The Nukeproof Blackline Shorts and liner are high-quality, lightweight trail shorts made of tough, breathable fabric. The sizing is spot on, and the stretchy material offers little restriction whilst pedalling. Being picky, the only downside is the pocket size and placement, but at this price point, it's hard to find many faults.
Nukeproof’s Blackline range claims to be a “premium trail offering" using high-quality fabrics cut for MTB. The Blackline Shorts certainly seem to echo Nukeproof’s sentiment with first impressions not falling short.
The shorts are made from 135gsm 4-way stretch fabric which gives them that lightweight and mobile feel. These are on the lighter end of the spectrum, but the fabric feels reassuringly tough. Plus, I can confirm they have shrugged off the odd crash with very few complaints.
The material wicks well, keeping things feeling dry even on the sweatiest days. This is in part thanks to the front air vents that help keep the air moving and aid cooling. It’s clear these are designed as summer shorts, so it goes without saying, these do nothing to fend off puddle splashes and will leave you pretty sodden if the conditions are decidedly British.
Nukeproof_Blackline_Shorts_2.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
A zipped fly with two securing poppers keeps the shorts fastened, and a hoop and loop waistband can be cinched from both sides for adjustment.
Nukeproof_Blackline_Shorts_5.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
The cut is a little on the snug side, but thanks to the stretch fabric, it never feels tight or restrictive. There is just about enough length on the leg to cover knee pads, although this may be worth checking before you buy. The upside is that these shorts don't look out of place with or without knee pads, handy for heavier enduro sessions or lighter trail duties.
Nukeproof_Blackline_Shorts_7.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
There are two pockets at the top of the shorts. They do fit a phone (iPhone 11) but I found full pockets were a problem when pedalling. There is a D-loop in the left pocket to attach keys for security. However, if being picky, a clip would have been better unless you happen to already have one on your keys.
Nukeproof_Blackline_Shorts_6.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
The liner is included and is constructed with dual-density foam. Nukeproof claims this offers comfort on rides lasting 3-5 hours. I can confirm this to be true, it’s perhaps on the thinner side of the chamois spectrum, but the cut proves to be comfortable even when walking into the café. It provides a decent level of cushion to protect the sit bones whilst on the saddle and stays dry all day.
Nukeproof_Blackline_Shorts_1.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
After long-term testing in various conditions, the durability of these shorts has been excellent. The usual saddle wear patch shows little signs of use, and the odd crash has not phased them. I’ve been impressed at how tough they are for such a lightweight and breathable short.
Retailing at £70 (at the time of testing), these shorts are right on the money. For the same price, give or take a few quid, PNW Shuttle shorts are a strong option. See our Liam rave about them here. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, Altura offers the Esker trail short which retail at around £55 and prove competitive (but try sizing before you buy – check those out here).
Available in dark green (as tested) and black, the Nukeproof Blackline shorts are an excellent summer garment. They’re lightweight, durable and fit well. The price is also impressive considering the performance and quality. The only downside is the pocket size and placement, but with liner included, these are hard to look past when shopping for your next pair of trail shorts.