Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Altura Progel Women’s Waist Shorts

10
£40.00

VERDICT:

10
10
Supportive and flattering with an incredibly comfortable pad, these punch well above their weight for performance and value
Budget friendly
Comfortable, supportive gel pad
Robust stretchy fabric
High but nicely-shaped waistband
Effective leg grippers
Weight: 
204g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

Well-made, supportive and comfortable with a very effective pad, the Altura Progel Women's Waist Shorts represent exceptional value for money and are well worth trying – whatever your budget.

I tend to vacillate between preferring bib shorts or waist shorts. On the whole, bib shorts give more reliable comfort for long rides, but I frequently grab waist shorts for shorter or hillier rides... also they are, ahem, more convenient than all but a small selection of bib shorts. And, despite the hugely varied crowd of waist shorts available, these Progel shorts really stand out.

The fabric is smooth and supportive (if not overtly compressive) thanks to the high elastane content, and reassuringly opaque as well as flattering. The waistband sits quite high, but as a result it stays put and minimises the chance of gaps between shorts and jersey, even for those more blessed in the bum department. Sizing is spot on against Altura's chart, and leg length is ideal for all but the very shortest of riders.

2022 Altura Progel Womens Waist Shorts - cuffs.jpg

I found the Progel pad quite a revelation, and I've been riding bikes for about 25 years and tried more shorts than I can count. The shape, density, level of cushioning and pliability of this pad is up there with the very best I've ever tried.

2022 Altura Progel Womens Waist Shorts - chamois.jpg

It's been a long time since I've finished a ride without some sit bone discomfort, but these did an impressive job of preventing it even on the hilly, muggy mid-length rides I took them on.

> 38 of the best cycling bib shorts – get comfy on longer rides

As for the shorts they're stitched into, the waist stays firmly put, and the leg grippers are effective without trying to epilate your legs or squeeze your flesh. I've worn £100+ waist shorts that were nowhere near as comfortable as these at £40. What's more the fabric is sturdy and not prone to snagging, so they should last well too.

Value

£40 is firmly entry-level, with only a few super-budget options being available more cheaply. They are cheaper by £9.99 than Pearl Izumi's Women's Quest Short at £49.99 and £4.99 cheaper than Madison's Sportive Shorts at £44.99.

They're also significantly less expensive than the Rapha Women's Core Shorts (now £75) that have long been my go-to waist shorts for long ride comfort. It's hard to argue with the value presented by a pair of £40 shorts that perform better than some at over twice the price.

Overall

If I had any niggles at all, it would be a request for an even greater range of sizes (there are six options, from UK 8 to UK 18, which is pretty standard). Given the superb comfort, it would be great to see both smaller and larger riders being catered to. That aside, these represent probably the safest £40 you'll spend on your cycling this year.

Verdict

Supportive and flattering with an incredibly comfortable pad, these punch well above their weight for performance and value

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Progel Womens Waist Shorts

Size tested: 16

Tell us what the product is for

Altura says: "An ideal alternative for the cyclist not wanting a bibshort, our Progel women's waist short features the exclusive flexible Progel seat pad created to avoid saddle pressure and an elasticated waist for day-long comfort. The breathable high-wicking stretch fabric avoids overheating, keeping you fresh, and acts as a second skin complementing your body."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

82% polyamide/18% elastane

Female specific Altura Progel pad

High wide elasticated waistband with broad flat panel at front

Broad leg grippers with reflective print

Available in sizes UK8-UK18

Machine washable at 30

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Well-made with high quality fabric.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

These perform superbly; they're comfortable and supportive.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

The fabric is smooth but tough and not prone to snagging, so should wear really well.

Rate the product for fit:
 
10/10

Very well designed with good leg length for most heights of rider, a nicely-shaped high waistband and a flattering, slightly matt fabric.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
10/10

Sizing spot on for stated size and online sizing chart.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

Neither the heaviest nor the lightest, but a really good balance of weight with comfort, performance and durability.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
10/10

For me, these are more comfortable than many shorts at over twice the price, and some at three times the price.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Excellent performance and comfort for the price.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Wash really well and dry quickly.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Superbly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The smooth and supportive fabric, durable feel, flattering looks, well-judged waistband, excellent pad and attractive price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing. Though if I was going to be picky, I'd like a larger range of sizes.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

£40 is firmly entry-level, with only a few super-budget options being available more cheaply. They are cheaper by £9.99 than Pearl Izumi's Women's Quest Short at £49.99 and £4.99 cheaper than Madison's Sportive Shorts at £44.99.

They're also significantly less expensive than the Rapha Women's Core Shorts (now £75) that have long been my go-to waist shorts for long ride comfort. It's hard to argue with the value presented by a pair of £40 shorts that perform better than some at over twice the price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are amongst the most comfortable shorts I've ever worn, the feel made to last and offer ridiculously good value for money. I'd recommend them to anyone without hesitation.

Overall rating: 10/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

Latest Comments