A thick-skinned riding trouser that's better suited to cooler conditions

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

Ion Shelter Softshell Pants


  • Hard-wearing, good weather-resistance, well-designed pockets


  • Not cheap, waist adjusters over-generous


Ion Shelter Softshell Pants review


Price as reviewed:


The Shelter is a mid-weight pant made from a four-way stretch fabric. This rustles noticeably when riding and isn’t as figure hugging as some, but it’s hard-wearing with triple stitched seams in stressed areas like the seat and knees. It also has a special DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment on the surface, which not only ups its foul weather credentials, but it makes it much easier to keep clean – we’ve spent a year riding this pant and it still looks like new.

Read more: Best riding trousers for mountain biking

The cut is not as tapered as the Endura MT500 Burner or IXS Trigger pants, but there’s plenty of room for knee pads underneath and you also get two lower leg zips, so you can get the trouser off easily. We can’t really see the point of the two zipped side vents, because when we opened them we didn’t notice an increase in air-flow. We also think the waist adjusters don’t offer a lot of tuning, simply because they are about three inches too long. To tighten the trouser we had to run the strap right on the end of the Velcro and it would often pull off, causing the trouser to slip down.

The Shelter does have a big press stud on the zip fly with extra securing Velcro and it has some of the best pockets on test. Both are zipped and one side even features a padded neoprene holder for a phone – this is a really nice touch.

With its extra weight and quality proofing the Shelter is perfect for winter riding or those early morning starts where you need a bit of extra protection. It has some nice details and is a really durable trouser that’s built to last, but the waist adjusters, badly positioned vents and higher price ultimately count against it.


The Ion Shelter is fully loaded, but we marked it down on the high price, the pointless vents and the badly positioned waist adjusters. And while comfortable, it would hang down a bit at the rear.


Sizes:S, M, L, XL, XXL