. As its name implies it has a split personality. The front half of the short is made from standard short materials, while the rear portion is crafted from a fully waterproof textile.
The first thing to note is Dirtlej’s sizing is a touch on the small side. I’m a 33″ waist and the medium (which they say is good up to 36″) was tight across the waist and hips, so if in doubt size up. Get past this though and the leg length and width is spot on.
The best of both?
Riding in the Trailscout feels more like wearing a normal pair of baggies than a pair of waterproof shorts. In fact I’ve taken to choosing these over other baggies whenever there’s even a merest hint of moisture on the trails. They just make sense. Okay, they still provide the classic waterproof short soundtrack thanks to the tougher, non-stretchy material but as they are cut like a normal short they limit the annoying chafing of your top tube that can come with wearing looser fitting waterproof versions.
The two zippered hip pockets are generous enough to stow your valuables without them getting in the way although the two velcro’d pockets on the seat are of limited use thanks to the lack of give in the material. Another neat touch is whilst the rear still features a stretchy panel just below the waistband for a better fit, the waterproof material is gusetted behind it to maintain 100% waterproofing.
Unless it's properly raining the Dirtlej Trailscout Half and Half should be right at the top of the list for riding in inclement conditions. The standard front panels provide excellent on bike comfort and aid temperature control, while the rear waterproof panels do a great job of protecting you from spray and mud. The only real downside is the sizing issue.