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Endura's Hummvee Lite shorts are warm-weather-friendly versions of the company's iconic baggies. They're light, airy, and offer perfectly unrestricted movement. However, the detachable padded liner doesn't quite provide the comfort you might hope for.
I tested Endura's fantastic Hummvee Chino shorts a while back and thought they were about the best – and smartest – baggies I'd ever used. These 'Lite' versions from the same range eschew the stylish and hardwearing chino material for far lighter four-way stretch fabric, designed to provide better summer performance.
In the saddle, that excellent warm weather provision is hard to dispute. These are superb lightweight and airy outer shorts that feel great on very warm days. The four-way stretch material isn't quite as nice to touch as the chino, but when it comes to keeping you cool, the outers are nothing but excellent. One particular highlight is movement, which feels perfectly unrestricted with extra material at the seat to enhance cycling suitability.
In terms of added features, there's not much to report. You've got a couple of open hip pockets and then a small zipped pocket at the bottom of the left thigh, which is ideal for keys.
There's also a small poppered pocket at the rear. Kudos to Endura for fitting two fairly heavy duty poppers as waistband closure – unlike popper closures on some other baggies, these are strong enough to do the job.
I called the main shorts 'outers' because, as with the Hummvee Chino shorts, the Lites come with a padded liner which is mini-poppered in place at four points just below the waistband. I'd say it's better to view those poppers more as a packaging feature because, as soon as you start trying to get the pad hoiked up, you may well find they start unpopping.
I had a similar problem when I tested the chinos, and it's actually worth keeping the liner and outer separate from the start, getting the liner pad exactly where you want it, then pulling the main shorts over the top. If you try to maintain the integrity between inners, popper fixings and outer shorts, there's a danger the pad won't get settled in exactly the right place. I tried keeping both parts poppered together before one ride and returned home feeling sorer than I would have expected had I even gone completely pad-less.
That problem notwithstanding, the liner here doesn't offer quite as effective comfort as the Hummvee Chino shorts' liner and a quick look down the spec sheet explains why. The pad with the Lites is from Endura's 200 series – good for, Endura says, an hour or so of riding – whereas the chino shorts have a 300 series pad that will see you right for double that. I'm not someone who hankers after lots of cushioning, but the difference in pad performance is noticeable.
One last criticism is that, despite the outer shorts having quite a high back, I did find they slipped down in the saddle. Combine that with the very thin fabric of the liner – which goes see-through if it's stretched a bit – and if you're not wearing a long-tailed top, you can end up giving following road users more of an eyeful than either of you were expecting.
In terms of value, the Lites come in £5 more than the Hummvee Chino shorts, which surprises me a little as the chinos feel like a more substantial product. Endura of course isn't the only company making good baggies – Dave tested Rapha's £60 Commuter Shorts recently and thought they were OK, although they don't come with any padding. Better are Specialized's also pad-less RBX Adventure Over-Shorts for £75. In that company, the Hummvee Lites aren't bad value at all, even if you forget about the liner completely.
And, in my opinion, that might the best way to see these shorts: as a great over-short with a padded liner thrown in. Certainly the outers are very well made, offering unrestricted movement and really excellent hot, summer cycling performance. If the liner works for you, well, that's a nice bonus. But if it's an all-round padded short you want, I'd still go for the smarter, harder wearing, comfier and even a little bit cheaper Hummvee Chinos.
Excellent warm weather outer baggies that are let down slightly by their detachable padded liner
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Hummvee Lite Short
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
This is a lightweight short for warm weather riding. Endura says: "We heard you. When the Hummvee collection was launched we were asked by our friends in warmer climates for an option designed just for them. The much-loved icon of the MTB scene, the Hummvee Short, was originally developed by working with London bike couriers back in the day. We asked them what they needed in a pair of urban cycling shorts and Hummvee was born. So versatile a product, it was adopted by mountain-bikers too and can be seen on both the trail and the daily commute. This updated version of the Hummvee Lite is pared down and perfect for hot weather, whilst still retaining the legendary functionality the Hummvee Short is famous for. It comes complete with a padded liner short. These shorts keep true to their utilitarian Hummvee name with two front hip pockets, a zipped thigh cargo pocket and one small pocket on the rear - plenty of space to carry your on-person essentials. The lightweight four-way stretch nylon fabric combined with an elasticated jacquard waistband makes these shorts so comfortable you won't want to take them off."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight 4-way stretch nylon fabric
Includes Clickfast™ detachable liner with 200 series pad
Front hip pockets and zipped thigh cargo pocket
Elasticated waistband with zip fly, and popper closure
The only thing it's not light on is features!
As usual from Endura, it's a quality bit of kit.
The outer offers excellent performance – deserving of a 9 – but the liner isn't so good.
Although the four-way stretch material is light and thin, it does feel like it will last.
Good length in the leg, decent height back.
Pretty much as expected.
Very, very light for baggies.
The outers are very comfortable and unrestrictive, but the padded liner is a bit disappointing.
The Lites come in £5 more than the Endura Hummvee Chino shorts, which surprises me a little as the chinos feel like a more substantial product. However, Dave tested Rapha's £60 Commuter Shorts recently and thought they were OK, although they don't come with any padding. Better are Specialized's also pad-less RBX Adventure Over-Shorts for £75. In that company, the Hummvee Lites aren't bad value, even if you forget about the liner completely.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. I pull the liner and outer apart, then wash in the machine at 30 degrees and hang to dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In terms of warm weather performance, these shorts are great. In terms of in-saddle comfort, with this padded liner, they're disappointing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lightweight and unrestricted performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The padded liner.
Did you enjoy using the product? With the liner – no.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a short of two halves. The outers perform superbly for warm weather riding, but the inner liner doesn't provide the comfort I'd have wanted.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure