In this blog I’m going to give you my top picks for the best women’s cargo bib shorts.
With the popularity of gravel riding ever growing, there’s also been a continued demand for cycling bibs becoming more versatile. And one of the areas of versatility is the ability to being able to carry more with you. That’s where cargo bib shorts come into play, which are in essence cycling bibs with pockets.
Besides featuring pockets, either on the legs, in the back, or both, cargo bib shorts also feature more abbrassion resistant areas on the thighs. Probably taking into account the rougher conditions where your average gravel riding takes place.
Obviously a perfect reason for opting for cargo bibs shorts might be that you find the extra storage space coming in handy, even if you do nothing else but road cycling.
Whatever you prefer, I’ve picked a couple of the very best women’s cargo bib shorts for you to choose from.
Castelli Free Unlimited W Bibshort
The Castelli Free Unlimited W Bibshort are gorgeous cycling bibs meant for long distance gravel or endurance riders.
It features Castelli’s top-of-the-line Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois made for comfort for ambitious cyclists. Female specific pressure points are more supported with an added layer of perforated padding, besides a skin layer, and dual density foam layer. This means a further reduction of saddle soreness when riding for many hours.
It also features drop tail bib straps, which can be pulled down further to fascilitate bathroom stops without removing your cycling jersey.
These straps are attached to bibs made from compression fabric and having strengthened side panels made from DyneemaComposite Fabric, which is stronger, lighter, and more abbrasion resistant than comparable nylon fabrics. So should you ever fall with this fairly expensive piece of cycling apparel, chances of you actually tearing them are significantly reduced.
Both legs also hold two large pockets for you to stow away stuff for easy access while riding.
If you take your riding serious and you want a beatifully designed cargo bib, the Castelli Free Unlimited W Bibshort should be at the top of your list.
Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort
The Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort is an elegantly designed cycling bib with 4 pockets. You’ve got one on each leg and two in the rear.
In line with cargo bibs being more gravel oriented, the side panels are made from two instead of a single layer. The pockets are conveniently oriented and can hold just about everything you’d want to stuff into them.
The moderately priced bib doesn’t look or feel bulky, and is classically shaped, with dual straps ending in a rear back panel.
The chamois is Castelli’s KISS Air2 Donna, which means a soft skin layer is seamlessly welded to a female oriented dual-density layer, with an anatomical shape.
The Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort provides a great allround package in terms of price, comfort, and style.
Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort
The Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort is a more traditional bib short from the Italian brand, which also caters to the gravel community by offering bibs with pockets.
It’s meant for race-day with a tight compression fabric but still holds their impressively comfortable 18 mm. Total Comfort W chamois. Such a pad does make a difference when traversing less than ideal road conditions for longer periods.
The entire back panel and front straps are created from mesh fabric, with a large side section connecting front and back. Together with the fabric you get a pair of shorts that stay in place, look flattering and feel comfortable.
There are 3 pockets. One located at the left leg and two in the back, measuring 10 x 13 cm each, with the one on the leg being 16 x 11 cm. With today’s huge phones, especially when sleeved, you might still opt to place them somewhere else. But they perform adequately for energy bars.
The shorts are beautifully crafted and fit your average built perfectly, but as far as cargo shorts go, there’s room for improvement.
Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts
The Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts is another gravel-oriented cargo short that takes its name from the popular Kansas gravel event.
It holds the C1 chamois reserved for their premium lineup. It’s an impressive 16 mm thick pad made from recycled polyamide that has 4-way stretch to it, with a varying density. Craft is big into sustainability and they have a proprietary way of creating their chamois in such a way it reduces waste material.
The straps cross at the back and have a front panel that sits very high on the waist. There are both stretch and zippered pockets. The stretch pockets sit at the legs, with the zippered pockets at the back. Obviously zippered pockets take greater care of what you put into them, but can be a nuisance when trying to open and close while riding.
Specifications women’s cargo bib shorts
|Name||Price||Chamois||Straps||Material||Hems||Pockets||Discipline||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Castelli Free Unlimited W Bibshort||230 USD||Progetto X2 Air Donna||drop tail bib straps||Forza 2 compression fabric||raw cut w.o. silicone||2 leg pockets||road, gravel||link|
|Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort||150 USD||KISS Air2 Donna||back bib panel||Lycra||raw-cut w. silicone||2 mesh rear pockets, 2 side pockets||road, gravel||link|
|Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort||195 USD||18 mm. Total Comfort W||mesh straps w. mesh back panel||Compression fabric||elastic woven||1 mesh cargo pocket on left leg and 2 mesh pockets on back||road, gravel, bikepacking||link||link|
|Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts||160 euros||16 mm. C1||mesh straps||Lycra Sport Energy||elastic woven||Stretch pockets at legs, zip back pocket||gravel, MTB||link||link|