Polaris Bikewear’s AM500 TX Repel shorts are built to be durable and to provide a hint of weather protection during the wetter months. However, their excellent fit, thoughtful pockets, and superb comfort make them a solid contender for year-round use.
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The AM500 TX Repel shorts are built using a medium weight, hard wearing DWR treated Nylon. Then, four-way stretch material is used around the seat and rear yoke panel for enhanced manoeuvrability. Around the waist, you'll find a pair of hook and look adjusters along with an elasticated and moisture-wicking waistband with a silicone gripper.
As for pockets, there are your usual hand pockets, and built into the right-hand pocket is a zipped security pocket. Within the left, there's a neat tool pouch built-in. Closing up the shorts is a zip and a couple of poppers at the top.
Moving swiftly onto the shorts' fit, and it's only good things here. I'm a 32/33" waist, and these medium shorts are absolutely spot on. There are no areas of tightness, proving that this is where the elasticated waistband really shines. I've not even had to touch the hook and loop adjusters on the rear, but they offer solid peace of mind that there's some adjustment there, should I (here's hoping) lose a bit of weight.
They're plenty long enough, too, avoiding the dreaded knee pad gap perfectly.
Polaris Bikewear has totally nailed comfort with the AM500 TX Repel shorts. On the bike, they don't feel at all cumbersome or limiting of movement thanks to the four-way stretch seat and rear yoke.
While a medium weight DWR coated short may seem more winter orientated, and you wouldn't be wrong for thinking so, these shorts are perfectly happy ridden year-round. In fact, that's most of the riding they've seen during their test period.
The material feels much lighter than Polaris gives off, but they carry a seriously durable feel. Even though I've had these on test for three to four months, they've shown absolutely no signs of wear. I reckon cockroaches would be wearing them after the apocalypse.
Polaris has also hit it out of the park with a very well-considered pocket arrangement. Technically, they're sorted with four pockets. Still, they're all located around the two main hand pockets (which are also purpose-built as hand warmers). Many shorts on the market come with thigh-based side pockets, which can lead to some weight flapping around in areas where you don't really want it. That's simply not the case here.
Four pockets are definitely enough too. The zipped one has plenty of space for a phone and keys. Of course, the tool pouch is plenty roomy enough for a multitool. Then, the world is your oyster with the other two.
As for value, the Polaris Bikewear AM500 TX Repel shorts don't come up too badly at all.
However, a strong contender in the Madison Zenith 4-Season DWR shorts saves a fiver at £75. The Zenith 4-Season shorts do get a little more weather protection, such as a waterproof back panel and water-resistant pockets. Then they're built with a ripstop fabric around the knee.
Also at £80 are the Endura MT500 Spray shorts. They're made especially to cope with Scotland's ever-changing conditions, but they're also built with a waterproof back panel and a DWR coating.
So with those two in mind, it's more about the level of weather protection you're after from your all-year shorts. DWR alone will easily shrug away any spray, but it will eventually seep through, and this is where the AM500 TX Repel shorts fall slightly… short.
Suppose you're after a pair of shorts that will provide some spray protection while remaining comfortable even in the warmest of weather. In that case, I challenge you to be disappointed with the Polaris AM500 TX Repel shorts. They're incredibly comfy, their fit is totally spot-on, and the array of pockets on offer cover a range of storage needs.