I don’t know about you, but after a ride I don't care to kick it around the house in my riding shorts any longer than necessary. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of comfortable riding kits floating in the gear-o-sphere, yet most are still just that–gear. Dakine's latest rendition of the Ridge short is an exception. These baggies are soft, and certainly don't ooze high-performance or scream "Look at me!" though they do provide comfort and freedom of movement. I've ridden in them many times over the last few months, and worn them while lounging around the house with equal regularity.
Typical of casual-style riding shorts, the Ridge features a zippered fly and a two-snap closure. Additional features include interior waist adjustments, two front pockets and a side thigh pocket with hook-and-loop closure for a phone or wallet. The inseam feels longer than Dakine's claimed 13 inches. They don't sit too high above the knee and look and fit fine with kneepads.
Riders who prefer baggies with liners can pick up the Ridge with an included liner short for $100. Available in waist sizes from 28 to 40, the Ridge features a durable, water-repellent coating, and sells for $65 by itself. Personally, I run bib shorts under my baggies, so I tossed the included liner into my gear bag to be worn under downhill-bike-oriented shorts and pants during days on the big bike. Don't care for the surplus green colorway shown here? Ridge shorts are also available in light blue and black options.
I'm no clothing designer, but I’ll chalk up the Ridge's supple and comfortable fit and texture to their 100-percent polyester construction, which also means they're resistant to stretching, abrasions and shrinking, and that they dry pretty quickly. After a few months of regular use, my test shorts show little wear for how often they've been worn and washed.
My waist is closer to a 30 than a 34, which is the size of the pair I’ve been wearing. I was able to wear them fine thanks to the adjustable waist strap, though, and without the waistband bulging outward like polyester love handles. The two front pockets have plenty of room for a phone, multi-tool or submarine sandwich, but expect whatever you put in them to flop around all over your legs while pedaling. When carrying anything of value, the side pocket with a hook-and-loop closure is your best bet.
Dakine offers plenty of stylish and modern kits, yet a lot of riders don't care to fly through the forest as a rolling neon billboard. The Ridge short was developed with those riders in mind. The casual fit and style are equally at home on the trail as in the bike park, or, while imbibing out on the patio post-ride.