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POC Trail WO women’s MTB shorts 2014 review

As a girl rider it’s hard to find well-fitting kit, and even harder to find kit that fits and looks good too! The POC Trail women’s specific shorts for 2014 ticked both boxes.

Swedish brand POC are renowned for their safety equipment that manages to combine cutting edge technology with distinctive and stylish looks. Over recent years they’ve added to their repertoire with a range of technical clothing, approached with the same attention to detail as they use in their helmets and impact protection.

The POC Trail shorts may not be in the ‘snazziest’ of colours but they do look like a casual pair of shorts that fit perfectly; not too tight on the bum or low on the waist like women’s specific fits usually are, and not too baggy and poorly fitting on the crotch like mens riding shorts generally are on women.

Since getting these shorts they have been top of my list for each ride.

The POC Trail shorts are baggy, but also have an 8% spandex content allowing them to stretch and move with you as you ride. Made from a mid-weight fabric with a soft touch lining they great for all types of riding.

I usually find trail shorts too thin and lightweight for riding DH tracks but I felt confident in these. I haven’t been unfortunate enough to ride in the rain with them on, but I did splash water onto them which beaded on top of the fabric which looks promising for the rapidly approaching winter weather.

I spent a few days wearing the shorts in Verbier mid-September which flagged up a down side of the shorts; there are no vents! I got quite hot while riding, however the temperature was up in the unseasonably warm 20’s. This shouldn’t be an issue for cooler autumn, winter and spring riding.

The essential features are all accounted for. Two side pockets had space for a few bits and pieces, but don’t have a fastening to keep them closed. There is also a zipped cargo pocket on the left leg, which is the perfect size for either a camera or phone plus lift pass.

The Trail shorts do have belt loops, but I used the integral Velcro waist adjusters to pull in the waistband – they held perfectly so I didn’t need to use a belt. Other fit features include a higher waistband at the back, and they have a branded button and zip fastening.

The POC branding stands out in bold white lettering on the right leg and there are smaller POC logos dotted around. A reflective dot is featured on the back of each leg which is a useful feature to help stay visible for occasional stints on the road, or if you wanted to use them for commuting.

They are a high quality short with perfect stitching and seams and have the ‘understated cool’ look down perfectly, as expected from POC!

For myself – a curvy size 10 and 5’8” tall – the medium was an absolutely perfect fit, and even the length was fine. In the medium, a waist measurement of 33 inches is complemented by a leg length of 21 inches, and a 12 inch inseam.

If you like to ride with a chamois liner under your baggy shorts, you’ll need to get your own as these shorts don’t come with one.

As I ride with kneepads, I tried them with both my bulky FOX DH pads and slimmer G-Form ones. They fitted perfectly over the top with no gap between the end of the shorts and the top of the kneepads, which is usually one of the big downfalls of women’s shorts.

VERDICT

A great pair of shorts for hitting the trails with on dry days, comfy enough to wear on long rides, and robust enough to take some rough treatment. They are well sized and look smart enough to wear post-ride.

PROS

– Mid-weight fabric offers a little more protection when you hit the deck than lightweight trail shorts.
– Good size and cut.
– Zipped pockets to keep phone/camera secure if you are riding without a pack.

CONS

– No vents
– No Chamois liner

Price: £75
Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
More information: POC
Available from: Available March 2014, from Chain Reaction Cycles, Bike Treks, Cycle Surgery, Winstanley Bikes, and good local bike shops

What POC say about the Trail WO women’s specific shorts:

The Trail WO Shorts for women are made of a two-way-stretch nylon – spandex mix and are highly functional for trail riding. Added versatility is included with two front pockets, a zip pocket on the left leg and reflective prints on the rear for improved visibility.

Technical features include: 

– Women’s specific
– Two-way-stretch fabric
– Zip pocket on the left leg
– Two front pockets
– Reflective prints on the rear for improved visibility
– Inseam designed for a more comfortable fit
– Printed logo

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