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Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short | Which Short Is Better?

Some of the most common questions I get from guys looking into Ten Thousand shorts are, “Which short is better? The Ten Thousand Set Short or the Ten Thousand Tactical Short?” Both of these shorts are part of Ten Thousand’s Pro-Line and each model has its list of pros and cons for performance.

In this article, I’m going to put the Ten Thousand Set Short and Tactical Short head-to-head to help you decide which short is best for your needs. Admittedly, I do like both of these shorts and when it comes to a clear winner in certain categories, the devil’s in the details.

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short Table of Contents

If you’re interested in other Ten Thousand models, then I’d suggest checking out my Ten Thousand Shorts article to look at other options. This article breaks down the differences between the Interval, Foundation, and Session Short.

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!

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short for Lifting

When discussing lifting, I’m referencing how these perform in resistance training settings. This could be defined as more barbell-focused training sessions or even bodybuilding workouts.

Overall, both of these shorts perform fairly well in resistance training settings. However, each model has a few standout features that I think are worth mentioning based on how you like to train.

Pros of Ten Thousand Tactical Short for Lifting

The first aspect that I like the Tactical Short for from a lifting point of view is the ripstop shell. It’s lightweight and durable against abrasion, a nice perk for folks doing deadlifts and cleans where a barbell’s knurling touches the front of the legs.

Another pro is that this model features 5″ and 7″ inseam options. Personally, I love 7″ shorts and feel like they’re a good length for lifting sessions — 5″ are a bit too short for me. The last perk of the Tactical Short is the thick waistband because it provides a nice level of security and these shorts never really come undone.

Ten Thousand Set Short Review

Pros of Ten Thousand Set Short for Lifting

The pros that come with the Set Short are very similar to what I’ve found with the Ten Thousand Interval Short. This model’s shell is lightweight and very mobile so if you lift it in a more versatile fashion, then you’ll enjoy how much mobility you get with this short.

On top of that, this short pocket system is great for the guy who trains in a commercial gym and wants to keep their phone, keys, etc. on them. Like the Tactical Short, the Set Short’s waistband is also really secure and never has an issue coming undone during training sessions.

Winner: Set Short for Versatile Training Lifting, Tactical Short for Barbell-Focused Lifting

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short for CrossFit

If you’re a CrossFit athlete or someone who trains in fashions similar to CrossFit athletes, then I do think there’s a more clear winner with these shorts regarding their performance.

I think the Set Short has a slight edge for CrossFit-style workouts. In my off-season (I compete in powerlifting), a lot of my training is focused on athleticism and involves workouts similar in nature to what CrossFit training involves. The Set Short’s ability to be highly mobile with its 6.5″ inseam feels awesome for shifting gears quickly in workouts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Tactical Short can easily tackle versatile, CrossFit-style training and in all honesty, for outdoor sessions that involve rucking, hiking, trail runs, etc. I’m taking the Tactical Short, but I do think the Set Short has a slight edge here.

Winner: Tie, Set Short for Gym Session, and Tactical Short for 50/50 Gym/Outdoor Training

Ten Thousand Tactical Short


Ten Thousand Tactical Short

Best For

  • Outdoor Training
  • Barbell Training
  • Rucking and Hiking

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short for Swimming

The interesting and cool thing about the Tactical Short and Set Short is that they can both serve as swim shorts if you need them to. I’ve used both for swimming and I think contextually they each have their perks.

For the athlete who plans to work out and train in a pool often, I’d say go with the Set Short. This model was designed to be a land/water hybrid and its shell does a really good job at drying quickly. Plus, the materials used in this short also have anti-odor components so the shorts don’t end up smelling like chlorine too quickly.

To add context, I’ve worn the Set Short for 2-3 really good training sessions before cleaning them and they didn’t smell too ripe like other models that don’t feature the anti-odor tech.

For the athlete that loves to train outside and goes for casual dips here and there based on where they’re training, I’d say go for the Tactical Short. It works well for casual swims and the ripstop shell does a slightly better job at resisting dirt and other elements that can cause shorts to break down quickly and stain.

I’ve rocked the Tactical Short for swims when on hikes and I enjoyed them. Plus, they dry fairly quickly, too, if it’s hot where you’re training.

Winner: Set Short for Pool-Based Athletes, Tactical Short for Outdoor Swim Sessions (creeks, lakes, etc.)

Ten Thousand Set Short


Ten Thousand Set Short

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Swimming
  • Shorter Runs
  • Day-to-Day Wear

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short for Durability

I grabbed a pair of the Set and Tactical shorts upon their release and both shorts have done a fairly good job of being durable. The shell construction is still going strong and I haven’t had any issues with fraying or tearing of materials.

The compression liners have also held up well in each pair of shorts and I haven’t had any issues with the bottoms of them fraying. Some training shorts come with compression liners that are not stitched well at the bottom of the leg, so they fray easily. The Set and Tactical Short both have double-stitched compression liners which help to add to their overall durability.

Ten Thousand Tactical Shorts

On top of the compression liner having quality stitching as mentioned above, I also like the shell on these shorts. The Set Short has bonded hems which helps to limit potential friction that causes early breakdown when transitioning out of the sides of pools. Additionally, I think these also do a good job of preventing materials like sand from causing the shorts to break down quickly.

The ripstop shell in the Tactical Short also has reinforced stitching on the inside of the shell to boost its durability overall. Both of these models have really good waistband constructions and I haven’t noticed any issues with them tearing, ripping, or stretching at all.

Winner: Tie

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short Sizing and Fit

The Set Short and Tactical Short both have fairly interesting sizing to them. For context, I wear a Medium in the Interval, Foundation, and Session Short, but in the Set and Tactical, I wear a Large.

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hip (circumference around butt): 38″
  • Mid-Thigh: 23″

To be honest, I could probably get away with the Mediums in the Set and Tactical Short, but they fit a bit too tight for my liking. I’m not a fan of when the shell gets hung up on the thighs every time I move into deeper hip flexion.

Ten Thousand Set Short Vs Tactical Short Price

For the Set and Tactical Short, you can expect to pay around $78. Now, the main question I receive regarding price is, “Are they worth it?”

I think if you have specific training asks and want a pair of shorts for swimming, then both of these models are worth it. The Tactical Short is phenomenal for outdoor training and the Set Short is a great option for hybrid pool/dryland training. To be honest, another perk is that with these models you don’t need to buy swim trunks ever again.

It is worth pointing out that these are both far from being cost-efficient. Plus, they both have liners built-in, so if you like linerless shorts, then you can save a little money and explore the Interval and Foundation Short.

Winner: Tie

Takeaway Thoughts

I like the Set Short and Tactical Short and think they both have their best times and places for use. They are a bit pricey, so I often recommend thinking about them as an investment and taking good care of them to make their durability go the distance.

If you have any questions on the Ten Thousand Set Short and Tactical Short, drop a comment below or reach out to me directly!

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.

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