Pearl Izumi Canyon Short
Size Tested: Medium
MSRP: $75.00 (Currently on sale for $38)
- Stretch fabric
- Snap front closure with zip fly and back waist adjustment
- Two hand pockets
- Detachable liner with Women’s MTB 3D Chamois
- 8” inseam (size Medium)
Fabric: Shell: 100% polyester/UPF 50+; Liner: 92% polyester 8% elastane
Reviewer Info: 5’2”, 115 lbs., Waist: 26”. Usually wears a Medium
Days Tested: 28
Test Locations: Kalispell and Whitefish, Montana; Salmon, Idaho; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Wasatch Mountains, Utah
When selecting bike shorts, my number one priority is comfort. The Pearl Izumi Canyon are a simple, lightweight, and breathable pair of shorts with a women’s-specific cut.
Fit / Sizing
I usually have a difficult time finding comfortable bike shorts that fit my body type. Since my waist is a size Small and my thighs are a Medium, most shorts don’t fit correctly. I generally opt for a size Medium, which tends to be a little looser and more comfortable.
The Medium Canyon shorts don’t fit me quite right; the chamois is on the smaller side, but the shell is a little too big. The best solution would have been to wear a Large chamois and a Small shell, but I don’t believe Pearl Izumi sells two different sizes.
The chamois doesn’t have a tight elastic band around the bottom of the leg, which in combination with the snug fit, caused it to ride up my thighs while pedaling. This required me to stop constantly to pull them back down. Since this was such a nuisance, I would recommend trying on the shorts before purchasing them to make sure the chamois fits correctly. It’s possible, though, that even with the right size, the chamois will still ride up when pedaling since there is no elastic band.
Even though the Medium shell is a little large on me, I like the cut and length of the Canyon shorts. The shell is loose, without looking baggy, and falls to the top of my knees. While the stated inseam is 8”, I measured the inseam to be 9”.
The waist of the shorts has two internal adjustment tabs to help achieve a more precise fit. Unfortunately, these did not work properly, so I couldn’t cinch down the waist enough to prevent the shorts from riding down. To tighten down the waist, there is a small elastic band with buttonholes that can be secured to a button at different lengths. The left side adjustment works well, but on the right side, there is too big of a gap for the elastic band to even reach the button. Since I couldn’t tighten both sides of the waistband, the shell constantly falls down my waist while pedaling uphill. I have worn the shell without the chamois several times while hiking, but the shell sits very low and feels like it is going to fall off.
The chamois on Canyon shorts has an almost mesh-like feel, which makes it very breathable. The shell is very thin, which also helps with breathability, but provides excellent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The shell’s fabric is also quick drying, and wicks water and sweat away from the body well.
Since the Canyon shorts have a removable chamois and are quite comfortable, I’ve also worn them hiking and casually around town. While I like wearing just the shell, I wouldn’t recommend wearing only the chamois because they are very thin and slightly see-through.
Even though I usually wear darker colors to hide stains, I’ve noticed only a few grease stains on my light grey Canyon shorts. I love biking in the rain and mud, and I have noticed that over time the fabric around the butt accumulated some dirt stains that won’t come out. I may have been able to prevent this by washing the shorts immediately after each muddy ride rather than wearing them a few more times, but it’s not a huge issue. Most other stains, including some bright purple huckleberry juice, easily came out in the wash. Overall the shorts seem solid and have no loose seams or pilling.
The Pearl Izumi Canyon is a breathable, comfortable and loose pair of knee-length bike shorts. Since the sizing was a little different from other bike shorts I’ve worn, I would recommend trying them on first.
NEXT: Pearl Izumi Superstar Skirt