Ultimate Direction collaborated with none other than Jason Schlarb, a well known ultrarunner with a long list of wins across the world, to develop their second Signature Athlete Apparel Collection featuring a quintessential two-piece line. It consists of the $79.95 Jason Schlarb Short and the $69.95 Jason Schlarb Merino Tee. Both items are offered in a wide range of men’s specific sizes with sustainability in mind. Highlights of the Schlarb Short include a built-in storage waistband and partial side splits for increased mobility. The Schlarb Merino Tee combines 50% responsibly-sourced Merino wool with Sorona fabric for optimal moisture and temperature regulation. Jason Schlarb and Ultimate Direction have developed both items to allow you to conquer extreme races or a casual training run around the block in comfort.

The Ultimate Direction Schlarb Running Short and Merino Wool Tee are lightweight and comfortable running apparel for casual or professional runners.

Retail Price$79.95 (Running Short) / $69.95 (Merino Tee)
Likes+ Lightweight construction
+ Built-in 360 degree storage with short’s waistband
+ Offers comfort and protection without limiting mobility
Dislikes– Limited color selection
– Inner liner of shorts could be more supportive
Where to Buy (US)Schlarb Shorts / Merino Tee


Developed to “do more with less” the Ultimate Direction Schlarb Running Short is a minimal running short designed to move with you. Constructed from a combination of polyester and spandex, the shorts are lightweight yet elastic for a comfortable fit. Ultimate Direction offers the shorts in two color options: Onyx (black) and Turquoise (light blue) that is shown in this review. With either color option the waistband is black and you’ll find reflective Ultimate Direction logos and detailing for extra nighttime visibility. The branding is subtle with mountain graphics on the bottom and Ultimate Direction printed along the side seam and rear waistband. To promote mobility, these are short-shorts that sit well above the knees and have a partial side split.

Ultimate Direction Jason Schlarb Running Short Merino Tee Review - Waistband
One of the main features of the running shorts is the elastic storage waistband which extends the entire circumference.

The shorts has a soft brief for added comfort on the inside. Unlike workout shorts, these lack a form fitting inner layer and are instead just a thin built-in briefs. One of the main selling points of the shorts is the storage built into the elastic waistband which has three layers and is nearly 5” tall with storage all the way around. With its generous size, you can not only carry keys and cash but also water bottles or cell phones. On the rear, you’ll even find elastic fabric loops that could be used for trekking poles or other longer items. The waistband storage system eliminates the need for any pockets or zippers.


The second item of the Schlarb collection is the Ultimate Direction Schlarb Merino Tee. Constructed of 50% sustainably sourced Merino wool and 50% Sorona fabric, the Schlarb Merino Tee was designed to adapt to any terrain or temperature. Ultimate Direction only offers the Merino Tee in a single black color finish with a mountain-inspired reflective line graphic along the front. It’s a minimalist design that looks great on or off the trail and only has reflective Ultimate Direction branding on the hem and along the rear. The design reminds us of Charlie Brown’s iconic zig-zag shirt even though the color scheme and placement are different. With the combination of Merino wool and synthetic fabrics, the Merino Tee offers warmth as well as anti-odor and anti-pilling benefits.

Ultimate Direction Jason Schlarb Running Short Merino Tee Review - Side View
With their minimalist styling and reflective details, the Schlarb Short and Merino Tee are perfect for novice and expert runners.

Ultimate Direction has also incorporated some premium details to make the Merino Tee comfortable on extended runs. The side slits helps with mobility and full finished neck collar and hem to prevent chafing. Although the shirt itself just has a standard T-shirt design with shoulder seams and set-in sleeves, the sleeve seam is offset from the torso side seam to reduce underarm chafing. The rear of the shirt is also slightly longer than the front to help with coverage which is a feature that is common on cycling jerseys.


Although we’re cyclists at heart, we spend at least two days a week running local coastal trails as cross training. Given Jason Schlarb’s influence on the design of the short and shirt, we weren’t surprised to find them both to be extremely comfortable on our runs. We chose the medium size for both and found the fit to be spot on for our 6’1” 165lb runner. In warmer weather, the shorts and Merino wool shirt are a perfect combination as they help regulate your body temperature. Merino wool clothing do not smell after workouts and as such can be worn multiple times comfortably before washing, something we can’t say for cheap synthetic athletic gear. Since its a short sleeve, it might be good to layer up with something like the Gore R5 GTX jacket on colder days and utilize the Merino Tee as a baselayer. We also found the Merino Tee was comfortable when paired with Ultimate Direction’s Highland vest for carrying extra water for longer runs.

The built-in waistband storage of the Schlarb Running Short is a surprisingly effective way to carry gear on a run. With its multiple layer construction there is minimal swaying or risk of losing items on the trail. The tall waistband design stays in place securely and eliminates the need for drawstrings or belts which can often come loose mid run. Our only real complaint about the apparel is that the short’s inner liner isn’t as supportive on its own as other running shorts we’ve used. Otherwise, the collection is attractive and comfortable for short recovery runs or long distance runs.


Overall, we found the Ultimate Direction Schlarb Short and Merino Tee running collection to be well designed and affordable. It’s clear both items have been designed by runners for runners as the lightweight fabric and fit provides protection from the elements without restricting motion. The clever waistband storage system of the Schlarb Short alone is a big selling point as it offers 360 degree storage and is large enough for trekking poles or other items. The Schlarb Merino Tee is also comfortable and with its Merino wool blend offers excellent temperature regulation and breathability. The two things we’d change about the collection would be to add more color options and make the short’s inner liner more supportive. That said, if you’re looking for an affordable and well constructed running shorts or tee shirt then we’d recommend the Schlarb collection.

Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Ultimate Direction. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

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