A collection of the best women’s kit for mountain biking. A wealth of women’s-specific kit means no more of the small-sized men’s stuff.
Women are not small men. Sure, on average we’re shorter, but there’s more to it than that – we’ve got disproportionately bigger hips, shorter arms and legs, longer torsos and smaller heads for our height. You can’t just buy small men’s or children’s kit and expect it to work as well then, and that’s what makes women’s-specific gear a must for those of us who shred. Luckily, brands have come a long way in a few short years and there’s a wash of excellent riding gear out there. Here’s our pick.
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Endura Women’s Singletrack Jacket
The Endura Women’s Singletrack jacket is a full wet-weather jacket for all day rides, it has a ton of features and it does everything really well. It’s excellent value for money.
Madison DTE Women’s Jacket
Three-layer construction proving a match for the worst of a British winter. Our tester praised the hood for having enough room for long hair or a ponytail, and came away extremely impressed with the performance of the Durable Waterproof Repellent coating, with water sheeting off the surface perfectly. A heavy duty jacket, the DTE is the ideal match for even the most stinking of winter days.
Endura Women’s MT500 Spray Baggy Trouser II
You might expect a more relaxed fit with baggy in the title, but don’t be fooled into thinking these are a shapeless offering – far from it. Good on length and well tapered, they have zipped ankle closures, that give you more room in the lower leg should you wish, and help you get them off over shoes. Well shaped around the knees, there are no complaints with any thickness of kneepad run underneath. And up to the waist they have a double popper and zip closure and adjustable Velcro. These are a rugged all-weather pant that still pack a punch on style and features.
MBR buyer’s guide: Best women’s mountain bike pants and riding trousers
Race Face Traverse Women’s Short
The Traverse is made from a lighter weight polyester material than the Khyber and is definitely a summer-only short. You don’t get a liner, so you’ll have to provide one yourself. You also don’t get waist adjusters – instead, this short has an elasticated waist band, which we really like because there’s no bulky Velcro strap to dig in when leaning forward on the bike or sitting around at the end of a ride.
Nukeproof Blackline Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey
Nukeproof has fast developed a great range of women’s kit, it’s good value, well fitted to women’s bodies and the sizing is accurate too. This short sleeve jersey with funky melange design is made from 100 per cent recycled S.Café fabric (which is made out of a combination of coffee grounds and recycled yarn), which is really quick drying and has a full mesh back to keep you fresh on warmer days. A zip pocket in the dropped rear hem provides a handy stash point for valuables.
Specialized Women’s Liner Bib Shorts SWAT
This bib liner from Specialized is both a quality undershort combined and a clever storage options to help you stash your trail side essentials. Bib shorts have traditionally been tricky bits of kit for women to use when nature calls, but Spesh has a way round the problem – there’s an opening at the back meaning you can drop the shorts section without having to slip off the shoulder straps. Ingenious.
The bib is constructed from a mesh fabric called VaporRize that’s cool and light, and there’s a women’s specific chamois too. For your gear you get three good-sized pockets at the back, and angled so they sit easily accessible above your trail shorts and don’t get trapped in your waistband. Two further pockets on the thigh mean you can legitimately leave the backpack at home should you wish.
Melon Optics Alleycat glasses
Keen to flex your creativity? Melon Optics Alleycat glasses let you personalise your eyewear and inject your own style and flair. You can choose your frame colour, lens type, even customise your nose piece to build a pair of glasses to match your riding needs and creative style. The Zeiss Trail Lens gives crystal clarity on the trail in a wide lens and each pair comes with a low light lens to switch to as standard to give you year round use. Anti-scratch, water repellent, and anti-reflective coatings come as standard.
Giro LA DND Glove
Down and Dirty (DND) glove has flex zones across your knuckles to allow natural movement and touch screen fingertips mean there’s no need to remove them to capture that trailside selfie. The microfiber palms have a three piece construction eliminating bunching and the 3mm Technogel inserts help disperse pressure on rides. You can be as subtle or loud in design choice as you like with plain block colours, polka dot or patterned designs available.
Troy Lee Designs Women’s Lilium Jacquard Jersey
Troy Lee Designs overhauled their women’s kits this year with three new collections on offer. The Lillium collection features quick drying, stretchy kits perfect for big days in the saddle. This long sleeved jersey has a subtle floral design that looks great and doubles up as increased ventilation and is perfect for changing seasons. Four way stretch, and flatlock seams make it comfy against your skin and there’s a dropped back hem that shapes the jersey nicely. Available from XS to XL and in a mix of solid colours and floral designs it would be hard not to find one you love.
Osprey Seral 7L Backpack
Osprey offers a collection of fantastic women’s specific bike backpacks, but we’ve been trying out the unisex Seral 7L over the hot summer months. The 1.5L hydration reservoir is shaped to mould to your hips, helping to keep the pack firmly placed on descents. A ventilated Airspace panel keeps the pack far enough away to allow a good airflow for hotter rides. A separate compartment complete with a scratch free pocket is perfect for your phone and a mesh pocket with key clip keeps all your essentials organised. Tools, emergency jacket and important trailside snacks all fit in comfortably.
Endura Women’s MT500 Spray Short
With the change in seasons on the way the MT500 short is a helpful investment to keep you riding in damp conditions. They are a women’s specific fit, with a generous range of sizes. Surprisingly lightweight, and very comfortable to wear with four way stretch DWR finished front panels allowing free movement. The waterproof taped seat panels keep unwanted spray from the trails off you for all day riding comfort and don’t feel plasticy. A dropped front hem means there’s no risk of the dreaded knee pad gap and Clickfast poppers mean you can partner them with Endura’s liner short should you wish.
Five Ten Trailcross LT
The Five Ten Trailcross offers a flat pedal shoe blending high performance and all day comfort, in a lightweight and durable style. A shoe that urges you to go anywhere and do anything, they are a refreshing change from the often seen heavier skater style riding shoes. The mesh upper delivers breathability and good ventilation. The Stealth Phantom dotty soles provide you grip for even the gnarliest of trails. And if you’re pushing up or heading to the pub after rides they look just as good off the bike as on.