Water proof shorts, socks and shoes are a game changer for surviving winter here in the Pacific Northwest. While we’ve been rocking waterproof shoes, in the last year we’ve been enlightened on the subject of shorts. Last year we posted the Bermstyle Buyers Guide to Waterproof Shorts and since then, our surprise favorite has turned out to be the Pearl Izumi WxB waterproof short.
Designed to be worn over a liner short, the WxB has a relaxed fit that makes it easy to pull on over your existing short and the light material packs small enough to stash in the bottom of a pack.
- 2.5 layer WxB Laminate with woven polyester face, activated charcoal backer for durable waterproofing with maximimal breathability and moisture transfer
- Fully seam sealed for waterproofing
- Relaxed fit works over liner short, three quarter tight or winter tight
- Stretch waistband with velcro adjusters for fit
- Reflective elements for low-light visibility
- 100% Polyester woven twill, Technology- Minerale™ 37.5 5k/5k membrane
On the trail
Although I’ve never been a fan of pull over rain pants as they feel restrictive, the relaxed fit and light weight of the WxB is barely noticeable. The hardshell material is breathable — though unlike jackets it doesn’t have to work as hard — and easily accommodates knee pads. It’s an amazing feeling to finish a ride with a massive mud stripe on your backside without the soggy short feeling, and the difference between water resistant shorts and waterproof ones is night and day.
Although there are a number of water resistant short options, when it comes to shorts, there is a big difference between a water resistant softshell with DWR and a waterproof hardshell model. Softshell models are fine in a brief drizzle, but in wet conditions you’ll still get a soggy bottom; sometimes in a matter of minutes. Here in the Pacific Northwest you’ll want to invest in a legitimate waterproof short. Or even better pair it with a softshell underneath for a combo that will have you ending your ride with a dry chamois.
I’m not a fan of the baggy short aesthetic, but in the rain no one cares about your fashion sense. Being able to finish a ride without a cold and soggy butt is amazing, and more than worth the price of admission.
WxB packs up small, making it easy to carry as an insurance policy for days the forecast looks iffy. The packability and reflective accents also makes them great for commuting.
I’ve discovered few if any downsides to the WxB. On occasion I’ve found the velcro adjusters at the waist dug into my side when paired with a hip pack, but it turned out to be a non-issue after tucking my base layer into my under short which solved the issue. I’m a huge fan of these shorts and strongly recommend them to anyone that rides in inclement conditions.
The Pearl Izumi WxB waterproof short lists for $100. Thanks to Nick at Modus Sports Group for sending these over for me to try.