I’m so impressed with these ‘over-shorts’ from Sportful that we’ve been almost inseparable since they arrived at my door. Unheard of for a road cycling collection, they’re more akin to ‘baggies’ that you’ll find in every mountain biker’s wardrobe, but with a few key differences. These looser fitting shorts, worn over padded lycra shorts or just on their own for casual wear seem to be becoming more popular, especially with long distance cyclists or when touring on road bikes.
One of the best parts about these over-shorts is the fit and stretch. The polyamide/elastane construction gives generous stretch across all directions and teamed with the loose fit around the thighs down to just above the knee, they are supremely comfortable and don’t restrict movement, whether you’re in the saddle or not. This fabric is also treated with durable water repellent (DWR), helping to keep the worst of the elements and road muck from ruining your ride.
The waistband is well constructed, complete with belt loops if you’d like to add a belt, and internal elasticated pulls secured with velcro allow you to adjust the fit to suit your shape. The shorts are fastened with a sturdy popper and zip which makes changing really easy. On the rear of the shorts, a mesh panel across the lower back aids ventilation and works very well to keep you cool and feeling fresh.
The second fantastic feature on these shorts are the pockets. With a generous pocket on either side of the front, lined with a strong but lightweight breathable mesh, there’s plenty of space for your phone, keys, purse or snacks, so you can pop out in just a t-shirt without jersey pockets if need be. On longer rides, they simply give more choice on how you arrange your kit. On the left-hand side, again denoted by the signature coral stripe, a zipped pocket is perfect for credit cards, cash or other valuable items – a really useful idea from Sportful here.
Despite being baggy, these shorts give a flattering cut and the dark grey colour compliments the rest of the kit well. Again we see the silver Sportful logo, printed on the rear left hip. The only criticism I can find is that the inner velcro tabs that secure the waistband can sometimes irritate the skin; a problem that is soon solved by employing a lightweight base layer or tucking in a t-shirt. I look forward to a summer in these shorts, putting their long-term durability to the test.
Sportful’s Giara over-shorts are available in sizes x.small to xx.large here for £65.