The Pathfinder has everything you'd expect from a well thought out riding short, including an adjustable waist band, vented panels, and a zippered side pocket.
|Creating shorts that fit well and remain unobtrusive out on the trail isn't as easy as it seems, but Alpinestars have done a good job with the design of the Pathfinder. They're not overburdened with extra pockets or zippers, and the cut isn't excessively baggy, which made me choose to wear them time and time again over a number of other options. The fit of the Pathfinder is on the slim side, which worked well for my body type, but riders with quads the size of tree trunks may want to try them on first to make sure they're not overly tight. That same slim fit also means that the shorts will hang up on bulkier knee pads, but lower profile pads fit without any trouble. |
As far as the fabric itself goes, it seems to have the ideal amount of stretch to it, offering just enough elasticity to allow for comfortable pedaling while still staying out of the way of bike seats and dropper post levers. It's also resisted the abrasion that comes with muddy, wet weather riding without ripping or tearing, although the stitching has come undone on the hem of one of the legs. The placement of the mesh panels on the back of the legs is a little curious - they didn't offer as much ventilation as shorts with vents located on the front or on the inseam, but the fabric is light enough that they remained comfortable on all but the hottest midsummer rides. As I was turning my thoughts about the Pathfinder shorts into words on the screen, I was ready to call them 'outstanding' due to their fit and functional design, but then I noticed the unraveling seam on the hem of the left leg. That takes them down a notch in the durability department, but considering how many long rides they saw before those threads decided to come undone, these shorts are still certainly worth a try. - Mike Kazimer
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