In August, we brought you an initial review of the Mesa Trail Running Shorts from GoLite. The Mesa shorts are lightweight and feature a number of pockets for all of your gear. They’re longer than our standard running shorts and feature a wide waistband for comfort. The Mesa 7″ shorts retail for $40 and the 5″ and 9″ retail for $45.
According to their website, GoLite was founded with the “simple idea…That experiencing nature would be better with less. Less weight, less fuss, less waste…more fun”. GoLite strives to not only provide products that are not just light in weight, but also light in their impact on the environment. GoLite uses the GoLite Index to determine the impact of each product and calculates this index using three main measures: Environmentally Preferred Materials, Responsible Production, and Education+End-of-Life Programs. GoLite has also adopted a Fair Labor audit process and follows The Timberland Company’s Code of Conduct.
About the GoLite Mesa Trail Run Shorts:
The Golite Mesa 7″ Trail shorts weigh in at a mere 140 grams or about 5 ounces. The 5″ version is even lighter at 113 grams and the 9″ model weighs only 146 grams. The shorts are available in a few combinations of black and granite. There are a few subtle differences between the three models, like the waistbands and the inner liners.
The GoLite Mesa 7″ Trail Run Shorts are touted as the ultimate training shorts. They feature a brushed waistband and hand pockets. The shorts are made of 100% polyester, with 58% being Minerale. We’ve discussed Minerale before, but in short, it’s a fabric that includes microporous particles derived from natural minerals. This fabric is designed to reduce odor and increase performance. The minerals are embedded in the fabric, so they won’t wash out or wear off.
The GoLite Mesa shorts also utilize DriMove Lite fabric. This fabric assists with moisture management and is designed to quickly move moisture away from your skin and keep you dry even in the hardest workouts and situations.
Final Testing of the GoLite Mesa Trail Running Shorts:
Our initial testing was limited to short and medium distance runs; nothing much more than 6 miles. All of our testing was done during the hottest part of the year in Beaufort, South Carolina. Most days the temperature was over 90 degrees and the humidity was over 80%.
Our initial concerns about the longer shorts were largely unfounded. We were concerned that the shorts would bunch and chafe due to the extra length in the legs. By and large, we were wrong about this issue. Once or twice, particularly on longer runs, the legs started to bunch and pull around the crotch. This generally happened when the entire short was soaked with sweat, causing it to bunch and pull.
Generally, these shorts performed very well in the heat. For runs up to 9-10 miles, the shorts wicked and breathed very well. This is not to say that they stayed dry, but that they helped with cooling and didn’t become uncomfortable or chafe. As mentioned above, there were two occasions that we experienced chafing and bunching in the crotch, we believe due to the longer leg length, but this was isolated.
These shorts feature multiple pockets, both slash front pockets and a zippered pocket for smaller items. We found the zippered pocket very useful for carrying our keys and our ID, but didn’t love the front pockets. While the front pockets were great for holding our ID, using them to carry a gel or Clif bar was a bit uncomfortable. The gel and nutrition fit without a problem, but our tester simply didn’t like the feel of full pockets in running shorts. Personal preference. If you like pockets, these shorts have them and you’ll be pleased, and for those of us who aren’t accustomed to having pockets, you can just not use them.
Final Impressions of the GoLite Mesa Trail Shorts:
We have tested these shorts for over three months, in some of the hottest parts of the year, and on many different run distances. Our initial impressions continue to hold. These shorts wick moisture, breathe, and are very lightweight. The length of the legs are a change for our tester, but the shorts are comfortable and fit well. The lightweight material is very useful during hot summer training runs and the shorts have plenty of pockets if you like that sort of thing.
As mentioned in our initial review, our tester really liked the waistband and wonders why other companies don’t use a similar waist band. It was comfortable on short runs and even more pleasing on longer runs. Pay attention manufacturers: This is a great feature.
These shorts are at the high end of normal for running shorts, but provide a good value, comfort, and breathability.