The Altura Children's ProGel shorts are the next step up from the basic Sprint range. The higher price tag is justified by the gel inserts to the seat pad. Based on their popular adult shorts, the kids version is designed for comfort over longer rides.
Altura claim that the flexible gel core moves with the body and so provides better pressure distribution. Our young tester wasn't too sure if this was happening but the adult versions have been well received by forum members and in a previous review. The pad was well sewn in and felt very smooth to the touch. It didn't appear to need 'wearing in' to feel comfortable and it retained the same amount of squishability after washing.
Having introduced my daughter to the idea of no knickers under shorts, she reported that: "They felt funny before I got on the bike but when I was sitting on the bike they made me stay in the right place. When I normally sit on a bike it feels hard on my bum when I've been riding for a while but [in the shorts] it felt nice and I didn't get a wedgie."
We tested a pair for age 7-9 and my tall but slim 9 year old daughter struggled to get them on - she was definitely at the very upper end of the age range and the shorts certainly took on a race fit. They are billed as unisex but I can't speak for how comfy little boys would find them to wear.
Available in ages 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12, the shorts come in black with a reflective Altura logo along both thighs. The waist was pretty tight on my slim child, so if your child is not a skinny Jim, you may need to go up a size for a comfortable fit.
The shorts don't have a noticeable rise to the rear but the generally high waist meant that this didn't present as a particular problem. The leg grippers stayed in place and were not uncomfortable in use. A heat-welded label ensures additional comfort.
If your child is moving from leisure to longer rides, these shorts will add a significant degree of comfort to their rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Kids Pro Gel Shorts
Size tested: Ages 7-9, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
High performance lycra cycling shorts for ambitious young road cyclists. Featuring a ProGel Seatpad, multi-panel construction and silicone cuff grippers, the ProGel short is the perfect piece to start your child's cycling career.
The ProGel seatpad incorporates a flexible Gel core that moves with the body as you pedal, providing pressure distribution and vibration absorption. With a soft surface layer and an anatomic shape, the Progel seatpad gives you the comfort and support to ride further and faster on the roads and trails
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High quality, technical stretch shorts
ProGel seatpad for enhanced comfort
Elasticated waist band
Silicone leg grippers
As well made as the adult Altura range.
The shorts performed well over medium to longer distance rides.
A little on the tight size - this tester should probably move into the next age range, but the pad certainly did what it said on the tin.
Available for a few pounds below the RRP if you shop around.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The padding provided a good deal of comfort over longer rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfy padding.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The slightly too tight waist.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes - in a bigger size.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 5'7 Weight: size 16
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure