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Whether it’s your first time riding a mountain bike or you’re an experienced rider that shreds trails in your sleep, everyone needs a good pair of biking shorts for those hot summer months. Our team of experienced female mountain bikers pulled together a list of the best women’s mountain biking shorts available on the market today so you can buy quick and get back on the trail in no time. Learn the difference between styles, materials, short length and even what a chamois is and why it’s essential to your comfort – keep reading to find out more!

For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountain Bike Shorts

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Quick Answer - The Best Women's Mountain Bike Shorts

  1. Club Ride Eden
  2. PEARL iZUMi Canyon
  3. PEARL iZUMI Elevate
  4. Zoic Navaeh
  5. Dakine Melody
  6. Wild Rye Freel
  7. Terry Liberty
  8. Flylow Carter
  9. Cycorld Women’s
  10. Club Ride Savvy

 

 

Comparison Table - The Best Women's Shorts for Mountain Biking

PictureNameSizeInseamPocketsClosurePriceRating
Club Ride EdenXS - XL7” (Short)5Zipper and Single Snap$$5.0
PEARL iZUMi CanyonXS-XXL9” (Short)1Zip and Double Snap$$3.7
PEARL iZUMI ElevateXS - XXL13” (Long)3Zipper and Single Snap$-$$$4.5
Zoic NavaehS - XL11” (Medium)3Zipper and Double Snap$$4.3
Dakine MelodyXS - L7” (Short)4Zipper and Double Snap$$4.0
Wild Rye Freel2-1212” (Long)3Double Snap$$5.0
Terry LibertyXS-XL14” (Long)1Lycra Pull Up$$4.8
Flylow CarterS - XL12.5” (Long)3Double Snap$$4.1
Cycorld Women’sXS-XL13” (Long)4Zipper and Double Snap with Velcro$4.4
Club Ride SavvyXS-XL11” (Medium)3Double Snap$$4.0
PictureNameSizeInseamPocketsClosurePriceRating

 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Women's Mountain Bike Shorts

Club Ride Eden

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Single Snap
  • Inseam: 7” (Short)
  • Pockets: 5
  • Size: XS - XL
  • Style: Double Layer
Features
  • Reflective Accents
  • Seamless Crotch Gusset (for comfort while riding)
  • Hook and Loop Velcro Waistband (micro-adjustable for extra comfort)
  • Double Layer Short with Detachable Inner Lining and Chamois (padded short for comfort that can be removed)

BEST FOR: ALL DAY COMFORT

Featuring a side waistband hook and loop velcro, you’ll be able to micro adjust these shorts for the perfect fit around your waist. The padded inner short has a triple density foam chamois for extra comfort and is fully removable.

Multiple pockets of various sizes provide ample storage for all your mountain biking accessory needs. The addition of reflective accents will keep you seen out on the trails. Available in a variety of colors, these lightweight stretch woven shorts are the perfect short to head out on the trails in comfort and style.

PEARL iZUMi Canyon

Specs
  • Closure: Zip and Double Snap
  • Inseam: 9” (Short)
  • Pockets: 1
  • Size: XS-XXL
  • Style: Double Layer
Features
  • Shorter Leg Length
  • Adjustable Waistband
  • Double Layer Short with Detachable Inner Lining and Chamois (padded short for comfort that can be removed)

BEST FOR: SUMMER ADVENTURES

Extremely lightweight and breathable, these shorts are perfect for warm summer days on the trails. The shorter leg length allows for unrestricted movement and an athletic aesthetic. An adjustable waistband paired with a padded chamois liner means that these shorts will feel comfortable all day long in the saddle. Mesh panels allow for airflow, while the light stretch fabric will move with you whether you are on tight tracks or nailing rocky descents.

PEARL iZUMI Elevate

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Single Snap
  • Inseam: 13” (Long)
  • Pockets: 3
  • Size: XS - XXL
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Water Resistant
  • Knee Pad Compatible (will easily fit over knee pads)
  • Adjustable Waistband

BEST FOR: WILD ADVENTURERS

These longer style shorts will keep your legs covered and protected for those days spent weaving through super tight trails. The 4-way stretch, waterproof coating, and rip-stop fabric will ensure the shorts not only move with you but will stand up to the harshest conditions. The Pearl Izumi Elevate shorts do not include an inner liner. Instead, you can easily wear them over your favorite padded shorts for maximum comfort and protection.

Zoic Navaeh

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Double Snap
  • Inseam: 11” (Medium)
  • Pockets: 3
  • Size: S - XL
  • Style: Double Layer
Features
  • Slim Fitting
  • Adjustable Flat Front Waistband (for maximum comfort and adjustability)
  • Double Layer Short with Detachable Inner Lining and Chamois (padded short for comfort that can be removed)

BEST FOR: STAYING COOL AND COMFORTABLE

Lightweight and breathable, these shorts will keep you cool even when the temperatures start rising. The women’s specific design provides ultimate performance and the stretch fabric allows unrestricted movement. The Zoic Nevaeh shorts also have zippered pockets that are large enough to stow your mobile phone and other essentials.

Dakine Melody

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Double Snap
  • Inseam: 7” (Short)
  • Pockets: 4
  • Size: XS - L
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Slim Fitting
  • Water Repellant
  • Adjustable Waistband and Belt Loops

BEST FOR: WET CONDITIONS

The Dakine Melody short has been designed with performance in mind. The multi-panel construction, 4-way stretch, and water repellent coating will keep you shredding trails in any condition. The snap closure and adjustable waistband keep these shorts firmly in place all day. As an outer short only, you can pair them with your favorite chamois liner for ultimate comfort.

Wild Rye Freel

Specs
  • Closure: Double Snap
  • Inseam: 12” (Long)
  • Pockets: 3
  • Size: 2-12
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Seamless Crotch Gusset (for comfort while riding)
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Belt Loops

BEST FOR: ALL DAY RIDING

Look good, ride hard, have fun! The Wild Rye shorts are not only stacked with technical features, such as abrasion resistance, water repellent materials, and a 4-way stretch fabric, they are also good for the planet. These shorts contain materials that meet the bluesign criteria so you can feel good knowing you’re helping the planet while you ride.

The Wild Rye Freel shorts are also incredibly high quality, from the durable fabric sewn into every inch right down to the detailed stitching. Did we mention they have llamas on them?

Terry Liberty

Specs
  • Closure: Lycra Pull Up
  • Inseam: 14” (Long)
  • Pockets: 1
  • Size: XS-XL
  • Style: All-In-One
Features
  • All-in-one Style Short
  • Long Leg Length
  • Fitted From Waist To Thigh - Flared To Knee

BEST FOR: LONG DAYS IN THE SADDLE

These all-in-one style shorts give the comfort of lycra around the waist and upper thigh with an inbuilt chamois, while providing a typical mountain bike style from the thigh to knee with a flared fit. The longer leg fit is perfect for the taller rider wanting good coverage to the knee. The inclusion of a zippered pocket on the lower right thigh gives a handy place to store any bike essentials.

Flylow Carter

Specs
  • Closure: Double Snap
  • Inseam: 12.5” (Long)
  • Pockets: 3
  • Size: S - XL
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Off Set Inseam (to stop rubbing while sitting in the saddle)
  • Knee Pad Compatible
  • Belt Loops

BEST FOR: MULTI-SPORT PLAYER

If getting outdoors and adventuring is what you are about, then these shorts are made for you. Able to stand up to the tough conditions of mountain biking, yet stretchy enough to pull off your favorite yoga poses, these shorts are perfect for people on-the-go. Pair these shorts with your favorite padded chamois and knee pads and you’ll be ready to rip the trails in no time!

Cycorld Women’s

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Double Snap with Velcro
  • Inseam: 13” (Long)
  • Pockets: 4
  • Size: XS-XL
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Extra Deep Pockets
  • Partly Elasticized Waistband (including velcro waist adjustment)
  • Reflective Strips (so you are seen even in the shadows or at night)

BEST FOR: HEAVY DUTY RIDING

Whether you’re shredding gnarly descents, tight tracks, or rocky terrain in rain, hail, or shine, the Cycorld women’s MTB shorts are up to the task. Constructed with heavy duty, water repellent material and a loose fitting design, you will have all day comfort and all day style with these unbeatable shorts.

These high quality shorts are fitted with secure fastening at the waist including micro adjustability. Additionally, the extra deep pockets have quality zips to keep your valuables safe. Check your sizing as these shorts run a little large.

Club Ride Savvy

Specs
  • Closure: Double Snap
  • Inseam: 11” (Medium)
  • Pockets: 3
  • Size: XS-XL
  • Style: Outer Short Only
Features
  • Draw-Cord Waist Adjustment
  • No Zip Fly
  • Ultra Lightweight

BEST FOR: FAIR WEATHER RIDING

When the weather is warm and a light breeze is in the air, these shorts are your go-to for mountain biking. The stretch material will give unrestricted movement while the laser cut hems sit flush to avoid any chaffing.

These shorts will perfectly transition from riding trails to lunch with friends, no need for a wardrobe change. Made from ultra lightweight material, you would be hard-pressed to find a lighter mountain biking short.

 

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING MOUNTAIN BIKING SHORTS

It’s essential to understand that not every mountain biking short is built for the same conditions. The weather, your typical riding terrain and even your personal aesthetic and comfort level will play a part in choosing the perfect mountain biking short for you. Read on to find out what you should think about before making your final purchase of mountain biking shorts from the list above.

COST

If you’re new to mountain biking and want to get set up with some gear that is well priced and comfortable, choose a double short. They may be slightly more expensive at the outset, but buying the double short first ensures that you’ll feel comfortable from the start, and you won’t have to search for compatible outer and inner shorts later down the line. 

 

FIT/COVERAGE

If you like to hit some gnarly trails you may want to consider a short that has more leg length/coverage and the ability to fit knee pads underneath them. Alternatively, a shorter short will generally allow you to fit knee pads but will not offer as much protection against stray tree branches, or in the unfortunate circumstance that you fall off on a rocky trail. Read more about MTB short length here.

An adjustable waistband will also increase your ability to micro adjust for the best fit. Additionally, stretch fabric and the correct fit, not too tight, will allow for comfort and unrestricted movement on the bike.

 

LIGHTWEIGHT VS DURABLE

Often you will need to compromise between a lightweight short and a durable short. Rip-stop fabric will keep you and your shorts protected, but they will be a slightly heavier weight material.

While a lightweight short will keep you cool, they are generally softer and made from less hardy material. So match your conditions and riding style to the type of short you select.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

CHAMOIS

Also known as a padded liner. The chamois is the squishy foam section that cycling shorts are often equipped with. They are the contact point between you and your saddle and they ensure extra comfort so you can enjoy riding without excess rubbing and chaffing. Read more about how to avoid saddle sores

ADJUSTABLE WAISTBAND

There are various fasteners for this but often it will be a velcro attachment that allows you to cinch in the waist for a perfect fit.

INSEAM

The length between the crotch and the hem of the short.

RIP-STOP

A combination of materials woven together in a square pattern with the addition of a synthetic thread placed within the weave. Typically nylon or polyester, the extra strength of these materials stops a rip going further.

FLAT BARS

These handlebars are flat all the way across and offer a wider and more upright holding position. Flat bars can make you feel more confident while riding because your arms are held wide and high, keeping you stable and secure on any terrain. Unlike drop handle bars where you can change your hand position, with flat handlebars your hands will always be held in one position.

WHEEL SIZE

A wheel described in inches is typically a mountain bike (27.5” or 29”), and one described with either a B or C is typically a road/gravel bike (650B or 700c). 27.5” and 650B are the same size, 700c and 29” are the same size.

The main difference is that a mountain bike style wheel (27.5” and 29”) has the ability to fit a wider tire, while the 650B or 700c road bike style can usually only fit a skinnier tire. This will determine whether you will be able to ride on rough terrain (mountain bike) or need to stay on smoother roads (road bike).

READ MORE

For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

About The Author

Fiona Morris is a writer, marketing consultant, cyclist and coffee addict, based in Bright, Victoria. Living in the cycling mecca of Australia, she is a keen mountain biker, road rider and loves hitting the gravel roads too. Fiona regularly travels the world competing in cyclocross, exploring new places and trying her best to #livethedream.

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