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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Adidas LiteFlex Shorts > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

Adidas LiteFlex Shorts
Review by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: July 18, 2019
Field Report: October 3, 2019
Long Term Report: November 30 2019

Adidas LiteFlex shorts
                              Adidas LiteFlex shorts

Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 58
Weight 250 lb (113 kg)
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)
Location Grant, Alabama USA

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, and kayaking.  I enjoy hiking with family and friends but also hike solo occasionally.  Most of my hiking has been in the Southeastern US. I hike throughout the year but actually enjoy late fall or early spring the most with some winter hiking mixed in.  My style is slow and steady and my gear is light.  I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability to a degree. A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food and water.

Initial Report: July 18, 2019

Product Information

Item Adidas LiteFlex Short
Manufacture Adidas
Year of Manufacture 2019
Size Men's 38
Listed Weight 6.9 oz (195 gm) size not specified
Measured Weight Men's 38 - 7.2 oz (204 gm)
Color Legend Ink (very dark navy)  Black also available

Product Description
The Adidas LiteFlex shorts are designed to be light and flexible, and worn during nearly any outdoor activity.  They feature a DWR (durable water repellent) coating and specifically mention shedding snow.  I’ll be honest, I don’t normally wear shorts in snow.  Anyways, the material is 69% nylon, 19% polyester, and 12% elastic.  The LiteFlex shorts feature three pockets and all three are zippered.  There are two front pockets and one rear pocket on the right hand side.  All three pockets are generously sized and I could easily fit my iPhone XR in any pocket and zip it closed.  I have mixed feelings about zippered pockets, especially in the front.  They are great for securing any items in them but not quite as comfortable as non-zippered pockets when resting my hands in them.

The Adidas LiteFlex shorts fasten with a button and have a zippered fly.   They do not have any belt loops but rely on the elastic qualities built in the waistband to keep them up.  There is a loop of cord at the back/center of the waistband, perhaps for hanging the pants in camp to air out or dry?  A small flap of material with the pants size and county of origin covers the loop.

Adidas LiteFlex shorts
                                                         Hanging loop

Adidas LiteFlex shorts
                                                           Flap over loop

The waist is divided into five areas. They’re extremely stretchy in two 4.5 in (11 cm) strips located at the hips. The front is made of two less stretchy sections approximately 6 in (15 cm) long for a combined 12 in (30 cm) when joined together.  The rear is section is identical and about 13 in (33 cm).  There is a silicon strip across both 4.5 in (11 cm) sections to help keep a shirt tucked inside the waistband.

Adidas LiteFlex shorts
                             One of the silicone strips on the waistband

The care instructions were printed on a hangtag located at the waist (on the inside) and on the left side of the shorts.  There were corresponding symbols along with written instructions.  There are as follows: machine wash cold, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not dry clean, do not use fabric softeners, use mild detergent only, wash with fasteners closed.

Trying them on
The website mentions that these shorts are a slim fit. I would say they nailed that description in spades.  I wear size 38 pants almost exclusively.   I was able to pull them on and by stretching the elastic waist to the limit was able to button them on.  Once I had them on I found they were a little tight in the waist and buttocks but was surprised that they were not all that thigh in the thighs.  The inseam is 11 in (28 cm) and they fall just above my knees.  My wife commented that the shorts looked like they fit as long as I was wearing a shirt that wasn’t tucked in.  My next move was to move.  I did a few deep squats and high leg kicks.  I half expected to rip them but they took it all in stride.  In fact, they did not restrict my movement at all.    That’s all for now.  Please stay tuned for my Field Report which should follow in about two months. 

Field Report: October 3, 2019

Test Locations and Conditions
All my testing was in northeastern Alabama except for a week in Arizona right after getting the shorts.  The week in Arizona did not see much testing for reasons I’ll explain shortly.  I wore the shorts more while riding my bike and road walking than hiking in the woods due to my fear of re-catching poison oak but I still managed several long day hikes and 2 short overnighters.  My July 29th overnighter saw a high of 93 F (34 C) and a low of 70 F (21 C).  My last overnighter was on August 12th was the hottest with a high of 95 F (35 C) and a low of 72 F (22 C).  It didn’t rain either trip but with very high humidity and the exertion of hiking with a pack I sweated enough that it felt like it.  My longest day hike was approximately 5 miles (8 km) on August 21st.  It was hot and humid but didn’t rain.  Unfortunately, I must have gotten into some poison oak while I did a little off trail scrambling.  I also wore the shorts on a couple of kayak outings.

Field Test Results
First things first, I knew the size 38 shorts were very snug and I tried wearing them during our trip to Arizona, but after wearing them on one long walk I knew I was going to have to lose quite a bit of weight to test them fairly.  I was able to snap them but they were cutting into my gut more than I liked.  Therefore, I ordered a size 40 the day before we headed home.  They arrived on July 26, one day after we got home.  They did not have the Legend Ink in size 40 so I got the black pair.  After examining them side by side they look almost identical.   The only difference I could find was the new pair is missing the flap with the size written on it.  I also weighed the new pair and a size 40 weighs 7.5 oz (213 gm) or .3 oz (9 gm) more than the size 38.  But the good new is, the size 40 are wearable.  Actually, they are a little snug,  but they are stretchy enough that I have been able to wear them and remain comfortable while doing so.  I’ve also lost 7 lbs since returning from Arizona and that has helped.  I took this photo a few weeks ago on September 18 after losing most of the weight I have so far.  I am still wanting to lose some more so I’ll do a final comparison photo at the end of the Long Term Report, and perhaps be able to wear the size 38s.  For the record, I weighed 253 lb (115 kg) on July 26 and now weigh 246 lb ( 112 kg). 

adidas liteflex shorts
                    Size 40 after loosing some weight

I have to give the Adidas LiteFlex shorts quite a bit of credit in my weight loss.  I’ve worn them during some pretty intense workouts and on a bunch of long bike rides.  By long I mean a little over an hour and and about 12 miles (19 km).  I could ride longer but my knees complain when I do so I’ve learned my limitations.  But besides the physical activity, the size 38 fitting so tight was quite frankly, embarrassing.  Anyways, as a bike riding short they worked great.  I did most of my miles on a crank forward bike with a big seat and didn’t need bike shorts.  Even when riding my road bike I use a split leather saddle and don’t wear cycling shorts.

As hiking shorts the performance was as expected.  The stretchy material felt good and I didn’t feel any restriction in my movement when scrambling over rocks or logs. I kept my phone in one front pocket and was able to retrieve it easily.  I never felt the need to zip the pocket closed but never lost anything from a pocket. I don’t carry things in my back pocket so really have no feedback on that pocket (also zippered).  I also prefer no zippers in my hiking clothes for fear I might damage my hammock.  I didn’t sleep in the shorts so it wasn’t a concern but I normally sleep in my hiking clothes when I’m too lazy to change. 

 As a paddling short they were just as comfortable.  The one downside was the black material felt a little warm in the blazing mid-day sun.  On the hottest paddling trip the 95 F (35 C) temperature wasn’t helping either.  I was tempted to swim but the lake is not the cleanest so I just endured the heat as best I could and only paddled about an hour.  I did notice that splash from my paddle would bead up and run off the shorts so the DWR finish appeared to work.  However, I was sweating so much I really don’t think it was much benefit for this kind of weather and activity.

adidas liteflex shorts
                              Paddling with the Adidas LiteFlex

Fall has arrived on the calendar but this past week was actually hotter than all summer with a couple of days topping 100 F (38 C).   My wife and I have been walking all summer but twice last week we had to wait until 6 PM, and even then it was miserably.  Anyways, I’m looking forward to some cooler weather and would even welcome some rain. 

Long Term Report: November 30, 2019

adidas liteflex shorts
                                         hiking down in the holler

Testing Locations and Conditions
The weather has really cooled down since the Field Report.  The low on two consecutive nights was 16 F (-9 C) and the highs remained below freezing.  However, in Alabama this doesn’t usually last long and a few days later we had highs in the mid 60s F (around 18 C).  I wore the shorts at least a couple of dozen more times while backpacking, day-hiking and bike riding.  I went on two more short overnight hikes on local trails near home.  On the November 4th overnighter I hiked approximately 4 miles (6 km) total.  The high was 53 F (12 C) and the low was 44 F (7 C).  I hiked approximately 7 miles (11 km) total on my last overnight hike on November 21.  The high was 62 F (17 C) and the low was 50 F (10 C).   With cooler weather I rode my bike less but replaced riding with several long day-hikes, some with approximately 20 lb (9 kg) in a backpack and some with just a waist-pack with a few snacks and water.  These exercises hikes were usually around 4 miles (6 km) in about 2 hours.  My ride app shows I went on 6 more rides for 57 miles (92 km) total.  The longest was 12 miles (19 km) twice, but I did climb the mountain on one 6 mile (10 km)  ride with 640 ft (195 m) elevation gained.

Long Term Test Results
I don’t really have any new information to add for the Long Term Report but the Adidas LiteFlex shorts have continued to perform flawlessly.  I felt like they are a tad warmer than some of my shorts but certainly cooler than hiking in long pants.  I think this is mainly because they fit snugly.  Speaking of which, I managed to loose 2 more lbs (1 kg) but still need too lose quite a bit more.  One advantage of the tighter fit was that when riding my bike the shorts performed much like cycling shorts, only a lot more comfortable.  There is a little loose fabric at the knees but not much.  On cooler rides when I didn’t sweat a lot I often wore them for the rest of the day.

adidas liteflex shorts
                           enjoying a crisp fall ride in the Adidas LiteFlex shorts

I wore them while hiking in temperatures as cool as 30 F (- 1 C), but had I not been testing them, I would have worn long pants.  On my two overnight hikes I wore the shorts while hiking but slept in sweat pants because my top-quilt was not quite warm enough.  And seriously, I am a little nervous that the back pocket zipper could damage my hammock so I never slept in them in my hammock.  

I normally washed the shorts after every second wearing but sometimes just one after a longer hike or ride when I sweated a lot.  They have not shrunk and as far as wear, they still look very good.  I always washed them in lukewarm water and line dried them afterwards.  I’m looking at them right now and I can’t find any stains, snags or worn spots on them anywhere.  The seat area shows no sign of wear from sitting on rocks, logs and all my bike riding.

I really like these shorts.  They come very close to being what I would call perfect hiking shorts.  The pockets could be a little roomier for times when I was out and about without a pack of any kind.  I like a pleated cargo pocket that can hold a small bottle of water and other things and these don’t quite cut it.  However, since I nearly always have at least a small day pack when hiking and plenty of storage options on my bike this wasn’t a problem 90% of the time.  I am picky when it comes to hiking shorts and quickly relegate those that hinder my stride for more casual duty.  These passed the test with flying colors, in fact, the best feature is the elastic nature of the material they are made of. 

This concludes my testing of the Adidas LiteFlex shorts.  I would like to thank Adidas and for this testing opportunity.

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