Quick Take Review

A while back, I wrote about the Brooks Essential Running Short. These bad boys delivered the much needed (essential) feature for every traveling runner – a rear, zippered wallet pocket large enough for an ID, hotel key card and credit card. How else do you carry those things? In one of those weird arm bands or in the hand pockets? No, that’s not good enough. You need a rear wallet pocket. Unfortunately, Brooks stopped making those shorts. Shame on you Brooks.

The search for a reasonably priced replacement for the Brooks Essential continues. For the longest time, there was no alternative. Not a single manufacturer produced a similar short with a rear pocket. Not Brooks, not Adidas, not Nike, not anyone. So I was pretty stoked to find one recently.

Where’d I find it and what illustrious manufacturer took up the mantel of the Brooks Essential? Well, believe it or not, we found them at the local Target. They’re the C9 Champion 2-in-1 Running Shorts.

Most running shorts these days price themselves around $60 and don’t have the requisite pocket. The C9 Champion 2-in-1s hit the shelves at less than half that cost and (cue the angels singing) include a perfectly sized and zippered right rear pocket. Hallelujah!

Material: Polyester
Inseam: 11 inches
Features: compression liner, two hand pockets, one zippered rear pocket

The C9 Champion shorts definitely deliver the goods, or at least a pocket capable of carrying the goods. That’s the good news. The bad new is the fit. The short boasts a built-in compression liner. Nothing wrong with that except it pulls the short down as you work out. Tying the drawstring helps but it’s still annoying. I recommend going up a size because of this issue.

By the way, it looks like Brooks brought back the pocket in their more recent releases. Their Rush shorts include a right rear pocket. These shorts still sit in that $60 range but heck, some end of season sales got to be going on somewhere.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide.