Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts ReviewJuly 15, 2018
- Only available in black
The Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts has a relaxed and articulated fit. Our tested size small offered a good balance between enough room for comfort and not too baggy that they feel heavy. An internal waist adjustment accommodates smaller waists for an outstanding fit.
The inseam on the size small runs nine inches and hits testers on our team mid-thigh when seated. The legs are slightly tapered but are short enough to accommodate knee pads.
The Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts offer outstanding features. They have two hand pockets that are moderately deep and secured with Velcro and handy lightweight webbing loops for easy access. There is also a zippered pocket on the rear that can hold items that need to be secured, such as a key. However, it is not very deep and did not hold a smartphone. Each thigh has zippered vents which worked well.
External Velcro waist adjustments tabs cinch in the waistband to assure minimal back gap and a comfortable fit with no bunching or puckering at the waist. The wide-panel construction of the waistband provides a comfortable low-rise in the front to reduce volume and a higher rise in the back for excellent low back coverage. A Lycra stretch panel runs across the upper back and at the top of the hip bones to allow for good stretch, breathability and range of motion. The fly is secured with a zipper that we felt was on the chintzy side and not very glove-friendly. The nine-inch inseam on the size small accommodates knee pads but only because the legs end at the top of the kneepads. We found that the shorter legs had a tendency to ride up.
Made of highly breathable, lightweight, stretch woven fabric with a DWR finish for water resistance, the Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts also come with four points of reflective elements for riding after dark.
Showers Pass is known for making quality outerwear and the Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts are no exception. Although we did not experience any crashes, the medium-weight stretch fabric will very likely to hold up during low-impact crashes, skids or contact with grabby flora. The Gravel shorts are treated with DWR for water-resistance and the double stitching is tight and with a heavy thread but could be more precise and straight.
The Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts’ medium-weight stretch fabric is durable with a tight weave and will lend itself well in protecting leg skin on low-impact crashes. Although the shorter nine-inch inseam on the size small will allow the cyclist to wear kneepads, we found that they left a large part of leg skin exposed. Cyclists who ride technical singletrack at higher speeds may want to consider a longer short, such as the Pearl Izumi Launch.
The Showers Pass Women’s Gravel Shorts are excellent for all-mountain, enduro and even urban riding. The shorter nine-inch inseam on the size small does not restrict mobility and were comfortable thanks to the relaxed fit through the rear and hips, low-rise in front, quick-drying fabric, zippered thigh vents and a Lycra stretch panel runs across the upper back and at the top of the hip bones to allow for good stretch, breathability and range of motion.
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, singletrack in temperatures ranging from the low 40’s to the mid-90’s and on distances that ranged from six miles to 56. Our testing team did not intentionally set out to test the durability of each pair of shorts in a crash. Instead, to judge the shorts’ ability to withstand impact, they scrutinized their construction materials, the weight of the fabric and the stitching. Though, there may have been some crashes anyway.
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.