Men’s and Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts Roundup — 2022

Kara: The Slab Shorts have easily become one of my favorite shorts this season for several reasons. First, they are extremely comfortable. The Slab Short is supremely stretchy and thin (in a good way), and the smooth fabric feels great during sustained movement. While the fabric behaves like a quick-drying soft shell, the overall feel is really smooth and supple and moves comfortably against the skin. The lack of seams, or rather, the use of taped seams, creates a very smooth finish that doesn’t chafe or rub.

The fit also contributes to comfort. For me, a size Large provides a tailored fit that is not too tight in the key zones, especially in the waist. The simple hook and ladder system helps to secure the waist as they stretch, but doesn’t create excess bulk at the waistband.

The Slab Short is also extremely practical and versatile. The material is lightweight and quick-drying, which I have put to the test across several creek crossings and rainy rides. So far, they have proven durable and snag-resistant. While these aren’t the heaviest or burliest shorts of the bunch, they are quite lightweight and breathable.

The biggest downside, for some, might be that the Slab Short is limited on pockets. It only features one zippered pocket that isn’t that roomy. But this keeps the short really simplistic and minimal, which contributes to its lack of bulkiness and overall low weight.

Compared with the 7mesh Farside Short, which I spent a lot of time in last year, I prefer the fit, texture, and features of the Slab Short a bit more. While the Farside Short is comparably versatile, the fabric, fit, and seamless design of the Slab Short feels more comfortable to me. While I have tested both in Large, the waistband of the Farside is a little more snug and doesn’t rest as comfortably on my hips. The waistband of the Slab Shorts is a little wider and more flexible, which feels more comfortable when on a bike. In addition, the Slab Short feels slightly roomier around the thighs and features a longer inseam, so I don’t find them riding up, which sometimes happens with the Farside Short during longer rides.