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Initial Review of DeSoto Carrera Men’s Tri Shorts

I just received these shorts the other day and have had a few days to try them out.  The DeSoto Shorts are made of Carrera Skin, a nylon and spandex blend that’s supportive and quick drying.  According to the DeSoto site, Carrera Skin blocks 75% of UVB rays.  These shorts are available in standard and a low cut version with a 1.5 inch shorter waist.  The inseam is 6.5″ for the small shorts and goes up to 8″ for the XL.

We are testing the standard shorts, but expect the low-rise shorts to be identical.


If you’ve worn cheaper tri shorts before, these will surprise you.  The first thing you’ll notice is the seams.  The Carrera Tri Shorts are made of multiple panels of thick fabric with prominent seams.  The shorts have a bit more heft, owning to thicker fabric and the Invisipad lining.  Compared to the Profile Splice Shorts, you instantly realize these shorts seem more durable.  All the stitching and seams are well constructed and you’ll notice the strength of the Lycra shorts as soon as you put them on.  Overall, these shorts appear to be well constructed.

Comfort and Fit:

When you first slip these on, or squeeze into them, you’ll feel the benefits of the high quality construction.  The multiple panels and thick seams create a strong and supportive feel.  The Invisipad lining is a change, not very bulky, but noticeable compared to thinner shorts.  The shorts are a tight fit with strong compression, but very comfortable.  The legs don’t have additional elastic or silicone to keep the shorts from bunching, but the overall tightness and fit of the shorts makes this only desirable, not essential.  As a Clydesdale, I really appreciate the length of the drawstrings.  It’s nice to have plenty of room to tighten the shorts up.  Though a small detail, I cannot stand shorts that use the same length drawstring for the 28″ model and the 38″ model.  I like the adjustability, if that’s a word.


I’ve used these shorts three times in the past week.  Each time, I was in the YMCA pool.  Moving forward, my reviews of this product will only be in open water.  The DeSoto website cautions you to not use the shorts in chlorinated pools and I don’t want to cause undue wear and tear.  Two of my test were swimming only, while one test was a swim to bike brick.  During the swims, the shorts stayed in place, didn’t sag, and the legs didn’t ride up.  I was a bit surprised that the legs stayed put, but it seems the legs are well constructed and fit well.  During the first swim, I noticed the thicker chamois right away.  It was a bit of a change versus my TYR Square Leg Shorts, but not uncomfortable, just there.  After a few hundred meters, I didn’t notice the pad anymore.

Getting out of the pool, I dried off enough to get my socks, shoes, and jersey on and headed out of the locker room with the shorts still pretty wet.  I could feel the shorts dripping as I left the parking lot at the YMCA.  Within a mile, the shorts had stopped dripping, though they were still very wet.  The outer shell of the shorts dried very quickly and the Invisipad, though it took significantly longer than the shell, dried within the first 8 miles or so.  The day I tested these on the bike, the weather was pretty cool, so I’m sure they’d have dried quite quickly in hotter weather.

I also wore these shorts for a 10K run without first swimming or biking.  While running, the shorts didn’t ride up at all.   On the bike, I did have to readjust the shorts because the legs were riding up a bit.  This only happened at the beginning of the ride and once adjusted, I didn’t experience the riding up issue again on my bike.  During the run, the shorts felt like they were breathing pretty well, not quite as airy as my running shorts, but not overly restrictive.

Since I’ve only used these shorts for four total training days, I’m not ready to fully recommend them.  I will say that they are very well constructed shorts and they fit very comfortably.  During my three swims, one cycling workout and one medium distance run, I didn’t have any issues with the shorts and I’m very pleased to date.  We’ll have a final review ready in the next few weeks with more than a month’s worth of use and testing.

About Eric H. Doss

Eric is a triathlete and writer. He has competed in all distances of triathlons, from sprints to full Ironman distance races. He founded FitEgg.com in 2009 to meet the increasing need for professional, unbiased reviews of triathlon gear.

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