Once reserved for mountain trails and road races, bike shorts have become a wardrobe staple, transforming from cyclist essential to fashion statement that’s made its way into the closets of supermodels, yoga enthusiasts, and comfort-seeking travelers alike.
Whether the athleisure look is something you subscribe to or not, there’s no denying just how practical bike shorts are: They’re hyper-comfortable, effortlessly packable, and extremely versatile, as easily paired with exercise tops as they are blazers, and fit for wherever you’re headed next—be it the gym, a hike or picnic in the park, or simply lounging on the couch at a hotel or in your summer Airbnb. Ahead, discover 18 of the best bike shorts to add to your suitcase this summer.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Lindsey Olander.
For every day
Girlfriend Collective High Waist Bike Shorts
“Biker shorts have never been something you'd find in my gym wardrobe. I always noticed they'd become loose in the mid-thigh area after a few leg days, but that wasn’t the case for the Girlfriend Collective high-rise bike shorts. They’re compressive yet lightweight which makes them extremely comfortable. I wore these shorts with the matching Paloma racerback bra and I got so many compliments. The only con: As beautiful and vibrant as the Atlas color is, it isn’t dark enough to mask sweat completely.” —Paris Wilson, commerce producer
Inseam length: 8.5"
What we love most: Every Girlfriend Collective short is made from 17 recycled water bottles, preventing over 12 pounds of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere and saving two gallons of water in the production process. After wearing your pair thin (trust us, you’ll never want to take them off), send it back to ReGirlfriend, which upcycles unwanted garments into new styles.
Set Active Luxform bike shorts
Set Active's Luxform fabric is buttery-soft and actually smoothes my legs. They're high-waisted, don't slide down as I move, and don't dig into my thighs. These are great to work out in with a matching sports bra, but are equally comfortable to throw on with an oversized hoodie or zip-up. The Luxform bike shorts are supportive around the waist and there are no side seams, making them look even smoother on my legs. I'm bringing this lightweight pair on all of my summer trips for morning walks and trips to the hotel gym. Another pro: They aren't see-through at all. —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor
Inseam length: 5"
What we love most: Their versatility: I've worn these on the StairMaster and I've also worn them to the grocery store.
Girlfriend Collective Bike Unitard
Trying to pack light? This one's for you. Girlfriend's Bike Unitard takes up very little space in your suitcase and can be worn a dozen different ways—working out, on a road trip, or styled with a button-up and sling bag. It's made with Girlfriend Collective's classic compressive fabric that sculpts the body—it has a built-in bra and plenty of support for a one-piece—and comes from recycled plastic water bottles.
Inseam length: 5 7/8"
What we love most: Like most things Girlfriend Collective, sizing on this ranges from XXS–6XL.
Halara Crossover Side Pocket Biker Shorts
The crossover design of these bike shorts is flattering on everyone's waist and a more chic way to rock these classic shorts. This pair has side pockets to store your phone and just enough stretch so that they don't dig into your legs. These are available in fun summer colors like rose, milky green, yellow, grape, and pale blue.
Inseam length: 7"
What we love most: They are pet hair-resistant, so you don't have to worry about your furry friend shedding all over them.
For active days
Lululemon Base Pace high-rise short
“These Lululemon shorts recently carried me through a rainy half marathon, pulling off the ultimate goal in running wear: I didn't think about them once. No adjusting needed, thanks to the fitted but not overly tight waistband and silicone grips around the thighs to keep the hem from riding up. There's no inseam, either, which adds to the smoothness of the shorts. I'll no doubt be wearing them on future runs too.” Madison Flager, senior commerce editor
Inseam length: 8"
What we love most: The secureness they provide runners.
Ganni Active Ultra High-Waist shorts
"Fashion, meet function. I love these Ganni bike shorts because they can go from biking around the city to lunch with friends (there's a wide range of how “casual” they look based on what you wear up top). They're a comfy 75 percent recycled nylon/25 percent spandex blend, with a flattering shape and seams that make them feel that much more pulled together. There's also a little pocket in the back where you can fit your keys—or, if you aren't scared of a tight stretch, an iPhone—which makes them decidedly more usable than other fashion-y bike shorts. The leopard is a mood, but I love the sporty black with a green racing stripe up the side." —Megan Spurrell, senior editor
What we love most: The back pocket to store your keys and how stylish this pair looks on.
Free People Movement Good Karma ruched shorts
“When the warm weather sprung up suddenly in New York this year, I ordered a pair of stretchy shorts from Free People Movement to wear during spring and summer runs around Brooklyn. I opted for this ruched style that looked super versatile, and they didn't disappoint—they're definitely multipurpose, and perfect for running, yoga, and lounging around my apartment, paired with a soft, baggy T-shirt. They're a nylon and spandex blend but don't have a shiny, slippery texture at all; instead, they're super soft and stretchy and feel so much like cotton to the touch. They slip on smoothly, have a high waist with some give, and don't pinch at the waist, scrunch between your legs, or dig into your thighs. My only con: Because of their body-clinging fit and thin fabric, especially in the front, they're a little too revealing for me to be comfortable wearing to the grocery store.” —Alex Erdekian, travel bookings commerce editor
What we love most: The unique ruching in the back.
Outdoor Voices Warmup 5" Short
These über-comfy bike shorts from Outdoor Voices have been flying off the shelves ever since Gigi Hadid was seen wearing them. The style sculpts and lifts thanks to textured compression material, which stretches with your curves and—most importantly—stays put to minimize chafing. The best news? All thigh sizes are welcome: According to the site’s myriad rave reviews, the shorts flatter nearly every body type and will stay in place while dancing, jogging, hiking, biking, lounging, or walking around town. Choose from fun colors like clementine, violet, bubblegum, navy, graphite, and more.
Inseam length: 5"
What we love most: The textured compression fabric feels so smooth and actually moves with you.
Nike Mid-Rise Bike Shorts
For a sporty, effortless look, these Nike bike shorts are your new go-to. They feature the brand's signature swoosh and look great with a pair of white sneakers and simple T-shirt. These hug your body and have a longer inseam than most bike shorts on the market, so you can wear them comfortably even while running or on especially hot days.
Inseam length: 10"
What we love most: Nike offers these bike shorts in over a dozen colors, including bright pink, taupe, dark heather gray, green, and more.
For days spent cycling
Helly Hansen Roam short trail tights
“Helly Hansen's Roam trail tights are ideal for travelers looking for maximum coverage, without dipping into a legging-length tight. The longer hem (it hits an inch or two above my knee) helps avoid any sort of chafing, and makes it a great pick for bike rides or long runs. I like the back pocket, too, for stashing my keys and a card in.” —M.F.
What we love most: Longer hem and the convenient back pocket.
Beroy Womens Bike Shorts with 3D Gel Padded
Sometimes, style isn’t everything. Those with actual cycling plans have a different set of needs when it comes to the best women's bike shorts—namely, padding in the seat area, which is essential for preventing saddle sores. With over 10,000 happy reviews on Amazon, the people have spoken: Beroy’s best-selling cycling shorts are top of the line. The chamois is built with 3D gel padding that molds to the body and reduces impact, the performance fabric reduces friction while absorbing moisture, the reflective logo ensures on-road safety, and built-in silicone beads prevent the material from riding up your leg. The hardest decision left to make is choosing among the 36 different designs.
What we love most: These are available on Amazon Prime and at $30, they're one of the most affordable options on our list.
Louis Garneau Fit Sensor Shorts
Next time you head out for a long but local ride—perhaps to the next town over for lunch, or to the nearest body of water—slip into these comfortable, form-fitting shorts with subtle (but effective) padding. Find them in black, navy, and slate.
Inseam length: 5.5"
What we love most: Moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool while riding.
Pearl Izumi Pro Bib Short
Bib shorts are a must for serious, long-distance riders. The straps keep your shorts snugly in place with no need for a waistband, and won't restrict deep breaths as you ride and climb. For long days on the road, like on a multi-day cycling tour, these are a great choice.
Inseam length: 8.5"
What we love most: Reflective elements help riders be seen even in low light.
For lazy days
Alo Yoga Seamless Ribbed Mellow onesie
I’ll be tossing this seamless ribbed onesie in my carry-on all summer long. It’s much softer than any other bike shorts I own, so I prefer this one for the days I’d rather be in loungewear but still need to look pulled together. The ribbed material is flattering on and quite forgiving—it hugs your body just enough without being restrictive and isn't see-through. As with any good onesie, this style saves you some packing room and is easy to throw on with a pair of sneakers and run out the door. —M.K.
Inseam length: XXS 6”, XS and S 6 ½”, M 7”, L 7 ½”
What we love most: The ribbed material makes this one-piece just as flattering as it is comfortable.
Aerie Offline Real Me Crossover bike short
I'm obsessed with everything Aerie makes with its mega-popular crossover waistband. This silhouette flatters every body type and provides just enough support around the waist without feeling uncomfortable. The material is buttery smooth—and makes these shorts feel a lot more expensive than they are. I don't wear these for very active days, but they're one of my favorite pairs to throw on for running errands, lounging around the house, or when I'm going for a light walk. They fold up super tight—making them a nice addition to my weekender bag when I just need a few light athleisure pieces on hand. —M.K.
Inseam length: 7"
What we love most: The crisscross waistband and affordable price point.
Beyond Yoga Keep Pace Space Dye Bike Shorts
Available in electric pink, royal blue, and mango, the Beyond Yoga bike shorts are comfortable and not see-through. The space-dyed yarn gives them a subtly heathered effect and they have just the right amount of stretch. Pack these in your carry-on for morning workouts or exploring a new town during the day.
Inseam length: 5"
What we love most: The bright, neon colors scream summer.
Year of Ours V-Waist Biker Short
If you dig the biker short look but prefer a fabric that’s a little less athletic, check out this pair from Year of Ours. The soft short is made with a nylon-and-spandex stretch material that’s ribbed for added texture, with a crossover waist that is universally flattering. This wouldn't be the pair I'd throw on for a high-intensity workout, but it would be the one when I want comfort and flexibility on the go. Throw on a loose-fitting top and add a denim jacket for a look that works as well in a museum as it does a farmer's market.
Inseam length: 7"
What we love most: The combo of ribbed material and a crisscross waist is oh-so flattering.
Madewell Form High-Rise 7 1/4" Biker Shorts
Rounding out this list of the best women's bike shorts is this ultra-comfortable pair from Madewell's Make Weekends Longer collection. The high-quality, sustainably-made stretch fabric molds to your body and moves with you. Complete the look with an oversize sweatshirt or matching bralette.
Inseam length: 7.25"
What we love most: This pair is affordable, sustainably made, and we can count on Madewell's fabric to last for years.