Quick Review: PATH Project

A friend Mike B. mentioned PATH Project shorts to me a couple of months ago when we were out for a run. He really enjoyed them, and loved the pockets, so I finally decided to pull the trigger and pick up a pair of their Sykes shorts and take them for a spin. Initially I bought the wrong size. However, when I contacted PATH, they went out of their way to make sure I got the right size in time for an upcoming trip I was doing. I can’t stress enough how awesome their customer service was for to me on this occasion.

I’ve had the shorts for about a month now and feel like I’m ready to comment on how they’ve worked for me. First, one of the unique things about PATH Project shorts is the pockets. The model I picked out is more akin to a biking jersey style, with three pockets on the back. I really like this style, as it allows you to secure valuable things, like your ID and keys, without items banging against your leg in a loose pocket. The zippered pockets feel secure and hold everything tight against my hip.

img_3338My only issue with the pockets is for regular day-to-day wear. Lacking pockets on the side of the shorts means that it’s not as comfortable and convenient for me when I’m driving to/from the trailhead. Sitting in my car with my bulky phone up against my back works, but it’s not the most comfortable. Thankfully, this is only one of the styles that PATH has, and I’m thinking the next pair I pick up will be the Graves model which has one large zippered phone pocket in the back, but also has the traditional open side pockets. Despite this, the Skyes model works great for running, and it’s been very handy for when I’m running at lunch at work. No more worrying about forgetting my waist pack.

In terms of fit, the PATH Project shorts are great. They are cut just right for running and at no point have I ever felt like they’re shifting when I’m running in them. Some other shorts I’ve worn will bunch up between the thighs when I’m running. That’s not an issue I’ve encountered with these. The leg length also works well for me, and the fit around the glutes is comfortable. Overall, I have no complaints about fit, and once I got the right size for me (large) they’ve been nothing but a joy to wear.

Although I’ve only had the shorts for a month, I’ve put them through their paces at some local parks, as well as the Porcupine Mountains. The build and material quality feels top notch, and I haven’t had any issues with any seams splitting or fabric tears. The waistband elastic seems fine, and the cinch ties are pretty standard. The zippers feel pretty solid and not flimsy, which is a nice perk. This is one area that could easily have been skimped on, but I’m glad that they didn’t. It’s hard to predict how the shorts will wear over the long term, but after 30 days, things seem good. I’ve still got shorts I’m wearing from 7 years ago, so I’m hopeful these PATH Project shorts will be able to go the same distance.

img_3335Something that I really like about PATH Projects is that their shorts do not come with a liner. I’m one of those people who hate how many running shorts come with a liner built-in. I prefer to run with running underwear that goes down my legs a bit. Many of the running shorts you find have a simple liner that doesn’t mimic a boxer brief at all. In fact they feel more like a simple hammock for your goodies, than anything that would give real support or protection. I end up avoiding shorts that have liners for this very reason.

PATH has decided to separate the liner from the short, and let you pick what you want for either. They sell liners, but if you already have your base layers that you like, then you can just go with them and not worry about it. This allows me the freedom to chose what type of underwear I want to use, and even tailor it for the type of running conditions I’m in. Colder weather? I can use something a bit thicker. Hot and muggy? Pull out something thinner with a smaller inseam. I like being able to choose.

Overall, I really like the PATH Project shorts. They’re comfortable, appear durable, and have lots of great features when it comes to pockets. They are $40-50, but if they last me for many years, I’m OK paying that price. They’re tailored to the sport that I do, and for me that’s worth paying a bit of a premium. If you’ve never tried these before, I’d encourage you to give them a shot. I think you’ll like the result.