PNW Components is a good example of when a rider owned brand does things right, and creates useful, well thought out products we actually want. When they dropped their apparel collection earlier this year, we expected to see more of what they’ve already become known for: well designed and executed offerings at a reasonable price — and we weren’t disappointed. I’ll also add that they look and feel good too.
When products are produced by people that ride, it is apparent in the details. As someone that’s worked in the soft goods industry and for bike brands in the past, this isn’t always the case. Many brands have designers that simply pull images of competitors products and then create a compilation of what they think looks nice and that will “fit the market”. I love when they add this bit too – the “US Market”. Needless to say, as a discriminating rider that actually uses the stuff, this can be frustrating to see, and even worse to be part of and have minimal impact on the final products. (examples: riding shorts without pockets, or low stack height stems destined to go on bikes with a lot of spacers…)
PNW Components is not one of these companies, and it shows in their product line. When they introduced a line of apparel staples, they created a collection of products that perform for their intended purposes with useful features. We previously wrote about the Lander jacket, and after spending the summer wearing the Shuttle Short ($99) and the Ozone Trail Jersey ($49), have come away with positive experiences.
PNW Components Shuttle Short Features
- Water-Resistant DWR Coating
- Abrasion Resistant 4-Way Stretch Fabric
- Smartphone-Compatible Zippered Pockets
- 13″ Inseam
- Lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects
- MSRP: $99
PNW Components did a great job with their first short – it has practically everything a rider could want from an MTB short. It’s fitted with a slight taper and not too baggy so it won’t snag on anything, and the 4-way stretch fabric allows for a full range of motion. More importantly, it’s comfortable. Waist adjusters allow one to tailor the fit at the waist, and the smartphone-compatible pockets are secured with a zipper, and extremely well placed, under the thigh. This one is especially huge, as we like to have easy access to our phones, and somehow a lot of brands mess this one up… as if the designers don’t actually ride or use the products.
Fit & Sizing
I’m wearing the size small in the jersey and the size medium in the shorts. I find the fit to be solid for both pieces at 5’10”, 162-165 lbs, 31″ waist and inseam, and a size 38 jacket. The 13″ length is solid for pairing with knee pads with no thigh gap but it’s not too long.
A few final thoughts for the shorts; the front pocket bags are just deep enough to secure items. As I often ride with keys in my pocket, this is important. The zipper pocket on the hip is a viable option as well. While I like having a back pocket so I can clip my pocket knife on it (my EDC when riding around town, the bike park, or the backcountry), adding zippers adds cost to a garment, and for mountain biking, the well executed iPhone friendly hip pocket is more useful. I can stick my knife in my waist pack. (in theory, it could also go on the left hip, but I’m right-handed with it)
PNW Ozone Trail Jersey features
- 20% Wool / 80% Polyester Blend
- Bluesign ® Certified Fabric
- Can’t go wrong with the basic “t” look
- List price of $49.00
Some riding gear makes you look like an advertisement; the Ozone trail jersey is more like the basic tee you already own. However, the polyester/wool blend utilized is a staple in technical tops, and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any way, it’s a solid addition to one’s gear closet. It breaths well, and the wool content adds anti-bacterial properties that help minimize odor, making it a great option for weekend road trips. It doesn’t wear like a t-shirt at all, but more like a wool blend top; the laser perforation for ventilation is a nice touch as well. It’s also Bluesign approved, which is a bonus.
The PNW kit was one of my go-to riding outfits the weekend of Mountain Bike Oregon, a 3-day mountain bike festival. Sometimes you don’t want to look uber sporty, and the basic gray t was perfect for just “being”. The older I get, the more likely I am to grab a technical tee I can wear all day, whether I’m hitting the trail, riding bikes around town, hitting the lake on my paddle board, or to a bbq. At $49, it’s priced right, and a better value than the wool tops you’ll find at REI.