- Light and breathable
- Nice styling
- Need a longer inseam
- Shows skin above knee pad when pedalling
The Alpinestars Stella Pathfinder women’s shorts are a lightweight mountain bike short that also include a chamois liner. Although they look great off the bike, they could do with being a tad longer for pedalling.
The Stella Pathfinder’s are Alpinestars only current women’s short available in the brands line up. They are a trail short through and through, they are lightweight and best used in warmer, drier conditions. The shorts do feel extremely light, both to wear and in the feel of the fabric. Alpinestars say they use a rip-stop poly-fabric which has a slight stretch to it, to make these shorts hardwearing too, despite the light nature. I’ve experienced no problems with regards to their construction, the Pathfinders have proven themselves to be a hardy riding partner.
Features wise, the shorts include a padded chamois liner which is of a ‘shorty’ style, sitting at mid to upper thigh and providing a thin but comfortable pad. There are two pockets at the hips which are easy to get items into and out of, the odd location on the side of the body doesn't leave them in an ideal position for placing hands but it does mean that items inserted don’t get stuck in the crux of your hip when pedalling.
There is an elastic panel at the rear to further aid fit and stretch and the inner waist is covered with a soft material which is comfortable against the skin, a good thing as when worn with the supplied liner, the chamois shorts sit lower than the waist of the outer shorts. There is an adjustable waistband but this is of quite a rudimentary design when compared with others in its class. The adjustment consists of a simple velcro tab which serves to fold the waistband over, decreasing the waist size but leaving an obvious bunching of material. I wore the size 26” shorts which is equivalent to a UK size XS or 6 and found them to be surprisingly roomy at the waist, I needed to use those adjusters.
On the bike and the Stella Pathfinder shorts sit just above the knee when standing but ride up the leg when pedalling, exposing knee pad and skin. As they ride up the collect around the upper leg and crotch which is a little uncomfortable. I attributed this to the slightly slimmer fit of the shorts on my thighs, I did question as to whether I was wearing the correct size but seeing as I needed to employ the waist adjusters I don’t think I would want to size up at all. Fortunately, the shorts are constructed of such a light material so this bunching doesn’t create any rubbing or chafing. Begin descending and the shorts fall back into place easily, covering the tops of my kneepads.
At £100 for shorts and chamois, they are on par with others we have tested such as the Scott Trail 10 shorts and prove to be pretty good value too. As with the Scott shorts, I'd like a more substantial liner for longer days in the saddle or for all year round trail intentions. The liner in the Alpinestars shorts does not have any silicone grippers at the bottom of the legs and the lycra soon rides up too.
The Alpinestars Stella Pathfinder shorts are a hardy, light, cool and breathable pair of shorts for riding in warmer weather they just need to be a couple of inches longer – 14” at the inseam (like the Raceface Charlie Shorts) rather than 10”. If wearing knee pads isn’t your thing though, these could be a good option for hot days, as long as they don’t ride up your thighs.
It’s worth noting that we are also at the moment testing the male version of these shorts and the male tester has no problems with regards to the length or width of the leg where the inseam measures 13" on a size 32 short.
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