For many of us the name Patagonia is synonymous with outdoor adventure & quality. Founder Yvon Chouinard took his love for climbing and mountaineering from a humble hand-made piton business in the late 1950’s and turned it into the eco-focused company that we all know as Patagonia today.

Patagonia Australia’s National Sales Manager (Matt Martin) recently commented that when Patagonia designer Evan Daniel began working on the Patagonia’s mountain bike apparel line, demand from inside the company was so high that it was difficult for even him to get a pair to field test. Warehouse workers in Reno, Nevada, and mountain bikers at the brand’s headquarters in Ventura, California, were all eager to be among the first to ride the shorts that Daniel developed. “Luckily we had a lot of testers in our back pockets,” Daniel said.

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I have just received the Patagonia the Dirt Craft Short as a birthday present from my amazing husband and can wait to take them onto the trail. The intent of the Dirt Craft Shorts is multi-functionality meaning it can be used not only for mountain biking, but for running, swimming, climbing or other sports. With this casual look the Dirt Craft can easily double as camping casualwear, hiking shorts or as the perfect cycle touring short for both on and off the bike in Australia or in more exotic overseas destinations. Also like many Patagonia garments the Dirt Craft shorts are bluesign®-approved, which means they come from a sustainable production process.

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However all this versatility doesn’t mean Patagonia skimped on mountain-bike specific details. With the Dirt Craft featuring:

  • Removable, comfortable and supportive Italian made liner in a polyester/spandex blend with breathable panels of nylon/spandex power mesh and a mountain-biking-specific 3-layer protective pad
  • Outer short is a stretchy nylon/spandex plain weave with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish and enough breathability to avoid overheating
  • Low-profile internal elastic and button adjustment at waist to fine-tune fit and comfort
  • Drop-in hand pockets and secure zipper pocket at right back
  • Reflective logo at left hem and right back
  • Outer short: 4.5-oz 96% nylon/4% spandex stretch plain weave with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Liner: 5.2-oz 72% polyester/28% spandex stretch interlock knit with breathable 80% nylon/20% spandex power mesh panels

The women’s Dirt Craft length isn’t your typical Enduro down to the knee styled MTB short, they sit at 9 inches which would be too short to pair with kneepads. However I feel that Patagonia isnt trying to capture this market and the 9inch inseam fits the shorts all round, on and off the bike use perfectly. However the men’s Dirt Craft short has a more generous 11.5-inch inseam for those who don’t want to show off to much thigh.

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While the Dirt Craft shorts price may look to be on the high side at $199.95 the construction quality of both the outer short and the liner is high and speaks to Patagonia’s ethos of creating better gear so it lasts longer and lessens the environmental impact from manufacturing.  The Dirt Craft shorts removable liner and cut also give them some great versatility and if you think of them as 2 shorts for the price they become easily justified.

For me I cant wait for the working week to end so I can take the shorts to the local trail and give them a thrashing. Stay tuned for an in use review soon.

Check out the Dirt Craft Womens and Mens shorts at the Sydney and Melbourne Paddy Pallin stores or Online.

About The Author

Zuzana Melicharova

Zuzana has lived in Europe, New Zealand and Australia while travelling extensively though out these countries as well as Asia, North & South America. Zuzana enjoys hiking, skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing.

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