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Best baggy cycling shorts 2024 — get comfortable without Lycra

Shorts that are subtle enough to be suitable both on and off the bike

If you want the comfort and performance of cycling shorts but without the Lycra look, then you need baggy cycling shorts. Baggy cycling shorts are comfortable on the bike thanks to their cut and shape, but look like regular shorts off the bike. We've ridden thousands of miles on the road, round-town and on dirt to find out which are the best baggy cycling shorts you can buy. Here they are:

These are baggy cycling shorts in comparison to skin-tight Lycra shorts; many of them are actually fairly close-fitting so you don't look like you've just stepped out of the Wonderstuff circa 1988.

Some baggy cycling shorts come with a liner, or are compatible with the manufacturer's own insert; others are intended to be worn over bib shorts or just regular underwear.

Most baggy cycling shorts have pockets, but for on-bike comfort you should resist the temptation to load them up too much.

Look for a high waistband, no seams in the crotch, and fabrics with a degree of stretch so they move with you on the bike.

Baggy cycling shorts start at RRPs around £60, though as you'll see below there are some very good special offers around.

The best baggy cycling shorts

Best overall baggy shorts: Nukeproof Blackline shorts with liner

Nukeproof Blackline Shorts

The Nukeproof Blackline Shorts and liner are high-quality, lightweight shorts made of tough, breathable fabric. The sizing is spot on, and the stretchy material offers little restriction while pedalling. Being picky, the only downside is the pocket size and placement, but at this price point, it's hard to find many faults.

The material wicks well, keeping things feeling dry even on the sweatiest days. This is in part thanks to the front air vents that help keep the air moving and aid cooling. It’s clear these are designed as summer shorts, so it goes without saying, these do nothing to fend off puddle splashes and will leave you pretty sodden if the conditions are decidedly British.

The cut is snug, but thanks to the stretch fabric, it never feels tight or restrictive.

The included liner is constructed with dual-density foam. Nukeproof claims this offers comfort on rides lasting three to five hours. I can confirm this to be true, it’s perhaps on the thinner side of the chamois spectrum, but the cut proves to be comfortable even when walking into the café. It provides a decent level of cushion to protect the sit bones whilst on the saddle and stays dry all day.

The Nukeproof Blackline shorts are an excellent summer garment. They’re lightweight, durable and fit well. The price is also impressive considering the performance and quality. The only downside is the pocket size and placement, but with liner included, these are hard to look past when shopping for your next pair of trail shorts.

Read our review of the Nukeproof Blackline shorts with liner
Find a Nukeproof dealer

Best baggy shorts for women: Rapha Women's Trail Shorts

rapha womens trail shorts 2021

The Rapha women's trail shorts offer plenty of stretch in a lightweight material, along with a home-repair kit. The £110 price tag may put some off, but there are some justifiable reasons for making such an investment.

Tester Jessica writes: "I really rate these shorts. They do what Rapha describe with a figure-fitting shape in a simple and understated design. Thanks to the stretchiness of the fabric, the wide waistband and lots of leg length, there's very little to criticise when it comes to performance. I've had the occasional brush with overgrown brambles throughout testing, but nothing that's damaged the fabric. So, the home-repair kit has stayed firmly in my drawer."

The men's version is the same price.

Read our review of the Rapha Women's Trail Shorts
Find a Rapha dealer

Best budget baggy shorts: Endura Hummvee II Chino Short with Liner

Endura Hummvee Chino on bike.jpg

Endura's Hummvee II Chino shorts (pictured is the first iteration) are a more tailored take on the traditional baggy. But it's not just about appearances: with a detachable padded liner and great in-the-saddle comfort, these shorts are equally classy when it comes to performance.

Despite their good off-the-bike aesthetics, these shorts also perform superbly in the saddle. The padded liner finds the right position quite naturally and offers just enough cushioning and comfort. That in itself is a valuable little detail, because with shorts that look this smart, you don't really want to feel like you've got a nappy on underneath.

Although the tailored feel to the legs did initially have me wondering whether pedalling would suffer any feelings of restriction, nothing untoward transpired in the saddle. The cotton mix fabric does have an element of stretch to it, and it's more than enough to keep pedalling feeling natural.

Read our review of the first Endura Hummvee Chino Short with Liner

Best baggy shorts for summer: Endura Hummvee Lite Short

Buy now for £64.00 from Chain Reaction Cycles

2020 Endura Hummvee Lite shorts front.jpg

It's another vote for Endura when it comes to our top pick for summer, whether you're commuting or pootling round some trails and towpaths. A warm-weather-friendly version of the company's iconic baggies, our reviewer described these shorts as light, airy, and offering perfectly unrestricted movement.

When it comes to keeping you cool, the outers are excellent. Movement feels unrestricted with extra material at the seat to enhance cycling suitability.

The liner isn't the absolute comfiest and our reviewer experienced some slippage, but for relaxed riding in warmer weather these shorts will do you just fine for many years. 

Read our review of the Endura Hummvee Lite Short

Best unlined baggy shorts: PNW Shuttle

2022 PNW Shuttle shorts

The PNW Shuttle shorts tick every box required to certify top-notch baggy shorts. The fit is spot on, they’re comfortable and they come sorted with plenty of well thought out pockets. They’re rather good bang for your buck too.

PNW has designed the Shuttle shorts specifically for on-bike comfort. With that in mind, they’re made using an abrasion-resistant four-way stretch fabric. Then, around the waist, you’ll find a pair of adjusters on either side.

Tester Liam writes: "The Shuttle’s fit is really impressive. I’ve not felt the need to mess with the adjusters, something I’m sometimes reaching for on other shorts. I’ve no complaints with their length either.

"PNW has been careful not to make them too baggy. With some shorts, their gross bagginess can leave a heft of material to flap about but the Shuttle strikes a great balance between super fitting, and baggy. This leaves enough room and fabric to move around in, without surplus ripe for snagging on foliage, or the nose of your saddle.

They get a very useful durable water repellent coating. This allows the shorts to be used in damp conditions where they’re more than capable of protecting you from spray. They've held up without issue after a bunch of washes too."

Read our review of the PNW Shuttle

Chapeau! Gravel Shorts

2021 Chapeau Gravel Shorts.jpg

Chapeau's Gravel Shorts are comfortable, stretchy and fast drying, and can be worn over padded liner shorts for all-day comfort. The snug fit doesn't flap around, while still allowing air to circulate and looking decent when wandering about mid- or post-ride. If you're after a reasonably close-fitting lower half that is light, comfortable, sheds water and will dry very quickly, the Chapeau Gravel Shorts should be high on your short(s)list.

Read our review of the Chapeau! Gravel Shorts
Find a Chapeau! dealer

Alpkit Strada women's shorts

Alpkit Strada shorts women's-2

The Alpkit Strada women’s bikepacking and touring shorts are a good choice for long adventure rides or regular gravel blasts. The well-designed legs are tapered to prevent snags, but there’s no waist adjustment unless you like wearing a belt.

Built for long adventure rides, the Stradas are a hot or mild weather shorts that are super comfortable to ride in, with a casual style that doesn’t look out of place at café, pub or shop stops.

It's a simple design, featuring a two-popper waist, a zip fly and belt loops. If you're not keen on riding in a belt, make sure they fit before buying.

There's a men's version for the same price.

Read our review of the Alpkit Strada women's shorts

Velocity Women's Climber Capris


These mid-weight, smart-casual Velocity Climber Capris are bike-friendly yet will segue seamlessly to the office. The cycle-specific features – such as the diamond gusset and reflective accents – are subtly hidden, but the low-rise waist might not suit everyone and the price tag is pretty hefty, especially compared to non-bike-friendly high street offerings that are very similar in appearance.

That said, the quality of the fabric and construction are excellent.

Read our review of the Velocity Women's Climber Capris

Gore Explore Shorts

2021 Gore Explore Shorts Mens.jpg

The Gore Explore Shorts offer strong performance for gravel riding, and in reality they're just as good for commuting as they are for adventures. The Explore is a do-all pair of shorts that can be used for gravel riding, bike packing, or just for commuting. They have several features that make them particularly useful for multiple situations. One of the keys to them being so multi-disciplinary is the amount of stretch they give, whilst still being water and wind resistant, and maintaining a good level of breathability too.

Read our review of the Gore Explore Shorts
Find a Gore dealer

Best waterproof baggy shorts: Endura MT500 Waterproof Short II

2021 endura mt500 waterproof short II

For gravel and even road riding when things are a bit damp, waterproof shorts can be a game-changer, as mountain bikers have known for years. Endura’s MT500 Waterproof Short II is comfortable, well fitted and most importantly, waterproof.

Tester Liam writes: "In fact, there’s not a lot to complain about, although I can’t say I’m too thrilled about this 'nutmeg' colour – luckily there's black as well – and it is fairly pricey.

"These shorts benefit from Endura’s ExoShell40DR three-layer fabric, with a PVC-free DWR coating that's said to be extra friendly to the environment. The seat area is also reinforced to increase durability.

"They get water-resistant hand pockets, belt loops, and a zip-and-popper closure. They also feature Endura’s Clickfast system, which works with the matching range of padded liners to create an extra secure fit.

"The legs are cut long, edging into three-quarter length territory, which adds weather protection and stops spray from creeping up your leg. They’re also pre-shaped for a better fit on the bike.

"On the bike, it's super noticeable how light they are, even when wet. Thanks to the DWR coating the fabric simply shrugs off water, stopping the shorts from ever getting soaked through. Honestly, they're just as comfortable at their wettest as when they're bone dry."

Read our review of the Endura MT500 Waterproof Short II
Find an Endura dealer

7Mesh Farside Shorts

7mesh fairside_1

7mesh pitch the Farside as a bike-packing, gravel and all-road adventure summer short. It proves to be an excellent option that is lightweight, comfortable and very well constructed. Although the price is high, the crash replacement policy does help make these a strong contender.

Read our review of the 7Mesh Farside Shorts
Find a 7Mesh dealer

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About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Steve K | 1 year ago

The link to buy the Endura Humvee shorts is to the Humvee II, not the Humvee Chinos.  I recently bought a pair of the Humvee Chinos, and I have to say I'm surprised by the comments in the review about them being very tailored because in my view they are not tailored enough and are a bit shapelessly baggy.  And it's not a case that I bought too big a size as the liner fits perfectly.

RoubaixCube | 1 year ago

Still got me some old pairs of the Endura Hummvee's (the old style with the massive pockets at the back) in regular blue & 3/4 length camo versions. I also have Hummvee lite's (all with spares) BNWT in storage as reserve but all shorts have a pair in active service. 

These days i normally wear the lites for on the bike and reserve the regular Hummvee's for casual wear, hiking or fishing. The only real gripe i have with the regular Hummvee's is that they arent the most breathable despite what Endura says and even with the side zips down for ventillation, things can get a bit toasty when worn for hiking or cycling. The Lites are a lot more comfortable for summer biking.

The regular Hummvee's are pretty rugged and they got a lot of pockets which makes them great for non-cycling use.

Steve K | 2 years ago
1 like

As I mentioned in one of the 'lost' comments, I'm a big fan of these - which I've got in both the short and long trouser versions.

michophull | 3 years ago

I am a 58 year old male and as I've got older, wearing lycra shorts alone feels like I'm riding in my underpants.

I've found that a pair of old black Rapha trousers cut down and properly hemmed with a cheap liner short beneath works well. It's a combination which is both comfortable and smart. 

I wore this on Sunday for a 38 mile ride on a scorching hot day and it worked fine. I still look like a real roadie but I feel more socially comfortable.


Municipal Waste | 4 years ago
1 like

Troy Lee Designs always did some good casual shorts and I'm pretty sure they still do, as do Dakine.

Sriracha | 4 years ago

Women's shorts are "workmanlike". Made me smile.

brooksby | 4 years ago

Best ones I ever owned were Altura Metro 3/4.

Unfortunately, they got discontinued...  

earth | 4 years ago

I want my non lycra shorts to have a tapered leg.  Why do they have to be baggy?

Bmblbzzz | 4 years ago

Decathlon to the reasonably priced but decently made rescue, as so often. Maybe.

Though they probably have seams in all the wrong places for cycling... 

Sredlums replied to Bmblbzzz | 4 years ago
1 like

I have these from Decathlon and I absolutely LOVE them:

They are great for what they are designed for (hiking), but the cut and the stretch fabric, the adjustable waist etc. all add up to a short that's ideal for biking. I use them with thin underwear with a chamois in it.

They come in several colours too, and are very affordable. Higly recomended.

Bmblbzzz | 4 years ago

What I'd like is a men's version of the capris shown.  By which I mean something coming to just below the knee, for these autumn days and evenings, but cut with a closer fit than the baggy mtb-style Humvees and so on. Not necessarily in puce and preferably rather less than £90. Can't find anything though. 

kil0ran replied to Bmblbzzz | 4 years ago
Bmblbzzz wrote:

What I'd like is a men's version of the capris shown.  By which I mean something coming to just below the knee, for these autumn days and evenings, but cut with a closer fit than the baggy mtb-style Humvees and so on. Not necessarily in puce and preferably rather less than £90. Can't find anything though. 

Agreed, I've had a summer of horsefly bites and a couple of ticks due to hike-a-bike sections on my regular off-road rides. Capris would go part of the way to solving that issue I think.

ktache | 4 years ago

I really like my Endura Zymes, I have 2 pairs of shorts and 1 of 3/4 for the winter.  They don't make them at the moment, but seem to every so often.  I get on well with their click in liner too.

They just work really well with lots of good pockets.

kil0ran | 4 years ago

B'Twin Rockrider 500s are excellent, particularly for £30. Stretchy and roomy for the larger rider. The latest version includes padded removable liner shorts. Not too keen on the pocket placement on the latest version, not least because they've made the phone pocket too small for a typical 5.5" screen phone plus case. Come in a subtle blue or stealthy black.

They have a 500 & a 900 version that's currently the same price, I think the 900 doesn't have the liner shorts. Definitely subtle enough to wear off the bike.

LastBoyScout | 4 years ago

Bought a pair of Louis Garneau "Leeway" baggy shorts from Evans a couple of years ago.

They were a really nice colour and fit, but I stupidly returned them as the liner was absolute rubbish. Having realised I should have kept them and just binned the liner in favour of a better one, I tried to buy them again, but they'd run out of my size  2

Generally, I've found the dedicated cycling baggies to be terrible for me - either the liner fits or the shorts fit, but not both. I tried one pair which were really good, but had a mesh stretch panel at the back, which meant that any mud or rain thrown up by the back wheel just went straight through.

As a result, I just wear a normal pair of cycling shorts (bib or waist) with a pair of ordinary baggies over the top - the Montane Dyno shorts are really good for this, although a little low cut at the back for cycling in.

Giles Pargiter | 4 years ago

I'am afraid I find it concerning that all these shorts are made of various forms of plastic. This has the massive weak point (apart from environmental concerns) that they are extremely fire vulnerable. When one is sitting round a communal cooking fire or such, enjoying the crack they are extremely vulnerable to hot sparks burning little holes in them. I find this reduces their life span considerably. Whatever happened to Merino wool and cotton or clever mixtures of such fabrics?

I cycle all day in non-padded shorts, but concentrate on having a comfortable saddle in the first place. Ones body adjusts to this use over time.

I find the older type (?) of Endura Humvee shorts particularly versatile - with the above proviso.

aegisdesign | 4 years ago
1 like

Thirded for the reccomendation for Craghoppers Kiwi shorts. Cheap, stretchy, durable and for touring they wash well and dry quickly.

They're fine for big mileage though not as good as just lycra shorts. The locals can think what they want as far as I'm concerned - that's their hangup, not mine.



griffly16 | 4 years ago

The vulpine ones are great but unfortunately after only wearing them for a week or two in Portugal and a couple of washes the colour fades badly. I should have returned them really but never got round to it

nick h. | 4 years ago

Would any of these be as good as proper cycling shorts for big mileage on a hot day? It would be good to wear something low key when touring foreign parts. Especially when you go to a cafe and the locals think you are some sort of S&M freak and hastily drag their children away from you.

ConcordeCX replied to nick h. | 4 years ago
1 like
nick h. wrote:

Would any of these be as good as proper cycling shorts for big mileage on a hot day? It would be good to wear something low key when touring foreign parts. Especially when you go to a cafe and the locals think you are some sort of S&M freak and hastily drag their children away from you.

I used to tour in cotton not-cycling (i.e. normal) shorts even on hot days, with a Brooks leather saddle, and they were fine - nobody ever dragged their children away.

When eventually I tried lycra bibs they were a revelation in comfort and I would not go back to touring the old way. Still nobody drags their children away from me.

You could try riding in lycra, and put on decent shorts when you go to a cafe. If the locals still drag their children away from you you'll know it's not because of the shorts.


itchieritchie | 4 years ago


Wow. Great recommendation xerxes. Currently £20.33. Seriously tempted to pull the trigger....

xerxes | 4 years ago

My favourite cycling "baggies":

These are better than any of the cycling specific baggy shorts I've tried, and as a bonus,  generally less expensive.

griffly16 replied to xerxes | 4 years ago
xerxes wrote:

My favourite cycling "baggies":

These are better than any of the cycling specific baggy shorts I've tried, and as a bonus,  generally less expensive.


Agree, these are really good. Can wear bib shorts underneath too

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