The Dainese HGL Aokighara could be a decent short thanks to its unfussy styling, but the waist closure is over-thought and needs to add zips on the pockets.
The Dainese HGL Aokighara short uses a ripstop nylon fabric with a small blend of elastane to give it a subtle four-way stretch, and there’s also an effective DWR coating. While it feels nice and soft against bare skin, and the flatlock stitching is unobtrusive, it’s not as supple and luxurious as some of the welded polyester/elastane mix fabrics found on the best mountain bike shorts – it reminds us of an old-school shell in that respect.
At the waist, Dainese has integrated all the adjustment into the fly closure. First close the pop-stud, then pull the flap across and attach the hook and loop tab at your preferred tension. This is reasonably effective, but the Velcro doesn’t feel especially secure, and any excess material tends to bunch at the crotch, creating a creepy/embarrassing protrusion.
There are two pockets on the front placed fairly high on the hips, but they’re not very deep and there is no zip to secure what’s inside. While nothing bounced out during testing, frankly we could do without the worry that something vital might go missing mid-ride.
Fairly short, with a 12.5in inseam, we found the Aokighara rode up quite a bit while pedalling, although the drop hem at the front of the knee helped cover the top of our pads while descending.
Bearing in mind the Dainese HGL Aokighara is a £95 short, there are definitely better options out there.