Basic summary: Lightweight, high-stretch shorts without a liner to allow versatility of use for those who prefer their own baselayer. The Talus shorts use Matrix fabric which has excellent dynamic functionality for a range of conditions.
- Weight: 120g men’s / 98g women’s
- Inseam length: 9” men’s / 4” women’s
- Material construction: Matrix stretch fabric, water resistant and breathable
- Regular fit
- Polygiene odor control
- Secure zipper pocket at right flank
- Elastic pouch on left flank
- Elasticated waistband with external drawcord
- 3 color options for men and women
Rab is a UK company with several decades of experience creating outdoor gear for mountain exploration, and their newly developed Skyline range is geared specifically for the running crowd, pairing technical fabrics and lightweight, high range of motion designs to facilitate fast movement through mountain terrain.
The men’s and women’s Talus shorts feature one of the most impressive fabrics we’ve tested this year: the dynamic Matrix fabric that is lightweight, moisture wicking, and highly breathable, with impressive water resistance and excellent stretch capacity for full range of motion. This material is also used in some of Rab’s technical soft shells for colder weather, but as a standalone layer it provides exceptional comfort and performance. We found that the Talus shorts don’t get as soaked as other shorts on super-foggy mornings, and they also ventilate well when temperatures get warm.
Linerless shorts are something of a rarity, and they’re sort of an acquired taste. From a convenience standpoint, we certainly prefer the ease of pulling on a single layer before heading out the door, and of not needing extra drawer space for storing separate underwear layers. However, with the flexibility to choose your own base layer, you can combine the Talus shorts with longer compression garments in cold conditions, performance briefs in warm weather, or any inseam length you prefer. On longer runs, the chafing protection from wearing a boxer brief underneath linerless shorts is usually much more protective than applying anti-chafing lube to bare thighs.
Another advantage of linerless shorts is that you can wear them day after day, changing the baselayer as needed to prevent them from getting too funky. With the added benefit of Polygiene odor protection, we easily wore the Talus shorts for several days in a row without need for washing.
Storage on the Talus shorts is slightly limited, with dual horizontal pockets on either flank – one secured with a zipper, the other an elasticized pouch – but the unused center back area seems like a missed opportunity to add a bit more cargo capacity. The elastic waistband rides comfortably, and the somewhat thick drawstring cords easily keep the shorts in place, but the cords are slightly on the short side, and were pulled back through their exit hole a couple of times when we weren’t careful.