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The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024

Hit the trails with the best women's mountain bike shorts. From ultra-comfy chamois to ride-ready bike shorts, these picks will get you ready to ride.

Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing mountain bike shorts; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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There’s nothing more annoying than a pair of ill-fitting bike shorts. You want to be able to focus on the ride, not fight with your shorts. Lady shredders used to have to make do with a pair of shrunken men’s shorts, but those days are long gone.

We’re happy to report that there is now a wide variety of cycling shorts made specifically for women. We’ve been riding trails across the U.S., including lots of miles in Oregon and Colorado with test notes from skilled riders, newbies, and professional mountain bikers.

And while there isn’t a single pair of shorts that works for every body and riding style, we’ve included a variety of options. Below, you’ll find the best shorts and chamois that will make hitting the trails that much more fun. Get ready to suit up and ride out.

For more information about women’s mountain bike shorts and the various design features to consider, check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ. Also, have a look at our comparison chart to steer your decision-making. Otherwise, we divided this list into useful categories so you can easily find the best women’s mountain bike shorts for your needs.

Editor’s Note: We updated our Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts guide on November 22, 2023, to confirm each review has the most up-to-date information.

The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024

Best Overall Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Shredly MTB Short


  • Inseam Varies by size, falls above knee (size 4 is 10.5″, for example.)
  • Pockets 2 front pockets, 1 zippered pocket, 1 snap-closure pocket
  • Liner Not included
  • Material Recycled polyester-spandex blend
  • Waistband Elasticized with mid-rise zipper and double-snap closure
  • Size range XS-3XL (00-24)
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Unique, eye-catching patterns
  • Waistband moves with you and doesn’t bunch or open on-the-go
  • Large size range with tailored inseam lengths


  • Not the warmest or longest short if you need more protection from cold weather, the elements, or brush
Best Budget Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Patagonia Endless Ride Liner & Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts


  • Inseam 12.5″
  • Pockets 1 zippered pocket
  • Liner Not included
  • Material 90-denier recycled polyester and spandex with DWR finish
  • Waistband Button with adjustable elastic closure for customized tension
  • Size range 0-18
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Seamless, streamlined design
  • Stretchy, comfortable fabric
  • Shorts and chamois are designed for compatibility


  • Not many pockets
Runner-Up Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Wild Rye Freel Shorts


  • Inseam 12″
  • Pockets 3
  • Liner No
  • Material 4-way stretch nylon (88% nylon, 12% spandex)
  • Waistband Not adjustable
  • Size range 0-18
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Comfort and style
  • Great pocket placement
  • Durable


  • Not adjustable at the waist
Best Extra-Long Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Norrøna Fjora Flex1 Short


  • Inseam 15″
  • Pockets 2 zippered hand pockets, a spacious thigh pocket with an interior tiny mesh pocket
  • Liner Not included
  • Material Synthetic blend with wind and water resistance plus 50% recycled fibers
  • Waistband Higher-reach to cover up backside, double snap and zip closure plus an integrated wide Velcro belt
  • Size range XS-XL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Premium coverage for top protection against the elements
  • Great choice for long rides or bikepacking


  • Some riders might find the length too much
Best Minimalist Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Pearl Izumi Prospect 2/1 Short With Liner


  • Inseam 6″
  • Pockets Drop-in pockets in liner
  • Liner Yes, removable
  • Material Recycled polyester and spandex shell; recycled polyester, elastane, and polyester liner
  • Waistband Wide, elastic
  • Size range XS-XXL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Simple
  • Great price
  • Multi-use design for using at the gym, park, or around town


  • Not the best coverage for rugged rides
  • No exterior pockets is a downside for certain riders
Best Chamois for Women



  • Inseam Unavailable
  • Pockets N/A
  • Liner N/A
  • Material Pad (polyamide and elastane)
  • Waistband Wide
  • Size range 00-24
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Wide waistband rests comfortably on hips
  • Anti-microbial pad


  • Riders that don’t prefer a compression fit, size up
  • Pricier than budget options
Best of the Rest

Wild Rye Kaweah


  • Inseam 12″
  • Pockets 2 hand pockets and 1 low-down zippered pocket
  • Liner None
  • Material Stretch polyester and spandex
  • Waistband Zipper and two snaps, wide
  • Size range 0-18
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Lower price yet still durable
  • Comfortable, thick fabric


  • Phone pocket is down lower on the leg, and heavy items tend to swing around

Club Ride Eden Shorts


  • Inseam 7″
  • Pockets 5
  • Liner Yes, chamois included
  • Material 89% polyester, 11% spandex
  • Waistband Adjustable
  • Size range XS-XL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Lightweight
  • Reflective touches
  • Chamois is removable


  • Not the most durable
  • Fit too small/short for some

Norrøna Fjora Heavy Duty MTB Shorts


  • Inseam 12″
  • Pockets 3
  • Liner Not included
  • Material 91% recycled nylon, 9% elastane UPF 50+ fabric
  • Waistband Wider, high-waisted fit with double snap closure, also adjustable
  • Size range XS-XL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Ultra-durable
  • UPF 50+ and PFC-free DWR treatments
  • Side zipper for venting is awesome


  • Not as much stretch as other shorts
  • Pricey

Velocio Trail Short (With Trail Mesh Bib Liner)


  • Inseam 11″
  • Pockets 2 zippered pockets
  • Liner Not included
  • Material Polyamide and elastane
  • Waistband Zipper and button closure plus integrated, streamlined belt to snug up fit
  • Size range XXS-XXXL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Broad size range
  • Super lightweight


  • Pricier choice

Liv Passo Baggy Shorts


  • Inseam 12″
  • Pockets 5 pockets
  • Liner Removable chamois liner included
  • Material TransTextura 4-way stretch
  • Waistband Moderate width, double-snap closure, and zipper plus Velcro strap adjustment and belt loops
  • Size range XS-XL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Ample pocket options
  • Built-out waistband with options for a Velcro adjustment or belt loops


  • Not streamlined enough for some riders

Shredly Biker Cham


  • Inseam 7″
  • Pockets Yes, two! They’re large, also
  • Liner Serving as the liner, the pad ranges from 2 mm to 14 mm thick in targeted zones
  • Material Buttery nylon-spandex, OEKO-TEX 100 Certified
  • Waistband High-reaching waistband-free
  • Size Range XS-3XL
The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts of 2024


  • Beautiful chamois that you can feel good wearing solo or under shorts
  • Extremely comfortable waist-free high-reaching upper
  • Fabric is super soft and stretchy


  • Lengthier than other chamois if you prefer a short reach
fabric and pocket detail on the Kitsbow Madrone Short
Detail on the Kitsbow Madrone Short; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Women’s Bike Shorts Comparison Chart

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Inseam, Pockets, Liner, Material.

Bike ShortsPriceInseamPocketsLinerMaterial
Shredly MTB Short$108Varies by size, falls above the knee2 front, 1 zippered, 1 snapNoRecycled polyester-spandex blend
Wild Rye Freel Shorts$12912″3NoFour-way stretch nylon
Patagonia Endless Ride Liner & Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts$100-12912.5″ (Dirt Roamer)1 zipperedNo90-denier recycled polyester and spande
Norrøna Fjora Flex1 Short$14915″2 zippered, 1 thigh pocket with interior mesh pocketNoSynthetic blend with wind and water resistance
Pearl Izumi Prospect 2/1 Short With Liner$756″Drop-in pockets in linerYes, removableRecycled polyester and spandex shell
Shredly YOGACHAM$78N/AN/AN/APad (polyamide and elastane)
Wild Rye Kaweah$9912″2 front, 1 low down zipperedNoStretch polyester and spandex
Club Ride Eden Shorts$1007″5Yes89% polyester, 11% spandex
Norrøna Fjora Heavy Duty MTB Shorts$17912″3No91% recycled nylon, 9% elastane
Velocio Trail Short (With Trail Mesh Bib Liner)$16911″2 zipperedNoPolyamide and elastane
Liv Passo Baggy Shorts$10012″5Yes, removableTransTextura 4-way stretch
Shredly Biker Cham
$987″2YesButtery nylon-spandex, OEKO-TEX 100 Certified

 How We Tested Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing the Shredly MTB Short in the Southwest; (photo/Eric Phillips)

The GearJunkie testing team is made up of amateur to expert road cyclists, bikepackers, mountain bikers, and racers. We’ve ridden cross-country and steep alpine trails all over the West, including in competitions, while bikepacking across the Rockies and on self-supported trips like the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail.

Women’s mountain bike shorts are essential for staying comfortable while in motion and loading the bikes, hanging out with friends, or setting up camp after covering miles. Over the years, we’ve tested many different mountain bike shorts, and this list comprises the best of the best.

To point, Senior Editor Morgan Tilton has tested mountain bike shorts for close to 320 miles of rides with 47,000 feet of ascent/descent in 2023 alone. Aside from testing bike gear, she helps manage the gear-testing flock.

While testing women’s mountain bike shorts in the field, we assessed durability, overall fit, ease of movement, protection, fabric feel, breathability, and functionality. We’ve tested shorts while pedaling in blustery wind, intense sun, rain, and hail storms from close-to-town singletrack to distant backcountry tundra.

Beyond our team’s experience, we also considered the most popular, highly rated, acclaimed, and bestselling shorts on the market as well as a broad range of price points, features, and styles to meet the needs of various types of bikers.

mountain bike shorts
Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing mountain bike shorts on a ride in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts


One of the first pieces of advice we give first-time riders is to go out and purchase a pair of shorts with a good chamois. It’s the single most important (and often overlooked) piece of gear that will make or break your ride.

After all, we are talking about your butt here! If you’ve ever experienced a saddle sore, you know what we’re talking about. And if you haven’t, let’s try to keep it that way with some of our favorite shorts.

Pronounced SHAM-mee, the chamois is the pad that is sewn into a cycling short to protect the groin area against the saddle. The chamois is constructed with a pad that has cushioned foam with a range of densities — some designs offer more cushion than others. Typically, the materials also wick moisture and are soft.

In mountain bike shorts, the chamois can be integrated into the short, but often the chamois is integrated into a short, tight-fitting liner worn beneath the exterior bike shorts. Even if a short doesn’t have a chamois, it most likely is gusseted at the crotch to allow for comfort and stretch in the saddle.

Wearing a chamois instead of regular underwear also eliminates seams, which can rub and cause chafing.

Author Mary Murphy wearing the Club Ride Eden Shorts while gravel biking
Mountain bike shorts range in length from upper thigh to below the knee; (photo/Katie Botwin)


As the price goes up on mountain bike shorts, part of that tag is covering the upgrade of more premium materials.

To point, the Norrøna Fjora Flex and Norrøna Fjora Heavy Duty have a tough, stretchy fabric made from a synthetic blend that offers wind and water resistance, plus it features 50% recycled fibers and a PFC-free DWR. The Shredly MTB Short feels softer and lighter — it’s made with a recycled polyester-spandex blend and costs less.

The Wild Rye Freel is constructed with a WR Duraflex Nylon (88% nylon, 12% spandex), which is tough against reachy trailside branches. Comparatively, the Wild Rye Kaweah is made with the WR Bomber Stretch Poly (90% polyester, 10% spandex), a blend that is still durable but not as tough and at a lower price point ($99 versus $124).

woman riding bike while testing mountain bike shorts
Some mountain bike shorts are svelte with no pockets while others have two hand pockets or longer side pockets; (photo/Eric Phillips)


A range of waistband designs exist, and they are unique for each short. What’s most important is that the waistband doesn’t fold over or pop open or pinch your lower stomach while you lean forward on your bike.

It’s also nice to have a waistband with adjustability so you can forgo a belt but tighten your shorts up as needed, especially if the ride is particularly long, sweat-ridden, or rainy.

Among the most minimalist waistband design is the Pearl Izumi Prospect 2/1 Short, which has a wide, stretchy elastic band that slides easily up and down — no fuss at all. The Velocio Trail Short also has a narrower waistband that’s sleek, but with a zipper and slide-in button plus an integrated slender belt to help tighten up the waist.

With a moderate waistband, the Wild Rye shorts have a double-snap, zip closure, and wide width that’s stretchy plus belt loops if you decide to go that route.

For the most adjustability, you can reach for the Norrøna Fjora Flex or Liv Passo Baggy Shorts, both of which have double-snap closures with a zipper. The Passo features belt loops plus an integrated Velcro belt, so you can switch it up.

The Fjora does not have belt loops, but the integrated Velcro belt is wide compared to the other designs we’ve selected, and the backside of the band is higher-waisted. Consider reaching for a higher or wide waistband if you wear a hip pack or backpack while on a ride, too.

Some riders wear chamois beneath mountain bike shorts while others opt not to; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Pockets can be helpful for a spot to quickly stuff your ride gloves on a snack break or to warm up your hands while tailgating. Other pockets secured with a zipper can be a good spot to hold a phone or credit card, while pockets with a snap closure can be a nice place for a snack bar.

Some mountain bike short designs come with minimal pockets like the Pearl Izumi Prospect 2/1 Short, which doesn’t have a pocket in the exterior shell (there’s only a slide-in pocket with no zipper in the removable interior liner). Other shorts offer tons of pocket options like the Liv Passo Baggy Shorts, which have two back pockets, two side pockets, and an additional pocket with a zip closure.

Most shorts offer something in-between with an average of three pockets like the Wild Rye Kaweah, which has two hand pockets and one low-down zippered pocket.

In a well-constructed upgrade, the Shredly MTB Short now features a zippered pocket and the placement is higher on the thigh to help remove the jostle of a phone while you pedal. In contrast, many zippered pockets on other shorts are down lower on the leg and inevitably swing around while you ride.

The more waterproof a mountain bike short is, the less breathable the material is; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Inseam Length 

The best inseam length comes down to personal preference, the type of ride you want to do, and the elements you’ll be in. If you’re going on a long ride in sunny, exposed (as in, no tree coverage or shade) terrain, consider wearing longer shorts to protect the tops of your legs from getting sunburned.

Longer shorts can also protect the side of the legs from thick brush or tree branches or insects if you’re riding in a buggy area or on a wild, unkempt trail.

If you’re bikepacking or alpine riding on steep slopes and getting on and off your bike, the longer fabric can also help protect your legs from getting scraped up.

The inseam lengths of the women’s mountain bike shorts in our guide range from 6 inches to 15 inches with 9 to 12 inches being the sweet spot for most trail rides.

Then, with finely tailored inseams to various female body shapes, Shredly offers an adjusted inseam length for each design and each size within that design. For instance, the Curvy 7-inch short has a 7-inch inseam across all sizes, whereas the MTB Short, featured among our top picks, has a different inseam length across the sizes:

  • XS (00): 9.75″
  • XS (0): 10″
  • S (2): 10.25″
  • S (4): 10.5″
  • M (6): 10.75″
  • M (8): 11″
  • L (10): 11.25″
  • XL-3XL (12-24): 11.5″
Extra-long mountain bike shorts can help protect your legs from sunshine, rain, wind, vegetation, or in the event of a crash; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Fit and Size Range

Most brands offer a size run from at least size 0 to size 18.

Velocio offers an even broader size range (XXS-3XL). More specifically, the Velocio XXS fits a 22- to 24-inch waist and 31.5- to 33.5-inch hip size. In contrast, Wild Rye, for instance, starts at a size 0, which fits a 25.5-inch waist and 36.5-inch hip.

Shredly also offers a greater variety of sizes with a 00 to 24 size run (XS-3XL), which starts at a 24-inch waist and 33-inch hips and goes up to a 43-inch waist and 52-inch hips. Kitsbow’s shorts also offer a much broader size range with waist sizes from 26-37 inches. 

Be sure to double-check the size chart for each pair of shorts you consider buying, and to measure yourself before making an order or stop by a retailer to try on a pair first. Mountain bike short sizes and the precise measurements for each size are not universal and differ across brands.


Most women’s mountain bike shorts hover around $100. That includes Kaweah ($99), Passo ($100), Club Ride Eden Shorts ($100), and Shredly MTB Short ($108) in our guide.

Mountain bike shorts with a more premium construction that’s even tougher against the elements and a beatdown include the Wild Rye Freel Shorts ($124), Norrøna Fjora Flex ($139), Velocio Trail Short ($169), and Kitsbow Madrone Short ($169).

It can be challenging to find great-fitting, well-made mountain bike shorts below $100, but a couple of our top choices include the Prospect ($75) and Dirt Roamer ($59-99).

riding mountain bikes
Senior Editor Morgan Tilton wearing Wild Rye shorts on a bikepacking trip; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Why are women’s mountain bike shorts so long?

The easy answer is coverage. When you’re riding a bike, no matter the bike or your riding level, the last thing you want is fabric that rides up, rides down, or doesn’t provide enough coverage or protection.

When you bike in the mountains, desert, or other environments, you’ll want skin coverage and protection against the elements, including sunshine (even your legs can get burned!), wind, rain, or hail. The further you venture out from a trailhead and the higher in elevation you go, the more likely you are to get stuck in a variety of conditions (with no quick bailouts), and the exposure becomes stronger such as being closer to the sun.

You’ll also want skin protection against abrasive vegetation on the side of the trail. Whether you’re blazing narrow singletrack that is surrounded by lush wildflower fields or scratchy bushes, you’ll be glad when your epidermis is not exposed.

Factor in that you may want a nice supportive or padded liner underneath, and longer shorts are the way to go. We’ve tested a slew of shorts that range in length from 6 to 15 inches on the inseam.

What are the best padded MTB shorts?

Some of our favorite mountain bike shorts on this list that come with a chamois (a padded liner to protect the groin area when riding) are the Patagonia Dirt Roamer with Endless Ride liner and the Live Baggy Shorts.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for even more support, consider buying whatever shorts suit you best and adding your own chamois. (Many shorts here that have liners are removable for this purpose and for washing.)

If you’re looking for a short that has a thicker, supportive fabric, check out the Wild Rye Freel or Kitsbow Madrone on this list above.

What should I look for in mountain bike shorts?

The best mountain bike shorts, our testers found, were the ones that offered a comfortable and supportive fit, work with a liner or no liner, and are durable, breathable, and can hold up to weather like water and wind.

When it comes to the features of mountain bike shorts, like inseam length or number of pockets, this is personal preference but is also influenced by the conditions you’ll be riding in, the surrounding conditions and environment, and the duration of the majority of your rides.

Our testers preferred having at least one pocket with a secure closure, and either adjustability or an elastic stretch component in the waist. They also generally prefer shorts that fall just above the knee but for certain objectives, the ultra-long lengths are better — like longer bikepacking trips in harsh sunlight.

Why do mountain bikers wear baggy shorts?

The fit of mountain bike shorts overall is generally baggier than you are probably used to. Similar to running shorts, the reasoning for this is range of motion. You don’t want to feel too constricted while you are pedaling and moving around on your bike.

Mountain bike shorts are also typically thicker fabric for durability, and a looser fit means more comfort as well. Especially since many riders choose to wear a liner, or chamois, underneath their shorts. Outside of bagginess, shorts come in a variety of fits and lengths — some of our favorites with a more relaxed fit include the Liv Passo Baggy Shorts or Norrøna Fjora Shorts

There are some reasons for choosing more athletic or fitting shorts for mountain biking though: one is preference, one is sizing (for example, if your hips are much wider than your thighs or vice versa), and one is environment. Where you are riding plays a role.

If the majority of the time you mountain bike in sandy and dusty desert environments, you may prefer to go with a slimmer short — or a longer short like the Dirt Roamer — over a chamois.

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