Earlier this year Sprawl sent over some of their Fusion-S shorts for review, and now Sprawl has just released a new fight short called the Fusion 2’s. Sprawl was once again able to send over a pair of their latest Fusion 2 fight shorts for a review and here are the results.
Once again, make no mistake, these shorts have been put to hell and back, on purpose for this review. There was no expense spared to the effect of constant 2-a-days, strength training, grappling, MMA sparring, running and kickboxing. The shorts were washed everyday and worn everyday to accelerate their wear, durability and performance in multiple disciplines.
The highlights of the Fusion 2’s are that they improve upon the already technology packed Fusion-S shorts through specific changes and added features. While most changes are outwardly visible, others are realized only during training and extreme training situations. Do these changes improve or harm the original Fusion-S design and how do they effect the athlete? Well, lets take a closer look at the shorts and their performance.
The Fusion 2 received was Black/Gray and significantly more minimalistic in its color pattern and incorporates a more sleek dark without as much color contrast that existed in the previous Fusion-S shorts. The shorts look to differentiate themselves from previous predecessors, while also distancing themselves once again from designs and cliche graphics. These shorts are even more basic and raw, with even less logos than the previous shorts. Yet, the time established ‘sprawl look’ of the the color contrasted stripe is still the favored design. The solid stripe and contrasting unique color patterns differentiated the shorts in just the perfect way that allowed them to be not only incredible unique but also very menacing without any overdone graphics. The original look of Sprawl shorts has been so identifiable specifically to Sprawl since its inception, which in turn makes them less distinguishable from other shorts. These shorts create a newer design while still paying homage to the distinct look of it’s predecessors.
Now, like the previous Fusion-S , the Fusion 2 is not made from your standard fight short material. The usual fight short material tends to be a thin material that is very light weight but thin and flimsy. The new fabric has the same consistency of the previous shorts and shares the traits of being extremely light as well as strong. Yet, the new shorts have a slightly thicker feel and are more weighted to reduce ‘ride up’ even further. As any combat sports/strength althete can attest to, getting material stuck to you while in movement can impede your lift/strike/submission. The reason for their performance is that the material is a 4-way strength fabric, and it will literally stretch in any 4 ways you pull it.
Features and Fit
The shorts have reinforced stitching that outlines a slit on the legs of the shorts. This slit allows for the shorts to stretch even farther as needed when the 4-way stretch fabric was pushed to its limit. This allowed for full squats and deadlifts, with no sticking, gripping or pulling on your legs. Not only did it help during weight training but it allowed full kicks and take downs with less impeding of motion than normal shorts. One apparent issue is that Sprawl has reduced the length of the slit when compared to the Fusion 2 (as seen in the above image). This translated into a slightly reduced range of motion when compared to it’s predecessor. The reason Sprawl did this was to reduce ride up and the shorts moving up on the leg from the guard. This was never an issue with the previous Fusion 2 and now these shorts have a smaller slit which can reduce some extreme movements when compared to the completely open Fusion-S. Another issue is that Sprawl lined the leg opening with a ‘ring’ seam. This ring can be seen in the image below and does not allow the wet suit inter thigh material to stretch at the leg opening. In previous shorts this special inner material went all the way to the seam, and in turn when stressed allowed for unsurpassed movement because not only did you have the large slit and 4-way stretch material, but the inner wet suit material could further be stressed if necessary. There is still this inner material and it can still be stressed and utilized when press is placed on the shorts and the reason for the ring seam is to keep the shorts lower on the legs. There never really was an issue with the previous Fusion-2 shorts but when inverted these shorts definitely stay very close and high on the legs.
The Shorts have a locking fly that is extensively longer, wider and more complex than most shorts. It takes the basic concept of a dual velcro locking system that is found on most shorts but adds several unique features. The shorts use longer and wider pieces of fabric, giving more surface area for the velcro and thus forth more reliability. This reliability means that when you stand up, your shorts will be still on you, which as comedic as it sounds, is very essential when grappling. Sprawl added a significantly wider waistband and locking fly over the previous Fusion-2 shorts. The new waist band is about an inch taller and the new locking fly now has a small piece of fabric to grip in order to easily unlock them. The second feature is that the fly is essentially sandwiched on both sides by the very piece that locks them on, and this also gives you a second guarantee of reliability. Previously, on the Fusion-S shorts the locking belt of the fly was the ‘achilles heel’ of the shorts and provided the shorts its only real drawback and negative design aspect. The belt section of the velcro had a tendency to overlap onto the fabric ,and by the fabric is not being reinforced in that area, could cause the fabric to succumb to significant wear and tear over a short period of time. The new fabric material and taller locking fly does not allow for the wear and tear that was seen in the Fusion-2’s and additionally does not overlap at all. This is a definite improvement.
The waistband of the shorts includes an inconspicuous yet essential feature that really set these shorts apart from the rest. This feature began in the Fusion-S shorts and has been implemented again and repositioned along the wider waistband. The waistband has a rubberized multi grooved band inside the waistband that grips whatever it holds on to. Any athlete regardless of the sport will attest that during physical activity the shorts will shift upwards on your torso. This effect is amplified in the combat sports world due to the increased physical contact. The shorts will hold on to you even when the drawstring is not tied on. There was less adjusting during rounds, and what had been a concern of past shorts was no longer an issue.
The most valuable and underrated feature is one that is not even prolifically advertised or featured by Sprawl. It’s inclusion is still one of the most valuable and defining features of the shorts. The aforementioned feature is a thick wetsuit like piece of material that comes across the entire interior inseam of the shorts. It is virtually unnoticeable, and extremely resilient to any trauma that the shorts or the wearer may encounter. The material stretches even more extensively than any other part of the short and it is strategically placed in these shorts for a reason. The section of the shorts is very useful when in guard or in any other athletic situation because it allows unhindered movement while being durable enough to not rip apart. The inseam allowed for an added level of flexibility if the shorts were grabbed, pulled, caught or stretched.
Once again, Sprawl has improved upon the material of the previous Fusion-S shorts which are not only blood, sweat and fungal repellant but the fabric is guaranteed for the life of the shorts. These shorts share all of those previous incredible qualities, but now have further improved the kevlar-like durability and strength of the material. With that said, one thing to note is that after all of the countless weights, grappling, kicks, punches, sweat, blood and other multiple miscellaneous abrasions that the shorts faced…they remain unstained and still retain their original color tone. In line with the previous Sprawl shorts, these shorts do not fray or fade and can take any punishment an athlete can consistently dole out upon them. The reduced stitching and new single seam reduces any previous structural weaknesses that may have been present. The fact that these shorts are fungal resistant in addition to repelling bodily fluids is paramount to assisting in protecting the health of any athlete by reducing the risk of staph, ringworm and other transmitted health infections.
At a price of $61.99, directly from Sprawl, the shorts are inline with the athletic/MMA/board short price range. The new Fusion 2 shorts are $2.00 more than the previous Fusion-S shorts. In both, the technology and features that these shorts offer is beyond what is found in other many other shorts, making them a valuable purchase. The shorts offer superior value for their price range and give the users a dependable short that is guaranteed not to fail on the mat or anywhere. The price of these shorts is inline with the standard for the athletic and MMA shorts except these are guaranteed for life, and have superior technology for movement and safety.
There were no real structural negatives or issues present. The only negatives were the aforementioned design aspects of the smaller seam slit, and new seam ring around the leg opening. Both of these designs both attempted to ‘fix’ issues that were essentially non-existant in the Fusion-S shorts and can reduce some movement in the shorts during extreme maneuvers.
These a great pair of shorts with exceptional dynamics with regard to athletic performance. The shorts offer superior technology that help contribute to maintaining and improving combat sports/athletic performance. The Sprawl Fusion 2 shorts offer unparalleled durability, health features, and incredible amounts of technology that provide the athlete with strong and flexible shorts that can be utilized in any sport.
The New Fusion 2 can be purchased at-
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