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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Tasc Switchback Quick Dry Short > Test Report by Duane Lawrence

tascPerformance
 SWITCHBACK QUICK DRY SHORTS
 
Product Test by Duane Lawrence
 
Initial Report July 17, 2016
Field Report September 14, 2016
Long Term Report November 26, 2016
 
Tester Information
 
Name:                Duane Lawrence
Email:                duanesgear (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location:           Sparwood, British Columbia Canada
Gender:             Male
Age:                   43 years
Height:              5’9”
Weight:             160 lbs
 
I have been an avid outdoor enthusiast for over 25 years.  I enjoy a verity of outdoor activities including mountaineering, day hikes, multiday backpacking trips, ocean kayaking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. I have climbed throughout British Columbia, the United States and when opportunity presents itself in Europe and India. I carry a wide variety of gear depending on the type and length of trip.  I am a search and rescue team member in the Southern Canadian Rockies and am part of the swift water, rope rescue and avalanche technical teams and ground search team.
 
Initial Report July 17, 2016

Product Info
 
MSRP                                   $64.00 USD 
Product                                  Switchback Quick Dry Shorts
Manufactures Web Site          www.tascpreformance.com
Weight                                   Weight not found
Measured Weight                   7.62 oz (216 g)
Sizes                                      30 – 38 (76 - 97 cm)
Tested Size                            34 in (86 cm)
Colours                                 Graphite; Greystone; Muted Camo
Tested Colour                       Graphite                                 
Materials (Web Site)             55% Viscose from bamboo/40% polyester/5% lycra spandex
Materials (Tag)                      50% Viscose from bamboo/45% polyester/5% lycra spandex          
Inseam                                  10 in (25.4 cm)
Manufactured In                    India
 
General Information and Initial Observations
 
The tasc Switchback shorts are a fairly long, 10 in (25.4 cm) long short.  Tasc has designed them as a high performance short made of a viscose bamboo, polyester and spandex fabric that should wick moisture away from the wearer providing excellent breathability and temperature regulation, reduces the presence of odor and has natural sun protection up to UPF 50+.  Tasc uses what they are reporting as a BamCo process for creating there natural performance fabric.  The shorts are made primarily of Moso Bamboo or the inner plinth of a bamboo plant where the bamboo cellulose is extracted from the plant then reconstituted into a viscose that is then spun into a soft yet durable fabric.  The fabric has a capacity to be water resistance and the shorts weigh in at 7.62 oz (216 g).
 
There were a number of things that I noticed about the shorts when first inspecting them.  The fabric is very soft, slick and light to the touch.  It looks to be very well constructed with the side seems triple stitched with all the strain points having additional stitching support.  They have added a row of close stitching that looks to be reinforcing the stress points of the front and back pockets.  The waist has no stretch capacity, rather just a button and belt system.  Included in the design are two front and back pockets as well as a single, zippered, leg pocket.  The inner material is made of a 100% polyester mesh.
 
The front pockets are quite generous in size with a 7 in (17.8 cm) opening and are deep enough to easily rest my hands in.  The back pockets have a 5.5 in (14 cm) opening and are 4.5 in (11.4) deep.  The one leg pocket on the right side has a small 4.75 in (12 cm) opening and 4.75 in (12 cm) depth. For me the front pockets are just deep enough to fit my hands but are not so deep that if I put something into them they are going to bounce around and annoy the heck out of me.  The leg pocket and back pockets are small making it useful for small items although not quite deep enough for my cell phone.
 
  
Exterior And Interior View Of Stitching

For fit they are just slightly big for me in the waist.  The sizing chart had a medium as a 32 – 33 in (81 - 84 cm) waist but the actual Switchback short option was either a 32 or 34 in (81 or 86 cm).  With a 33 in (84 cm) waist I did not want to chance getting something that I had to squeeze into so went for the 34 in (86 cm).  If I was trying them on in the store I am sure I would find the right option but ordering online it makes it a little more challenging.  Regardless they fit very nice in the leg, with enough room to make movement easy.  The only thing I will need to do is wear a belt which I have no problem doing.

 
Overall my first impression of these shorts is very positive.  The look and feel is very good.  The stitching seems to be excellent and the overall fit and comport level is excellent.  I am looking forward to testing these shorts out in the field and hope the preform to the level that is indicated by the manufacture. 

FIELD REPORT - SEPTEMBER 14, 2016

I have been wearing these shorts for two months or so now and am for the most part pleased with their performance.  So far I've use them on a day of rock climbing, several scrambles up a few local peaks and two backpacking trips, one in the Southern Canadian Rockies and another in Glacier National Park in Montana.  Over all I have put on around 70 km (43.5 mi) of hiking time with 3000 m (9843 ft) or so of elevation.  Performance wise they have done pretty well. Although I haven't been able to really test them when they get really wet but what I have found is that they deal with perspiration very well.  Any sweat build up dissipates very quickly and any water that hits them seems to dry off quickly no matter what temperature it is. Generally this summer has been between 10 c (50 f) and 25 c (77 f) so not so cold out. The shorts are very comfortable to wear, very light weight and soft to the touch.  When I was climbing they fit under my harness very well with no bunching.  The length was nice, long enough so I didn't feel like I was wearing short shorts and not so long that they catch on my knees when bending or squatting.  The diameter of the legs also seems good. They are loose enough for good movement without being floppy.  
The pockets seem big enough without being so large that when I use them the items in the pockets bounce around.  I do not use pockets that often as I find that whatever I put in them keeps banging into my leg whenever I move but I was happy to note that although it still occurs with these shorts it is not very pronounced.  
   
As for the fabric and construction I've washed them probably 12 times or so over the summer and they seem to be wearing well.  There is no evidence of shrinkage although I was hoping they might just a little.   I have noticed that a couple of the stitches have come loose although it looks like just one stitch at a time.  I attempted to photograph this but was unable to get a clear picture.  The stitching is not pulling so I think it will be ok.  The fabric seems be standing up even better, with no evidence of fading or staining from either salt of just being used.  Although I believe I do have the correct size I did add a belt to the shorts as the waist has no elastic in it so either it fits or it doesn't.  They are just a tad big on me so the belt rectifies the issue quite well.  I would not call this a flaw in the design just important to note if I were purchasing them online as I would need to get the size exactly correct.  I am in the middle between a large and a medium so I had to choose between having them either be tight or loose.  Loose seems to have worked out especially with the addition of the belt. 

I will be heading to the Mediterranean for three weeks and will be able to see how these shorts stand up to the Mediterranean sun and being used in the ocean. Although there will not be much hiking I will be able to really see how durable these shorts are and how quick they actually dry.  Stay tune and check back in a couple more months for a finally report on the tasc shorts.  

Long Term Report November 26, 2016

Over the last couple of months of the testing period I was lucky enough to be heading to Greece for three weeks where the weather was perfect for testing the tasc Switchback Shorts.  I spent a week sailing followed by a couple more weeks taking in the sights around mainland Greece.  The weather was a nice 25 C (77 F), sunny with and a couple of days of rain which provided me with ample opportunity to test out the shorts. I was even able to test how fast the shorts dried after taking them for a swim in the balmy 21 C (70 F) waters of the Mediterranean sea.  Once back to reality in Canada the weather was decisively cooler reaching to 4 C (39 F) before I decided I had had enough and gave up wearing shorts.  I was able to get out on two additional two night hikes, putting on about 37 km (23 mi) between the two trips and testing the shorts out in cool wet temperatures between 4  C (39 F) and 12 c (54 F).  

Although I do not have much more to add from my previous report there are a couple of additional observations that I can provide.  With
respect to how fast the quick dry fabric actually dries, it really depends.  In light rain they do very well, rain water evaporates from the fabric fast enough that I did not experience wet damp shorts after short burst of light rain.  In heavier rain, as expected they take a bit longer to dry out but dry relatively quickly.  When fully submerged then exposed to the hot sun of the Mediterranean they dried out fairly quickly.  The one area of the shorts that took quite a while to dry were the seams, more than double the time compared to the rest of the shorts, although with more material this was completely anticipated.  

I was very impressed with the fabric and its resiliency. After being exposed to the strong Mediterranean sun ov
er a three week period I would have expected a significant amount of fading due to bleaching by the sun.  To my pleasant surprise they did not fade at all, or at least not enough for me to notice it.  I did note that in a couple of places, mainly along the lower side seams, the stitching seems to be coming undone in a couple of locations.  Not enough to unravel the seam or create a hole but enough to notice it.  

During my Greece trip I really notice the lack of give in the waist line.  Hanging out on a sail boat for a week and eating very good food is not very conducive to keeping slim and trim.  Not that I am complaining about the resulting expanding waist line, it did give me a unique opportunity to note that a static waist line becomes uncomfortable at some point and a little bit of stretch would have been very welcome.  I am happy to note that when I got back and after a few more weeks I had to use a belt again with the shorts. It was very noticeable that unless I was the perfect circumference for the shorts I had to either wear a belt or suck it in.  

For comfort I found that regardless of temperature or duration of wearing the shorts they were always comfortable.  The very lite-weight nature of the shorts made wearing them a positive experience every time. Overall the Switchback Quick Dry Shorts are quite nice.  They are very lite-weight, comfortable on long and short hikes, they dry very quickly and appear to be very durable.  The only change that I would like to see is for them to be made with some elastic in the waist so that there is some flexibility in sizing.  Otherwise, a very nice pair of shorts.

Likes

Lite-weight
Quick-drying

Dislikes

No elastic in the waist


Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and tasc for the opportunity to test the Switchback Men’s Shorts.
 

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Read more gear reviews by Duane Lawrence

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Tasc Switchback Quick Dry Short > Test Report by Duane Lawrence



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