Review: Troy Lee Designs' Drift Jersey and Shorts

Oct 1, 2021
by Matt Beer  
Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove


Troy Lee Designs gear has always stood out in a crowd, but following a cry for less flashy colors and subtle branding has been answered with their new Drift line of lightweight riding apparel. Aimed at the category some might call downcountry, the kit is breathable and robust with minimal pockets and features in the name of comfort with less bulk. Blue Sign is a label applied to certified apparel and clothing manufactured in safer, more sustainable environments, which both jerseys and the shorts earn a pass for.

Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove


Drift Short and Long Sleeve Jerseys

The Drift series has short and long sleeve jersey options in carbon and marine tones - a color palette spread across all the latest bits of TLD apparel for this season.

The logo on the chest is small, rubberized, and color-matched, plus, on the back of the waist hem is a grippy silicone word mark to keep the jersey from riding up, should you choose to wear a pack. The jersey cut is a race fit without any rear pockets, zippers, or eyewear wiper.

Drift SS and LS Jersey Details

• Blue Sign Certified nylon shoulders and chest
• Feather Knit mesh lower body and back panel
• Short and long sleeve options
• Sizes: SM - XXL
• Colors: light marine, carbon
• MSRP: SS - $75, LS - $85 USD

At $75 USD for the short sleeve and the longer option coming in at $85, the tops are quite different from any other jersey I've tried due to the dual material. Both tops have a tough, but light nylon material on the upper chest and shoulders to guard against tears from trail encroaching branches. The lower chest and back are highly breathable, featuring a material TLD calls "Feather Knit". As for the sewing, the cuffs and hem are stitch free and use a tidy fabric weld for less weight and skin contact.

Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove
Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove

Review

These short and long sleeve jerseys make for a great adventure jersey choice, which work in a few different climates thanks to its wind stopping qualities on the majority of the front panel and venting on the back. That unique nylon feels a little firmer than what you might be used to, but it doesn't stick to your skin when sweaty and hasn't pilled from the shoulder straps of a pack. It also lends to quick drying characteristics, on and off the bike. After a spin cycle in the washing machine, the jersey was basically dry and remained odor-free, something that can't be said for some other moisture wicking materials I've tried in the past.

The shape is also trimmed tightly at the bottom hem and arm cuffs with an overall athletic fit, as you would expect for the target market. Standing at 73 kg and 178 cm, the medium jerseys fit me well with enough room in the shoulders such that the collar area didn't feel restricting around my neck.

Pricing is in line with other technical jerseys and the hard wearing material makes it a worthwhile investment, if you can get along with the feel. As much as I enjoyed the two purposeful fabrics, the seam across the chest can also be a little ticklish, but is something easily forgotten about when the real riding begins.



Pros

+ Quick drying
+ Windproofing helps increase versatility


Cons

- The feel of the windproof fabric won't be for everyone
- Seam across chest can be distracting



Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove


Drift Shorts

If you've ever wanted the slim weight of board shorts tailored for mountain biking without excessive pockets and features, then the Drift shorts should do the trick. Available in two colors; marine blue and carbon, the shell style short does not include a liner or have any snap buttons to attach such equipment. There is a zipper and single button on the waist closure with an adjustable velcro cinch on each side of the hips. The usual hand pockets are foregone for a small zipper on the lower left leg and another above the yoke panel on the back. There's no chance to fit a phone in the rear yoke pocket, but most devices shouldn't have trouble fitting in the side leg pocket.

Details

• Lower Leg & Center Back Waistband Zippered Pockets
• Self-Fabric Waist Adjusters
• Blue Sign Certified 4-Way Stretch Woven
• Zipper Fly with Snap Closure
• Sizes: 30 - 38
• Colors: light marine, carbon
• MSRP: $109 USD
The Drift shorts also have a weld at the leg hem and are a slim fit, but are long enough that they shouldn't show thigh gaps if you choose to wear pads with this type of kit. On the inside of the waist is a sticky silicone to keep the shorts from riding up or sagging down.

Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove
Troy Lee Drift Jersey and Shorts Ace 2.0 Glove

Review

One step up from full lycra, the weight and fit of the Drift are perfect for casual XC or trail riding. They are the lightest weight MTB shorts I have tried, similar to Dainese's HGL Aokighara shorts, and are best saved for the warmer months. Dry time is quick, like the jerseys, but they are not meant to be cooler weather apparel.

The Drift shorts lack of storage shouldn't be an issue if you ride with cargo bibs or rock a fanny pack because the rear zipper pocket is not large enough for a mobile device. Yes, the leg pocket has ample room for this, but the nature of the lightweight fabric doesn't keep objects in place while pedalling or descending. I'm also not a fan of riding with anything sitting against my tailbone, like a multi-tool or keys, so this pocket is best left for snacks or identification cards.

Recently, I've seen more shorts lack anything closing the fly area, even a velcro strip. The return of the zipper is welcomed to keep the fly area from becoming an intake vent. The snap button seems to have an extra bit of grip and never came undone while riding, plus the velcro adjusters are simple and keep things soft in the event of a lie down.

I can't speak to their proper durability just yet, but the 4-way stretch never developed any runs or tears in the fabric through bushwhacking and regular riding. The stitching between the legs held up through some muddy rides and washing, but I haven't had enough saddle time to give a true statement on longevity.




Pros

+ Very lightweight and quick drying
+ Long enough for knee pads without being overly baggy

Cons

- Leg pocket isn't that useful due to the short's lightweight construction



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesTroy Lee Designs have often had super lightweight offerings and the Drift apparel has taken up it a notch with quality materials and construction. The short and long sleeve jerseys offer a functional and durable panel that make them versatile for a variety of temperatures. The Drift series is the perfect match for the trail rider who wants a basic, casual look with lightweight performance - you just have to find a place for your phone. Matt Beer



83 Comments

  • 75 1
 Maternity tops are what the cool kids are wearing these days.
  • 5 0
 mentioned crop top in another comment, put you nailed it with the maternity wear comparison, lol
  • 6 0
 Been searching for a riding muumuu forever, this might just have to do.
  • 4 1
 Facial expression in the 2nd pic says it all...
  • 2 0
 When you fart it Drifts up your back
  • 1 0
 @HMBA106: brilliant
  • 52 0
 Can’t say that’s the most flattering cut of shirt for the model!
  • 18 0
 for everyone you mean. I'm sure the seam across the chest serves a purpose but it looks like he's wearing a crop top with another shirt under it.
  • 6 0
 @SATN-XC: I have another TLD jersey with the chest seam and it feels strange.
  • 14 0
 Yah, thats the problem I have with every single jersey and shirt I own. They all have unflattering cuts.
  • 1 0
 @bdreynolds7: I assume you cannot notice it while riding (hopefully)...otherwise that would drive me nuts
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: Occasionally I do and it does drive me nuts, so I don't wear it anymore lol
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: i hate the feel of a seam across the torso. I’ve had other jerseys that us a seam to do 2 separate colors and i just can’t get over the feel.
  • 5 20
flag dldewar (Oct 1, 2021 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)
 For the record -I wish I had the model's body........................................... Flattering or not
  • 1 0
 I came here to say that only a very small percentage of men can pull off having their moobs cradled and I'm not one of them. Seem like so much of this high-tech fabric still does that. Sticking with longsleeve cotton shirts from the local band's merch table cut off just above the elbow.
  • 1 0
 . . .or any typical mountain biker.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Username-post combo checks out.
  • 28 0
 Who forgot to pickup their kid at school? Poor Timmy Frown
  • 4 0
 I went to top pic, and then started laughing a lot more than I should have. lolol
  • 15 0
 Could you stand less enthusiastically?
...
No, no, still less.
....

Look, try to stand so that your posture communicates pouting and malcontent
...
Perfect!
  • 10 1
 No seriously. What’s the point of Troy Lee if they look like every other MTB brand? There are a billion other more subtle MTB apparel brands. TLD doesn’t need to become one.
  • 9 0
 I like TLD materials and fit, so I wouldn't mind some less garish options personally.
  • 7 0
 I like the Troy lee stuff that isn’t bright.
  • 9 0
 Room for beer gut. Sign me up lol
  • 9 28
flag Pit-Viper (Oct 1, 2021 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
 the boiler breezeway
  • 14 3
 @Pit-Viper: automatic downvote for the Theywhoshallnotbenamed icon next to your user
  • 5 0
 I jumped in with two feet a couple of months back buying both long sleeve and short sleeve drift jerseys. I love the subtle graphics and clean lines. In my opinion, the "windproof" material placed around the neck/chest and armpit area is a poor choice. That's where I want my jersey to breathe the most...this material easily wets out and sticks to the skin like a dollar store bathing suit for the rest of the climb. Maybe laser-cut air vent holes could help, however, I feel this material is just not the right fit for sweat-prone areas. TLD please keep a product line with this subtle branding and simple neutral color schemes but update the materials in favor of breathability and comfort!

As for the odd fit on the tester, I think they are just a size big. I had to exchange my first set of jerseys for a size smaller and the fit became much more flattering for my mildly athletic dad bod.
  • 3 0
 I am Matt's height, with a bit more beef on the frame (175 pounds) and TLD medium is usually a really good fit. I say this because the fit in the fotos is....not particularly flattering. I think TLD is definitely more boxy American cut than slim Euro fit.
  • 7 1
 Is that guy sad because he is wearing a nurse scrub?
  • 3 0
 blows my mind on how expensive ugly tshirts are just cause they say fox,tld, .... ect. no wonder there is so many cheap Chinese knockoffs on ebay ... not a fan . ill buy during sale season. well ill skip this ugly jersey
  • 1 0
 i'm gonna play devils advocate here and claim - without reading the article first - that a good part of this price is high quality fabrics. Usually you pay a markup for brands, but more often then not the fabrics dont come for free either
  • 1 0
 @waldo-jpg: i dont disagree, but at what point is there diminishing returns ? why dont they offer some less advanced clothing to put their brand on everymans back ? i mean do you think that a full kit should cost the same as ps5? would you say there is more tech in a ps5 ? mmmm pizza pockets and cod... brb
  • 3 0
 I wish they would make more mtb jersey's 3/4 sleeve. More functional especially on small tip overs where you hit your elbows and not as hot in the summer as full sleeve jersey.
  • 1 0
 Most importantly, protects your arm from random branches and shit.
  • 6 1
 Wow TLD without the big a$$ Logos and ugly Moto look ... what's going on?
  • 4 0
 Pinkbike team! Can you iron or steam clothes before you post pics of them? Also, a short video walkthrough would be great.
  • 3 0
 eh....I mean..they aren't trying to sell it, its a review. As such, I approve the approach b/c it looks true to life. Not sure about you but my riding clothes come straight out of the dryer and onto a hanger or tossed in a drawer, I'm not ironing anything.
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: I don't iron my stuff either but we're not running a website dedicated to reviewing MTB products. These clothes still have the creases from when they were shipped.
  • 1 0
 These are my new go-to shorts for the local trail days. The 4 way stretch and minimal feel on the shorts helps them vent a little more than the skyline short. I have caught the rear end on the good ole 29er wagon wheel in steep stuff a couple times with no durability issues and not experiencing any overall material issues with them. Riding in socal over summer the jersey is not my go to on hot days, but as we get into the colder mornings and lower temps in fall the top panel of the jersey should act as a wind breaking material. Great overall trail kit!
  • 2 0
 A couple of things:

- Every-single-dang shorts review/infoblurb need to include the dang inseam of the shorts.
- JUST MAKE NORMAL POCKETS WITH ZIPPERS!!!??
- I like the casual styling, more of that please.
  • 3 1
 "If you've ever wanted the slim weight of board shorts tailored for mountain biking without excessive pockets and features..."

Yes. I always buy expensive things because they lack common features.
  • 5 0
 That guy is fit but it makes it look like he's got moobs
  • 1 0
 MFG's of apparel / shoes / hats et al have located a gold mine–You PAY a hefty premium to advertise their products.

I've asked a few companies (Stihl and Mercedes Benz) for free hats ... oh no, they don't want to encourage a slew of consumers offering FREE advertising. lol
  • 2 0
 The attention to detail and the embossed graphics look nice. However, overall it looks so droopy. Maybe it's just the person modeling the kit? I dunno, but it's not making me wanna buy it
  • 1 0
 Looks like they took inspiration directly from the Sombrio Clutch jersey from 2008 era and credit card pocket from everyone else, that location was so bad I remember it getting sweaty, muddy and over time rubbing the swipe strip off. Even the style lines! are similar to the Sombrio gear and the Drift name from Royal Racing WOW. Someone searched the internet for MTB clothing before designing it.
  • 4 0
 For those who really want to flex their beer belly...
  • 4 0
 I’m going to Drift away from these clothing options.
  • 3 0
 Jerseys needs some of that classic TLD artwork. Come on, what happened to flaming eyeballs and the lot.
  • 3 0
 The Skyline series was/is plentiful breathable, cool and airy feeling. Not sure about that massive seam across the chest..
  • 1 0
 I know it isn't MTB awesomeness - but Uniqlo has some great workout shirts that are very similar to riding jerseys. Great colors and fabric - for like 30 bucks. I have a couple in addition to these.
  • 4 0
 Looks like utter crap, and what is with the chest seam?
  • 2 0
 This is not how you sell a jersey lol. No offense to the "model" but the shirt makes his body proportions look like a mix of 10 year old teen boy and a pregnant teen girl
  • 2 0
 At these prices it looks like I'm still getting my riding clothes from the thrift store.
  • 1 0
 Cool a plain jersery for $85 that looks worse than the $15 Hind “running” shirts I get from Sierra that even come with a zip picket for my license and a credit card.
  • 1 1
 those slinky superleightweight fabrics remind me of my wife”s underwear and bedclothes. I just can’t be comfortable wearin’ that stuff. its ok for a lady. (typicall sexist remark)
  • 2 0
 Runs lightweight kit and doesn't combine I.D and Personal Health Card. You're a psycho.
  • 1 0
 Tuff to compete with the performance offerings from target and wallyword these days...esp if all made by Chinese anyways...hopefully these are Vietnam or indo.
  • 4 6
 I'm all for innovation, and I always used to buy jerseys. But one day all mine were in the wash so I just chucked on a grubby cotton t-shirt. No difference. Aaaand it costs 10 quid. I don't know one person who isn't a dentist, that would buy a 85 dollar jersey.
  • 4 1
 I have a bunch of jerseys with anti-microbial this, and stink guard that. They all smell like a goat wore them once they are worn once after a wash. Regular tshirt smells fine, though slightly less breathable and stays wet slightly longer after a climb. I choose Tshirts at this point, I would rather not smell like a goat after every ride, no matter how short or easy it is.
  • 6 0
 So buy the cheapo moto ones, they let more air through and won’t soak up sweat like a t-shirt.
  • 4 0
 There's a huge difference between cotton and synthetics when you start sweating, but when I was 15 I probably didn't notice either. However, I would also never buy a $85 jersey, I only ever get mine on super sale.
  • 2 0
 Yeah a t-shirt is just a sweat sponge. Just buy cheap jerseys, does anyone buy TLD jerseys at full price? I rock Dakine and Fox ones from Tiso sales and they're great.
  • 2 0
 @rbeach: I've only ever bought one or 2 MTB jerseys and ended up with several more as handouts when I worked in bike shops. Even the nicer ones just smell terrible, really quickly. Never have had this problem with a regular shirt. Unless there are magic potions that keep them from doing this, I have no desire to wear one again.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: Must be something in your sweat or you have crap detergent because I've never had that issue. Mine always smell just fine after a wash, and are much more pleasant to wear while riding than a cotton sweat sponge.
  • 2 0
 @rbeach: I'm gonna agree with you on that, I've never experienced a stink that won't wash out of my bike jeresys, and I play ice hockey, I know what permastink is like.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: point taken but I will say that I use detergent without ‘perfumes’ and try to wash them in cold water soon after a ride, then dry on delicate. My ‘technical’ clothes are in good shape, smell good, and I’ve had most of them for years.
  • 1 0
 Any impressions of a drift jersey vs a flowline short sleeve TLD jersey from those that have tried both?
  • 2 0
 Still forgot what a steamer is...
  • 1 0
 Use a steamer next time, Pinkbike. A little attention to detail never hurt!
  • 1 0
 TLD designer, suck! WHAT are you thinking? What is point of all these wave seems & f layered sleeves?
  • 3 2
 Pros - no huge logos everywhere. Well done TLD.
  • 2 1
 Why would I want a short sleeve jersey with wind proof material???
  • 1 1
 cause sometimes you're 5 hours deep into a ride 5 towns over from home and it starts getting chilly.
  • 1 0
 @newbermuda: Yeah so your arms are still going to get chilly. This has about as much point as a sleeveless waterproof jacket.
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna wait for the Moo Moo version.
  • 1 0
 Over priced and looks like crap.tld must try harder
  • 1 0
 Prob would do well as a maternity shirt
  • 5 5
 Looks like Matt's had a little too much Beer...
  • 5 1
 Dude looks pretty dang fit to me.
  • 3 0
 @extratalldirtrider: Just commenting on the cut of the shirt
  • 1 0
 Funny how wording is everything. I basically said the exact same thing
  • 1 0
 WTF was this????!!!!!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.012181
Mobile Version of Website