Best Bike Shorts For MTB, Touring And Bikepacking

Best Bike Shorts For Touring And Bikepacking

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This is a gear review about the best bike shorts for MTB, Bikepacking, and Cycle Touring in 2024.

Mountain Biking, Bikepacking, and Bike Touring is a great way to travel and experience nature. If you want to get out there and explore the world, then a good pair of cycling shorts are worth it and should be a part of every Bike Touring Gear List.

In this article, I have put together the best bike shorts for Touring, Bikepacking, and Mountain Biking that you can find on the market right now in 2024!

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How We Tested

The Bike Shorts in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has many years of experience in Bike Touring and Bikepacking. He has cycled more than 30,000 miles of cycling through more than 20 countries around the world. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to present this honest and unbiased review. Read the Review Policy for further details.

Best Bike Shorts For Mountain Biking, Touring, And Bikepacking 2024

The Bike Shorts For Touring And Bikepacking in 2024 are:

Best Bike Shorts – Overall

Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

> Good waist adjustment options
> Great to wear on or off the bike, even can be used for hiking
> Breathable
> Good choice of colors
> Premium product at a premium price

The Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts are a very versatile part of shorts. These bike shorts look like your typical hiking shorts but are awesome for cycling

They contain the features that you need to help your riding experience. What I like about these shorts, is that the design of them is suitable for hiking, climbing and long distance biking journeys. 

There are lots of pockets, allowing you to carry plenty of personal items on your person. While there is also a hook and loop adjustment waist system, that helps to adjust these shorts for the comfort that you need.

A two-way stretch nylon shell is combined with a thick liner short, that helps with the versatile and durability of these shorts. There is a padded liner that can be removed turning these shorts into a pair of hiking shorts when needed.

The hem of these shorts have been designed with pedaling in mind, with the front of the shorts hanging lower than the back. Thus, a comfortable riding experience.

Overall, these are the best cycling shorts for touring and bikepacking. Just remove the inner liner and you can turn them into a pair of normal shorts for hiking if needed.

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Best Bicycle Touring Shorts

Pearl Izumi Canyon Bike Shorts

Pearl Izumi Canyon Bike Shorts

> Great 2-way stretch material
> Very Breathable
> Comfortable
> Only has one pocket and some cyclists have noted that the zip on the pocket kept coming undone while riding

The Pearl Izumi Canyon Bike Shorts are a great alternative if you don’t feel comfortable wearing very tight body fitting Lycra shorts. They are one of the lightest feeling shorts on this list, with a very simple design that doesn’t affect your pedalling at all. 

There is one pocket with a zip on the right of the shorts. While also, there is a mesh lining that is connected by the waistband. Overall, this is a very simple pair of shorts that should only be worn for biking, as that is what they were designed for.

You can adjust the waist on these shorts due to a Velcro strap, but these shorts are more suited for biking in hot or warmer weather, due to being so breathable and lightweight.

Overall, these are the best lightweight cycling shorts for touring and bikepacking in warmer weather.

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Best Bikepacking Shorts

Zoic Ether Bike Shorts and Liners

Zoic Bike Shorts and Liners

> 6 pockets, including some zip pockets
> Removeable liner
> Baggy design
> The mesh panels have been known to be prone to damage over time with some riders

Zoic Ether Bike Shorts and Liners are another great option for a great pair of biking shorts. The shorts feel comfortable and have a good fit. The shell of these shorts has a slightly baggy design, so they aren’t molded to your body which is perfect for most long distance cyclists.

Yet this baggy design allows for plenty of ventilation, and mesh panels on the legs and near the rear of the waistband offer even more ventilation on those long tours. 

These shorts come with a liner, which can be replaced if you don’t like them. However, these shorts make pedaling for long periods of time a breeze, as it doesn’t interfere with the pedals. Alongside that, there are six pockets, and you can adjust the waist if you aren’t happy with it.

Overall, these are another pair of good quality lightweight bike shorts for long distance cycling.

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Best Mountain Bike Shorts

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts

> Light water and moisture will be deflected from these shorts
> Elastane is used to help give these shorts some stretch
> Made with recycled polyester
> Some cyclists have noted that these are a tight-fitting pair of shorts. In particular, the wait felt the tightest

Patagonia is back on the list, but this time with the Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts. These biking shorts are actually quite eco-friendly, as they are made of polyester fabric that has been made from recycled plastic bottles.

There is also some elastane, which helps give the shorts its stretch to be able to mold around your body.

Alongside that, these shorts are water-repellant due to their DWR coating. And they come in a couple of choices of colors, all of which are good.

Overall, these are another great pair of cycling shorts for bike touring and bikepacking.

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Best Budget Bike Shorts

Bontrager Quantum Fitness Bike Shorts

Bontrager Quantum Fitness Bike Shorts

> Loose fit with good freedom of movement
> Comfortable softshell and waistband
> Quality padded liner
> The pockets could be stitched to the legs to prevent them from swinging freely

The Bontrager Quantum Fitness Bike Shorts features a lightweight and soft polyester shell with an elasticated waistband.

There is also a removable padded liner which adds comfort while riding for a long time. Yet, this lining can be easily removed if you don’t want it. Great for around town when off the bike on a rest day.

I like these shorts as they are great for cycling, yet they look great while off the bike as well. 

These shorts have a looser fit, which allows you more movement, and makes these shorts really breathable.

There are two front pockets and a zippered back pocket for you to place your personal items into. A very simple design, that allows comfort and easy movement for those long backpacking or touring rides.

Overall, these are a great pair of budget cycling shorts that transform well into a pair of town shorts when off the bike.

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Bike shorts for mountain


You should make sure to check out any features that the shorts have. Does it come with a pocket? How many pockets does it have? Is there a removable lining?

Are there reflective strips? All of these are features that you should look at before purchasing a new pair of shorts. Do they stretch? Are they comfortable?

A lot of people would like to have at least one pocket on their shorts to keep personal items on them in case of an emergency or even just their phone so that they know it is safe.


You need to make sure that the shorts you choose are comfortable to ride in. If you’re going to be spending hours upon hours on your bike, then you need to make sure that you’re comfortable.

That means making sure that the shorts fit properly, and that they allow you to move without feeling restricted.

You should make sure that the size of the shorts matches your body type. If you’re tall, you may want to get a larger size than someone who is short.

Alongside this, you want to make sure that the weight of the shorts isn’t too heavy. You don’t want the shorts to feel heavy, and then they are a struggle to cycle in as you need to work harder.


All the cycling shorts in this review have pockets. Some have zippered pockets which are great to store something valuable in without thought that it might easily fall out.

One thing that I found annoying with cycling shorts is when the pockets are not stitched to the leg. On baggy shorts this causes the pockets to move around when cycling, specially when there is something heavy in the pocket.

Removable Liner

The option of a removable liner is a great idea. Some of the removable liners attach to the shorts via some form of clip system. While these removable liners are not overly important they are a great addition to the bike shorts. Most also have the option to replace the lycra liner when needed as they usually wear out before the shorts do.

If the bike shorts don’t have them, just wear a good pair of padded lycra cycling shorts underneath.


When you’re riding for extended periods of time, you need to make sure you’re not getting hot. That means making sure the shorts you choose are breathable enough to keep you cool.

Some shorts do this by the style of the short, by being looser. While others will have a tighter fit but use mesh panels to allow for ventilation and more breathability.

The more breathable the shorts are, the more comfy they will be to wear for long periods of time.


You’ll be spending lots of money on your shorts, and you want them to last. So you want to make sure that they’re built to withstand the elements, and that they won’t fall apart after months of use.

Usually the removable liner will wear out before the shorts as the bike shorts are so much more durable than the lycra liners.


Buying quality gear doesn’t always mean buying expensive gear. Sometimes, you just need something that’s cheap but still performs well.


The Bike Shorts For Touring And Bikepacking in 2024 are:

Another one of the Best Bike Touring Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Chamois Bike Shorts?

Chamois refers to the padding that is commonly sewn into inside spandex or Lycra cycling shorts. Bike racers often wear chamois alone, while mountain bikers use them under baggy shorts. The idea of a chamois is to provide your backside with a bit more protection and a cushion from the saddle due to being sat on it for long periods of time.

What Are The Differences Between Touring And Normal Cycling Shorts?

Typically, touring or backpacking shorts have been designed to be much baggy or have a looser feel, than the traditional form-fitting but stretchy Lycra bike shorts. Normally cycling shorts are very form-fitting and hug your body, while touring shorts have a looser feel, and are seen as much more comfortable to wear in public and on long distances.

What’s The Difference Between Men And Female Bike Shorts?

The most noticeable difference between men’s and women’s bike shorts is that they are different shapes and the padding is in different places. Where possible, you should try to buy shorts for your gender, as they will provide you with the most protection, comfort, and ventilation for your long-riding journeys.

Are Bikepacking Shorts worth it?

A dedicated pair of Bikepacking shorts will normally come with a removable inner lycra to prevent rubbing that can lead to a rash.

Best Bike Shorts

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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