Monday, May 3, 2010

Hands On: Harken Ballistic Eco Shorts

New at APS this year are the Harken Ballistic Eco Shorts. You probably read about them in Bryn's post about how green we are here at APS. These shorts combine eco materials with solid sailing short basics to make a pair of shorts that's as easy on your rear as it is on the environment.

I wore a pair of these on a J22 during the Annapolis NOODs this spring to get a feel for them and overall I was impressed with the Eco shorts. For me, the most noticeable feature was the great stretch offered by the spandex blended into the fabric. I enjoyed the stretch so much I wanted to wear my biking shorts on Sunday for the full on spandex look, but Warren told me that wasn't appropriate. Really though they're the stretchiest pair of sailing shorts I've worn which makes them super comfortable.

The Harken ballistic shorts come with foam pads already inserted which is a plus compare to Camets where you have to buy them separately. The pads feel to me to be comparable to the other pads out there. They did make the toe rail on the J22 a bit more comfortable over the three days of sailing I did. As Bryn pointed out in her post about how eco-friendly these and other things at APS are these shorts are also the only shorts we have that feature two rear pockets separate from the pockets for the pads. I don't really think you'd want to use the pockets while sailing since they're pretty guaranteed to get both wet and smooshed but they're very useful once you make your way to the beer tent.

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