The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Apparel of 2022

Rigorous testing was no match for these pieces

Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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Zoic W’s Premium Bib Liner ($80)

Zoic W’s Premium Bib Liner
(Photo: Courtesy Zoic)

Many people find bib liners more comfortable than chamois shorts for layering. But they can be inconvenient for nature breaks. The Premium offers stretchy crossover straps and a zippered butt panel so you don’t have to strip to pee. With a quality Italian pad and six-panel construction designed to mitigate chafing, it’s a comfortable, convenient upgrade. (XS–XL)

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Pearl Izumi Women’s Launch Trail Pants ($150)

Pearl Izumi Women’s Launch Trail Pants
(Photo: Courtesy Pearl Izumi)

We’re glad trail pants have caught on. The loose-fit Launch give you all the protection and knee-pad compatibility you’d expect, with side phone pockets and tapered ankles that stay out of your drivetrain. The water-shedding Cordura is lightweight, but runs warm—better suited for cooler rides. (2–14)

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Machines For Freedom Foundation Liner ($88)

Machines For Freedom Foundation Liner
(Photo: Courtesy Machines For Freedom)

These liners are for commutes, short trail rides, and any day you don’t want a full chamois. A thin pad and airy mesh paneling spell fast dry times and easy layering. With a wide waistband and a 5.5-inch inseam, these fit more like boyshorts than traditional bibs, so you can wear whatever you like on top. (XXS–3XL)

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Women’s Yeti Palisade Short ($95)

Women’s Yeti Palisade Short

Your new go-to, all-day trail short designed for a supremely comfortable day in the saddle The new slim fit, shorter inseam design was paired with a lightweight, four-way stretch fabric that allows for unrestricted movement. Two hand pockets, and a zippered security pocket big enough to fit your phone, ensure your go-to items are always with you.

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7Mesh Slab Shorts ($140)

7Mesh Slab Shorts
(Photo: Courtesy 7Mesh)

Gear nerds will be glad to find that the 7Mesh Slab shorts weigh a feathery 164 grams. The no-frills design (one pocket) provides the semi-loose fit and easygoing trail style we want, without the claustrophobic feeling that heavier-weight baggies can cause. They’re also long enough to avoid gapping with knee pads (really!), though you may want a burlier fabric for bike-park days .(XS–XL)

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Rapha Women’s Trail Shorts ($150)

Rapha Women’s Trail Shorts
(Photo: Courtesy Rapha)

It can be tough to find trail shorts that don’t feel like boys’ swim trunks, which is why we love these. The stretchy, yoga-inspired back panel mitigates gapping, and internal sleeves in the symmetrical leg pockets secure your phone. Included: repair patches, so you have no excuse not to go big. (XXS–XL)

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Kitsbow Glorieta V-Neck Cooling Tee ($69)

Kitsbow Glorieta V-Neck Cooling Tee
(Photo: Courtesy Kitsbow)

North Carolina-based Kitsbow is known for merino, but the brand also makes some killer synthetic pieces. The Glorieta features Polartec Delta fabric, which uses hydrophobic and hydrophilic yarns to dissipate sweat and body heat. With an athletic but not overly tight cut, the Glorieta quickly became a staple in our kit lineup. Plus, Kitsbow makes everything to order, to reduce waste. (XXS–4XL)

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POC W’s MTB Pure LS Jersey ($80)

POC W’s MTB Pure LS Jersey
(Photo: Courtesy POC)

This polyester-mesh longsleeve is designed to give you sun protection on warm days. It’s breezy and ultra wicking, with a slim fit that accommodates lightweight body armor, so you’re set for park laps or lunch loops. (XS–XL)

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Club Ride Apparel Camas Shirt ($70)

Club Ride Apparel Camas Shirt
(Photo: Courtesy Club Ride)

If you love the style of street clothes but not the sweaty, chafey reality of riding in them, Club Ride is a name you should know. The Camas shirt might look like a regular button-down, but it’s made from light, breathable UPF 50 polyester-nylon, with plastic snaps and two zippered pockets. (XS–XL)

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