Gravity Anomaly Longhaul Shorts 2yr Review

Gravity Anomaly Long Haul Shorts...
Gravity Anomaly Long Haul Shorts…

I’ve got 2 pairs of Gravity Anomaly Longhaul Shorts. Which I’ve been wearing the last couple years. They are made in the US which is fairly rare for mountain bike clothing. I got a pair in large and a pair in medium. They have adjustable waists so I can wear both sizes fairly comfortably. My perfect fit would probably be smack in the middle. The large is a bit loose on me and the medium is a bit tight. The cut is longer in the leg so it comes down to my pads, but doesn’t interfere with my pedalling.

Butt reinforcement...
Butt reinforcement…

Construction quality is decent. Not up the standards of the Troy Lee or Race Face shorts I own, but not bad. They’ve got a bit of an industrial cottage industry look to them…..which I actually like a fair bit. They are made with a soft outer nylon fabric and then an interior mesh fabric. This approach makes them feel a bit heavy [especially when wet] and hotter than an unlined short like the Troy Lee Skyline. They also take longer to dry. This has meant I use them mostly during the winter when I’m happy to be a bit warmer and I’m pretty much wet all ride here in Coastal BC.

Nice deep hand pockets...
Nice deep hand pockets…

In terms of features they have two open pockets at the top front of the shorts, two velcro flapped pockets on the back and two snap closed cargo pockets on the sides. They also have velcro adjustable waist tabs and belt loops. The open front hand pockets are nice and deep so you are unlikely to loose stuff. I use them a bunch.

Rear pocket detail...
Rear pocket detail…

The rear pockets have the velcro in the corner on one side of the flap and they aren’t very deep. This doesn’t seem secure so I don’t use them. The side cargo pockets use very very very tight snaps. So tight that they pull right through the fabric of the shorts when you try and open them. So basically they are useless. If the snaps worked I would put my maps in these pockets and other light items like cash that I want to avoid losing, but get easy access to.

Tight snaps makes the side pockets useless...
Tight snaps makes the side pockets useless…

The shorts have a reinforced seat to prevent abrasion from the saddle. The outer fabric has stood up to use well with no noticeable damage. The inner mesh gets snagged on stuff easily…especially velcro from my knee pads. It’s starting to look a bit rough.

Waist adjusters and front details...
Waist adjusters and front details…

The waist adjusters do an okay job, but if you tighten them up a lot the plastic buckle turns sideways which lets the tension go and is a bit uncomfortable when riding. Not the best design.

These shorts use the same tight snaps at the waist, but because the material here is thicker they don’t pull out.

Side view...
Side view…

While riding they feel pretty good as long as it’s cool out and I’m not overheating. Even with the larger size they allow good freedom of movement, but don’t snag on my saddle when I’m sliding my butt back on the descents. They are also comfortable for off the bike use, but I find they get wet easy and stay wet a long time so I’m pretty motivated to take them off as soon as the ride ends. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them casually around town.

The Good

  • Made in US
  • Robust outer fabric
  • Warm in cool weather
  • Looks nice in an industrial sort of way
  • Long inseam covers leg down to knee pad
  • Good freedom of movement when riding
  • Despite being baggy they don’t snag on saddle
Liner material getting snagged on my pads...
Liner material getting snagged on my pads…

The Bad

  • Too warm for hot weather use
  • Slow to dry
  • Cargo pocket snaps failed
  • Heavy when wet
  • Waist adjusters could be improved
  • Uninspiring warranty support

I contacted Gravity Anomaly to report the problem I was having with the pocket snaps. They acknowledged they were aware of the problem, but made no offer to help me.

Rear pocket flap...
Rear pocket flap…

Would I buy another pair? No. There are better options out there if you are spending $85+ for some shorts. I like that they are made in the US, but the design issues I’ve noticed make them a distant 4th choice after the Troy Lee, Race Face and Dakine shorts I own.

The good news is that Gravity Anomaly could fix all these problems and release a revised short. If they did I would suspect they’d give my favourite shorts a run for their money.

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