Rapha Women's Core Cargo cycling shorts review

Rapha (almost) offers pocket equality to women with its new Cargo shorts, but do the extra compartments work on the bike?

Rapha Women's Core Cargo cycling shorts
(Image credit: Rapha)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Whilst I'm not sold on short pockets for road rides, I can see these being excellent for bikepackers and commuters alike. It's a shame not to enjoy bibs, and the pocket parity that would bring with the additional lower back compartment, but in this case the waist option might better suit the target market - and though thick, the chamois is an absolute dream.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent chamois

  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Pockets could be useful in right scenario

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bib option would be nice

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Women the world over know the frustration of clothing with insufficient pocket space. In fact, cycling kit is one of few markets where pocket equality is almost a given - but in summer 2018 Rapha decided that the traditional three compartment approach just wasn't enough, introducing the Cargo range.

After soft launching the concept with men, via the Cargo bib shorts and Cargo bib tights, Rapha has decided the design is good enough for women too, offering secret squirrel storage on its new Core Cargo waist shorts.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.