Mountain bikers tend to get short shrift when it comes to high-quality apparel, especially shorts. While many companies make solid outers, the accompanying chamois is often thin and insufficient. We used to lament baggies that don't ship with pads but have recently changed our tune: Not only are they cheaper this way, but we always end up subbing our favorite bib or chamois underneath anyway. And while we've yet to find a combination set as good as the Mavic Stratos, we have come across a handful of solid performers. If you need a good pad, look no further than the Mavic Under Short ($80).
DYNAFIT SHORE U SHORTS ($130)
These baggies would be our outright favorites except for one thing: Ours came in a bright white colorway, which quickly became stained and muddy brown. Dynafit has wisely discontinued the white, and while the green they've replaced it with is more durable, you have to be a Kermit fanatic to pull it off (we're not). Fashion aside, these shorts are brilliant. The stretch ripstop material is both comfy and bombproof, with baggy-but-tailored patterning that's flattering and smooth to ride in. The zip hip pockets aren't super useful since anything in them hops around with every pedal stroke, but the ample Velcro thigh pockets more than make up for it. Fit is dialed thanks to the elastic and Velcro band tucked in the rear of the waist, and our favorite feature is the venting, with the entire rear section of the short open and mesh-lined for air flow. Thankfully, along with the White Shore Us, Dynafit also discontinued the X4 Chamois Knicks, which were far too minimal for serious riding—don't get suckered into buying them on closeout.
BOTTOM LINE: Killer baggies. Now how about those colors...?