I've tested over 30 bib shorts - and two of my favorites are currently on huge Black Friday sales

The bib shorts I used to cycle over the High Atlas mountains of Morocco and the Cambrian mountain of Wales are on sale right now

Stefan cycling in Wales and Morocco
(Image credit: Anna Abram)

Having tested several dozen bib shorts over the years, I can tell you that there are a great many ways of getting this garment wrong. Whether it's leg grippers that are too tight, seams in the wrong place, insufficiently cushioning chamois - insufficiently breathable fabrics - bib straps that are either too tight, too narrow or not stretchy enough, or are equally flawed at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Of course, that's not an exhaustive list - and I'll never presume that I won't be surprised by the new and inventive ways brands can end up missing the mark. But on the flipside, when a pair of the best bibs shorts do clear the bar, I am proportionality appreciative. 

Pearl Izumi Attack Bib Shorts - Men's

Pearl Izumi Attack Bib Shorts - Men's

USA: <a href="https://classic.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=cl&mi=11465&pw=27131&ctc=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.competitivecyclist.com%2Fpearl-izumi-pursuit-attack-bib-short-mens" data-link-merchant="competitivecyclist.com"">was $100.00, now $60.00 at Competitive Cyclist

UK: <a href="https://pearlizumi.eu/en-gb/products/attack-bib-short?variant=44221540597991" data-link-merchant="pearlizumi.eu"" data-link-merchant="competitivecyclist.com"">was £95.65, now £47.83 at Pearl Izumi

I think these shorts are some of the best value bibs out there. Sure, they don't boast the most exclusive of fabrics, but the comfort they provide for the price is really very impressive. Pearl Izumi has nailed the fit and the breathability is great.

Pearl Izumi Attack Bib Shorts - Women's&nbsp;

Pearl Izumi Attack Bib Shorts - Women's 

USA: <a href="https://mikes-bikes.sjv.io/c/221109/987441/12988?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fmikesbikes.com%2Fproducts%2Fpearl-izumi-attack-bibshorts-womens" data-link-merchant="mikesbikes.com"">was $99.99, now $74.95 at Mike's Bikes

UK: <a href="https://pearlizumi.eu/en-gb/products/womens-attack-bib-short" data-link-merchant="pearlizumi.eu"" data-link-merchant="mikesbikes.com"">was £95.65, now £47.83 at Pearl Izumi

I can't comment on the cut and the comfort of the chamois in these shorts - nor drop-trail easy-pee system, aside from the fact it has one. But the same 'Transfer' fabric is used across both the men's and the women's shorts, and at this price point it gave a very impressive combination of support and compression.

7mesh MK3 Cargo Bib Short - Men's

7mesh MK3 Cargo Bib Short - Men's

USA: <a href="https://classic.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=cl&mi=10060&pw=27131&ctc=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.backcountry.com%2Fb%2F7mesh-industries-mk3-cargo-bib-short-mens" data-link-merchant="backcountry.com"">was $229.95, now $183.96 at Backcountry

UK: <a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1623320&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tradeinn.com%2Fbikeinn%2Fen%2F7mesh-mk3-cargo-bib-shorts%2F139879239%2Fp&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - tradeinn.com"" data-link-merchant="backcountry.com"">was £175.30, now £141.99 at BikeInn

You'll notice that the fabric panels of these shorts are quite differently arranged to most bib shorts you'll see. I found the fit and the location of the seams to be absolutely spot on - and the Elastic Interface chamois proved its worth across the High Atlas mountains.

7mesh WK3 Cargo Bib Short - Women's

7mesh WK3 Cargo Bib Short - Women's

USA: <a href="https://classic.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=cl&mi=10060&pw=27131&ctc=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.backcountry.com%2Fb%2F7mesh-industries-wk3-cargo-bib-short-womens" data-link-merchant="backcountry.com"">was $229.95, now $183.96 at Backcountry

UK: <a href="https://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?awinmid=25809&awinaffid=103504&clickref=hawk-custom-tracking&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sigmasports.com%2Fitem%2F7mesh%2FWK3-Womens-Cargo-Bib-Short%2FPNBE" data-link-merchant="sigmasports.com"" data-link-merchant="backcountry.com"">was £200.00, now £100.00 at Sigma Sports

Again, there's not much I can say regarding the fit or the easy-pee system - but the construction of the pockets looks quite similar to the men's. Those pockets have proved secure across my rides, and the lack of a top fabric flap does make access a little quicker and easier. However, I do much prefer designs with that flap when it comes to storing my phone on technical descents.

Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg