Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air Short - Review


Troy Lee Designs says that its original Skyline was by far their most popular trail riding short. This season, the Skyline was completely redesigned, with upgraded adjustable waistbands, a Velcro-secured snap fly, and triple stitching in key areas. The padded waistband is printed with silicone gripper material and both front pockets have security zippers. The original Skyline's angled wallet zip pocket has been eliminated, which some of us will miss, and the entire short is constructed with elastic material and it is ever-so-slightly tapered in the legs to maintain pedaling comfort.

The Skyline Air we review here benefits from top-to-bottom vented mesh panels in the front of the short, including the pockets, which should raise a cheer from TLD fans who ride in hot climates. Further cooling is provided by the addition of Troy Lee Designs' new Air 2.0 padded liner, which incorporates mesh panels on the front and rear, as well as a high-quality perforated pad material. Thin, moisture-wicking material and silicone grippers on the leg bands further boost the liner's comfort. TLD Skyline Air shorts are available in black, red or gray and in even sizes from 32 to 38 waists. The length is 12.5 inches (317mm) and the MSRP is $95 USD.
Skyline Air Details: • Highly breathable construction for hot weather conditions• AIR 2.0 mesh liner with moisture-wicking, perforated chamois pad.• 12.5” inseam• Soft hand 100% polyester construction• Four-way stretch fabric• Rubber Troy Lee Designs “no pick” waist adjusters• Two front zipper pockets• Reflective logo details• Sizes: 32 34, 36, 38-inch waists• Colors: Red, gray and black• MSRP: $95 USD

• Contact: Troy Lee Designs

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
The new AIR 2.0 mesh liner is a step up in fit and comfort.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
Elastic waist adjustments are slimmer and more user friendly.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
Triple stitching in high stress areas.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
Soft waist band with printed silicone gripping material.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
Mesh front panels and zip-pockets maximize ventilation.

Ride Report

I liked my original Skyline shorts. They had a just-right fit over knee pads, they looked great, and the pocket placement was such that I could actually put something in them and still pedal comfortably. The only negative issues I had with those Skylines were that the liner was a bit crude, the waistband could dig into my flesh if I didn't adjust it perfectly, and the ventilation was only adequate. I wore my first pair until the stitching finally wore through at the crotch and the single fly-snap gave out.
Troy Lee Designs went beyond addressing those woes with the new Skyline Air. They doubled the comfort, tripled the ventilation properties, triple stitched near the nether regions, and added a strip of Velcro to the fly to bolster security there. The waistband has a soft inside liner with gripper strips to ward off plumbers' crack, and redesigned adjustment pulls that can't abrade flesh.I like everything about this new short. It is the most comfortable piece of kit in my cycling drawer that I would trust in a crash. I used to reserve my TLD Skyline shorts for more technical rides, but the Air model is wonderfully comfortable, and its liner fits more like a like a pro-level XC short, so whatever ride I have planned, it's the first one I grab after the laundry is done.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air short
A Velcro closure replaces the original Skyline's zipper.
Technically, I miss two features from the original Skyline: the angled rear zip pocket, which was perfectly placed to secure my phone, or wallet, and the removable liner loops. The attached liner keeps the outer and inner shorts aligned when the pockets are weighted, but the cut-to-remove tethers can get wound up tight in the wash. I'll probably cut them soon. On the plus side, the tapered legs play well with a variety of knee pads. and the addition of a zipper on the right pocket is great. I had to decide what was least likely to be lost and stuff accordingly with my old Skylines.

Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotes Troy Lee Designs may have invented its next best-selling short with the new Skyline Air. The $95 price tag may be a stumbling block for some, but wear them for a day and the quality of their construction, the pro-level liner and over-the-top warm weather comfort should eclipse any doubts about their value.RC