Mountain Biking

Three Decidedly Durable Pairs of MTB Shorts [Review] –

While the warm season is a ways off for many of us living in Earth’s northern half, finding solid riding gear is an ongoing affair. There are loads of robustly-built shorts out there for shoulder season shreds and outings where pants are not quite the right answer. Who wants to let the weather tell them when they can show a stripe of calf skin anyway?

I have ridden in three notably thick and tough pairs of shorts this autumn and early winter to find out how they feel in the colder months. The details below are organized from the lightest to the heaviest offering. You may note that this is not the least expensive set of half-pants we have reviewed, and that’s thanks to the materials and methods used to create them and their higher level of protection and durability with respect to many wallet-friendlier options.

Kitsbow Origin Shorts

This Kitsbow riding flannel will be reviewed soon as well.

I remember a dirt-curious roadie friend asking me once “is there a Rapha of mountain biking? Like, a brand that makes really classy looking gear that you could wear to a cyclist’s wedding?” To which I replied, “why there is, in fact, and it’s a US based brand called Kitsbow.” According to a news release on, Kitsbow recently moved its US factory to North Carolina, where it will double its US production, with “plans to get 95% of its revenue from products made in the U.S. by 2021.” If the environmental regulations and fair labor practices that often accompany a “Made in USA” label are important purchasing factors for you, check out the goods on

While they are the lightest weight pair in this sturdy roundup, the Origin Shorts are by no means a featherweight summer selection. Their heavy woven nylon fabric is double stitched along the inner and outer seams, and the spots that typically wear through are still looking great after a few months of riding and washing.

The four zippered pockets employ solid YKK zippers with bright blue nylon tethers to make them easier to pull with gloved hands, and the pocket liners are all perforated for ventilation as the days grow warmer. The two front hip pockets are roughly the size of a large-glove-wearing hand, while the side hip stuffers have space for a smaller cell phone or snack on either flank.

  • MSRP: $155
  • 300g
  • Colors: grey only
  • 4-way stretch woven nylon