A waterproof short designed for use as a baselayer or as a standalone piece.
Beware of SBS (Sweaty Balls Syndrome) - if you have em - while sporting these shorts. Reserve these shorts for those cooler days, best used for training when temps are well under the 50 degree mark in our opinion.
The material of the Barrier Shorts is what SeasonFive calls Atmos 1.0, it's designed to be a waterproof fabric that is also breathable.
However, we felt like the Atmos fabric came up short in the breathability department. It seemed to trap more moisture and heat in than it allowed to pass through in our tests.
The Atmos fabric obviously resists water as shown below.
The chink in the waterproof armour that these shorts provide is at the seams. The seams tended to pull moisture in through the outer layer as shown below.
Comfort is what presented us with the biggest challenge. It's not that the shorts are uncomfortable in terms of rubbing or poor construction. What we really disliked about the shorts was the lack of overall breathability. We couldn't help but feel like we were wearing rubber training pants when running in these shorts. The Atmos fabric provides a nice barrier to the elements, but they simply are not breathable enough for daily use. On days when the weather is horribly cold, wet and windy these shorts make for a good base-layer, but in general we found them to be a little too toasty for the majority of our triathlon training.
On a positive note, the placement of the seams are well thought out. The absence of a seam on the inside of the thigh, for example, adds to the overall comfort of the shorts.
We also appreciate the use of flatlock seams throughout the construction of the shorts.
The Season Five shorts have held up nicely, all the seams are intact and construction seems to be top-notch.
Our sample was a size Large which was at least one size too big, based on the usual size of the tester for this review being a Medium, we would assume these shorts run pretty true to size.
The SeasonFive website lists these shorts at $59.99 which seems pretty reasonable for shorts that pack some serious technology in terms of materials and construction.
TriBomb Bottom Line
In our opinion these shorts would be a better fit in outdoor pursuits like mountain climbing, hiking, kayaking, SUP (Stand Up Paddle Surfing) or activities where the waterproof nature of these shorts could be a little more appreciated. From a triathlon standpoint, we simply found the lack of breathability to be pretty unforgiving in all but the coldest of temperatures.