Acre Traverse Shorts - Review

Jul 23, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Acre Traverse Shorts review

Acre, the mountain bike oriented offshoot of San Franciso-based Mission Workshop, may be best known for their line of hydration packs, but the company also manufactures a full line of mountain bike apparel that includes everything from jerseys to waterproof jackets, the vast majority of them made in the United States. The Traverse shorts are geared towards all-mountain riders, with a below the knee length and a V-shaped split at the lower cuff to make them knee pad compatible.

Not only are they sewn in the US, they're also constructed using an American made 4-way stretch nylon fabric that has a DWR coating to provide a bit of water resistance. Functional simplicity is the theme with these shorts, and the list of features is quite concise. There's a zippered pocket on the side of each leg, a zippered fly with a two snap closure, an integrated belt for fine tuning the fit, and that's about it – just the essentials and nothing more. Available in sizes 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, the Traverse shorts retail for $165 USD. Weight: 230 grams (size 32). www.acre-supply.com


Acre Traverse Shorts review
An aluminum buckle allows for easy one-handed adjustments.
Acre Traverse Shorts review
The wide, built-in belt keeps the plumber's crack at bay.

Acre Traverse Shorts review
A cutout on each leg helps the shorts fit over knee pads.
Acre Traverse Shorts review
The zippered pockets on each side are oriented to keep items out of the way when pedaling.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesAfter three solid months of use and abuse, including riding conditions that ranged from sun to mud, bushwacking through blackberry and nettle choked trails, clambering over logs and rocks, and plenty of swimming in lakes and creeks, the Traverse shorts are nearly as good as new, and I certainly wasn't easy on them. Somewhere along the line one stitch did manage to come loose on the lower hem of the left leg, but it hasn't gotten any worse despite hundreds of more riding miles and a few rounds in the washing machine. The fit is excellent, with a trim cut that kept the shorts from billowing around with every pedal stroke, and there's enough built in stretch that they never felt restrictive no matter what strange contortions I was doing on the bike. That little cut out on the outside cuff prevented the shorts from ever hanging up on lower profile knee pads, and the inseam length is just long enough to keep that thigh meat hidden when pedaling. Despite the fact that there aren't any vents, even when temperatures approached 90 degrees Fahrenheit they remained just as comfortable as shorts with mesh paneling.

Are they expensive enough to make your eyes water? Yep. Are they better than that threadbare pair of Dickies you picked up for $2 from the Salvation Army? That depends. For a quick spin to the corner store, or a hot lap on the pump track, it doesn't really matter what you wear - shorts are shorts, right? It's on those longer adventures, when cotton doesn't cut it, that lightweight, quick drying and tough shorts make more sense, and where the Traverse shorts handily beat any thrift store offering. If I were gearing up for a multi-day journey, something like the Trans-Provence, the BC Bike Race, or a deep woods expedition of my own creation, I wouldn't hesitate to bring these along as my only shorts. The casual, low key styling means that you could walk into a coffee shop without attracting a second glance, but they're tough enough to hold up to whatever backcountry adventures you can find. - Mike Kazimer




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63 Comments

  • + 41
 I prefer the handcrafted artisanal Kirkland signature shorts. I can get like 7 pairs of those plus 3 pairs of locally sourced raw denim dad jeans from the Kirkland workshop for the price of just one pair of these stupid shorts.
  • + 1
 Funniest comment I've seen in PB in a while. Kudos!
  • + 7
 Living in Bellingham, I delight in provoking people by explaining to them that buying stuff from Amazon, Costco, Microsoft and Starbucks means supporting local business... Not that I actually go to Costco (the crowds and the sheer amount of crap I don't need gives my hives), but it's still fun to say that out loud, especially at the farmer's market...
  • + 7
 And a churro!
  • + 4
 This is a real reasonable price of shorts that are made with a relatively expensive fabric in America.

TLD and everyone else with cheaper shorts are using CHEAP Asia/Pacific labor. For any softgood the least expensive part is the labor. I'm in the design industry and have seen and lived it all first hand.
  • + 1
 It's a shame that those cheap Asian/Pacific labourers are good at making stuff compared to American manufacturers
  • + 29
 And as usual these days there's no 26" option. Damn bike industry.
  • + 11
 Agreed, it's a travesty. At least they're not calling the larger sizes "+" or Boost...
  • + 0
 Damnit, I "upgraded" your +26 props to +27 props! Sorry dude
  • + 18
 for $165 if you shop around you can get an entire kit with gloves and a case of beer. Beer.
  • + 10
 I own these shorts. The quality is very high - they're the best made shorts I've got by far. But, as compared to my other regular outdoor/biking shorts (Prana Zion), they cost over twice as much and provide maybe 25% more functionality (the Acre shorts are more water resistant, have better pocket placement, and a better biking fit). So, the rest of that extra cost is something you're just going to have to do because you like buying stuff designed and made in the USA. For a certain group of people it will be worth it.

There is one big design oversight in the Acre shorts I am surprised the reviewer didn't mention. The wide waist belt is 100% not breathable (it has some kind of plastic coating on the inside). So, you'll have a sweat band around your waist 100% of the time while wearing these shorts, which is fairly annoying when you're not exercising (for example, sitting down at lunch after a ride). Why have this awesome breathable Schoeller fabric and a plastic bag waist belt? It is not that big a deal when riding hard because you should be covered in sweat anyway. Maybe this seems like a minor complaint but I do expect near perfection from shorts that cost this much.
  • + 8
 $165 and no liner? Sizes only to 36" WTF?!!! Designed for the SF hipster too look rad at the coffee shop, or while coasting down Market St. on their town bike.
  • + 2
 I wouldn't buy them and apparently neither would you, but this is BS criticism of a quality US made product that potentially offers more actual function than TLD pjs ever will. Most people riding enough to justify buying these will want their own bibs, cause most shorts liners are crap. There's no shortage of over designed and over priced crap in mountain biking, but if you wear anything but goodwill cutoffs for mountain biking you've already bought in to this line of thought.
  • + 0
 Bibs???? BIBS?????
Most people who wear bibs don't wear baggies.
  • + 6
 Many, many people who wear baggies wear bibs under them. Probably 9/10 pro enduro racers, if I had to guess.
  • + 0
 You needs to put those trees down dude ; )
  • + 4
 You can get one of their liners.... for and additional $125. Throw in their Alpine waterproof jacket for an additional $455. Maybe I could get by without food this month.....
  • + 6
 Well, I hope other makers follow suit and offer similarly simple shorts. When I'm geared up for riding I'd rather not look out of place when I'm off the bike so I prefer solid colors and no florescence. I also like that they use nylon where most others are polyester. Should be more durable that way. I bet these go great with ENVE rims, but I don't have ENVE rims so they just wouldn't match.
  • + 7
 Reading made in the USA in the first paragraph means you don't have to scroll down to see the actual outrageous price, because you know it's there already.
  • + 4
 If you have to compare it to thrift shop cutoffs to justify the price, then they were too expensive.

I mean, you can get some pretty awesome shorts for less than $100, Troy Lee's entire line of shorts only has one model that breaks the $100 barrier. at MSRP. These should be comparing favorable with something like the Ruckus or the Skylines, the price difference is about right for USA production.
  • + 5
 Finally, a pair of cycling shorts with a built in climbing harness. You know, for those REALLY steep uphill climbs.
Wink
If nothing else, they look waaay better that the TLD speeda print shorts. But then again, anything would.
  • + 1
 Ohhh it's a climbing harness! At first glance I thought it was for flotating with tired legs...
www.moredeal.my/public/uploads/deal/0678sunstarswimmingfoam.jpg
  • + 0
 No way. I love rocking my speeda shorts.
  • + 12
 @aoneal don't like the speeda pattern shorts? Well, good thing we make 24 other colors and patterns.
  • + 4
 @troyleedesigns Nah, I'll stick with my selection of awesome Dakine shorts. No point in downgrading to TLD at this point.
  • + 1
 @troyleedesigns as a first step just bring back your rear zipped pocket on the skyline shorts.
  • + 3
 Acre makes some nice stuff, I would buy some of their kit if it was priced lower. Maybe they should consider making some of their stuff off shore. I like it when stuff is made in North America, but we are just not set up to be competitive in the apparel biz.
  • + 3
 I love Mission Workshop, and I like their Acre offshoot as well. They make quality parts, and made in the USA is great, but still their products are definitely for the upper 10% of the consumer market. I'd be interested to see what they can produce at a lower pricepoint, as these are definitely out of reach for most.
  • + 2
 I think you have an extra '0' in there.
  • + 2
 Upper middle class can afford these shorts. So no. The '0' is intentional.
  • + 1
 Does the waistband have any stretch to it? I'm tired of expensive shorts that slide down while pedaling up. A nice solid nylon webbing belt is all I'm asking for. Roach were the last ones that actually figured this out 15 years ago.
  • + 1
 I laugh everytime I see the price of MTB shorts. It's getting pretty ridiculous. Take fly shorts, last year I picked up a pair for 40 bucks, not bad. This year they labeled them as MTB specific and now charge 100 bucks, for the same shorts. Why?? Because people will pay that for them.
  • + 3
 A bowl or rice feeds a whole family in China! I prefer to wear normal shorts from Wal-Mart for about 25 bucks. Help the less fortunate eat.
  • + 2
 There can't be anyone out there, that looks at that and says, "$165 for a pair of shorts. That seems reasonable." There can't be, right?
  • + 3
 $165? pffff, what else would go with my $10K + bike? Now, where did I put my $500 shoes....
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer just picking up on this old thread, how are these holding up three years later if you're still riding them? long shot I know! Thanks
  • + 2
 They're still hanging tough, which is impressive considering the number of miles I've put on them. I don't wear them as much as I used to, simply because I've been testing other apparel, but they are still in the regular rotation.
  • + 2
 I suppose I'm not the fattest dude out there but to stop at 36 waist!
  • + 1
 Right?! You don't even have to be overweight to not fit in these!
  • + 1
 I guess "made in the US" is a new retail term that means twice as expensive Frown
  • + 2
 Not really, Gravity Anomaly are usa made and $85. Best pair of shorts I own
  • + 3
 i was just joking lol trying to be funny
  • + 2
 Talk about sticker shock.... check out their website.
  • + 1
 Haha, they are slightly better than thrift store dickies?!? I'm guessing they really suck compared to $70 TLD skylines???
  • + 2
 The belt doubles as a sleeping mask.
  • + 2
 You can wear it for lifting in gym too.
  • + 1
 This is the best vaguely written review I've seen on pinkbike, lovers and haters can all make their cases with this article
  • + 1
 I'm gonna stick with my troy lee ones that have the awesome zip pocket on the back.
  • + 1
 $165? Well at least it includes a gym belt to prevent hernia.
  • + 1
 only one colour available...
  • + 5
 Yep, other colors got outsourced to Asia so Acre doesn't offer them.
  • + 1
 165$ for what ?
  • + 0
 designer tat
  • + 2
 The people who ran the sewing machine happened to be in the United States at the time. Um...that doesn't answer your question, but there you go.
  • + 1
 165 bones? Ummm, no.
  • + 0
 PB, do these come with a liner short? I am assuming not.
  • + 2
 That's correct - there's no liner included.
  • + 6
 Built in riding shorts diapers always blow goats hardcore. And real men just wear underwear no matter how big a ride.
  • - 1
 Shorts sans liner for this cost? How about no.
  • - 1
 is it enduro specific ?
  • - 2
 I WOULD WEAR THESE SHORTS.

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