From Concept to Creation: Skyline Trail Shorts Product Deep Dive

Tayson Whittaker:  Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the live ultra light podcast powered by Ultra Vitals. Today, we have one of your favorite episodes. A product Gear Deep Dive on a new pair of trail shorts that we're releasing called the Skyline Trail Shorts. So, as per the usual, we've got Brigham here on the podcast with me. How are you doing today, Brigham?

Brigham Crane: Doing great.

Tayson Whittaker: It's another day in paradise. The weather is warming up. 

Brigham Crane: It's beautiful, 

Tayson Whittaker: beautiful outside. I'm wondering why we're inside, but I guess you still have to pay the bills and do the usual day in, day out grind. But man, it's nice to see some sun. It's nice to wake up and not be freezing. Even getting in my vehicle this morning was pretty dang awesome. But if you're new to the podcast, this podcast is all about getting you outdoors more comfortably and more confidently. And if you're new to the product, deep dives, this is an episode where we're just gonna unpack the story behind the product. Why we originally were interested in designing the product, where we started, what, what ended up coming into fruition with the product, the R and D process of it. Just everything that bled into the finished product that will be available at the time of this recording. So it's really interesting even if you're maybe not interested in this specific product, which you should be because I think everyone needs shorts and you should be doing a little bit of training or, or lounging around the house, whatever it is you're gonna need these shorts. But, I think from a perspective of getting to know your gear, these podcasts can be incredibly informative of what an R and D process looks like or what goes into a product or maybe what doesn't go into other people's products per se. And that's really, I feel like the story because when we're looking at the Skyline shorts, they're not incredibly complex compared to like the number of patterns and pieces that go into say a backpack or, or other pieces of gear along the way, but that doesn't mean that there's not still a ton of corners that could have been cut. or that a lot of things that could have been glossed over and designed and, and so with us, I mean, obviously, our goal is to spend a ton of time in the field, testing them, optimizing them and, and not cutting any of those corners. So, if you're interested in this, join us. I'm gonna pop open my afternoon caffeinated drink here and we're just gonna hang out and talk about the Skyline Shorts development. So, where did this all start Brigham?

Brigham Crane: Well, I guess it really started when we started developing another piece of gear. I don't know, we can talk, we've talked about it before we, we, we, we started development on a fast pack, but part of that, it's a longer process, it's a long process. But in, I, I guess because we had to, to start that development in order to have a really good sense of, of that product in like a fast track involves some running and, and we, we, we felt like we needed to be, be capable, physically capable to design, like to use the product that we were gonna design. So, yeah, we essentially just started doing more running or putting more effort into spending more of our time with running. so that we could give the, you know, give the fast pack the, the, the best design effort that we can, meaning we, we need to be able to be proficient or be frequent users of that product product. So, yeah, all that meant was, you know, I personally wasn't doing a lot of running and didn't have dedicated running shorts. So, so 

Tayson Whittaker: We became consumers pretty quick because that was the same thing. I mean, looking backwards, it was like the best thing that ever happened to me was to probably have that conversation with Jeff Peltier and become interested in fast packing and, and running.  because from a physical standpoint, it just changed so much, from a, from just a mile on trail and what, what like capability standpoint, it changed so much. But yeah, pretty soon we became consumers and buyers of shorts and I felt like there was a time frame where we were coming in and being like, well, I just bought these shorts and that's what I hate about them.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, we started, yeah, we really just started yeah, being, being users of, of, of running shorts and, and yeah, like you just said, like different shorts and yeah, trying different combinations of you know, line and unlined what I mean, even different like short and boxer combinations and all of this so that we could develop a another product. But what it, what it did was we, we quickly kind of started learning what we didn't really like about all the different short models that we were using and what we did like things we noticed problems solutions and, and just kind of started really getting a really intimate I guess judgment of what, what was working for us and what wasn't. And so that really kind of sparked the or gave the impetus to like decide that. Well, why don't we just work on our own pair of shorts that are gonna be good for us to go running in and that's going to be suitable for all this fast packing that we're doing. So yeah, that's kind of the beginning.

Tayson Whittaker: This is just I'm gonna take a side detour here for just a second because it just brings up something that we talk about a lot, which is that all of our best ideas come from time on trail. The more time we spend on trail, the more time we spend using products we come up with better and better ideas. And when I look at something like a short, it's like, man, there's, there's so many shorts out there, there's so many people making shorts yet. Still, there's so many, let's call them suits behind desks, making decisions on what short models need to be rolled out and, you know, or maybe designing the shorts themselves too that maybe aren't spending enough time in the shorts or maybe the people that are spending the time in the shorts don't get enough say in what gets actually to roll out the door. But it just kind of blows my mind. It just blows my mind that people that there actually haven't been some better shorts created. And, and, and there's different bodies, there's different, you know, so like, I don't want to sound too biased or anything like that. But yeah, when, when I was like, just looking backwards now and I'm looking at that, I'm like, I just felt like there was no reason we couldn't find a really good pair of shorts for what we're looking to do yet. I spent a lot of money on shorts and I was never satisfied with it.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. And it was a, I mean, the process, I, I, I really like looking back on it. It's really satisfying, the very natural progressive process that we, that we, that we took to just even deciding that, yeah, making a pair of shorts is something that we want to do. because it, you know, it doesn't mean that we tried every single pair of shorts out there, but at a point, we realize, ok, well, we're spending all this time doing all this running, we're developing a fast pack and, and we're learning and, and becoming more and more proficient at this fast packing thing and realizing, all the things that it entails from like the, the materials and the distances you're running, the, the terrain that you're, you're covering the mileage, the, the physical exertion and, and we really were learning that all of that comes into play or it, it all of that influences what we were feeling like we wanted to implement into a pair of shorts. you know, because,, it's a very, it's a very progressive story of just, as we used it, we realized, well, we're, we're not just going for an hour run. We're not just going for a two hour run, you know, in the, I'd say the, the full potential of these shorts was, you know, executing a multi day fast packing trip. So that's kind of like the maximum use case or, you know, what we would want the full potential of the pair of shorts we wanted, that's the full potential we wanted to reach and, and there's, it's just a lot different than even somebody running a marathon. You know, which is, that's a, that's a substantial physical effort, but fast packing is just a bit different or, and as all of this is happening, it's kind of shaping kind of all these requirements or these, these ideal characteristics for what we would want, you know, and so when, when you're going out into the backcountry, and for us that's mountains and desert. you know, you're, you're exposing your body to more environmental elements, you're exposing the clothing you wear to extended exposure to the same environmental elements. And, and I guess, you know, we really just started noticing that what we wear actually, it was mattering. It really mattered because on a lot of times, you know, we different guys wearing this short or that short, you know, sometimes somebody is getting chaff and somebody wouldn't or somebody might get a hole or, or, rip out something on one pair of shorts and somebody didn't.

Tayson Whittaker: And, certain people were way more susceptible to issues.

Brigham Crane:  Yeah, exactly.

Tayson Whittaker:  Like, for me, I may have a massive sweater. I'm a very heavy sweater which then bleeds straight down into increased chafing. versus I feel like Derek hardly sweats and I feel like he is one who rarely would have issues with chafing compared to me where it's like, that's a primary focus when I start running and covering 30 miles a day with extra sweat and moisture going on there. Like, that's a, it's not comfortable very, really quickly if you've got the wrong gear becomes a major pain point. and not, not to derail what you're going on there. But there's like, yeah, like I would just second all of that, that, as, as we push farther and farther, it's like, what we always say is a good piece of gear is a gear that can almost go unnoticed and we were noticing, say the least.

Brigham Crane:  Yeah. And, and it's, again, it goes into a lot of the, a lot of the issues weren't something that, you know, you or I or anybody else is gonna really notice after, like I said, an hour long run, you know, you go run six miles and a lot of the issues,, don't surface until like the end of a full day of, you know, covering, I don't know what, 20-25 miles in the mountains, you know where you're mixing, you know, running a lot of hiking, but then you're, you're carrying gear, You're filtering water, you're exposed to rain, you're exposed to heat and sun. That's where we started noticing all these different elements and, and influences.

Tayson Whittaker: So speaking on what we were maybe unhappy with, I would say from what I recall the things that I was unhappy with in the pieces that I was purchasing and trying out were number one, like I had to reduce the amount of chafing. So I was trying liners in a lot of the shorts and I was trying, you know, briefs, I was trying the boxer lengths, I was trying a lot of them that had different materials in them. So some of them would start out really great and then once they got saturated and wet, they would start to bag out the same and then create chaff. So that was a major pain point. I remember some of them, I was like, hey, this one's ok, it's working pretty well, but it didn't have any pockets on it. And so that became just a real big annoyance. Plus like the, you know, I just just do little things like that. Some of them were really light and maybe even affordable but were like five inch running shorts, you know, and it was like, ok, these aren't, these aren't too bad for me. As long as I pair them with the right underwear underneath. But then, like, I don't want to go anywhere in these, like, like I go straight to the trailhead and straight home, because I'm uncomfortable in public. And anyway, that was just a few of the things that I remember right off. But for me, a lot of it had to do with just comfort over the miles that I was really aiming for it.

Brigham Crane:  I think it's very similar for me. It's, it's just, it's not necessarily the things that you, the, the, the things you notice are not really what you like about it. It's the things that are bothering you or, or me in this case, you know, I noticed that, you know, maybe the, the crotch was a little bit too low and so after just mile after mile, you know, that's where some shaping would start to occur. Just because as you take a step, that excess fabric because the crotch is too low, you know, starts rubbing the inside of the thigh. You know, maybe the, the, you know, the waistband, either bunching or creating hotspots or something if I were using it under a backpack. , just a lot of things.

Tayson Whittaker: I got one when the, when the, when some of the shorts would get wet, it would, they'd start to basically lose shape or deform or bag out. So much that it's like when I started, I'm like, man, these are working really, really well and just comfortable, the longer I went, the more they'd start binding up on my legs and you know, like the like, like your leg could easily slide through the material, let's say when it was dry. But then as it got wet, it got more sticky, it started to bag out more and suddenly my range of motion was getting limited. That was one that I experienced.

Brigham Crane: one that was, I found really interesting is, and this is a personal preference thing, not necessarily a fault of, of any pair of shorts, but, you know, any time I was using running shorts, and pairing them with like, you know, underwear, boxers, compression shorts, whatever. I started realizing that I'm not really that big of a fan of trying to find the right combination of shorts and underwear. And then that's yet another thing that I'm packing and, and on the, on these multi day trips, where you cover 25-30 miles in a day. And even if it doesn't rain at all, all that sweat is now in the compression shorts. Right? And then I don't want to sleep in that. I mean, I can,, I'm capable of doing that but it makes it much, much, a much more enjoyable experience because that's why we're out there doing it, even though, even when we do these difficult things, we're still doing it to enjoy the experience. And so I found personally that I wasn't a fan of this whole idea of having a pair of shorts and then a pair of underwear that had to be the right pair of underwear. So I didn't get chaff with that pair of shorts and then at night, either sleeping in just that muggy damp pair of compression shorts or taking them off to put something else on. And then overnight they don't dry out because they're just soaked. Right. And then putting those on the next day and, and running more miles. and then realizing, well, the, I guess one potential solution is to bring an extra pair of underwear. Well, now I'm packing an extra pair of underwear. and so one of the things that I really learned for myself was that I really enjoyed or came to enjoy not having to worry about underwear at all and using a pair of line shorts, that breathes well, and now I'm not having to pack extras of anything and they're so breathable and they're the actual, you know, square footage or the, the square inches of that liner is so small and it's so breathable that it would dry quickly. And that's just one last thing that I wasn't having to worry about in my nighttime bed routine. and then, repeating that, you know, two and three days. it just made it for a more enjoyable experience for me and I feel like it did reduce the possibility or the potential for like, 

Tayson Whittaker: yeah, I, I think there's, there's a lot of good there to unpack, but I think that I think they've got the point on like, man, we weren't totally happy. We thought we could build something better for our use case scenario. So we set out to do this and usually I'd say we start by general like, like we, we start laying out some parameters, right? So I think we wanted to reduce chaff, we wanted to find better materials that worked for us in the long haul that were both gonna be stretchy and quick drying. They needed to be able to vent really well for us. We really wanted to play around at the fit of shorts so that maybe we could, we could bring up the crotch height or the rise of them. So that we could reduce chafing instead of having a really baggy crotch area that just lent itself to an infinite number of possibilities or discomfort. So we kind of laid all these things out there. And so, I mean, almost immediately you're gonna start sketching things out on the computer and whatnot. But let's talk a little bit about materials and, and finding some of those and, and where that kind of side of the story began.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. Yeah, we went through and looked at, I mean, I don't feel like we had any kind of limitations to materials in terms of fabrics that we would, we would use and we had some ideas of what we would want, like you mentioned, we wanted to, to dry quickly. And so that means a couple of things that means definitely like a synth, a fully synthetic, you know, short and probably polyester. And the other thing that helps things dry quickly is that it's a lightweight fabric. But through all this, this kind of field research of going out there in the mountains and running, we realize we don't want something that's so light that it's gonna become like a fragile pair of shorts. And so started looking at fabrics that had some stretch where polyester were woven for more durability and breath a bit, but maintaining breathability but not so lightweight that they lose too much durability. And then again, like maintaining a level of durability that we could have confidence in the shorts, you know, mile after mile day after day in, you know, pretty austere environments like very, very remote backcountry settings. So that kind of guided what we were looking for, in fabrics and materials. And then, you know, we also decided that we probably wanted to just offer a lined and an unlined version. And so if we're doing a line version, what is that liner meta material, liner fabric, you know, what's that look like? And, and you know, so we kind of went on a search to find a liner fabric that is gonna do what we wanted it to do.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, the, and the liner fabric that we used is, is this stretch jersey mesh. It's a phenomenal mesh. I personally haven't had a similar mesh on any other product of my own. And I remember when we first got a hold of that, we're like, wow, this is, this is it like this, it was, it was a very instant like love at first sight scenario for me. because it has both the breathability aspect of it, but it also has a very good retention. You know, some meshes get wet and they can really start to bag out or lose shape. I've had really good success with this both in terms of durability and also in terms of it holding its shape.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. So the mesh that we ended up using is another benefit or I guess another really good property of it is for this application and where we put it in the shorts for being a mesh, it's not like a see-through mesh, which is important because it's in the crotch, right? So it's a full, full crotch gusset and on the outside of the legs and in the pockets. but it's, it's, it's just really cool because it looks, it looks solid from, you know, from a distance. But if you hold it up to light you can, you can see the, all the, the breathable space in, in the mesh.

Tayson Whittaker: And so it's, that includes both when it's wet and dry.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, like getting tested both ways. Yeah, it's really cool. I mean, and we did and, and we test, different colors to kind of make sure that there's not gonna be any, you know, visible discomfort issues. in terms of it being a little too transparent. But, yeah, it's, it's a, it's a cool mesh. It definitely does exactly what we were looking to do.

Tayson Whittaker: Then the, then they, polyester, the woven polyester that we ended up using. I've been super happy with that. It's a really, really lightweight polyester. I mean, the shorts themselves,, let's just go ahead and give the weights on these because it's, it's worth noting. So, without a liner, they're 4.4 ounces and with the liner, they're 5.4 ounces or medium size, medium. So, like if you're watching on youtube, you'll be able to see this, but like, you can roll these things up and they're staying near the weight and size of like a boxer, like, like just a pair of underwear. , especially if it's like a cotton pair of underwear or something like that. They're just, they're incredibly light, but a part of that, with the fabric side that's just so awesome and being so light is, is they do just dry at a ridiculously fast rate. So if you're like me and you're gonna saturate out a pair of shorts at some point during a day from effort and sweat or, or moisture from rain or whatever. there's a solid, very good chance that they will completely red dry during the day, maybe even over a lunch period 

Brigham Crane:  for sure. 

Tayson Whittaker:  And so it's, it's just a phenomenal, quick drying piece. They do have, DWR coating on them, which is kind of which at first, like we kind of tested it and we're thinking about it and,, it's not so much to like, I don't know, not like rain shorts, right. But, like even sweat falling off of your body will, will, will glance off of the shorts and, and not necessarily just absorb straight in and then in some ways I think that it can help also just with the dry how fast it dries. I don't know if that's true or not, but they do dry really fast and the DWR kind of does, shed some of that moisture off, which is, which is at first, I was like, I don't know if I like this. And then after a time, I was like, no, this is really reducing the amount of sweat just staying or, or landing and staying in the short. So we've got those aspects. Obviously, they're stretching. It's a, it's a four way stretch, 

Brigham Crane: a four way mechanical stretch.

Tayson Whittaker:  So there's no, no spandex in here. And one of the, one of the big things I love about that is for me and Brigham who have been testing these for a long time. Now, you wear them at the gym every day and if you've ever had a pair of gym shorts, specific gym shorts, like I have a pair from a very well known brand and there's so much spandex in them and the, and the materials are so heavy that they just hold moisture. Like if I were to go to the gym, get all sweaty in the morning, I can put them like hanging up, throughout the work day and I can come home and they'll still be wet at the end of a work day. And, you know, something that has to do with the materials, sometimes it's spandex, sometimes it's the thicknesses, et cetera. But it's the lack of, of spandex and the lack of them being a heavy material really and, and their quick trying nature really lends them to be very odor resistant. So, multi day efforts like, like Brigham talked about sometimes like just using one pair of shorts for, for multi day fast packing trips or, you know, for like for us when you're going on a, 100 mile thru-hike or something like that. Using one pair of shorts the whole time without developing ridiculous amounts of odor is a real thing just by the properties of them staying dried, being able to dry out, and not just build bacteria by accumulating a bunch of moisture in it. So the fabric itself has just been tremendous to me. I've been very, very happy with both the mobility, the durability, and the quick dry nature of it.

Brigham Crane:  Yeah, it's nice. It's a, it's a, it's a fairly, I would call it a fairly soft hand feel or it's not shiny. That's often an indicator of, you know, kind of how the fabric is made and how it's gonna feel against the skin. It's, it's not a shiny fabric and, and that also oftentimes is an indicator of breathability. So it's a breathable fabric. And yeah, I I think it's just a really good balance of durability and breathability and stretch. and, and all you know, and all those things that contribute to it drying quickly so you don't facilitate odor build up. Yeah, it's yeah, it's good fabric.

Tayson Whittaker: So let's talk for a second about the specific cut. Like one of the things that we've talked about before internally a lot is when you design for a specific use case scenario can often design a much better product for that specific use case scenario. So for instance, if I was taking a pair of gym shorts out on the trail, they're not gonna perform as well on the trail as they would in the gym. Or if I was going to take a pair of basketball shorts from the basketball gym out onto the trail, they're not gonna perform as well. Just because the designers inherently of those products are designing for specific movement patterns or specific temperature ranges or whatever, you know, fill in the blank. And so with us starting with the end in mind of, you know, 20 mile days, let's just say whether you're running or hiking those miles, doing 20 plus miles a day was kind of the, the avatar, I would say that we were putting and just multiday efforts, long amounts of time in the shorts per day. There's probably another good way to put that like, you know, spending from sunup to sundown in a pair of shorts and moving the entire, you know, a lot of the time. So what kind of, what, what did we change about the shorts to be better for that use case scenario as far as a cut and fit perspective?

Brigham Crane: Yeah. so I, I mean, kind of bracketing things in, knowing that one of the, the primary use cases would involve running. You know, we didn't want the shorts to be long. basically the kind of the, the, the, the important aspect is that the, the, the bottom of the shorts ends above the knee, for, for running shorts. You know, I kind of feel like that's pretty mandatory. I think most people can relate to that when you're running with shorts that extend to the knee or below the knee, there's just you getting dragged, the shorts get caught on the knee. A lot of the time if you're stepping up over a rock or taking a high step, it is just shorts that are too long, creating drag, which is resistance, which causes more wear and tear on the body and more effort and more energy expended. So, you know, knowing that these shorts are gonna go through a lot of running. So we wanted them to be short enough that they end above the knee. So you have really good mobility and full range of motion of your legs and knees. But we also didn't want them to be, I think we learned that like, we didn't want them to be too short. Because now it exposes the legs to more sun and because we're not talking about like a two or a three or four hour window of time here, we're talking about like a 12 to 14 hour window of time. Of daylight, and exposure. And so really realized that we wanted to kind of dial in the, in seam length or the length of the leg of the short. And so, yeah, we didn't want it to be too short. and also oftentimes on these trails, the more remote you get oftentimes the trails are less maintained. So you might have more, more brush or branches and trees and bushes extending over into the trail. So there's more exposure of the leg to get scraped up. And so, yeah, kind of ended up on the, the eight inch in sea that we, that we've got, felt like that was a really good balance, of having really good mobility and increased protection over a lot of like the running, the dedicated running shorts out there. you know, and, and the shorts are still very lightweight. And then, so that's as far as like the length of the shorts, as how, as far as how they fit. That's another thing that we wanted to dial in. again with like a full 12 plus hour day of movement in mind. So we wanted them to be roomy enough to be breathable and to allow air to circulate or heat to dissipate or air flow. without being so roomy that in a wind that they're going to catch the wind and create more wind resistance or, or drag on the body and then excess fabric when you've got too much of it, then you start getting into chaff issues, because you start having the shorts pull in weird areas because there's excess fabric that folds and then when your legs move, it creates a hot or a tension point on the fabric and that contributes to chafing and, so we wanted, we, we basically dialed in a fit that's, you know, has excellent mobility and range of motion but is still breathable and they, they feel unrestricted and they don't feel like something that you're gonna get hot in after a couple of hours and then we kind of, we talked about this earlier in all the, the testing of all these other running shorts that we, we found was that the, basically the rise, which is kind of the distance between the, the, the waistband and the crotch. The rise is critical in, in reducing the potential for chaff, especially on because, you know, some body tape, some body types, you know, just the, the geometry of their, their, their physique, basically, you know, they're really lucky to just not be prone to that, but some body types are more prone to age and then when you add in some people's physiology that sweat more, then that, that, that is even further contributes to the, the problem of, of chay fish. And so we, we really found that, the rise, and where the bottom of the crotch sits is a pretty critical factor in that, that comfort after, you know, a full day of, you know, running or hiking or a combination of both, especially when the shorts get wet or sweaty. And so we definitely paid a lot of attention and, you know, made a lot of little adjustments to that, prototype after prototype to, to get to where we're happy with it.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I mean, on that note, because I'm, I definitely fall into that category. That's probably just a, a much higher risk of, of chafing. Probably the best way to not get chafing to occur is to get a very good pair of compression shorts. Well, what there's pros and cons to compression shorts, right? Like they're, they've got a lot of spandex in them, they're heavier because of that, they can hold moisture. And, and so when I, when I use compression shorts, then the benefits though are that they usually can stay very tight against the body and that's just by more of a factor of having a lot of spandex in there. A lot of like in there, that holds it up. And so when I was using anything other than that, the, the the items would start to bag out in the crotch area and then almost instantly chafing would start to occur. So the thought behind raising up the rise in the, in the center of the shorts. In the crotch area it was really to reduce the amount of bagging out or sagging that could occur there and keep fabric between the legs as much as possible and not have that change over the course of time with moisture or, or stretching and relaxing of fabrics. So that's been, that was to me, that was one of the biggest things that we put into this short, we dialed in both how to raise that rise in the short but not reduce mobility. Because what a lot of other shorts out there will do is it's like, ok, you can keep their eyes low and then you just make everything more baggy and, and then it all just works. You know what I mean? Like, I have a lot of these running shorts that are five inch or seven inch in seams and they're like parachutes as far as how wide they are and how much room is in there. And it's just kind of like this fails safe or like you can drop the crotch pretty low. But, as long as everything is just oversized, it all, it all works. And so dialing in this fit was no easy thing in my mind. to both be able to bring that rise up but not reduce the mobility of the piece. while reducing the amount of chafing that it could occur. Over time. So hopefully that I'm trying to shed light on what is kind of a complicated thing to design in a short but that does make a world of difference on the trail, especially, mile after mile after mile and hour after hour, after hour. I think so. I think we've got that aspect. I think the last thing is maybe just to hit on. Well, there's two things, I guess still in the, in the cut of them. I don't think we mentioned this but the front of the short, the bottom, we call this a the opening of the short is a little bit higher up in the front than it is in the back. And that just helps with mobility and also in the back, a little bit more coverage. you know, the back of the legs are definitely a place for you, you get a lot of sun burning going on and so that's just a little bit there. It looks good as well, but it's mainly just getting as much mobility as we can with, with coverage. And then let's talk just for a second about the back of this piece. And this is kind of one of those areas where you'll see this on maybe some shorts or pants or, or whatnot. But this is just an example of where we're not cutting corners, right we've added in this back yolk. So explain what a back yolk is, it's, I mean, one, I'll explain what, what it is and then you maybe explain what like why you would put that in there. But basically this back yolk is a, a piece of additional fabric that butts up against the waistband of the short. And I would say it kind of looks like it's a volumizing piece in here. But it's just an extra piece of material. So it's an extra pattern to cut out. It's an extra piece to sew into the short. So why is it worthwhile to add that into a short Brigham?

Brigham Crane:  It's just another tool to help with how the shorts fit on a three dimensional body. You know, the, basically the buttocks area from, from the waistband down, you know, it's, it's three dimensional, it's curved. and it curves differently on different people. So yeah, it's just another way of getting a good comfortable fit without just making the shorts bigger everywhere. You can kind of add volume, especially you can add volume for curved areas of the body. And you can tweak that by, by just using a back yoke like that, adjusting how it's curved. So it's just a way of creating a, a good, a good fitting pair of shorts that has the right volume, you know, where it, where it can affect comfort.

Tayson Whittaker: OK. I think that cuts a lot of the, explains a lot of the, the cut of the pants. Let's talk about just some of the features. Obviously, it's a pretty simple product but, we did, you know, go through a lot of iterations of pockets. So we landed on a, on a pocket. We've got two side pockets, two hand pockets. and really, the goal of those is to be able to have a place to put stuff throughout the day, where it's not gonna fall out when you sit down. I had a lot of shorts that I'd sit down and my phone would fall right out of the pockets and potentially get damaged. I have, I have actually done that with a pair of running shorts on a brand new phone, cracked a screen, by them just sliding right out of my shorts. I had other shorts where the pocket was so low that they would fall out of the bottom of the hem of the shorts, and I had a lot of shorts that had no pockets. And so for us, I think the concept here was, while we don't advocate for like running with things in your pockets or even really hiking with things in your pockets, you still want pockets.

Brigham Crane:  Yeah, it's again, a lot of this, a lot of these requirements, we'll just call them design objectives like we, we knew after all this testing that we wanted pockets and, and where that comes from is, again, it's not from going and doing a, an eighth mile run around town, it goes from, you know, doing a 20 to 25 mile day in the mountains where you're stopping for lunch, you're stopping multiple times a day to filter water. And so what does that entail? Ok. That entails, you stop for a second, you pull out, a little, a little water filter. And you grab your water bottle or your flask, you take the lid off. And now because you have a pocket, these are things that we learned are worth having. Like you've got a pocket so you can stick the lid to your water bottle in your pocket while you're filtering the water into the water bottle. And then when you need to grab that lid to the water bottle to put back on the water bottle, then you put your filter in your other pocket. And these are just conveniences that really add up to efficiency, mile after mile and convenience because that convenience oftentimes equals efficiency. And just like little things like that. When you're trying to maintain a pace throughout a day, you know, things like your, let's say you're just hiking, you're, you're like on the Highline trail. where maybe we're not stopping to filter water, maybe I want to put some electrolyte mix in my water bottles while I'm walking. Right. So now it's that same scenario of it's just an easy natural place to put a water bottle cap in there. take an electrolyte mix out of the other pocket. because I've kind of planned ahead for efficiency. So maybe I've put four little packets of electrolyte mix in one pocket that I know is gonna cover me for basically from morning until the lunch stop. So that it's that efficiency and that convenience combined together of things like, yeah, we, we wanted to have pockets because in the application that we're, we're looking for, they're, they're very useful, you know. 

Tayson Whittaker: For me, I love to put my phone in like a hip belt pocket or a shoulder strap pocket on a backpack when I'm moving. But then when I stop, I like to pull that out and put it in my shorts pocket if I'm filtering water. Like a lot of times I want to look at a map or a lot of times I want to take a picture. And that's a great time to have a place to just, you know, like you're setting your pack down to filter the water, you're setting your pack down to eat lunch. And so being able to, to throw my phone into my pocket just it mattered to me to be able to have that access and then, and then to take it a step back, maybe from, I mean, that is the intended use of these shorts. We haven't gotten into it yet, but the use range of these shorts is incredibly broad. But so if we back it up a little bit into more broad spectrum, you know, keys getting like if I'm going to go on a morning trail run or go to the gym and do some training or whatever it is, having the ability to pop my phone and keys into my pocket, even if it's temporarily is just so handy, but also be able to feel like I can sit down and not lose things. We've also added it to the right pocket. A sewn in, smaller, I don't know what you call this, a smaller pocket, like a key pocket or a, or a card pocket. So that if you did need to throw an ID or a credit card in your pocket or a key in your pocket, it's more securely locked into that pocket, especially if you're out running. You know, you don't want things to bounce out of your pockets or,, again, for me sitting down and standing up, you don't want things to slide in and out of your pockets on a pair of, of, athletic shorts, which is something I've had happen all the time. You know, losing your phone when you sit down to filter water and then getting up and hiking a couple of miles before you realize it would be really a detriment to your day, you know. So, having secure pockets and, and, and whatnot just was a, was a really important factor for us and, and like you said,

Brigham Crane:  I think we'll, we'll, we'll lead into that here in, in a, in a bit like all the other use cases. But, yeah, it, as far as the other designs, you know, design elements of the shorts, you know, there's a, there's a draw cord, or drawstring, you know, to cinch things up a little bit if, if, you know, sometimes what will happen is, you know, on a multi day thing, you, you can lose a little bit of weight, or throughout the day, you know, you get a little dehydrated, your, your, your waist, will get a little smaller. So drawstring.

Tayson Whittaker: That's not me and I can gain a lot of circumference.

Brigham Crane: That's true. So there's a, a drawstring and then like we said,, full crotch gusset, with that, that really breathable jersey knit mesh. and then that same mesh is used on the, on the sides of the legs. And then one thing that's often maybe overlooked is pockets. We didn't put zippers on the pockets because we want them to be very, very simple and kind of foolproof, easy and intuitive to use. but the overlooked part with a pair of, I'll call these like an athletic short, you're building up a lot of body heat. is pockets are, they're, they're just vents. They are venting. they are a venting feature of a pair of shorts. and so, 

Tayson Whittaker: but they do, I mean, they do

Brigham Crane: Absolutely. I think that's, that's why I say they're, they're, it's their, it's understated or under-realized that, that the pockets themselves are a way for heat to evacuate from the body. And so we use the same mesh as the crotch gusset. We use that same mesh in the pockets. We could have done, we could have used the main fabric for the pockets. but this main fabric is much less breathable than the mesh. And so basically, we would have kind of plugged up the breathability of the pockets if we were to use the main fabric in the pockets. So we wanted maximum breathability even in the pockets. Yeah, I mean, that's kind of, that's pretty much the feature set of the shorts.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I think the last thing just to call out on the design feature set is, is the stitching on them. So we've got double stitching throughout the entire short. There's some areas that look like they're single stitched, but on the inside, they are actually double stitched. And so just to increase durability, these are gonna take some serious abuse, we expect them to take some serious abuse out there and so we want them to last. And so we've double stitched throughout them as well as if I'm not mistaken, we end up using a specific thread, stretching thread, 

Brigham Crane: they're stretching thread. It's, I mean, hard to notice but

Tayson Whittaker: But there are all these, all these little pieces that definitely bleed into performance and the longevity of the short, this is a short that we definitely want you to have for a long time. So on top of that, I would say they ended up looking pretty dang good. Just throw that out there, you know,

Brigham Crane: I mean, so the two colors, the two colorways are black on black. And I only say that because if you look at the other color way, it's, it's I would call it blue on black or black on blue. I don't know, the main fabric is blue. But everywhere that's got that, that jersey mesh is black. So the pockets, the sides, the crotch gusset and the liners on the line version is the black mesh and then the black colorway, it's black main fabric with the black mesh. And yeah, I think they look pretty good, 

Tayson Whittaker: super comfortable whether you're hiking or even lounging. I really just enjoy wearing them and spending time in them. They look good. It's something that if you're a through hiker, you could absolutely be covering massive amounts of miles and roll into town and not feel like you're, I don't know, wearing a five inch running short that doesn't, doesn't look good or you're showing,, most of your leg or, or whatever it is. So, it's really a piece that I feel comfortable doing, going to the park with my kids as well as getting out there and running an ultra marathon with them. So, it's just got a very wide use scenario and that's something we've discovered along the way too is yes, we designed it for this specific purpose, but they're very, very multi use. And, you know, maybe that's just a factor of us, you know, designing for a specific avatar. We uncovered some really beneficial ways of making the shorts. But yeah, I mean, for me personally, I obviously use them for running. I use them for hiking. I mountain bikes in them this morning. I swam in them multiple times. They're, they're my swim shorts. I love to take them traveling because when I take them traveling, I have a lounge pair of shorts for whatever I'm doing. If I wanna just go work out really quick in the morning, I have those. And then if I forget to bring a pair of swim trunks or there's a hot tub that I didn't know about or something and we're gonna go get in, I have them for that and they dry so quickly that you could, you could literally get out, rinse them out, hang them up and probably go do a workout the following morning in the pair of shorts. And so there are a massive range of use case scenarios here. And so I've taken them everywhere from Europe to Asia in the last year. I've run an ultra marathon in them. I've done a thru-hike in them. I've worn them day in and day out at home, just being active with my kids. I've mountain bikes in them. Just a massive, massive use of a kisser. And they've been, I mean, and again, this may, this is gonna sound biased, but like, because obviously we have, I have designed these but like, just absolutely love the shorts. Like I'm very, very happy with them and in all of those scenarios that I've put them in,, I am happy to have some new colors because a lot of times when we're prototyping, I have the same color of shorts. And, man, we went through a lot of iterations. Like I have a whole shelf in my closet. I feel like I just got so many versions of lined and unlined iterations that I'm happy to have a new color here. And, well, I guess both of the finished models are new colors and just a massive range of motion. Oh, yeah. And, and I didn't even mention this, I work out in these and whenever I go to the gym, like that is my gym short as well.

Brigham Crane: So, yeah, I think it was, it was really cool to, to realize as we were developing these, that everything, all the effort we were doing into making them work really well for kind of that specific use of like being, being light and fast in the backcountry, whether you're running, you know, fast packing or hiking. all the, the thought and like deliberate aspects of the shorts that were focused on that actually ended up making them work really well for so many different things. Like I've, I mean, yeah, I would, I would second the, like the gym. I wear these to the gym exclusively. And they, they, they, they just make a great pair, a pair of gym shorts. They make a great pair of running shorts. You know, I don't, I don't care to expose my leg that much to wear like a five inch inseam pair of running shorts. But, they work great for running. They work great for the gym and they are, they actually are my primary swimsuit. I'm not a big swimmer, meaning I don't like, I don't really like to swim much, but when I go places with my family, I purposely pack these shorts as my swimsuit because, because they dry so fast, I have the lined version and they're so lightweight. They're easy to just pack. you know, there's, there's no, there's virtually no penalty, you know, in terms of volume of a travel backpack or suitcase to stuffing these in there to use as a swimsuit. so they're, they've just worked really well. I've also mountain bikes in them. and then, yeah, they're, they're, they're just, they, they work really well for so many things. and I, I do think one of the nice things about them is they don't have a running short look, which is a bit polarizing. you know, there's plenty of people out there that are just totally comfortable wearing their very short running shorts out for everything. But I think a lot of people aren't really that into wearing their running shorts everywhere. Whereas,, I think a lot of people will find that these shorts are something that you could wear without feeling like you stick out like a sore thumb, in, in a lot of scenarios.

Tayson Whittaker: So, I want to talk about a couple more things here. I want to talk about the pros and cons of the line versus unlined. 

Brigham Crane: do that too, 

Tayson Whittaker: but I also want to just mention along with that like with this know that these are a premium pair of shorts, meaning they're not some like Walmart or Fab tics, like get 10 pairs for whatever bucks, you know, like they're, they're, they're just not that they're a very premium fabric, very premium amount of labor is going into these out of a premium factory. the mesh, even the mesh itself, like I remember just costing out the mesh like it, it's, it's a premium short which you know, it's so so in that sense of it like makes sense why it becomes our go to for everything, right? And I think that just ties into our mentality here, Outdoor vitals too, to live ultra light, you know, realistically buying one pair of these shorts can do as much as 2,3,4, a pair of everything else. I I love my wife to death. But man, she buys so many swimsuits and by, like with swimsuits, I feel like she also will buy me swimsuits. And it's always like, why did you give me another swimsuit? It's like, well, it's, it's cheap and you know, whatever and, but then I wear it and I'm like, this thing is so uncomfortable, like walking to the beach hurts, you know what I mean? Like or just whatever it is. And so then I inherently won't use that product again. Like I'm like, I didn't like those swimsuits, ok. It was only a $14 swimsuit, but like a one time use, a $14 swimsuit costs way more to your wallet and to the environment than getting a pair of shorts that you'll absolutely love. These premium materials are built to last a very long time. Until then you'll use it constantly, right? That is gonna last years. So keep that in mind as you look at these because I mean, I think that just does bleed in like they work for all of these things because they are like they're a very premium short with premium fabrics and premium design that went into them. You know, and, and that's not to say that they're gonna be ridiculously expensive. We are a direct to consumer company so we're able to cut a lot of that extra markup that happens with retail stores out, but I just wanted to throw that little caveat in there. But let's talk now for a second about the lined versus unlined and, and who should choose what? So I definitely have an opinion on this, but I'll, I'll have you start off on this. I, I, yeah, I, I know you're a big fan of the line ones. I love them too. So maybe let's start there.

Brigham Crane: So hm, how to approach this? It is tough. Prior to developing these shorts, I would not have been one that would seek out a pair of lined shorts for pretty much anything other than swim trunks. And honestly, like, I don't swim that much, but the last pair of swim trunks I bought was probably over a decade ago and they were board shorts. You guys remember board shorts like board for comfortable, very giant legs. But they take like, eight hours to dry and a 90. So, you know, like, so, so anyway, but, but line shorts, I, I never would have considered buying them, you know. other than when we bought a bunch to test your summer shirts, 

Tayson Whittaker: come with, like the comb in the pocket I had.

Brigham Crane: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Tayson Whittaker:  Yeah, I just remember.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, for sure. Because I needed that.

Tayson Whittaker: You got to have a comb or a surfer, like a waxing tool in the pocket. Like, that's just a standard everyone needs.

Brigham Crane: Absolutely. yeah, but, but once we started developing these and doing all this testing, I, I just started realizing that, having the liner in there, it was just working really well for me. I felt like I liked the,, they, they felt more the, the, compared to the combination of the shorts with, like a boxer or a compression short, the lined version just felt more lightweight and breathable and, like worry free. And, it was, it was really interesting because I went in almost with a bias against line shorts and it, like, kind of turned around my, my preference for sure. And it was, it's definitely proven out. It's not like something that I, after a couple of times. That's what I'm speaking of. I'm speaking of like hundreds and hundreds of miles with these shorts. And hundreds of hours in the gym and running. And, yeah, the, so I would say, body type is gonna all is definitely something to consider and I think everybody, you know, is aware of their body type. So, I sweat a lot. but what I found was I really liked at the end of the day being able to get into the tent and like by the time I set up my tent and had my meal and got ready for bed, pretty much my shorts were dry, like all the sweat was, was dry. Anyway, which means that when I change into my sleeping clothes, in the morning I can just pull on the same pair of shorts and they're dry, they're not damp and nasty. And that's for me that's just the preference that I have developed over time. And then I also, like I mentioned before, I didn't like the idea of packing an extra pair of underwear for a trip. It's a really simple setup that I really like just being able to just day after day, just use the same pair of shorts. They're always dry in the morning when I put them on. , don't have to pack underwear and, and then they work really well for, for swim trunks if I'm ever, you know, somewhere where I'm gonna do that.

Tayson Whittaker:  Yeah, I would, I would second that, I'm, I was also like a never used line shorts, you know, I, I bought some running shorts with liners because that seemed to be a very common thing and I could see some potential. But I think the biggest reason why I never liked line shorts before is I hadn't been able to build up my own confidence in them and their usability. And so over the course of developing these, I've developed a tremendous amount of confidence in the liner itself that being said before you, you know, run out and buy just the, the line versions. I do use both and I'll explain that. But,, but yeah, in general, I prefer the wind ones, both in terms of, of just overall comfort, freedom on the trail Mobi mobility. I love that when I'm traveling or using them for other things. I don't have to worry about having a pair of boxers that are gonna get sweaty from a workout in the morning and then I have to deal with maybe trying to dry them out or transport them. because it's because like, yeah, my shorts are gonna get wet, but I've got a lot of confidence in their ability to dry quickly. And it's just not two pieces now that I have to deal with that are wet or, or I don't have to make sure I have a pair of boxers, you know, for, for a workout when I'm swimming, you know, same kind of thing. And so it's, it's just one less hassle point and, and for the penalty of one ounce. Right. So one ounce and basically no bulk,, like if you roll these up, like you're gonna, there's like no perceivable difference when they're rolled up. In fact, one of my biggest grievances is I have to pull like three shorts off of my shelf at home to figure out which one has a liner look because you literally have to open them up because you can't tell from, from the bulk or the outside of them. So for all those reasons, I love them. So use case scenarios where I might switch if I am hiking, right? I know I'm gonna be getting sweaty. I'm hiking, I'm doing big, you know, 20-25 mile days going all day. I will use the line short for that where I cross over to the online short is when I'm specifically running for three hours or more. That's what I've found to be the threshold of when I start to sweat so much and then I continue to run, you know, and so on and so forth that I can start to build a little bit of chafing there. But again, remember like on a sweat level test, like I'm a level five severe, I lose two liters of water per hour. While I'm running, I literally went running the other morning and in 15 miles, I drank four liters of water and that was not even like replenishing everything that I lost. Right. So, I'm, I'm a massive sweater and so, and, and, and a salty sweater. So like on a sweat test I did for salt consumption. Like, so that, that also think about that as kind of like adding in a little bit of almost sand into the mix of, of chafing. So that all being said, when I'm going on a run for like three hours or longer, and I know specifically I'm running, then I'll go with the online version and I'll put on a pair of compression shorts. Do I like it? Not necessarily, that's just my physiology, my biology. because much like Brigham says, now you have to deal with say compression shorts for an overnight. Like, let's say if it was, let's say I was gonna do rim to rim to rim again and we did 38 miles in a day. I'm pretty sure I did a compression short on that day versus the line option. But now when I get back to camp at the end of the day, I have a wet pair of compression shorts that are just less fun to deal with than, say, the liner. So for me, that's when I cross over, if you're someone who absolutely has your underwear system dialed and you just don't want to mess with it. Go with the unlined model like we, we didn't produce them for no reason. There is a use case for them. But I think the thing that surprised both of us in designing these is that it kind of converted us to, to prefer the line version. 

Brigham Crane: Yeah, surprise is a good word. I, like I said, I was almost biased against liner, but I, I definitely learned that, man. I, most of the time I just prefer the line, the, the breath like on the trail, the breathability is just, it's great. It's, they, they feel great.

Tayson Whittaker: ok. I think we've hit about everything. just gonna look through my notes really quick and see if there's anything that I see we missed. I mean, as far as care, they're really easy to take care of like there's no special washing instructions or really anything like that. So treat them like you treat any nice garment, you know. did you, did you have anything that we missed here?

Brigham Crane: I think we didn't, we didn't go over pricing. I don't know. I probably won't.

Tayson Whittaker: yeah, head over to the website to see the pricing. we'll likely, when this podcast goes out, they'll likely be on sale. So, we'll usually release this podcast at the same time that we do the launch week. And so usually you can get a discount on those if you haven't joined our live Ultra Light membership. It's a great time to join the live ULIT membership because you'll get an additional 10% off of the product, as well as upgraded shipping. And if you're brand new to the membership, you may get a free bonus along with the sign up. So check that out, you may get a long handled titanium spoon or a free pillow. So see, see what you can get there with, with the membership. And if you don't know what the membership is, it's a store credit membership, it's 10 bucks a month instantly. Every month when that $10 is charged, it loads $10 of store credit into your account that doesn't expire. So you'll be able to just start building a bank of, or credit with us to spend whenever you want. And we do that primarily. It's a really good win, win. I mean, for, for the customers, you guys are the members. You're, you're building store credit, you're getting year on discounts, you're getting upgraded, shipping and you're getting access to a closed Facebook group. You're getting limited time offers and, and then you can also use that. One of the best ways that we rarely talk about is you get access to closed pricing on retail items. So water filters, we just put a platypus water filter in there, the quick draw, which is my new favorite water filter. , but we have cats there. We have peak redfield meals. We have mountain houses. You'll be able to buy those at cheaper prices than you can buy them anywhere else because it's a gated price. So, meaning we can, we can drop the 10% off of them. Plus give you rebates back into your account. So even if you join the membership and only buy freeze dried meals all year long, it would save you money. So it's a really cool system, but also this helps us just stay completely private and, you know, we don't have to touch venture capital as we, as we grow and develop as a company. And that fuels better product development, which is something I I did want to circle back to for just a second. You know, we talked about in the beginning just how staying true to our values of R and D time, time in the field is what develops a really good product and being able to stay private and being able to, to do these things is, is a big contributor to that. I think it's really interesting to look like there's so much traction at times in, say we'll call it the cottage industry because you get these, these startups who maybe they spend a lot of time in the field, they see a need or an issue, then they go and develop a product and they do well with that. But then you see these, on the other end of it, you see these big massive corporations that have thousands of skews, which is like an individual identifier for each product between colors and sizing and every model of everything that they have. They get so big and so messy. it's just kind of wild and so I think that's something that's really cool about us that we, we have spent a lot of time prioritizing, which is even though our product line does continue to get bigger, we are willing to set caps on things and we're really willing to prioritize field time and just recognize that that's a huge part of our design process is to continue to spend a lot of time in the field. If you don't believe us, go check out our youtube channel, you'll see just how often we are out there logging miles, experiencing things. Yeah, we don't necessarily quit our jobs and go thru-hiking every year and do that kind of thing. But we spend a lot, a lot of time on the trails and a lot of nights and tents every single year to prove that out. So I started to kind of circle back because I thought that was an interesting component that, you know, we can continue to get bigger, but we have been able to stay very true to our values of true R and D time in the field. And, and whenever that maybe does start to lag like me or you will call it out and, and make a change. So,, it's, it's, it's really cool to see that happen.

Brigham Crane: So it's a good one.

Tayson Whittaker: Ok, with that, then go check out the skyline, trail shorts. 

Brigham Crane: Well, one thing I'm, I'm gonna like, follow on with what you're just about to say. So when you mentioned the, the, the membership, if, if anybody's looking at these shorts, they're on the website and, and they're not a member totally fine. However, we've got some new kinds of upgrades on our website that if you are feeling like the membership is something you want to do or join so you can get the best deal on these shorts. You don't even have to divert from the flow that you're already in. Like if you're on the, if you're looking at these shorts on the website and you add them to your cart that you will then be prompted with the opportunity to join the membership, you don't have to like go to another page and it'll automatically apply a discount for you. So it'll be, it's easier than it's ever been. Just know that, yeah, that you won't have to like, kind of divert your attention or it, it, it's even more intuitive and easier that process is easier than it ever has been. So the best way to get the best deal on the shorts.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, and if you are a member, thank you very much. We really appreciate it and hope that you guys are taking advantage of the store credit. You guys are building up, make sure to spend that way. You don't just leave it in a bank all the time. Ok. Go get your guys' Skyline trail shorts. They're absolutely awesome. It's been an awesome time developing them. Really enjoyed the development process on them, really enjoyed all the iterations and prototypes. We went through to dial these things in and just very excited to get them into your hands and let them, you know, become a staple in your kit. so that you can think less about issues like this on the trail and spend more time just being present and enjoying the trips that you're on. If you're like us, life gets very busy and you know, prioritizing, getting out on trail when you're out there, you want to be present, you don't want to be somewhere else and that's, that's what good gear allows you to do. So take advantage of this, really appreciate you guys being here. If you do have questions or comments, you can reach out to us. You can reach out to support at Go over to our website and open up a chat window, we can answer questions specifically about the shorts. If you've got questions for the podcast, reach out to the live light podcast at gmail dot com or drop a comment on our youtube channel, our podcast youtube channel, we'll answer it there if you're not subscribed, make sure you subscribe and please, if you have not yet rank or rate the, the podcast that does help us get found and help us with our mission of connecting more people to the vital outdoors. Ok. We'll catch you guys in a future episode.

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Living Ultralight is not just about the lowest pack weight. It's about more enjoyable experiences!

Tayson Whittaker