Skip to content
Home » Shorts

Bearbottom Base Short Review | Versatile Budget-Friendly Short?

The price of workout shorts has steadily increased over the last few years. When I found the Bearbottom Base Short for a more cost-efficient price, I was super excited to start testing them.

I was most curious to see how the $50 USD pair of Bearbottom Base Short would compare to some of the market’s more pricey men’s gym shorts. Overall, I thought the Base Short held its own for most of my workout tests.

I like the versatility of the Bearbottom Base Short and it doesn’t feel like a budget-friendly option despite costing less. That being said, I do have a few with the Base Short which I’ll discuss below.

Reviewing the Bearbottom Base Short

Who Should Invest In the Bearbottom Base Short?

The Bearbottom Base Short can be a viable training short for someone wanting a workout short for a little bit of everything. This short performs fairly well for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and even daily wear.

Compared to other workout shorts on the market, these shorts have a slightly more cost-efficient price point of $50 USD. Despite their price is lower than other comparable shorts that cost upwards of $70 USD, I think these shorts deliver a good level of versatility.

Bearbottom Base Shorts Review

I also think these shorts will resonate well with guys that have thinner legs and enjoy shorter inseams. This short’s shell has an athletic fit and hugs the legs well and the Base Short offers two inseam options of 5.5” and 7”.

If you’re in the market for a versatile short that doesn’t break the bank, then the Base Short can be a good option to explore. Despite liking this short, there are a few cases where I think this short falls short and I’ll discuss those contexts in my cons below.

Bearbottom Base Short


Bearbottom Base Short Product Shot

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs
  • Thinner Legs

Falls Short

  • For Thick Thighs
  • For CrossFit/Olympic Lifting

Bearbottom Base Short Pros

After multiple workouts and testing these shorts in various training environments, I’ve found multiple pros to enjoy with these shorts.

  1. Strong Performance for the Price
  2. Shell Has a Nice Level of Mobility
  3. Compression Liner Is Comfortable

The first pro and aspect to like about the Bearbottom Base Short is its performance for the price point. At $50 USD, this model is more cost-efficient than my favorite Ten Thousand Shorts which costs $68 USD, and the Chubbies Ultimate Training Short which costs $78 USD.

Bearbottom Base Short Review

I compare the Base Short to the above two shorts because they’re all workout shorts that can do a little bit of everything. The Bearbottom Base Short works well for recreational lifting, athletic-style training, and even short runs.

The 4-way stretch shell does a good job with being mobile for deep squats and it feels pretty durable against abrasion that you may run into during certain workouts. I also like the waistband and the level of security it gives you when training, I have yet to have issues with these shorts losing their tightness while training.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for working out

The second aspect to like about the Bearbottom Base Short — and to add to the shell’s construction — is that I like the level of stretch that you get with this short’s shell. I honestly was curious to see how this short’s shell would fare compared to other premium models, but I’ve been impressed.

This shell stretches enough to promote mobility when training, but is also not so stretchy to where it constantly gets snagged on things. It also feels pretty durable for most training contexts so it should last a while for most lifters and athletes. 

Bearbottom Base Short shell construction

I also think guys with thinners legs will enjoy this short’s shell and how its form fits the legs well. There isn’t a ton of space in this short’s shell so they shouldn’t feel parachute-y when wearing and training in them.

The last aspect to like about the Bearbottom Base Short is the compression liner. Like the shell, I was curious how the liner would fare in this model compared to some of my other favorite workout shorts.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short liner

The liner in the Base Short provides a nice level of security and comfort. It’s softer than other compression liners, but it also doesn’t feel loose like the liner in the popular Kore Short.

I think if you enjoy having liners in shorts that keep you secure, but don’t feel constructive you’ll enjoy the liner in the Base Short. It’s also nice that the liner has a softer feel to it compared to traditional liners.

Bearbottom Base Short Cons

Despite enjoying the Bearbottom Base Short for most training contexts, I did find a few drawbacks and cons with these shorts.

  1. These Shorts Can Ride Up for Big Thighs
  2. Liner Phone Pocket Could Be Better
  3. Not the Best Workout Shorts for CrossFit

The first drawback that I have with the Bearbottom Base Short is that they may not be the best shorts for guys with big thighs. While training, I had to adjust this short on multiple occasions due to the shell riding up on my legs.

Note, I don’t have the most muscular legs in the game, so I worry that guys with meatier quads, glutes, and hamstrings than me will have more issues with this. I also think a lot of this has to do with the sizing of these shorts.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for versatile training

I went with a medium, which is for a 30-32-inch waist. I’m closer to a 32-inch waist than a 33-inch waist, so I did this for a more secure waistband, but with how snug these shorts are. I’m starting to think I should have gone with a large. I think if you’re in between sizes and have muscular legs, you should definitely size up in the Base Short.

Another drawback that I have with the Bearbottom Base Short is that the phone pocket lacks security in some contexts. For casual wear, it works, but for running and jumping it could be better.

Bearbottom Base Short Phone Pocket

To be honest, this is an issue that I’ve had with multiple workout shorts and I think it’s due to modern-day phones getting bigger and companies using dated constructions that don’t match current phone sizes. It would be nice if the liner pocket was a bit more reinforced to provide even more security.

The final drawback that I have with the Bearbottom Base Short is that it may not be the ideal shorts for CrossFit and Olympic lifting. This short only comes in 5.5” and 7” inseams so they’ll be shorter than most models.

Bearbottom Base Short Inseam Options

In addition, I feel as though the 7” inseam option is a little shorter than other 7” inseam shorts that train in. This can be problematic for CrossFit and Olympic lifting due to barbells tearing up the legs.

For example, in one of my workouts, I was doing a power clean complex and two things happened. First, the shorts rode up which I noted above, and second, the shorter inseam had the barbell making a ton of contact on my thighs.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for CrossFit

When you’re cleaning, some barbell contact is part of the game, but I often prefer a little coverage with my shorts, and generally 7” inseams can get the job done. If you’re worried about this aspect and plan to clean or snatch a lot in these shorts, then you’ll want to consider this before investing in these shorts.

Performance and Styling

To break down the performance of the Bearbottom Base Short, I’ll cover how these shorts perform in various contexts. I’ll discuss their performance for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

I’ll also share some Bearbottom styling thoughts below with the Base Short. I think if you like neutral colors and shorter inseams, you’ll enjoy how this short styles with different outfits.

Bearbottom Base Short Performance Overview

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for Lifting and Versatile Training

For lifting, there were things that I like with the Bearbottom Base Short and things that I dislike. The first aspect to like is the mobility of these shorts when tackling lower body and strength workouts.

This short doesn’t feel restrictive when going into deep squats despite the shell fitting a little snugger. Granted, the snugness, which I mentioned above, can be frustrating for certain workouts if you have thicker legs.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for weight training

Another aspect to like for lifting is the waistband security that you get in the Base Short. It felt secure and never felt like it was getting pulled down from behind when doing lunges and squats.

For versatile training, the Base Short does a pretty good job, honestly, I’d put these in the middle of the road regarding versatility. It will work for athletic-style training, and if you’re using them for plyometrics, classes, and HIIT, they should perform well.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for HIIT

The compression liner’s lightweight feel is also a perk for versatile training and it provides a nice level of security when jumping and doing multi-directional exercises. Again, I think my only knock against this short for versatile training is their snugness.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, I’ve enjoyed the Bearbottom Base Short and I think they’ll work best for anyone wanting them for 1-3 miles. They’re lightweight enough for this training context and their liner is also secure enough for this distance.

I’d skip this short for longer distances for two reasons. First, while it’s light enough for short runs its shell will likely feel heavy for true endurance runners who are used to lighter shorts. Second, the phone pocket in the liner could be better for long-duration security.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for running

On a daily wear basis, I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of these shorts and I think that’s solely due to the sizing discrepancy I’ve already discussed in this article. Since my short fits pretty snug, I wasn’t a fan of how “short” these shorts felt for daily wear.

Additionally, it was tough to put stuff in my pockets due to the tighter shell causing my belongings to poke out. That being said, I think if you like shorter inseams in your shorts and have thinner legs, then you’ll enjoy these shorts for daily wear.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short for daily wear

It has minimal branding, and a clean appearance and they’re comfortable for long-term wear. I could see these being great shorts for summer wear when you want something casual to wear out and about.

Styling the Bearbottom Base Short

When it comes to styling the Bearbottom Base Short, I thought it was pretty easy to match these shorts with most outfits. I went with the black shorts because I typically like simple and they go well with most outfits I’ll be wearing with these.

Styling the Bearbottom Base Short

For the Base Short, I’ve found myself rocking them with t-shirts and hoodies depending on the weather. I like that these shorts don’t have tags and that their branding is super minimal as it does help give them a bit more of a casual vibe.

Bearbottom Base Short Sizing

When it comes to sizing in the Bearbottom Base Short, I found their fit to be interesting. Typically, I’m a medium in workout shorts as a medium will generally be for 32″ inch waists.

The Base Short’s medium is built for 30-32″ waists, while the large is built for 33-34″ waists. I went with a medium because despite my waist hovering between 32-33″, I’m more of a true 32″ waist than a 33″ or even 34″.

Bearbottom Base Short sizing

I thought the Base Short fit pretty snug and I had issues with it riding up my legs during certain workouts when I was going into deep hip flexion. For thinner legs, I think the Base Short will work really well, but now I’m wondering if I should have gone with a large.

For the Base Short, I went with a medium 7″ short. Below, I’m going to provide my dimensions so you can hopefully cross-reference how these shorts fit on me and select a size that best fits your anatomy.

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Weight180 lbs
  • Waist: 32-33″
  • Inseam: 32″
  • Hip (circumference around butt): 40″
  • Mid-Thigh: 23.5″-24″

Bearbottom Base Short Sizing and Fit

Overall, I think the Bearbottom Base Short do have a slightly snugger fit to them compared to some of the other men’s workout shorts I’ve tried. For example, if you’re a guy with a 32″ waist and bigger quads than me, then I’d pass on these shorts.

I think before you invest in these shorts, make sure you measure your quads and waist to get accurate numbers. If you’re on the larger end of Bearbottom’s sizing range for particular sizes, then I’d suggest sizing up.

If you have additional questions on the Bearbottom Base Short and its sizing, drop a comment below and I can try to you out accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For the Bearbottom Base Short, you can expect to pay $50 USD. This short’s price point sits a little lower than other premium options on the market from companies like Lululemon, Rhone, and Vuori.

To be honest, I think the price point is pretty fair for this pair of shorts and I can see them as a viable option for anyone not wanting to drop $65+ USD on a single pair of shorts.

Testing the Bearbottom Base Short compression liner

I also like that you get free shipping when you order $99 USD worth of gear, so if you went with two pairs of shorts then you’re not too far in regarding your investment whereas some companies will charge you $70+ USD for one pair of shorts then tack on shipping which can add up fast.

That being said, these shorts do lack specific for some types of training and for long-distance running, so if you’re more specific than general with your training, you may want to explore different workout shorts.

Construction Details

Below, I’ll cover some of the key construction details that come along with the Bearbottom Base Short. These are details that can influence this short’s fit, performance, and long-term durability.

  • Waist Size Options: S (26-29″), M (30-32″), L (33-34″), XL (36-38″), XXL (40-42″)
  • Inseam Options: 5.5″ and 7″
  • Liner Options: Lined Only
  • Fabric Details (Shell): 87% Nylon / 13% Spandex
  • Fabric Details (Liner): 66% Recycled Polyester / 21% Polyester / 13% Spandex
  • 4-Way Stretch Shell
  • Moisture-Wicking Tech
  • Elastic Waistband With External Drawstring
  • Liner Has a Phone Pocket
  • 2 Front Pockets
  • 1 Posterior Zip Pocket

If you have additional construction-related questions about the Bearbottom Base Short, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do the Bearbottom Base Short fit true to size?

The Bearbottom Base Short fits true to size regarding waist measurements. However, the shell of these shorts runs pretty snugly so they may not be the best fit for guys with bigger thighs.

Are the Bearbottom Base Short good for CrossFit?

The Bearbottom Base Short can technically work for CrossFit, but they're not my favorite short for this training context. Their shorter inseam left the legs prone to some rub during cleans and snatches.

Can you run in the Bearbottom Base Short?

The Bearbottom Base Short works for short runs that range from 1-3 miles. For long-distance runs, this short's liner phone pocket can lack security and you'll likely want to find a short that is more specific for endurance workouts.

Takeaway Thoughts

The Bearbottom Base Short can be a viable training short for those that want to spend a little less, but still want a versatile workout short. This short has a “premium” feel despite costing less than most of the market’s most popular workout shorts.

While I like the Bearbottom Base Short, I don’t think they’ll be for everyone when it comes to fit and specific training contexts like weightlifting.

If you have additional questions on the Bearbottom Base Short, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *