Ornot Mission Shorts and Trail Shirt Review

Ornot is a San Francisco-based cycling apparel company dedicated to doing things differently. From their minimal branding, to their full line of US-made products, to their commitment to operating an environmentally conscious business, they’ve got a lot going for them. After some spring riding, Miles is ready to share his thoughts on the Ornot Mission Shorts and newly released Trail Shirt. Read more here…

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Launched in 2013, all of Ornot’s products are designed and made in the USA, with the majority coming from their San Francisco office. They’ve made it their mission to limit branding on all of their products and focus on operating a sustainable company. This started with becoming a 1% For The Planet member—donating 1% of all sales to an approved non-profit organization with an environmental commitment. Ornot uses recycled shipping materials, their main sewing partner uses solar power, and their fabric supplier, Polartec, has made a commitment to use 100% recycled and biodegradable materials. Most recently, they became Climate Neutral Certified by taking a closer look at all facets of their business model and purchasing offsets that actively remove carbon from our atmosphere. There are a lot of cycling apparel options out there, but not many can claim made-in-USA status and also operate an environmentally conscious business. That’s something I can get behind.

Ornot Mission Shorts Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Mission Shorts Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Mission Shorts Trail Shirt

Taking a quick look at the Ornot website, it would be easy to assume that they’re a tight-fitting, performance cycling apparel brand. Although bibs and jerseys may be their focus, the San Francisco-based company has been steadily adding more casual, but equally technical, options into their lineup. This includes their Mission Shorts, released last summer, and their recently announced Short Sleeve Trail Shirt. Both pieces are designed to be worn as everyday clothing—ideal for those living an active lifestyle or who are constantly on the move. I purchased the Ornot Mission Shorts last summer as a do-everything short while travelling throughout the USA, and was recently sent their new Short Sleeve Trail Shirt to check out as well.

Ornot Mission Shorts

I’m not a fan of baggy mountain bike shorts, in-your-face branding, or overly technical looking clothing. Nor am I a fan of lycra bib shorts. I do, however, appreciate technical clothing and gear that can be worn outside of riding my bike, which in turn encourages me to own less—I live in a van, and space is limited. The Ornot Mission Shorts were released last summer, and quickly sold out if I remember correctly. So, when Ornot announced a restock in the fall, I immediately ordered some for myself. I totally jive with the toned down look of the Mission Shorts.

  • Ornot Mission Shorts
  • Ornot Mission Shorts
  • Ornot Mission Shorts
  • Ornot Mission Shorts
  • Ornot Mission Shorts

The Ornot Mission Shorts are designed to be as stylish as they are versatile. They feature a slim fit, full-paneled gusset, and a four-way stretch nylon construction, all packed into an unassuming short. There are two standard front pockets, and two back pockets—one of them being zippered for valuables. Fit wise, they were much shorter than I expected. The 8” inseam isn’t for everyone, and I found them too short while riding. I have some sporty boxer briefs that aren’t much shorter. Mind you, I’m 6’1” and have long legs. They’d be great if I was a few inches shorter or the shorts were a touch longer. They have a nice amount of stretch though, and the waist fits true to size. Aside from the length, the Mission Shorts are nearly exactly what I want out of a do-everything short for days when I’m not sure what activities I’ll get up to.

The fabric feels super durable and their slim fit means no unintentional snags on the saddle or low-hanging branches. After a month of use last summer and a few more rides this spring, the Ornot Mission Shorts are showing no early signs of wear. I also love the fact that the only branding is a small tag on the side of the leg, which doesn’t make me feel like a walking billboard.

Ornot Mission Shorts Trail Shirt
  • Price: $108 USD
  • Sizes: 28-36
  • Material: 94% Nylon / 4% Elastane
  • Place of Manufacture: San Francisco, USA
  • Manufacturer’s Details: OrnotBike.com

Ornot Trail Shirt

The Trail Shirt is a new addition to Ornot’s 2020 collection, rounding out their options for what they call “capable clothing.” This all-day short sleeve t-shirt features US-milled Polartec Power Dry fabric, which resists odor and moisture and is UPF 35. A slightly dropped tail fits comfortably while riding, and the casual fit and look of the shirt is great for on and off the bike. Just like their Mission Shorts, the Trail Shirt is sewn in San Francisco.

Ornot Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Trail Shirt

I found the fit of the Ornot Trail Shirt to be on trend with the Mission Shorts. Shorter length sleeves and a tailored fit make it perfect for riding and hanging out in town. Plus, the Polartec Power Dry fabric seems to dry quickly and does a good job at staying stink-free. I’ve worn the Trail Shirt on the majority of my rides since receiving it a few weeks ago, with zero washes, and it still smells fresh every time I put it on. Like the Mission Shorts, it has minimal branding—just a simple tag on the hem of the shirt. I’m normally a size large, and the length and overall fit feel accurate, as long as you’re aware it’s a slim fitting garment.

  • Ornot Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Trail Shirt
  • Ornot Trail Shirt

The Trail Shirt is only available in one colour—coyote brown—and I’m a big fan. It’s available in six sizes, from XS to XXL, so there’s a good chance most people will find something that fits. The Polartec Power Dry fabric is incredibly soft and is perfect for those who don’t get along well with wool products. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable t-shirts I currently own. However, the fabric pulls easily and doesn’t like to be introduced to velcro straps or prickly bushes. This is a flaw of the fabric itself, which is almost knit-like, and not a representation of Ornot’s craftsmanship—which appears to be top notch.

  • Price: $52 USD
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Material: 97% Polyester 3% Silver 115gm/2 (30% from recycled plastic)
  • Place of Manufacture: San Francisco, USA
  • Manufacturer’s Details: OrnotBike.com
Ornot Mission Shorts Trail Shirt

Pros

  • Ornot is an environmentally conscious brand.
  • Subdued style is great for on and off the bike.
  • Prices are justifiable, but far from cheap.

Cons

  • Mission Shorts are quite short.
  • No women’s-specific option.
  • Trail Shirt’s fabric can snag and pull.

Wrap Up

Ornot is doing business responsibly, and that’s an important factor for me when deciding where to spend my money. Both the Trail Shirt and Mission Shorts are handmade in San Francisco, California, and are designed to last. I dig the style of both garments, which provide the perfect mix of on-bike performance and off-bike normalcy for those always on the move. I only wish the Mission Shorts had a slightly longer inseam, because then they’d certainly be my new favourite shorts.

You can learn more at OrnotBike.com.

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