Altura's Summit 3/4s are designed as trail shorts but they’re equally suitable for other kinds of riding if you don’t want the Lycra look – for heading down the towpath with the family, for example, or nipping around town, touring or commuting.
The Summits are made from a surprisingly lightweight yet tough nylon – Dura-plus – which is more than capable of standing up to everyday abuse. It doesn’t snag easily and it’ll handle the odd scrape without complaint. The area on the inner legs and through the crotch is stretchy so you can pedal without feeling restricted and Velcro-adjusters allow you to draw the waist in for the perfect fit there.
The baggy cut, which reaches down to just beyond your knees, allows air to circulate inside well while mesh vents on the front – those grey panels in the picture – and gill vents around the back – small flaps in overlaid fabric – let plenty more breeze flow. We didn’t overheat easily in these. Far from it – the temperature inside is much cooler than you’d expect, and even if you do get a bit sweaty on the climbs, they dry really fast. If the mercury drops and you want to warm things up, Velcro leg adjusters allow you to batten down the hatches without any trouble.
You get two hip pockets and another zipped pocket on the butt. They’re not especially useful if you’re cycling long distances because whatever you put in them gets in the way as you pedal – the rear one less so – but they’re handy on short trips and when you get off the bike.
The detachable liner is okay but it isn’t as impressive as the outer. Essentially a small pair of skinny lycra shorts, we found it baggier than we’d expect for the size. It’s not flat-stitched either, although the low-bulk pad is breathable and comfy enough, and the silicone grippers do a great job of holding the legs in place. Like we said, it’s okay – but it’s not the best feature here.
Just one other thing that’s worth mentioning; one half of the front popper on our pair was positioned a good inch out of place so when done up it pulled the waistband out of position. That’s not much of an issue, though; if we’d bought these in a shop we’d just have asked to swap them - that's why we haven't docked them a point for quality of construction.
Available in sizes S-2XL, and in an above-the-knee cut (£54.99).
Lightweight and airy three-quarters in a casual cut; excellent design, but check the sizing of the liner if you get the chance
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Make and model: Altura Summit 3/4 baggy shorts
Size tested: L
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, both on and off the bike
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
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 road.cc 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.