Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Review Extra: Fourth Element Technical Shorts

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Over the past few months, I’ve gradually transitioned my scuba kit to a more tech-diving-friendly setup. I’ve switched from a traditional BCD to a backplate and wing system as part of that setup. The problem is there is no storage in a backplate setup. (Not that a traditional BCD has much anyway.) I needed a practical solution, and the Fourth Element Technical Shorts are an excellent option for wearing over a wetsuit.

Fourth Element Technical Shorts
Fourth Element Technical Shorts

First Impressions

These shorts were immediately consistent with Fourth Element’s commitment to the environment. The tag states they are constructed with an eco-friendly, aqua-based lamination glue that is solvent-free. The pockets on the outside are spacious and look similar, if not identical, to those on the outside of Fourth Element’s Argonaut Drysuit.

Features and Functionality

The pockets are probably the most essential feature of these shorts and the most thought out. Made of Cordura fabric, they feature a wet notebook sleeve inside the main pocket on each leg. Bungee loops can easily attach wet notes or a slate with a double-ended bolt snap.

Fourth Element Technical Shorts
Fourth Element Technical Shorts

The pockets also have an outer zipper pocket on top of the Velcro flap on each side for convenient access to smaller items such as keys, certification cards, etc. This small zipper pouch contains two grommet holes, and the larger pockets have a mesh panel at the bottom for quick drainage.

Another standout feature of the Technical Shorts is their adjustable waistband, which provides a secure and personalized fit.

Fourth Element Technical Shorts
Fourth Element Technical Shorts

Comfort and Fit

Based on the Fourth Element sizing chart, the Technical Shorts are fairly true to size. I typically wear a 3-mm or 5-mm wetsuit. The shorts were a little tighter over the 5mm suit, but the stretch in material allowed them to slide over without a problem. The adjustable waistbelt makes it an excellent fit for thinner suits, a lycra suit, or directly over a swimsuit.

In the Water

I wore the Technical Shorts over my 5-mm wetsuit for my first test dives at two different dive sites. Both were natural springs in North Central Florida. The water temperature at these sites is a constant 72F/22C all year.

Fourth Element Technical Shorts
Fourth Element Technical Shorts

I stowed typical items a tech diver might have in my right pocket, like a wet notebook, a small reel, and a DSMB. I had a backup mask, a small backup light, and a backup knife in my left pocket. I still had some room to spare. The shorts stayed secure for every dive, and the items stayed entirely in place.

Underwater, I quickly accessed the wet notebook and the DSMB/reel, so much so that I’m confident I could access the items in little or no light in the future just by feeling for them.

In addition to diving, I took the shorts on a quick snorkeling trip, only wearing them over a swimsuit. Although they fit looser, I could adjust them easily with an adjustable waist strap. There was still a decent seal over my thighs, which makes wearing these shorts with a swimsuit or lycra suit an excellent option in warm tropical water.

Final Thoughts

The Fourth Element Technical Shorts are an exceptional solution for diving storage that combines durability, versatility, and comfort. Although constructed to be worn over a wetsuit, they can easily be worn over a swimsuit for diving in warm, tropical waters. These shorts don’t have a downside.

Key Specifications

  • Designed to be worn over a wetsuit
  • Easy to don
  • Remain in place
  • Generous, fast-draining pockets
  • Internal bungee loops in pockets
  • Durable recycled Supratex lining in crotch and seat
  • Wide waistband with hold-fast interior panel
  • Low-profile buckle, offset for comfort
  • Waistband & side panels: 90% Neoprene (2mm) / 10% Nylon
  • Leg panels: Recycled Supratex (92% Recycled Polyester / 8% Spandex)
  • Pockets: Trilaminate CORDURA®

Price

$260 USD/ £200 GBP/ €232 EUR

Buy Now

Technical Shorts - Fourth Element Technical Shorts - Fourth Element
$260.00

When a wetsuit is your choice of thermal protection but you need pockets, look no further. Using hardwearing Supratex (made with recycled polyester) to reinforce the seat and crotch, these shorts are designed to stand the test of the most adventurous diver.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Fourth Element Technical Shorts

SUMMARY

The Fourth Element Technical Shorts are an exceptional solution for diving storage that combines durability, versatility, and comfort. Although constructed to be worn over a wetsuit, they can easily be worn over a swimsuit for diving in warm, tropical waters. These shorts don't really have a downside.
Robbie Harper
Robbie Harperhttp://www.bluebridgepr.com
Robbie Harper is a sixth generation Floridian who equally loves diving Florida's reefs along with the freshwater springs around the state. Aside from sharing his love for the diving through story, he owns Blue Bridge Public Relations and is host of the Sidebar Media Podcast.

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The Fourth Element Technical Shorts are an exceptional solution for diving storage that combines durability, versatility, and comfort. Although constructed to be worn over a wetsuit, they can easily be worn over a swimsuit for diving in warm, tropical waters. These shorts don't really have a downside.Review Extra: Fourth Element Technical Shorts