Review: Two pairs of women’s Garneau baggy shorts

These two baggy, knee-length shorts from Garneau bridge the gap between mountain and urban bike fashion for those who prefer something other than Lycra for all bicycle related activities.

Both of these shorts come with a liner that includes a built-in chamois and features wide waist and leg bands to prevent them from digging in. They are also beefy and nontransparent enough to be worn separately. These liner shorts are some of the comfiest I’ve ever worn, and both outer shorts come with a snap loop fastening system to keep them anchored to the liners.

The fit on both of these baggies is slim but not super tight around the waist and hips with extra room on the legs to accommodate muscular thighs and allow plenty of room for movement while pedaling. They come in sizes XS-XXL (I tested size small in both).

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Steeple – $120

The first noticeable thing about the women’s Steeple shorts is the fabric. It’s unlike any material I’ve encountered before on cycling shorts. The Revolt fabric looks and feels like denim, but with all the performance benefits of any other quick-drying, moisture-wicking activewear. Abrasion resistance makes these shorts tough but fashionable, and the Steeple is available in a variety of different colors to suit every style.

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These shorts are comfortable even when wet, and they have become a go-to piece for rainy, muddy days for this reason. The only downside? Mud stains don’t seem to come out of the Revolt fabric as easily as some other fabrics, but that’s not something I get too concerned about. I spend a lot of my life muddy anyway.

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My favorite feature is the stretchy panel on the backside of these shorts, offering extra comfort and flexibility while maintaining a form-fitting waist. Soft, silky material around the waistband adds comfort, and a Velcro adjustment allows for a perfect fit.

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Ample pocket space— five in all—provides no shortage of options when it comes to stashing tools, food or your phone, whether it’s during a ride or at the bar after, and Velcro or zipper closures on all pockets keep the valuables secure.

Whether you’re shredding the trails or riding to the grocery store, the Steeple shorts are a versatile pick for any bike-related endeavor and beyond.

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Latitude – $80

The Latitude is the more “mountain bikey” of these two shorts, with a slightly more casual look and cut. The material is more similar to that which you’d find on the majority of baggy mountain bike shorts. It’s soft and moisture-wicking, but also abrasion-resistant and DWR-treated for water resistance. I found them to be very breathable, and these shorts have been a go-to on hot summer days, comfortable even when sweat-soaked.

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There are four pockets – two zippered ones in the front and two jeanslike ones in the rear that don’t close. While the back pockets were nice for sticking my phone or other small essentials in while off the bike, I wouldn’t want to put anything in them while riding at risk of it falling out. If the shorts hugged my behind a little more, I’d probably reconsider though, so it’s most likely just a matter of fit and preference.

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Like the Steeple, the Latitude features an adjustable waistband via Velcro tabs, but adds belt loops to allow for extra fit tailoring. Bright colors like bright blue and magenta cater to ladies who like a bold look, but they also come in black for those who prefer a more subdued appearance.

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Overall, these are a comfortable pair of shorts for wherever your bicycle adventures may take you.

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Win a pair of Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Escape Bib Shorts

Contest ended. Congrats to Michele Degennaro of Cedar Grove, NJ!

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Pearl Izumi has partnered with us to giveaway a pair of P.R.O. Escape Bib Shorts! Enter to win below.

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The all new P.R.O. Escape Shorts were engineered from the ground up with one goal in mind: all day in-the-saddle comfort. Luxurious fabric with minimal seaming hugs your body like a second skin. Raw edge leg openings create a smooth transition from short to skin that looks and feels great. The new P.R.O. Escape 1:1- Chamois uses a patented two-piece design to deliver support without bulk, and only the best materials and construction to maintain breathability. But when you ride in these shorts you won’t think about those details, you’ll forget about what you’re wearing and focus on the road ahead. If you haven’t tried a Pearl short recently, now is the time, and if you’re a devoted Pearl rider, these will be the most comfortable shorts you’ve ever worn.

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