Altura's Attack Waterproof Shorts are shorts, and they're waterproof. So no surprises there. They're a well-made and dependable extra layer of protection for when you want to keep your bum dry. Which is always, right?
If you have a winter bike then it's likely it has mudguards. You might not have a winter bike with mudguards though, or you might like to go mountain biking or lane-bashing on a 'cross bike. Whatever: if you're out in the rain and/or mud without 'guards then these Attack shorts are a definite bonus for keeping you dry and comfortable in the saddle.
They're constructed from React™ 3-layer fabric, which means they're fully lined on the inside and you could conceivably wear them without Lycra underneath. I wouldn't really recommend that, though, as the hems tend to rub on the tops of your legs when you're riding and it's better for them to be sliding across undershorts than your bare skin. Also, when I wore them about the office for a day (purely for research purposes, of course, not because I forgot my trousers) I did find them a bit clammy after a while, even though the fabric is pretty breathable.
Fit-wise they're roomy for the stated size but you can cinch in the waist using two Velcro straps at the rear, so they're easy to adjust. Once you're out on the bike you soon filter out the swish-swish of the hems and with flat, taped seams all round they're pretty comfy.
They're very waterproof, too. Nothing got through the fabric, or the waterproof pocket zips, during a two-hour ride in a proper deluge. The rain soaked the legs of my Lycra shorts and that water worked its way up a little inside, but my chamois stayed dry throughout.
They got pretty muddy in the lanes too, but slinging them in the machine on a cool wash didn't do them any harm. It'll be a good idea to give them a water-repellent treatment once in a while such as Nikwax to get the water beading off them, but they don't require a lot of care.
Mostly, I've been impressed. If you ride in the rain without mudguards, or you're planning any epic winter rides where even mudguards might not keep you dry, they're an excellent extra layer of protection. They're windproof too, so they keep the chill off your nether regions too. They're best with Lycra underneath, and if you're slim it might be best to size down.
Very good waterproof shorts that keep the rain and chills away
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Attack Waterproof Shorts
Size tested: Medium, 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?
Altura says: "Offering fantastic protection from rain, mud and spray the Attack shorts are an essential piece of kit"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Waterproof, durable and highly breathable, React™ 3 layer fabric
* Breathable in excess of 20,000g/m2/24hr
*Highly durable, reinforced crotch panel
* Zipped hand pockets
* Dark reflective trim
* Compatible with Attack Braces
Nicely made with good features.
Really good waterproofing, do their job well.
Lasting well, seams are sturdy.
Good fit and adjustable too.
A touch on the roomy side.
Comfy on the bike so long as there's something underneath, otherwise the hems can rub.
Good value extra layer of protection.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine washed just fine, and you can reproof with Nikwax or similar if need be.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Waterproof and breathable, durable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Hems can rub if you haven't got anything long underneath.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.