The apex is defined as the highest or uppermost point, like “the apex of a mountain”. At Showers Pass, it’s defined as their collection of highest performing mountain biking gear. Designed for trail worthy technical performance and comfort, the Apex line of products, like the rest of the Showers Pass collection, are versatile pieces that perform on and off the bike. We’re big fans of the Apex products, having tested and worn the merino tech tees and shorts.
The technical t-shirts are available in both long and short sleeve iterations in a range of colors. It hasn’t been available in a black color way until now though. As someone whose go-to is black, I was psyched to try the latest option.
The folks at Showers Pass also sent over the latest color in the Apex DWR 12″ shorts, called buckthorn brown. While it definitely has an earthy hue, as a painter, I thought it to be closer to yellow ochre. (maybe mixed with some cad yellow?) Ochre pigment is derived from natural clay earth and is a mix of yellow, deep orange and brown, and it happens to be a favorite. While you’d never see me wearing a top this color, I found I really liked it as shorts.
I tend to often wear all black while mountain biking, but that’s not the best color for photos in the woods. This being the age of Instagram, its nice having color options that pop on the trails.
Being a color geek, I did look up Buckthorn brown, and it turns out there’s actually a Pantone color called Buckthorn brown. (Pantone 180935 TCX) … and we just learned something. Still, I found the shorts to look more yellow in photos. 🙂
All this to say that, like the other Apex pieces, I’m rather fond of the latest releases and will happily drone on about it to anyone that’ll listen. In terms of features and fit, I find them both to be spot on for what I look for in outdoor apparel designed for adventuring.
In terms of technical specs, the shorts are constructed with 4-way stretch fabrics that use a nylon-spandex blend. The panel on the back and seat use a heavier weight that have proved quite durable. While they aren’t waterproof, there’s a DWR finish that helps shed rain, but more importantly stains, making them easier to clean. The waist band has a bit of give and there are adjustable cinches. The shorts are fastened with two snaps, but there’s also a hook and bar that keep them secured.
My favorite features of the Apex short are the pockets. Specifically, the zippered rear pocket, something we don’t often find in cycling over shorts. As I carry a pocketknife in my rear pocket, it allows my EDC to come along on rides, as opposed to being forced to stow it in my waist pack. (it also makes them useful for additional outdoor activities, like hiking/camping/ect.) I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews, but the front two hand warmer pocket are a bit shallow, so I don’t recommend riding with your keys stowed there as they’re unsecured. There are two zippered pockets on the thighs that can accommodate a phone, which is a safer bet.
In terms of fit, the length is of the Apex short is spot on for pairing with knee pads with my 31″ inseam. I’ve worn these in both size 30″ and 32″ (I’m 5’10”, 31″ inseam, 38 jacket, 162 – 167 lbs) wear a Levis 511 in size 31″) and I’m currently much happier in the size 32″. I’m wearing the size medium top, which fits me well. It’s worth noting I often wear a size small in other brands depending on the fit or desired look. (my size 38 chest puts me at a size small in the SP sizing chart) As this material is quite lightweight, its worth paying close attention to sizing.