The Top 5 Best MTB Shorts for Comfort, Durability, and Style

The Top 5 Best MTB Shorts for Comfort, Durability, and Style

Mountain biking is an exhilarating outdoor activity that requires proper gear, including MTB shorts. These shorts are designed to provide comfort, durability, and protection to riders. They are made of high-quality materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of mountain biking. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 MTB shorts that are perfect for any rider.

Rapha MTB Trail Shorts

Rapha is a beloved brand in the cycling world, revered by both professional and recreational riders alike. Their MTB-specific trail shorts are a prime example of their top-notch aesthetics and materials. These premium shorts are available in both men’s and women’s versions, and boast a fit that will outlast most items in your wardrobe.

Crafted from a blend of 88% Nylon and 12% Elastane, the material is not only comfortable but also Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified, ensuring it is free from harsh chemicals and supplied by sustainable manufacturers. Although the shorts are relatively expensive, the extra standards justify the cost and support better practices in the cycling textile industry.

The tapered silhouette of the shorts is designed to pair perfectly with knee pads, and there are two long zips on either side for easy access to the pockets. The shorts also come with adhesive repair patches in case of any small rips on the trail, although the fabric is exceptionally sturdy.

The women’s shorts feature a quality elastic waistband for a snug fit, while the men’s shorts include belt loops and a cinch system, as well as two additional open-hand pockets. For style-conscious riders who demand superior performance, these shorts are a reliable choice.

Yeti Cycles Turq Dot Air Shorts

If you can afford it, the Turq Dot Air shorts from Yeti Cycle are extremely comfortable and fashionable enough to wear all day. Constructed with DWR-coated polyester, they’re engineered to efficiently guide airflow from the front to the back to maintain a cool and aerodynamic feel.

The adjustable waistband comes with a silicone grip that keeps everything secure once you’ve found the perfect fit. The shorts are not only comfortable but also durable, and come with two zippered pockets to store your phone and other essentials.

Endura Women’s MT500 Spray Shorts II

The MT500 Spray Shorts II from Endura are the perfect choice for cycling in unpredictable weather, especially during transitional seasons, thanks to their waterproof rear panels and DWR-treated fabric.

These women’s mountain bike shorts have a superb fit, with a contoured hem that pairs perfectly with knee pads and a comfortable waistband that can be easily adjusted with Velcro tabs.

While the branding on the shorts may be too bold for some, when it comes to staying dry in inclement weather, the Spray Shorts II are unbeatable.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts

Explore Patagonia with ease in the minimalistic bike shorts that are lightweight and quick-drying. The Dirt Roamer is designed with four-way stretch and moisture-wicking fabric to ensure maximum comfort. The latest version of these shorts is longer, roomier, and more comfortable than ever before. With an articulated fit, adjustable waistband, and welded seams, these 12.5-inch shorts will provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride while reducing extra weight.

Norrøna Fjora Flex1 Short

The Norrøna Fjora Flex1 is a highly durable and protective pair of shorts. The fabric is reinforced and articulated, particularly around the knees which are covered when riding. Although the construction may be considered excessive for everyday use, it is the perfect choice for long rides in variable conditions, such as our self-supported 142-mile Kokopelli Trail ride, which included scorching sun and intermittent rain.

The waistband of these shorts is higher than others, providing added protection and comfort for the lower back, particularly when carrying a heavy backpack on a long journey. Additionally, two front-facing zippers on the legs allow for air ventilation during the ride. The integrated Velcro belt is wide, substantial and helps to tighten the shorts, particularly when worn on consecutive days.


For mountain bikers, having a pair of MTB shorts is crucial. The top 5 MTB shorts mentioned here offer riders with both comfort and protection, while being durable. Regardless of whether you’re new to mountain biking or a seasoned pro, these shorts will undoubtedly improve your experience on the trails.

How to Choose the Perfect MTB Shorts for Your Next Adventure

Mountain biking is an exciting and thrilling adventure sport that requires the right gear to ensure comfort, safety, and performance. One of the most important pieces of gear for any mountain biker is the MTB shorts. These shorts are specifically designed to provide comfort, flexibility, and durability during a ride. However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right MTB shorts can be a daunting task. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect MTB shorts for your next adventure.


The first and foremost factor to consider while choosing MTB shorts is the material. The material of the shorts should be breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking to ensure comfort and prevent chafing. The most commonly used materials for MTB shorts are polyester, nylon, and spandex. Polyester is lightweight, durable, and quick-drying, while nylon is more abrasion-resistant and durable. Spandex provides flexibility and stretchability, making it ideal for shorts that require a snug fit. Look for shorts made of a combination of these materials to ensure a perfect balance of comfort and durability.


The fit of the MTB shorts is crucial for comfort and performance. The shorts should fit snugly but not too tight, allowing for freedom of movement and flexibility. The waistband should be adjustable and secure, preventing the shorts from slipping down during a ride. The length of the shorts should be long enough to cover the thighs and prevent chafing but short enough to allow for maximum movement and airflow. Look for shorts with a gusseted crotch, which provides additional flexibility and comfort.


Mountain biking can be a bumpy and rough ride, which can cause discomfort and pain in the saddle area. To prevent this, MTB shorts come with padding, also known as chamois. The padding is strategically placed to provide cushioning and support to the sit bones, reducing pressure and friction. Look for shorts with high-quality padding that is thick enough to provide comfort but not too bulky to affect movement. The padding should also be breathable and moisture-wicking to prevent sweat buildup.


Mountain biking involves rough terrain, dirt, and debris, which can take a toll on your gear. Therefore, MTB shorts should be durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of the sport. Look for shorts with reinforced stitching, durable zippers, and abrasion-resistant materials. The shorts should also be easy to clean and maintain, as they will be exposed to dirt and mud during a ride.


MTB shorts come in various styles and designs, catering to different preferences and needs. Some riders prefer baggy shorts, which provide more room and airflow, while others prefer snug-fitting shorts for aerodynamics and speed. Look for shorts with pockets, which provide storage for essential items such as keys, phone, and snacks. The color and design of the shorts are also a matter of personal preference, so choose a style that reflects your personality and taste.

Choosing the perfect MTB shorts requires careful consideration of several factors, including material, fit, padding, durability, and style. Investing in high-quality MTB shorts will enhance your riding experience, providing comfort, flexibility, and performance. Keep in mind that the perfect MTB shorts may vary from rider to rider, so try on different styles and designs to find the one that suits you best. Happy riding!


What are MTB shorts? 

MTB shorts are specially designed shorts for mountain biking, which are made with durable and breathable materials to provide comfort and protection during rides.

What materials are MTB shorts made of? 

MTB shorts are typically made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon, which are lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying.

What features should I look for in MTB shorts? 

Some key features to look for in MTB shorts include a comfortable fit, moisture-wicking fabric, durable construction, ample pockets, and adjustable waistband.

Should I wear padded shorts for mountain biking? 

Padded shorts can provide added comfort and protection during long rides, so they are a popular choice for many mountain bikers. However, they are not necessary for everyone and ultimately come down to personal preference.

Can I wear regular shorts for mountain biking? 

While you can wear regular shorts for mountain biking, they may not provide the same level of comfort and protection as MTB shorts. Regular shorts may also be more prone to tearing or snagging on branches or rocks.

What is the difference between baggy and tight MTB shorts? 

Baggy MTB shorts are looser fitting and provide more room for movement, while tight MTB shorts are form-fitting and provide more compression and support. Both types of shorts can be suitable for mountain biking depending on personal preference.

How do I choose the right size MTB shorts? 

To choose the right size MTB shorts, you should measure your waist and hips and compare them to the size chart provided by the manufacturer. It’s also a good idea to try on different sizes and styles to find the most comfortable fit.

How do I care for my MTB shorts? 

Most MTB shorts can be machine washed with cold water and mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, and hang dry or tumble dry on low heat.

Can I wear MTB shorts for other activities besides mountain biking? 

Yes, MTB shorts can be worn for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or trail running. They are designed to be versatile and durable for all types of outdoor adventures.

Are MTB shorts expensive? 

The price of MTB shorts can vary depending on the brand, style, and features. Some basic MTB shorts can be found for as little as $30, while high-end models can cost upwards of $200.

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