Bontrager Foray Short Review
I am more than at home in my spandex cycling kits, but every so often it’s nice to throw on a more casual relaxed fit pair of mountain bike shorts. The Bontrager Foray short is not only stylish, it has a nice chamois that will keep you comfortable and on your bike for hours. I’ve been wearing the Bontrager Foray Short for roughly 500 miles and have been nothing but impressed. The lightweight shell feels like it’s barely there, while the Solstice liner stays right in place protecting your important parts.
The Bontrager Foray Short Shell
When I first slipped on the Bontrager Foray Short I immediately loved the silky smooth feel of the outer shell. The outer shell is stretch woven with a lycra blend which not only keeps the shorts lightweight, but also extremely durable. The shorts have an inseam of 13.5 inches which fit me perfect. In the past I’ve had bike shorts with a longer inseam and they would rub on my knees and chaff. The Bontrager Foray rested right on top of my knees and I never experienced any chaffing or irritation from the shorts. To make sure you can dial in the fit just right the shorts have an easy adjust waist. The shorts don’t have a ton of stretch in the waist, so the easy adjust waist is a nice feature. I tested out a size medium, being a 32 waist size. I found I had room for adjustment either way. The waist would easily cover a size 32-34 waist and even possible stretch to a 30.
The biggest testing day I had for the shorts was a long 6 hour ride up at Curt Gowdy in Wyoming. It was one of those days where it started out nice and hot and by the end of the day it was cold, rainy and wet. During the hot part of the day the ample ventilation of the shorts took over and kept me nice and cool. The Bontrager Foray Short has mesh venting on both sides of the shorts, which run pretty much the length of the short. The inner thigh also has ventilation holes to keep the temperature just right. The air can move right on through. When the rain did start to come down. I noticed the shorts did a great job of drying quickly. The shorts didn’t feel like they were absorbing too much water and didn’t feel heavy at any point.
As for the fit of the Bontrager Foray Short, I couldn’t be happier. I think Bontrager found a nice happy medium. The short is semi-fitted, which gives you a loose fit without feeling baggy. I have enjoyed the shorts so much that I have been wearing just the shell as a normal short when I’m not riding. The shell has one zippered pocket which has enough space to carry your keys or some cash during your rides. For hassle free closure the shell has a loop and two buttons as well as velcro. On all of my rides the buttons never popped open and always stayed secure. For easy integration with the Solstice Liner the shorts have a loop and snap on each side of the short. This is the same common set up most shorts have and works just fine to keep the shell and liner together. I didn’t have any slippage and it always kept the shell inplace.
The Bontrager Foray Solstice Liner
The liner that comes with the Bontrager Foray Short is the Solstice liner. The Solstice liner is on the lower end of the Bontrager liner offerings, but still is a solid performer. As far as sizing goes, the liner is form fitting. The size medium was perfect to a little snug for my 32 waist, but I never had an issue with the liner cutting into my skin or leaving marks. The legs of the liner have silicone grippers to insure the legs don’t migrate up your leg. To prevent any rubbing on the thighs the liner has flatlock stitching, which almost makes the seams invisible. On to the good stuff, the main part that everyone cares about…the chamois of course! The Solstice chamois is a single layer density chamois with 3D shaping and 2-way stretch. I have to say that for being a single density chamois it still offered ample padding. The only complaint I had with the chamois was the front portion was a little bulky for my taste. Don’t get me wrong I never mind the extra protection of the family jewels, but it took me a bit of getting use to. Overall, the chamois offered great protection and left me chaff free after 6 plus hours in the saddle, so I don’t think I can complain about this so called entry level recreational liner.
Final Thoughts on the Bontrager Foray Short
If you’re looking for a stylish biking short with just the right fit the Bontrager Foray Short might be for you. The Solstice liner while a little bulky in the front still left me feeling comfortable even on those long rides. After almost 500 miles in the saddle and multiple washings they still look as good as the day they came out of the box. I don’t think durability will ever be an issue with these shorts. The shorts come in two colors black and volt (a lime green color) and are offered in sizes X-Small to XX-Large. Overall, I have to say I love the shorts and they have become one of my mainstay shorts I wear when I’m not riding in one of my team kits. Head over to Bontrager’s website to check out the Bontrager Foray Short and all the other biking gear they have to offer. www.bontrager.com MSRP 129.99