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Specialized Youth Apparel Review

Author: Kristen Bonkoski

Updated:

Specialized has started jumping into the youth market in a big way. After years of putting kids on the back burner, Specialized has introduced high-quality bikes like the Jett and Riprock Expert.

They’ve also recently released a new line of youth apparel. We’re always on the lookout for bike clothes for kids since there is so little, and have been really pleased with the test pieces we’ve received from Specialized. These are adult-quality pieces for youth riders.

Our son has used them for both mountain biking and BMX racing and he’s notorious for being awfully rough on clothes. They are durable and look good too.

After measuring him and comparing it to the size chart on the Specialized website, he was right on the threshold between medium and large. (He’s 4’8″ and 175 lbs). We went with the large, and you’ll notice all the pieces are a little big on him. But I’d prefer that to them being too small. We all know that at the rate he’s growing they will fit next week.


Review In A Nutshell

Pros:

  • High quality construction
  • Pants and shorts include adjustable waist tabs
  • Fabric has UV protection
  • Lightweight, soft, and comfortable

Cons:

  • No color options for shorts and pants
  • No chamois offered

Specialized Youth Trail Jersey

Price: $50 at Specialized.com

I’m a big fan of all things bright when it comes to my son adventuring outdoors. His Trailcraft is bright orange. The ski helmet he uses is neon yellow. I like to be able to pick him out when he’s ahead of me on the ski slopes or bike park runs.

So it should come as no surprise that I was excited to put him in this bright jersey. He stands at the bike park and the BMX track and I never have to wonder where he is. (Not a big fan of bright colors? It comes in grey as well).

specialized youth long sleeve jersey

The good news is that it’s not only mom that likes the jersey. The kiddo likes it as well thanks to the super soft and stretchy construction. He has some sensory issues when it comes to clothes, and he likes the feel of the Specialized Trail jersey. There are no tags to irritate his skin, and the seams are smooth.

It has a loose fit and the material is designed to provide UV protection. The jersey is a good choice both for summer riding where you want a little extra protection, and also shoulder season riding. There’s enough room that you could layer a t-shirt underneath.

We tested the long sleeve version, but there is also a t-shirt style short sleeve trail jersey as well.

Trail Pants

Price: $90 at Specialized.com

There aren’t a lot of kids mountain bike pants on the market, so the Specialized Youth Trail Pants are a welcome addition. The cut is slim enough for downhill riding or BMX, but loose enough for trail riding as well. Compared to a moto style pant, this is slightly more forgiving. There is plenty of room underneath for knee pads.

specialized trail pant

As previously mentioned, the pants we ordered were a little big, but thanks to the waist adjustment, these fit just fine. The waist adjusts via an elastic and button design similar to most kids pants.

waist adjustment

The material is lightweight but reasonably durable. Our kiddo did have a slow speed crash in these and they held up just fine. They do not have reinforced knees like some of our son’s moto-style pants, so I wouldn’t plan on them being as protective for gravity riding, but most kids will be using these for trail riding anyhow.

I also appreciated the zippered pocket. It’s not huge, but large enough for a bike park pass and some cash.

zippered pocket

Specialized Youth Trail Shorts

Price: $65 at Specialized.com

The youth trail shorts are sized down version of the best-selling adult trail shorts. The only bummer is that unlike the adult version, the youth shorts only come in black.

specialized trail shorts

Additionally, the youth shorts do NOT include a chamois liner, nor is there an option to buy one separately. If you’re looking for a chamois, opt for the Zoic Ether Jr instead.

Those minor complaints aside, these are a great basic mountain bike short. According to my son they are super comfy and he definitely prefers them to a regular gym short for riding.

The material is lightweight and airy. There are small perforated holes along the inside of both legs as well as at the back panel. Additionally, the fabric feels durable though we haven’t put them thru that many washes yet nor has our son had a crash in them….

Like the trail pants, the shorts have elastic tab and button adjustments at the sides to ensure a good fit at the waist. The length falls at mid-knee or just below which means that the shorts work well with knee pads.

There are two zippered pockets on either side. These are fairly large and can accommodates snacks or other treasures.

Trail Gloves

Price: $14-$20 at Specialized.com

I mentioned I like bright gear, right? So obviously I liked the bright Specialized Youth Trail gloves. (Yes, they also come in boring black if that’s your thing).

These gloves bring a bit of pizazz at a very affordable price. As the name would suggest, these are definitely trail oriented gloves with a fairly minimalistic construction.

specialized trail gloves

They fit my sons hands well, and he liked the wide velcro cuff. The material is just a little bit stretchy and fairly snug.

There are silicone grippers on the fingers and our kiddo used these for some skills classes he’s been taking. Supposedly they are compatible with touch screens, but we haven’t tested that, ’cause I don’t really want my son on screens when we’re out in nature.

Overall, I’d say these are a high quality glove with a price that won’t make you cry when you’re child inevitably loses or destroys them.

More Clothing Options For Your Child

About Us

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

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