The Altura All Road Waterproof Short is effective, comfortable and well-priced, if not quite 100 percent waterproof. Oh, and try before you buy – the sizing is not quite what you'd expect.
The construction is well thought out, with stretch panels in the legs and waist to soften the fit, a Velcro cinch band at the back, waterproof zippers and taped seams. The length is perfect for knee pads, too – they sit really well whilst pedalling and give great coverage to shield you from mud and water.
While at first spray protection was impressive, the waterproof properties of the material diminished from the very first wash. Subsequent wet rides saw moisture start to creep in, although the All Roads still kept the worst of the water and filth at bay.
Despite this slight performance drop, these shorts are a good companion for wet weather riding. The thin material doesn’t stick to the body and doesn’t hold water either, so it stays light. The pockets have ample space for a phone or trail snacks and the waterproof zippers protect them well.
The All Road's size up big. Altura’s guide puts me squarely in size large, but I had to fully cinch the Velcro waistband to get them fitted – and the resulting folds around the back create a mud trap. You could go down a waist size, but the slim cut around the thighs could then cause an issue.
At £75 the All Road shorts represent good value for money. They're up against the likes of the Madison Zenith Waterproof Shorts – also £75 – and although the Zenith wins on absolute waterproofness, the extra comfort and breathability of the Alturas could be a deal clincher.
The Endura MT500 Waterproof Short II is another excellent choice, too, but more expensive at £100.
Altura’s All Road Waterproof Short is well made, comfortable and effective, but niggles with the sizing, the durability of the waterproofing and the mud trap at the rear can disappoint. There are better options for the price, but not that many – the All Roads are still absolutely worth considering.
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