Pactimo Terrain Shorts review

Will stand up to the test of time and look good doing it

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

These MTB specific shorts come in three colors and five sizes.

What is it

Though best known for its custom road cycling kit, Pactimo has made a concerted push into the mountain bike arena in the last few years, including release of the Terrain Shorts that are reviewed here. (They also make MTB jerseys and bib liners, which you can check out here.)

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

The Terrain Shorts look good on the bike — and don’t interfere with the task at hand. Photo by Jake Orness

The Terrain uses a robust four-way stretch fabric (93% nylon, 7% spandex), has a relaxed cut that plays well with kneepads, and features three zippered pockets (2 front, 1 rear), plus a standard open pocket on the rear. Other notable features include what Pactimo calls its PMD (or performance minded design) leg opening that can be collapsed or expanded depending on preference or situation.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

We love the subtle branding — and the nod to Pactimo’s Colorado heritage.

Zippers are all YKK. There’s a secure double snap closure, tall rear waist panel, and the inseam is 14” size medium. The shorts also have mesh throughout the interior to help reduce friction and increase moisture movement away from the body. Available sizes are S, M, L, XL, 2XL and the Terrain shorts come in black, graphite, or blue (pictured). Price is $95 and they are available for sale at

  • Durable 4-way stretch fabric
  • Play well with kneepads
  • Reliable YKK zippers
  • Resistant to staining
  • Adjustable leg opening
  • Comfortable, relaxed fit
  • Ample pockets
  • Look good on bike
  • Subtle, tasteful branding
  • Reasonably priced
  • Interior mesh panels enhance comfort and cooling
  • Wonky waist adjustment system
  • Leg opening snaps could be troublesome in crash
Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

Instead of the more traditional Velcro, waist adjustment is achieved via this elastic band-button set-up. There are 17 button holes per side, providing a wide range of adjustability.

Mtbr’s Take

Were it not for these shorts somewhat wonky waist adjustment system, I would have given them a higher score. But I just didn’t care for the elastic band-button combination that’s used to adjust sizing. Yes, it does what it’s asked to do. But because the elastic is all in the back half of the short, you end up with a considerable amount of bunching if you have to narrow the waist to dial in fit.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

A dual snap and YKK zipper assure no unexpected openings.

I have a 33” waist, which puts me right between a medium and large on the Pactimo sizing chart. I opted for the large to ensure the shorts were long enough to work with kneepads. And while the bunching is mostly an aesthetic issue, this is clothing we’re talking about so that definitely counts for something.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

Interior mesh at the top of the thighs reduces friction and helps move moisture away from the body.

Otherwise, I’m a big fan of the Terrain Shorts. The material inside and out has a really nice hand feel, and thus far it’s proven durable, brushing off the occasional branch snag. The mesh lining throughout the interior makes for a comfortable fit, and three secure zip pockets are perfect for stashing a phone, snack, or a little cash.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

The leg opening can be reduced with this handy two-snap mechanism.

I personally haven’t used the leg opening adjustment much. But if you prefer a more streamlined fit it could be a welcome feature. I just hope one of those snaps doesn’t grind into my thigh the next time (knock on wood) I crash.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

Inseam measures 14″ on a size medium, providing plenty of length for use with kneepads.

I’ve also been impressed with how well these shorts come clean. Riding in the Rockies means occasional creek crossings, which means wet and often muddy rear ends. Grind that dirt into your shorts for a few hours and you’re often left with a dingy backside that can’t be shouted out. But so far that hasn’t been the case with these shorts. I also really appreciate the subtle branding.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

The rear of the shorts has a tall rear waist panel that’s lined with comfortable mesh on the inside.

Bottom line, if you can live with the waist adjustment mechanism, this is a solid pair of riding shorts that will stand up to the test of time and look reasonably good doing it on and off the bike. The four-way stretch fabric allows you to move freely while navigating trail obstacles, the three zip pockets avail ample secure storage, and the interior mesh lining keeps you cool and comfortable.

Pactimo Terrain Shorts Review

Zippers are ever-reliable YKK.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $95
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About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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