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The 10 Best Mountain Biking Shorts of 2022

By: Jon Kennedy: Bike Buyer | May 12, 2022

 

If you’ve been mountain biking for a while, but haven’t tried a pair of purpose built mountain bike shorts yet, you owe it to yourself to get into a pair ASAP. Good MTB bike shorts make a world of difference out on the trail. That upgrade comes from three things: fit, materials, and pockets. Mountain bike shorts are designed to fit you comfortably on the bike. That means no seams between you and the saddle, no weird bunching or chafing while you pedal, and enough length to extend over your knee pads. The best mountain bike shorts are made from technical materials that dry quickly, have a little stretch, and are rugged enough to ward off trees and rocks. Finally, good mountain bike shorts will have strategic pockets that are zippered to keep your phone and other gear secure. All of these details make a huge difference out on the trail. 

This collection of the best MTB shorts we’ve found hits every mark on that list. But they’re still a varied bunch, with a style for every type of rider. Like going for long pedaly XC rides? You probably want a lighter and more breathable pair of shorts than your average DH rider. Don’t worry though. We break down the strengths and weaknesses of every short on this list to help you find your next favorite pair.

 


best budget-friendly wetsuits

BN3TH North Shore Chamois

It's fitting that the BN3TH North Shore Chamois are named for the gnarliest trails in history, outside of Vancouver, BC. High humidity and uncomfortable friction events can have horrific consequences, both on your bike and in your shorts. BN3TH aims to protect your future with these, putting a whole lot of thought into a padded liner short. Breathable, protective, stinkfighting, and featuring MyPakage pouch technology, these deserve a ride with you. The BN3TH North Shore is a great addition to any pair of bike shorts, they’ll keep you comfortable and protected all ride long.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$7582% Polyester / 11% Spandex / 7% Ionic+ PolyesterNone

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best budget-friendly wetsuits

Endura MT500 Spray

When you're slayin' it, you're sprayin' it! There's really no way to not spray crud from your back tire, but there is a way to defend against it. The Endura MT500 Spray Shorts combine waterproof protection with stretch comfort. Built with 3-layer, seam-taped rear panels, you'll hardly notice the grime hitting your behind. The 4-way stretch front keeps things breezy for the ride ahead, but still has DWR treatment so your thighs get a little extra protection against the elements. The MT500 is a rugged but comfortable short that’s perfect for any ride that you think might get a little damp.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$894-way stretch with DWRZippered Hand Pockets

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Troy Lee Designs Skyline

Troy Lee Designs Skyline

The Troy Lee Designs Skyline Shell Shorts are seriously cool. And we're not just talking about that classic TLD style. These shorts are made with Coolmax fabric for top-notch breathability, and add in a stretch panel at the back to bump the airflow even higher where you need it most. Cinch the low-profile waistband down to the perfect fit, and you'll be blasting up the climbs in maximum comfort. The Skyline shorts are light enough for long XC rides, but rugged enough for long days of shuttling or bike park riding.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$8995% Coolmax® Polyester / 5% LycraZip Front Hand Pockets

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Patagonia Dirt Craft

Patagonia Dirt Craft

The Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts are a fine-tuned short for the rugged rider. Breathable and water-resistant due to an outer short and liner that snap together, these versatile bottoms also feature waist adjustment and stretch for unprecedented comfort and customization on the trail. The Dirt Craft is a durable, stylish short that works as well on the trail as it does at the post-ride bar.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$1594.2-oz 95% Nylon (65% Recycled) / 5% Spandex Stretch2 Hand, 1 Thigh Zipper

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Fox Ranger

Fox Ranger

From the bike park to the pub next to the bike park, the Fox Ranger Shorts can do it all. How can they be so good across the whole spectrum of venues? Must be their comfort, durability, and adjustability. The DWR sheds ranch dressing as well as trail mud. True do-it-alls! The Fox Ranger is a classic for a reason, there aren’t many rides where this short won’t shine.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$84.954.2-oz 95% Nylon (65% Recycled) / 5% Spandex StretchSecured Zip Stash Pocket, Two Zippered Hand Pockets

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Flylow Deckard

Flylow Deckard

"MTB shorts that can climb" is a bold statement, but the Flylow Deckard Short might just be your golden ticket to summertime shredding. The 13.5-inch inseam provides plenty of tough coverage with a bit of stretch and the adjustable waistband with silicone will stick the landing even if you don't. Flylow might be better known for their ski gear, but the Deckard proves that they know what they’re doing when it comes to bike clothing as well.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$90100% Polyester3 Zippered

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Patagonia Dirt Roamer

Patagonia Dirt Roamer

We love the denim jorts vibe, but sometimes you need a little more protection. The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts offer more coverage without feeling stuffy, so you can ride hard through hot summer days. Recycled polyester and spandex fabric is stretchy and breathable and the contoured silhouette follows the natural shape of your body for an articulated, performance-oriented fit. They integrate seamlessly with any of Patagonia's liners too, so you can customize your level of protection for before-work laps or Whole Enchiladas. The Dirt Roamer does a great job of marrying casual styling and technical performance into an all-round great package.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$119 4-oz 90-Denier 86% Recycled Polyester / 14% SpandexTwo zippered, pass-through pockets

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Fox Ranger Lite

Fox Ranger Lite

Find versatility and performance in warmer weather conditions with the Fox Ranger Lite Shorts. Equipped with technical stretch fabric, these shorts offer great mobility as well as a 2-layer removable padded liner for added comfort on the trail. Plus, the casual look means you don't have to be tearing up the trail to get as much use as possible out of this summertime staple.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$79.9594% Nylon / 6% ElastaneTwo Hand Pockets

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Dakine Syncline

Dakine Syncline

Built for all-mountain durability, the Dakine Syncline Shorts are versatile enough to be worn on the trail and in the park. This classic shell is roomy enough to reach pads or cover a chamois, and 4-way stretch construction will keep you moving all day long. Long, short, fast or slow, the Dakine Syncline Shorts are an easy choice rides of any length. The Syncline integrates perfectly with Dakine’s knee pads, and their zippered thigh pocket keeps your essentials handy.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$7092% Nylon / 8% SpandexZippered Thigh Pocket, Front Hand Pockets

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Mons Royale Virage

Mons Royale Virage

The MONS ROYALE Virage Shorts are rugged, breathable, and ergonomic shell shorts for taking on mountain trails. They're made from Stretch Wool Cordura fabric, which is basically a Greatest Hits album of various technical fabrics. You've got hits like: "So Stretchy, So Comfy," from Elastane, "Tough as Nails," by Recycled Polyester, and everyone's favorite "Still Don't Stink," by acclaimed artist Merino Wool. Get the band back together and jam down the singletrack. The Virage is a simple, high performing short that gets the job done.

Original PriceMaterialPockets
$150136 g/m² 81% Recycled Polyester / 14% Merino Wool / 5% ElastaneZipped Pocket for Valuables

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Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jon Kennedy

Jon is a Bike Buyer and joined evo in 2015 to help launch the category. He has a long tenure in the bike industry bringing over 20 years of experience.

Jon was formerly the Marketing Manager for Diamondback bikes and was the Executive Director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance prior to that. His broad experience in the bike industry from the brand, advocacy and retail side has contributed to a well-rounded understanding of trends, needs and opportunities.

Jon grew up in the Seattle area and currently resides there with his wife Ilana, kids Erez and Lilah, and his Boston Terrier Marley. He is a daily rider packing countless miles in every year, loves all disciplines, and simply considers himself a cyclist… a title he embraces with great passion.