Rab Talus Shorts review: lightweight shorts for technical trails

Rab Talus Shorts fit the bill for either summer summit sprints or hot days on the trails

Rab Talus Shorts
(Image: © Rab)

Advnture Verdict

If you like your trail running shorts without an inbuilt liner, the Talus are an excellent, intelligently designed lightweight option, especially well suited to tackling technical trails.


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    Dynamic design with lots of stretch


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    No lining

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    Few pockets

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Rab Talus Shorts: first impressions

The built-for-speed Rab Talus Shorts are part of the Rab Skyline range of running gear designed for the mountains. These trail running shorts are made with super lightweight ‘Matrix’ single-weave fabric, which has plenty of stretch capability. 

There is a rear-facing, relatively small zipped pocket for trail running essentials on the right hip (angled to avoid annoying bounce while you’re in motion) and a discreet gel pouch on the left hip. The logo on the front and an arrow pattern on the rear are both reflective, as a safety feature for running in the dark when there are vehicles around. 

The major downside of these shorts is the lack of a liner, which means you need to combine them with technical underwear or leggings (see best men’s running leggings for some ideas), which won’t be so quick drying or breathable, or throw caution (and support) to the wind and go commando. The waist is firmly elasticated, and there’s a drawcord for further adjustment


• RRP: £50
• Inseam length: 22cm / 9in
• Sizes available: S–XL
• Weight (large): 109g / 3.8oz
• Materials: Polymide (86%), Elastane (14%)
• Colors: Beluga / Azure / Acid Yellow

Rab Talus Shorts: on the trails

Rab Talus Shorts

You’ll barely know you’re wearing Rab Talus Shorts (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The Talus are so light you barely know you have them on, a bestowing a feeling of freedom that is enhanced by the dynamic Matrix single-weave fabric, which stretches and moves with you, providing no resistance whatsoever. This is particularly welcome when you’re ascending and descending the sort of steep slopes these shorts are designed to be worn on. 

Lifting your leg and raising your knee high mid stride is made even easier by the split vent, and a stitch-free bonded hem means there’s little-to-no friction. It’s very easy to leap over any obstacles you encounter on technical trails while running in these shorts. 

The lightweight material also dries extremely quickly when you get caught out in a rain storm. The design and construction of the paneling is good, so there’s not much excess material to flap around annoyingly in the wind. 

The rear-facing, zipped side pocket is a smart addition, as it positions anything you carry within to the rear of your hip, which means it bounces around far less when you’re legging it around the trails. 

Personally, I do prefer a short with a built in inner, which the Talus do not have, but this is a subjective thing. I tried running across all sorts of terrain in these shorts, both with technical underwear beneath them, and sans support, and they did perform well, although the barely-there feel of the shorts does make running commando somewhat nerve wracking.

Pat Kinsella

Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and Instagram here.