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.
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.
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.
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.