Kitsbow Soft Shell A/M Short

Heavyweight short with a heavyweight price tag

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Kitsbow’s Soft Shell A/M Short has an understated appearance and a steep price tag that reflects its premium construction and the fact that Kitsbow produces its apparel in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kitsbow makes the $269 Soft Shell A/M short in nine waist sizes from 28 through 38. There’s also a version of the short with an adjustable waistband available in sizes XS through XXL that may be a better option for those who tend to change the notch in their belt between seasons.

We found our size 30 A/M Short to be true to size. It has a slim fit through the legs, so there’s less material to flap around while pedaling. The soft and stretchy Schoeller softshell fabric prevents the slim fit from feeling restrictive.

Impecable construction, proven durability and excellent fit all help to justify the steep price tag of kitsbow's soft shell a/m short:
The short has a tailored fit that isn't restrictive

As is to be expected of a short costing more than many of the components on your bike, the fit, finish and attention to detail are impeccable. The Soft Shell A/M short is full of small but thoughtful details that add up to a short that is truly tailored for on-the-bike performance.

The soft shell a/m short uses a sliding closure for a secure fit: the soft shell a/m short uses a sliding closure for a secure fit
The Soft Shell A/M short has quilting on the waistband for comfort and a sliding closure for security

It has a front closure that looks like a button, but slides, rather than snaps, into place for a secure fit. The legs are cut slightly higher in the rear to prevent the bottom of the cuffs from rubbing against your calves. Our favorite feature turned out to be the rearward-facing waist pockets, which keep items from banging against the top of your thighs while pedaling, as well as increasing the likelihood that items will stay in your pockets, should you forget to zip them shut.

Best of all, over the course of several months of testing, tumbling and regular washings there’s scarcely a sign of wear.

Kitsbow’s soft shell a/m packs a lot of features into a well-made, understated short:
After several months of regular use and abuse the Soft Shell A/M short is still going strong

While the fit and finish are impeccable and durability is quite good, the Soft Shell A/M short is not without its limitations. The use of water-resistant Schoeller softshell fabric means this short is considerably heavier than most others on the market, making the Soft Shell A/M a better option for mild temperatures. Kitsbow also makes a midweight version that’s a better alternative for riding in the heat.

Overall, Kitsbow’s Soft Shell A/M packs a lot of features into a well-made, understated short.

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 170cm / 5'7"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 72cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
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