Kitsbow Women's A/M Softshell Short - Review

Jun 26, 2014
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Kitsbow Soft Shell AM Short

The Kitsbow Women's Soft Shell A/M Shorts are all about details details details.


Kitsbow Women's Softshell A/M Short

By now most readers will know that Kitsbow means business when it comes to making quality garments. Although based in Marin, CA the company's quest to create quality product has them producing their clothing in Vancouver, BC, with carefully sourced materials being procured from both Swtizerland and Italy. The Women's A/M Softshell short is the company's answer to a women's specific mountain bike short. Constructed from Schoeller-dryskin, which is made from a mixture of polyester and elastine, the shorts are intended to be highly durable and abrasion resistant whilst still being a pliable fabric that will move with your body as you ride and the DWR finish to the material sheds moisture in order to keep you dry when things get wet on the trails. The shorts are available in two fits, straight cut and curved (pictured here) and come in 9 different sizes so that a large spectrum of body types are catered to. Other features include the Italian made RiRi locking slider snap, that slides the shorts to a close in the front, rather than snapping together and reverse engineered pockets which means that anything that goes in them sits on your rear, rather than in front of your hip flexors. The back of the short legs are unique in that they are tapered so that they don't brush against your calves whilst riding and the inseam breaks where your knees naturally bend. The tall quilted waistband at the back is intended to help wick moisture away from the area whilst remaining ventilated. Price: $269 USD. kitsbow.com


Kitsbow

Who wears short shorts? The scallop cut at the back of the leg is a nice feature, no brushing of the calves to be found here.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes On first inspection of these shorts it's quite apparent that the detail and thought that has gone into their construction should categorize them comfortably as technical wear, rather than that of regular mtb freeride/enduro/hucker wear. When putting the shorts on we first noticed just how closely they fit. When Kitsbow states that the A/M's are a tailored fit, they really mean it, with the cut of the short highlighting womanly curves rather than blanketing them with boyish cuts which can sometimes be the case. The Schoeller Dryskin fabric feels quite durable from the outside, but the soft brushing inside and the malleability of the material meant that we didn't feel restricted by the close quarters at all. The length of the shorts are very, well - short. If you are used to wearing trail riding shorts, you might feel a little naked when donning a pair of Kitsbow's for the first time. However, this is met with a slight feeling of liberation upon hitting the trails as the shorter length of the legs means there's no snagging on seats or levers, and the high cut outs on the back of the legs mean that you are no longer wondering if it's your shorts that are brushing your calves or some unwanted local insect. One thing were were surprised by in the curve fit is just how high the waist is; it's really high, but after riding in the shorts several times, we could see the reasoning behind the design. The high cut sits neatly under the diaphragm, so that when tackling steep climbing, breathing is not cut off and there is no restriction of a lower set waistband strangling away at the stomach. The real kicker of the high waist though is that there is no chance of any unwanted worker's cleavage being displayed. Ever. Another feature we liked was the sliding snap lock at the front of the short that prevented the buttons from popping out mid pedal stroke and we also found the backwards set pockets to be much more comfortable than those in our regular riding shorts with items being stowed neatly near the tush rather than bulking up around the hip flexors.

For anyone interested in purchasing a pair of Kitsbow A/M's online we would highly recommend reading the sizing chart carefully, with 9 different sizes and two different cuts available it took us two goes to get into the right pair. At $269 USD these shorts come with a price tag and a design that may not appeal to everyone. Although undoubtedly comfortable and exceptionally constructed, we weren't in love with the style of the short, but that's not to say the understated look and design won't work for others; after all it comes down to a matter of personal style, taste and preference. The way we see it is this: If you are sick of wearing your lycra race kit for casual rides with friends, but don't want to loose any freedom of movement and want to employ a bit of hipster cool - these shorts are for you. If you are used to wearing baggies and you're looking to get a bit more streamlined without making the leap to lycra - these shorts are for you. Just be prepared to show a little leg along the way. - Rachelle Frazer






92 Comments

  • 104 4
 "At $269 USD these shorts come with a price tag and a design that may not appeal to everyone."

I think you mean "anyone" not "everyone". No sane person on earth wants to pay that kind of money for shorts.
  • 16 2
 hahaha... pure nonesense.
  • 4 4
 Assos? Those shorts are also way overpriced, but you still see lots of people wearing them.
  • 17 1
 and they are ugly as sin
  • 27 1
 Let me say it again US$269. For a pair of shorts.
  • 17 0
 My buddy has a pair of shorts like these. Only they are cutoff kahkis.
  • 10 0
 ....and they only cost $49...twelve years ago, before the legs were cut off...
  • 10 3
 I find $69 to be on the high side for shorts, considering that bike shorts don't offer much advantage over a pair of Dickies (and others). Then they went and threw an extra $200 on top of that. This industry can be a funny one sometimes.
  • 7 0
 those look exactly like bad coaches shorts from the 70s.
  • 3 0
 fullbug, exactly. Here they are on a man.

youtu.be/TfcFrY4tY1Y
  • 2 0
 haha. love that movie! did women actually say they wanted to rock a pair of their grandpa's shorts like these?
  • 8 0
 Just throwing it out there....but I would presume that the majority of readers of this site are men, and I would also note that the majority of the commenters on this site complain about the higher priced items that are reviewed...

THEN WHY on this green earth would the PB staff think an article on $270 women's shorts would appeal to this site's fan base? They are just asking for it...
  • 4 0
 Why buy your significant other a ring, when you can get an ugly pair of shorts?
  • 5 1
 Come on fellas, if they don't feature these products on the site, how is the staff supposed to get expensive, free gear from the manufacturers??

Although I wonder how many users on this site are women who can afford two buck shorts? hm...
  • 1 0
 it's all in good fun. the price is a non-issue. you can't ooh and ahh about a 10k sled and be put off about $250 apparel but as a matter of opinion they aren't good looking.
  • 4 0
 That price does not include the chamois/liner either. It's $170 for the liner. That would make it $439. Our company is doing work for them, thought "Cool. I'll check them out".. Total shock at the price of a 2 piece short. That's a full Fox kit, jersey, short with liner, helmet, socks, gloves AND a pair of 5-10's. Good luck to them I guess.
  • 1 0
 i bet some of the most expensive towns to be in the US is in Marin county. so..there ya go. that explains 20% of the price.
  • 1 0
 My used rocky Mtn flow cost $250.... Cmon
  • 1 0
 Hahahaha. 200 plus. Hahahaha. Ahhhh, good joke guys. Next. Got a good butt shot though.
  • 1 0
 Oh this whole industry is such a load of shit. What a dumb f*cker I was when I used to waste $$$ on stupid shit like Roach clothing. That & $35 Fox T-shirts were stupid enough for me. These ugliest shorts I've ever seen on a woman's shitter look like an April Fools joke.
  • 1 0
 You should take a look at Maloja, they used to make a Gore-Tex short that was $400. It its that wet should you not be wearing pants and off the trails?
  • 1 0
 (shudder) Those have got to be some of the UGLIEST shorts i've ever seen. Totally mom shorts as someone below pointed out. What's with the ridiculously high waistline - it looks like her a$$ is twice as big as it actually is. Maybe a gift for someone you don't like...
  • 2 0
 This is the 2nd or 3rd review on Kitsbow products I've seen here and the 3rd or 4th time I've seen it on other sites. Almost everyone seems to think the pricing is ridiculous, (which it is) why in the hell do they keep pushing out these reviews? Lets see some clothing reviews on some more reasonable product please.
  • 33 1
 For that price I'd be wanting the girl to fill the shorts too lol
  • 4 1
 ah ah ah ah ah
  • 1 0
 NICE ASS
  • 31 5
 Need more squats.
  • 15 1
 ^Yes. And the "Price: $269 USD"! WTF? What are they smoking?
  • 14 4
 made in china for a buck sold in states for 268 more... I see logic in here- PROFIT
  • 4 2
 I dont think they are made in China. Pretty sure they are made in Canada
  • 5 1
 apologize. you are right. made by TAMODA in Canada,
kitsbow.com/about-us
  • 3 0
 it also says made in Vancouver in the second line.
  • 2 1
 Their outta their fuckin minds , have a clue
  • 2 0
 lol was thinking the same thing! that ain't no biker girl bootie
  • 3 0
 Do everyone a favour and buy yoga shorts...
  • 1 1
 they could sell better with anneke as model.
  • 20 0
 Ok, let's see one single person justify anything near that RRP. And before someone mentions the R and D costs, don't be so bloody stupid, they're shorts.
  • 5 0
 You try making shorts that light! It shaves off some major grams. Not to mention they are the new leg diameter.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, somehow they managed to eliminate all the belt loops without giving up small bump compliance. I heard the zipper has 10mm more travel, too.
  • 19 1
 for the price, i'd @ least expect a reach around.
  • 3 1
 I'll pass on the shorts and the reach around...

m.youtube.com/watch?v=P2vkiLHiTcY
  • 13 0
 They look like mom jeans.
  • 3 0
 yup pretty sure I could cut off some 90's Jordache Jeans and produce the same product for thrift store prices.
  • 11 0
 The pricing of MTB parts and components Clothes is just getting way way out of hand... We are trying to get people in to the Sport not Scare them away..
  • 9 2
 Why even review these? Shouldn't this review be on Yachting Monthly or some overly pretentious, crap, media channel? I hope they paid you well to post it, because this type of crap content is just that... whats next, the new collar up golf/mtb jersey combo?

Go home PB and Kitsbow, you're both drunk. But hey, if PB can get lucky with a rich girl go-for-it men!
  • 7 1
 As a woman, what I have really been missing is a pair of, high-waisted, ass-flattening, army colored spanks with backwards pockets. Thank you Kitsbow and your brilliant design team for putting in all that effort and coming out with what women really want. For your next piece could we get a jersey with poofy sleeves, you know like on an 80's prom dress? I think that would be really flattering.
  • 9 0
 I remember in ought six when $50 could buy you shorts AND a chamois.
  • 2 0
 Was that when gas barely changed a few cents here or there and was 99 cents a gallon :-)
  • 5 0
 Sorry, but this pricing makes even Assos road bike stuff look like good value. Perhaps the manufacturer needs to scale back their aim to use absolutely the best of everything. They are, after all, just a pair of shorts.

Having said that I can understand the appeal of a closer fit, even though I'm a bloke. I have quite spindly legs and some brands of mtb shorts feel like I'm wearing a pair of sails if it's windy or raining. If you can make a man's version at 20% of the price then you'll have a customer.
  • 2 0
 Gravity Anomaly Longhaul Shorts, not the cheapest but the fit is great and quality seems very good too. I've been riding them since the begining of the season, love them !
  • 1 0
 @ben-mtl - thanks for the tip, I'll take a look
  • 2 0
 More $ than Mission Workshop, more than Rapha. Crazy expensive.
  • 6 0
 The primary motivation behind this product is profit making. Where is the passion for the sport? What a f*cking joke....
  • 2 0
 Ahahaha....$269. This company won't last long with that pricing. I blame Lululemon for delusional pricing in womens athletic wear. They can make an ass look good but they started the trend of $20 shorts for over $100. At $269 these shorts need to lift and perk up an ass to stand a chance.
  • 5 0
 Shame on you PB!! and on you Kitsch-bow.
  • 5 0
 A pair of shorts for the same price as zee brakes front and rear! Wow
  • 1 0
 If you haven't tried them yet I recommend trying the Hurley Phantom Boardwalk shorts. For the money they are amazing(60$), male or female it doesn't matter. They are even better since they don't have 50 extra pockets and just look like normal shorts. They are very durable, allow for easy movement, dry quickly, don't chafe, and don't cost an arm and a leg. You have to supply your own liner/chamois. You're all welcome.
  • 4 3
 What is it with the constant price whining on this site. Everyone's a cheap skate until they actually go into business and try to sell something. Then they see how much it really costs and they change their tune. These shorts are on the high end of the pricing spectrum for sure, but take a look at what goes into them. Schoeller Dryskin is not a run of the mill order it from Asia fabric. Its made in Switzerland and is very very expensive (see all of the hiking, skiing, climbing clothing for an example). But its great stuff and really lasts. Next, these shorts are hand made in Vancouver, CA probably by folks that actually get a living wage. I suppose all of the whiners on here have always been happy with their own salary (or maybe they don't work and just see what they get with their allowance. Those two factors alone are the difference between your mass made $75-$125 shorts and these ones. Its just like the difference between an off the shelf Asia hardtail frame ($750-$900) and a custom TI frame ($3,000).
  • 1 0
 what a pare of super shit shorts, even if they was £20 i still wouldn't buy them, learn some market research and try asking the people who your marketing them to what they want instead of trying to push some bullshit shorts on to them,
  • 4 1
 lmao $269 bux? must be the enduro specific shorts... its ok ladies the all mountain shorts are cheaper
  • 1 0
 But they stopped making the AM shorts last summer and went full enduro. Never go full enduro !
  • 4 0
 cut offs and a t-shirt. fukit
  • 3 0
 Not so softshell on the pocket book!
  • 3 0
 Way too much money, but the same could be said for most biking stuff.
  • 3 1
 Anymore stupid reviews of ridicuoulsly over priced products? Is this a joke?
  • 2 1
 i think they sold 3 pairs now ,1 to Bill gates wife ,1 to Donald trump mistress ,1 others guys who prefer's to stay anonymous ,
  • 1 1
 "Constructed from Schoeller-dryskin, which is made from a mixture of polyester and elastine"
Hardly cutting edge technology. Some companies just exist to satisfy peoples' vanity.
  • 2 0
 My wife says unless they come with unicorn tears and a dropper post forget it
  • 2 1
 They have to be the most rank ugly shorts I've ever seen.. Wouldn't wear em if they were free!! What the hell were the designers thinking???
  • 1 0
 This is like the Lulu Lemon of MTB shorts! Hey girls, just get some REI Novara shorts and call it good, save your dude some dough!
  • 3 1
 Pure ugliness. Why do they think we would like anything like that?
  • 1 0
 Those arent short shorts. Those are long shorts pulled all the way up to the belly button...
  • 1 0
 These are perfect for Mitt Romney. He's rich and loves wearing women's jeans.
  • 1 0
 Does al gore ride, bill clinton, any of the uber rich Kennedy's? They'd proly be in favorof raising taxes, then subsidizing em..lmao
  • 1 0
 Mitt Romney is a known wearer of Mom jeans.... sorry if that kills your bromace
  • 1 0
 Ha, didn't know the history there. And no, I'm not down with the rinos/establishment.
  • 1 0
 Well, at least they're not bandwagon colors I guess. ..now go sell sell sell, create some mo jobs!
  • 1 0
 I might ride dem one day after I rip all of my shorts I bought from goodwill. $269...!!?? what a price range...!!!
  • 1 0
 but, but .....please.....this's short 269 USD? Nice !!!
  • 1 0
 I could follow those all day.
  • 1 0
 ... I'd have no problem riding behind a pair of those for a bit. Smile
  • 2 0
 $269.....wow.
  • 1 0
 Really good fitting shorts.........
  • 1 0
 "price" "price" "price"... yeah, but dat ass...
  • 1 0
 The yuppy scum are trying to take over lol!
  • 1 0
 I'd pay that iIF they came with Emily batty
  • 4 4
 Common pinkbike Frown can you actually put items on here we can afford!
  • 14 1
 How is Pinkbike common?
  • 6 7
 these seam like a nice pair of riding shorts. Wink
  • 1 0
 I see what you did there...........
  • 1 1
 Wtf 269!! What bs

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