Showers Pass Hi-Line SS Shirt and Cross Country Shorts: Quick Review- by Guitar Ted
The gear we use as cyclists often leaves others with no doubt about our chosen passion for two wheeled adventures. However; there are times when not looking the part may be advantageous, desirable, and even more comfortable. Grannygear looked at some gear like this recently here, but in this post I will be giving my take on a shirt and shorts from Showers Pass.
What It Is: These are clothing pieces that are functional on or off the bike, are meant to allow for maximum freedom of movement, and definitely do not call you out as a cyclist because of the fit and fashion of the pieces. Next up here is some features of both pieces I took from Showers Pass’ website:
Hi-Line Short Sleeved Merino Shirt FEATURES:
- Lightweight, quick-drying Merino Wool blend fabric provides natural antimicrobial protection from odors, natural breath-ability and stretch for comfort during aerobic activities
- Modern Henley styling with snap front and chest pocket
- Soft and durable 50% Merino Wool 50% Polyester blend on the front and back; Side panels offer natural antimicrobial protection from odors with 87% Merino Wool 13% Nylon blend
- Reflective label on back
- Quick drying
- Comfortable tailored fit with slightly longer back length for on-the-bike coverage
- UPF 40 protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays
- Mens Strong Blue size SM-XL and Dark Shadow size SM-XXL
- Womens Dark Shadow and Hollyhock XS-XXL
- MSRP: $89
Cross Country Shorts FEATURES:
- Breathable Nylon-Spandex blend 4-way stretch fabrics with heavier weighted fabric on the back panel for excellent durability
- Adjustable waist cinch and stretch articulation on the low back for the perfect custom fit, on or off the trail.
- Silicone grip on elastic waistband
- 6-panel, 4 pocket design, all pockets are constructed with mesh for better ventilation
- Floating rear pockets with hidden zippered pocket on right side
- Reflective accents of the sides provide low-light visibility
- 2 snap closure with hook and bar for durability
- Gunmetal hardware
- Men’s 11.5” inseam
- Women’s 10” inseam
- Men’s Size: 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40 Colors: Dark Shadow and Alpine Blue
- Women’s Size: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 Colors: Dark Shadow and Smoke Blue
- MSRP: $89
Impressions: These shorts and the shirt did fit the “I am not a cyclist” camouflage really well. In fact, the day I received both of these pieces I wore them out for an evening with my family to a restaurant. No one would have known any better that I was an avid cyclist, but I looked casually fashionable. Okay, so…….I looked good, what about the riding part?
Glad you asked.
Cross Country Shorts: I liked these very much. The legs are key on “baggy shorts”- I almost hesitate to use the term in regard to these shorts- and the Cross Country shorts do a great job of being loose enough to not feel constrictive but not so flappy in the legs that the saddle catches the legs and snags you. The waist band is another critical part on shorts and again, the way these are engineered are a big hit with me. The adjustable waist cinch works beautifully and holds up the shorts without resorting to use of extra tight force. The articulation of the material in a riding position is excellent and the back of the shorts, with the grippy silicone on the waistband, makes for a short that doesn’t reveal anything you don’t want revealed.
They work great with bibs, again the silicone waist treatment keeps the shorts put while riding, and they do not sag down. The shorts also functioned well with other short liners I tried from other baggies. Alone the shorts are functional for any occasion you’d wear shorts at. They look great and the pockets work like they should. Overall I give the Cross Country shorts a high recommendation for anyone needing a pair of shorts for commuting, riding trail or gravel, and which can double down as your shorts for lounging or the pub.
Hi-Line Short Sleeved Merino Shirt: First off, if wool and warm weather seem like bad bedfellows to you, reconsider your thoughts there. This shirt feels fine in hot, humid weather. I did an early July weekend ride that was super humid and hot which the Hi-Line shirt handled just fine with a base layer worn underneath. That said, the shirt is a Henley style cut and functions as a shirt, not as a traditional cycling jersey. Don’t reach back for a
pocket full of gels because there are no pockets on the back. If you carry a hydration pack, or work from a top tube bag, then you will be okay here. Also, the shirt isn’t cut like a jersey, or as sleek as the Cross Country shorts are. The material is cut more like a t-shirt, and it rides that way. Flapping in the wind, the sides make you feel like you are wearing a traditional cotton t-shirt, not a cycling jersey. That may play well with how you cycle, but for gravel travel, it may not be ideal.
At The Finish: The Cross Country shorts are a winner. If you can deal with riding in shorts, (not everyone can wrap their mind around that), then these are really great shorts for gravel travel. They likely would be excellent bikepacking and mountain biking shorts as well, so they could cover a lot of your cycling needs. Commuting? Totally. Only your fast roadie friends would turn their nose up at these, but you probably wouldn’t be hindered by wearing them at the next club ride. Off the bike- excellent comfort and looks make the Cross Country shorts a winner.
The Hi-Line Short Sleeved Shirt is another animal all together. Off the bike it works fine as far as comfort, fit, and function. The cut is too loose for really fast, over the road riding without a ton of flapping material and is likely better suited to bikepacking and mountain biking, touring, or casual rides and commutes. The lack of cycling specific pockets may be a turn off. However; the cut of the material, construction of the shirt, and comfort of the Merino blend material is top notch. As long as a loose fitting, not-really-cycling specific shirt trips your trigger, then this might be for you.
NOTE: Showers Pass sent the Hi-Line Merino Short Sleeve shirt and Cross Country shorts for test and review at no charge to RidingGravel.com. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.