Gear Review: POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts

Mountain biker standing on side of remote road in Peru with bike on ground wearing full face helmet

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Finding a pair of women’s mountain bike shorts that fit well, are comfortable to pedal in, have pockets, and don’t leave a gap above your knee pads is a challenging feat. I’ve tried on literally dozens of mountain bike shorts, and most are too tight in some areas (thighs), too loose in others (waist), and too short (I have long legs).

So I was ecstatic when I discovered the POC Essential MTB Women’s mountain bike shorts.

These shorts are everything I want and need in a pair of baggies. They’re breathable, long in length, have 2.5 pockets (see below), and they’re comfortable. I like them so much that, after purchasing three different pairs, I wanted to share this review!

I’ve pedaled across the state of Washington in them, did a week-long mountain bike trip to Peru with only one pair, and explored mountain bike destinations across the US from the west coast to the east coast without (seriously) one complaint.

At A Glance

POC Essential MTB Women's Shorts

POC Essential MTB Shorts


Number of pockets: 2.5 pockets
Sizes available: XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL
Material: Nylon with durable water-resistant treatment
Color options: Uranium Black, Axinite Brown

Female mountain biker riding around bermed turn on trail wearing POC POC Essential MTB Women's Shorts
Image courtesy of Katy Lo

Favorite Features

Leg length & pre-bent knees

One of the things I love about these shorts is that they’re loooong. They don’t leave a gap between the hem of the shorts and my knee pads, even when I’m pedaling. The inseam for size large is around 13″, although I couldn’t find an exact measurement.

The knees also have a pre-bent shape instead of being totally straight, so they don’t feel restrictive.

Adjustable waist

Most mountain bike shorts have an adjustable waist, whether that’s with velcro, buttons, or snaps. The POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts have two adjustable velcro tabs on either side, so you can tailor the waist circumference to your body. I’ve only had to adjust mine once or twice with each new pair and then I forget about them.

Mountain biker riding down rocky section of trail in Quincy, California


I will say that most brands have now gotten the gist that women want and need pockets on their mountain bike shorts. Just a few years ago, it was hard to find women’s mountain bike shorts with pockets!

The POC Essentials MTB Women’s Shorts have 2 1/2 pockets. There are two wide and deep pockets on the front of each thigh that can fit a phone, snacks, or other gadgets. I have an iPhone 11 and it fits well in these pockets.

The other 1/2 pocket is at the back just under the waistband. Truthfully, I’ve never used this pocket, but it could be a great place to store a simple, non-bulky keychain, some cash, or your driver’s license.

Quick-drying material with a durable water repellant finish

These shorts are made out of nylon, which is quick-drying and relatively light. I wouldn’t say these are the lightest shorts you can buy, but they’re durable and stretchy.

The fabric is also coated with a durable water repellant finish, so you can stay dry and comfortable out on the trail even when it sprinkles.

Who are these shorts best designed for?

The POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts work really well with my body type. I’m tall (5’8) with an athletic build. Think wider hips and thighs and narrower waist. Most other mountain bike shorts fit too big in the waist and too small in the butt and thighs.

Female mountain biker standing at desert overlook near Las Vegas

If you’re on the shorter side, you might find that these fall below your knees. They are quite long!

If you have more of a straight athletic physic with narrower hips and thighs, they may too feel baggy and loose.

Read Next: The Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts

Men’s Version

The POC Essential MTB Short also comes in men’s, which I turned my brother onto. He’s also tall (6’3) and loves the length and stretchiness.

Mountain biker looking out over Vermont fields and Mt. Mansfield from grassy trail
My brother wearing the men’s POC Essential MTB Shorts

Other Options

If you’re still shopping around for a mountain bike short with a long in-seam, here are a few other options:





SHREDLY Curvy Long Mountain Bike Shorts

SHREDLY Curvy Long

12.75″ – 14.5″

Recycled poly/spandex

Yeti Norrie Mountain Bike Shorts

Yeti Norrie Shorts



Backcountry Slickrock Mountain Bike Shorts

Backcountry Slickrock Shorts


Nylon & Spandex


Related posts:

What are your favorite pair of shorts? Have you tried the POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts? What’s your honest opinion? Let us know in the comments!

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