Review: Troy Lee Designs Drift Jersey and Shorts
Troy Lee Designs gear has always stood out in the crowd, but following a cry for less flashy colors and subtle branding has been answered with their new Drift line of lightweight riding clothing. Intended for the category some might call the downcountry, the kit is breathable and rugged with minimal pockets and features in the name of comfort with less bulk. Blue Sign is a label applied to certified garments and garments made in safer and more sustainable environments, for which jerseys and shorts are granted a pass.
Short and Long Sleeve Drift Jerseys
The logo on the chest is small, rubberized and color-matched, in addition, on the back of the waist hem is a grippy silicone word to prevent the jersey from riding up, if you choose to carry a bag. The jersey fit is a racing fit with no back pockets, zippers or eyeglass wipers.
• Blue Sign certified nylon shoulders and chest
• Feather Knit lower body and back panel
• Short and long sleeve options
• Sizes: SM – XXL
• Colors: light navy, carbon
• MSRP: SS – $ 75, LS – $ 85 USD
At $ 75 USD for the short sleeve and the longer option at $ 85, the tops are quite different from any other jerseys I have tried due to the dual material. Both tops have strong yet lightweight nylon material across the upper chest and shoulders to prevent tears from branches encroaching on the trails. The lower chest and back are highly breathable, with a TLD material called “Feather Knit”. As for the seam, the cuffs and hem are seamless and use a neat fabric weld for less weight and less skin contact.
These short and long sleeve jerseys make a great choice of adventure jersey, which work in a few different climates thanks to its windproof qualities on the majority of the front panel and ventilation on the back. This unique nylon is a bit firmer than you’re used to, but it won’t stick to your skin when sweaty, and it hasn’t pilled up backpack straps. It also offers quick-drying characteristics, on and off the bike. After a spin cycle in the washing machine the jersey was essentially dry and still odorless which cannot be said for other moisture wicking materials that I have tried in the past.
The shape is also fitted at the bottom hem and cuffs with an overall athletic fit, as you would expect for the target market. Measuring 73kg and 178cm, mid-size swimsuits fit me well with enough shoulder room so that the collar area isn’t restrictive around my neck.
The price is in line with other technical jerseys and the durable material makes it a worthwhile investment, if you can get along with the feel. While I enjoyed the two useful fabrics, the stitching on the chest can also be a bit ticklish, but it’s something that is easily overlooked when the real ride begins.
+ Fast drying
+ Windbreaker helps increase versatility
– The feel of the windproof fabric won’t be for everyone
– The seam on the chest can be awkward
• Zipped pockets at the bottom of the legs and at the center of the back
• Fabric waist adjusters
• Blue Sign certified 4-way stretch woven fabric
• Zipper fly with snap closure
• Sizes: 30 – 38
• Colors: light navy, carbon
• MSRP: $ 109 USD
The Drift Shorts also have a welded leg hem and have a slim fit, but they’re long enough that they don’t show space between the thighs if you choose to wear protectors with this type of kit. Inside the waistband is a sticky silicone to keep the shorts from pulling up or sagging.
A step up from full lycra, the weight and fit of the Drift is perfect for the occasional XC or trail runner. These are the lightest MTB shorts I have tried, similar to Dainese’s HGL Aokighara shorts, and best to keep them for the warmer months. Dry time is quick, like swimsuits, but they are not meant to be cooler clothes.
The Drift Shorts lack of storage shouldn’t be a problem if you ride with cargo bibs or carry a fanny pack, as the zippered back 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 hold items in place while pedaling or descending. I’m also not a fan of riding around with anything sitting against my tailbone like a multi-tool or keys, so it’s best to leave this pocket for snacks or IDs.
Recently I have seen more shorts lacking in anything closing the fly area, even a Velcro strip. The return of the zipper is welcome to prevent the fly area from becoming an intake vent. The snap seems to have a bit more grip and never came undone while riding, and the Velcro adjusters are simple and keep things soft when stretched.
Can’t speak to their durability yet, but the 4-way stretch never developed any marks or tears in the fabric due to bushwhacking and steady riding. The seams between the legs withstood muddy rides and washes, but I didn’t have enough time in the saddle to make a real statement on longevity.
+ Very light and quick drying
+ Long enough for the knee pads without being too wide
– The leg pocket is not very useful due to the lightweight construction of the shorts
Pinkbike’s point of view