Sweet are no strangers to the paddling world and over the years I have tried and owned a fair few items from their range. However earlier this year saw the arrival of the newly updated Shambala shorts. Compared to previous models the new 2014 have a more fitted and articulated fit. In addition to the improvements made to the overall fit the fastenings and adjustments on the shorts have also been tweaked.
The pair I received are the gunmetal blue ones which match the new range of 2014 kit including the 2014 Strutter helmet. When looking out for a pair of kayak shorts it is important to me that they will last the test of time, and of course that they fit really well.
Velcro adjustable waistline
Curved waist to protect and cover lower back while in seated position
Secure snap buttons
3/4 length super elastic and comfortable neoprene inner shorts
New articulated fit, yet with unrestricted access while seated
Handy drainable pocket, with easy access while seated
3/4 length leg for knee coverage
DWR treated windproof, quick drying fabric
The Shamabal shorts are a ¾ short (or there abouts) with a neoprene lining. They have been designed specifically for kayakers and canoeists who are a either seated or kneel within their boats.
In terms of construction the Shambala shorts are very well made. The fabric has good combination of soft feel and toughness.
The inner short is made from neoprene and has an articulated fit especially designed for sitting in a kayak or canoe. The shorts are a little longer than the norm and sit just below the knees. This great when portaging but it really comes into its own when you sit in a kayak as the shorts still cover the knee/thigh giving a bit of extra padding between your leg and the thigh braces within the boat. The articulation within the design helps keep things in the correct place.
When sat in a kayak exposing your lower back can often be an issue. The Shambala shorts sit nice and high at the back with a curved waistline and the waistband can be adjusted via two Velcro tabs that are situated at the front of the shorts. These tabs are attached to an elasticated belt that allows for the short to be snugged up nice and tight around the waist yet still have some give when you are moving around.
Over all I have been very pleased with the shorts I did have iniial concerns over the sizing as I found that the neoprene inner shorts were pretty snug and I was having difficulty getting the shorts to sit quite right. They have of course stretched a little over time and now fit perfectly. They do offer both the protection and warmth that I require. They are pretty expensive at just under £100 but the quality of the design and fit makes them probably one of the best if not THE best paddling shorts out there at the current time.