The Alpkit Strada women’s bikepacking and touring short is a good choice for long adventure rides or regular gravel blasts. The well-designed legs are tapered to prevent snags, but they're too short to work with knee pads – and there’s no waist adjustment unless you like wearing a belt.
Built for long adventure rides, the Strada is a hot or mild weather short that's super comfortable to ride in, with a casual style that doesn’t look out of place at café, pub or shop stops.
It's a simple design, featuring a two-popper waist, a zip fly and belt loops. If you're not keen on riding in a belt, make sure these fit before buying, as there is no other waist adjustment.
The two front hip pockets are open, while the two at the rear are zipped, with easy-to-reach openings next to the side seam. They're actually very useful, as in addition to being secure and a good size, they're positioned so that whatever you shove in there doesn't restrict your movement.
The shorts sit just above the knee, too high to work well with kneepads, to which they leave a gap. To be fair they're not really designed for that kind of thing anyway, and those shorter legs are effectively tapered to prevent any catching and rubbing on the bikes or luggage. They're generously cut overall though, and comfy for it.
Sizing comes up a little large, mind you: I’m usually a size 10 on the bottom half, but these 10s are a little baggy on me.
The fabric is light, breathable and slightly stretchy, with a water-repellent coating which still beads rain numerous washed later. It’s quick drying and hard wearing too, despite the soft and stretchy nature – another good characteristic for touring.
Specifically built for cycle touring and bikepacking, the Alpkit Strada is an unobtrusive short that matches well with pretty much any kit, and is happy layered over lycra chamois or worn without. At £60 they're reasonably priced, but don't expect to use them for everything – they're definitely best at touring and bikepacking, and not so good for the rest.
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