Reviewed by Laurel-Lea Shannon
That bit of padding that comes between you and your saddle can make the difference between a great day on the bike or a lousy, uncomfortable ride—and that makes cycling shorts a crucial part of your riding kit. So it’s worth investing in a good pair.
These Elite In-R-Cool® shorts from Pearl Izumi fit the bill. The wide waist band is so comfortable that the shorts feel almost like bib shorts, but without the shoulder straps. And the leg length is flattering (8 3/4” inseam for a size medium)—not too long or too short, just right. Silicone gripper bands on the wide leg hems keep the shorts in place while you ride. Reflective logos on the left leg provide added visibility.
The shorts fabric, called coolblack® by Pearl Izumi, has a UPF of 50+ and is designed to reflect the sun’s rays, keeping you cool on hot summer days. It hasn’t been too hot where I live but the shorts have kept me comfortable and dry on the days I’ve worn them.
And of course, there’s the all-important chamois. The Elite In-R-Cool shorts use the same winning Elite 3D Chamois—a breathable, four-way stretch, pressure-relief technology—that I wrote about when I reviewed PI’s drop-tail bib shorts. The 3D chamois has three layers of variable-density padding that optimizes blood flow to the crotch area, adding up to 13 millimeters of total-bottom comfort.
If you want a pair of shorts that makes you forget all about the saddle when you ride, consider the Elite In-R-Cool from Pearl Izumi. But be forewarned. They’re so comfortable you may be tempted to buy a second pair.
Available is sizes XS-XXL. $110 USD
Pearl Izumi ELITE In-R-Cool® Shorts
• ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric powered by coldblack® provides superior cooling and reflective sun protection
• Anatomic multi-panel design
• Silicone leg gripper
• Women’s ELITE 3D Chamois®
• Reflective elements for low-light visibility
• 8 3/4” inseam [size medium]
Body: 81% nylon 12% elastane 7% polyester/UPF 50+
Weight: 258 g/m2