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Vulpine's Gravel Shorts are a stylish cycling short made from stretchy ripstop cotton fabric. I've enjoyed wearing them on and off the bike, and at £70, they are certainly not the most expensive out there.
These are at the casual-shorts-that-also-work-for-cycling end of the spectrum, as opposed to seriously technical shorts that look vaguely normal. They have a diamond gusset construction in the saddle area to avoid chafing, though, and they work perfectly fine on the bike.
Although I didn't find many issues on more intense rides, for me they are most at home on a casual ride where you'd feel more comfortable not wearing lycra. More going to the pub or the shops, and less smashing the gravel hard for a couple of hours.
The biggest issue is that cotton is not the most breathable fabric out there, and not particularly quick drying either. On the upside, the fabric is 2% elastane and has a ripstop weave. The result is pretty stretchy and has a durable feel to it.
The two front pockets are deep; I can comfortably fit in my whole hand up to my wrist. They easily take any size phone and keep it in place. The two back pockets are as just deep, and you also get a zipped coin pocket on the righthand side.
These shorts use a button and a zip, and while the zip is a quality YKK one, it's a bit shorter than on other shorts / trousers, and looks a little odd to me.
The Vulpine branding is pretty subtle, and there are no reflective details. I reckon these shorts look pretty stylish.
I'm normally a medium in shorts (apart from Italian bib shorts, they seem to use a different scale of sizing altogether). A medium is what we have here, and it's the right size for me in the waist, though the legs are edging towards snug.
Vulpine's sizing chart – which goes by your 'natural waistline' halfway between belly button and ribcage – says I should wear a large.
As the medium is pretty perfect on me, I suspect I'd have too much room to spare in a large. I'm wearing these with a belt as it is, and with the stretch in the fabric I can almost take them off without opening them.
The legs are fairly tight, but as the fabric is so stretchy, it's not really an issue; they feel a lot like slim-fit stretch jeans.
I suspect the cut isn't quite right for my body shape, and that these shorts get away with it because of the stretchy fabric. Even if that is the case, I have no issue with the end result; I love wearing these.
£70, though not cheap, is about what I would expect to pay for shorts like these – in our 12 Best Baggy Cycling Shorts roundup, most are around this price and up.
You can find cheaper, though: for example, Endura's Hummvee Short II costs £59.99 and comes with a liner.
Meanwhile, Endura's GV500 Foyle gravel shorts cost £10 more, but have a water repellent finish and are better suited to serious rides. You can pay a lot more, if you want. For example, the Rapha Men's Trail Shorts are £110.
The Vulpine Men's Gravel Shorts work well on the bike and look stylish off it. They size up a little large and aren't best suited to hard or very long rides, but they're great for more casual riding, are priced very reasonably, and prove very comfortable. Basically, I love wearing them.
Stylish, feel great off the bike, and work well for all your mellower rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Men's Gravel Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Vulpine says: 'Our toughest and most versatile shorts yet, perfect for all types of cycling, not just their namesake. Cruise down city streets or single track, or just wear them to grab a beer with your mates. Made with 4-way stretch Ripstop fabric the Gravel Shorts are flattering and hardwearing.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Corozo Vulpine logo buttons
Diamond gusset construction
Zipped coin pocket
2 rear welt pockets
2 front hip pockets
V circle embroidered logo
98% Cotton 2% Elastane Ripstop weave
The size chart suggests I should be a large. I'm testing a medium here and it fits me very well – a large would probably be too large.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
After half a dozen washes, the blue colour is just starting to fade a little bit, as you'd expect with this kind of fabric.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I've enjoyed wearing these shorts both on and off the bike. As they are made from cotton, they are not the most breathable and so they wouldn't be my first pick on longer, more intense rides, but for short and casual rides, they work really well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The feel of the stretchy fabric and the deep pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The zip could be longer, and the sizing is not quite true to the size chart.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£70 is about what I'd expect to pay for cycling-specific baggy shorts. In our overview of the best baggy cycling shorts, the majority are around this price or higher.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Vulpine's Gravel Shorts work well on the bike and look stylish off it. The sizing is not quite true to the sizing chart – I found a size smaller than recommended works for me – and the fabric isn't the best for hard, prolonged efforts.
But at £70, they cost about what I'd expect to pay for shorts like these, and I love wearing them. They're good.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift