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The top 6 best women’s cycling shorts with extra padding

In this article I’m going to give you an overview of the very best women’s cycling shorts with extra padding.

The list is comprised of the best of the best of what today’s top brands have to offer, with top-of-the-line chamois offering high levels of comfort irrespective of how many hours you remain in the saddle.

Only in the best cycling shorts will you find chamois, which are multi-layered and offer extra protection to prevent saddle soreness, or at least siginificantly reduce the risk of it. Seamlessly integrated into the shorts with varying degrees of thickness they provide the comfort and pressure relief where needed, and get out of the way where they should.

To a certain extent, and because everyone is different, finding the right cycling bib for your specific body type can be difficult. But all of these entries have proven track records of offering that no-feel quality every cyclist is looking for.

So from weekend warrior to those of you who go the distance literally, you’ll be able to find the perfect option on this list of the best women’s cycling shorts with extra padding.

Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short

Pearl Izumi Women's PRO Bib Short
Pearl Izumi Women's PRO Bib Short

The Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short sits at the top of the range of this Japanese brand. What you get in return is one of the most comfortable cycling bibs money can buy with a number of other fantastic features.

The short comes with the Womens Levitate PRO chamois, which is a 3-layer setup of various densities. What this accomplishes is that it gradually spreads the pressure on the sit bones to a larger area, and absorbs standard road vibrations.

Taking a cue from saddle design, the chamois also has a female specific pressure relief channel. Layers are connected at the front and back, introducing flexibility and reducing body friction. Finally, the entire chamois is tapered at the edge and attached to the bib seamlessly.

All that technology pays dividends on the road, giving you that no-feel fit without the need to constantly adjust the seat of your pants.

Furthermore, the cycling bibs have a drop-tail design. It’s a large horizontal cut at the lower-back, which enables bathroom stops without the need to completely undress. Simply pull down the lower part of the shorts and you’re ready to answer nature’s calling. A small, but great bib innovation for female road cyclists.

The shorts are made from Italian PRO Transfer fabric, which creates moderate compression and an allround superb fit. The laser cut hems are finished with silicone grippers that ensure they stay in place without seams created that dreaded sausage look.

Last but not least, the cycling bibs feature 2 large thigh pockets, and 2 smaller back pockets. So plenty of cargo space to accommodate either your phone or energy bars.

The Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short are the perfect shorts for female cyclist that want the best and are willing to pay for it.

Giordana Women’s FR-C Pro Bib Short

Giordana Women's FR-C Pro Bib Short
Giordana Women's FR-C Pro Bib Short

The Giordana Women’s FR-C Pro Bib Short is a gorgeous piece of cycling apparel from the Italian brand.

Featuring the 4-layer 11 mm Cirro S-W chamois, it’s a performance-oriented cycling short that’s actually thinner than their next-in-line 13 mm Cirro-W chamois, but still packs a pressure relief layer with a waffled texture. This is again pressed onto another thin layer with open cell padded elements for the ultimate pressure relief where it’s necessary.

It’s HC50 Lycra is snugly shaped into a high-waisted short with dual mesh straps in the front ending into a wide back panel. Wide elastic hems ensure with laser cut edges and elastically woven ensure a smooth fit without pinching. It all combines into a superbly lightweight and highly breathable cycling bibs designed for those who can appreciate the best Giordana has to offer for their ambitious female cyclists.

Castelli Endurance W Bibshort

Castelli Endurance W Bibshort
Castelli Endurance W Bibshort

Targeting towards ultimate comfort, the Castelli Endurance W Bibshort offers the most protection on longer rides.

It has the Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois, where a soft skin-layer sits atop a perforated foam layer. This multi-stretch comfort layer is totally seamless, offers different densities to provide the most damping where needed, and has padded inserts. What all this technology does is provide a carefree fit with loads of comfort for arduous multi-hour rides.

The Italian brand always offers flattering designs, and it’s no different with this short. They forgo the droptail design with the horizontal slit other brands incorporate for bathroom stops, and instead opt for extra elastic straps that can be easily pulled down.

The Endurance Evolution compression fabric sits snugly without hampering movement and even with the all-black color, does a good job of keeping you cool and evaporating sweat.

I’ve been a favorite of this brand for years and this affordable short does nothing to change that point of view. Providing great value-for-money in a short that offers the best in the area of comfort for epic rides.

Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort

Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort
Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort

In every category there are products that sit at the right end of the specific spectrum and the Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort does this in the area of their chamois. The biggest question that needs answering when offering a product that promises unparalleled levels of comfort, is whether it performs as expected. The answer to that question is yes, with a slight caveat.

With the 18 mm. Total Comfort W pad it’s by far the thickest and widest pad on this list, which will suit riders who failed to find comfort in other premium offerings. So for those who prefer triple-digits rides, these are the perfect shorts for you. There’s loads of comfort to be found in a pad that feels like your riding on a pillow.

To ensure a design that doesn’t look like you’re wearing diapers, the incredibly thick pad is strongly tapered and has a variable thickness. Once in the saddle they don’t feel any different from pads that are almost half this one.

These are not shorts for women who like to ride aggressively in a forward position for longer stretches. The thickest area of the pad is located at the back, preferring a more upright position. So not only will these shorts provide high levels of comfort in a more relaxed position, they’re also a perfect choice for gravel afficionados, where damping features are more highly appreciated.

The rest of the shorts are of a quality appropriate for it’s steep price, with the entire upper part of the shorts and wide straps made from breathable mesh. It all means these shorts targets a distinctive audience with specific needs, but it does so excellently.

POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts

POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts
POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts

The POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts are comfortable shorts for women with bigger tighs.

The Swedish brand offers cycling shorts with silicone inserted chamois meant for long distance riding. The inserts are cleverly located to relieve pressure for a femal specific anatomy, and sits seamlessly atop a perforated base layer.

The cycling bibs has a reversed back panel, meaning there’s only one wide mesh strap in the front and two in the back. The straps offer enough elasticity to be pulled down, ensuring easy bathroom stops without the need to remove your cycling jersey.

Seams are kept to an absolute minimum including ones for the laser cut hems, which have integrated silicone grippers. Women with bigger tighs won’t have to worry about sausage legs with these bibs.

Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts

Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts
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 cycling shorts with extra padding

NamePriceChamoisStrapsMaterialHemsPocketsDisciplineBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short225 USDtriple-density Womens Levitate PROclipped straps w. drop tailItalian PRO Transfer fabriclaser-cut w. silicone grippernoneroadlinklink
Giordana Women’s FR-C Pro Bib Short225 USD4-layer 11 mm. Cirro S-WcliplessHC50 Lycra190 E wovennoneroadlinklink
Castelli Endurance W Bibshort160 USDProgetto X2 Air Donnadrop tail bib strapsEndurance Evolution compression fabricGIRO3 leg grippernoneroadlinklink
Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort230 USD18 mm. Total Comfort Wperforated straps w. back panellaser cutnoneroadlink
POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts200 eurosWomen’s Multi Dreverse suspenderlaser-cut w. silicone grippernoneroad, gravel, MTBlink
Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts160 euros16 mm. C1mesh strapsLycra Sport Energyelastic wovenStretch pockets at legs, zip back pocketgravel, MTBlinklink