The best cargo bib shortschristie_zqx
The best cargo bib shorts allow you to carry extra kit on your rides, freeing up your jersey pockets for yet more stuff and potentially letting you ditch your saddle bag.
Although designed originally for bikepacking, where you want as much stowage capacity as possible (take a look at our list of everything you need to go bikepacking to see what we mean), cargo bib shorts have taken off with many road riders who just want to be able to take all the food they need as well as a jacket, repair kit and other essentials for a long road ride or in variable conditions.
To that end, look for plenty of pockets. Even if you find you’re not using them on many rides, you can never have too much carrying capacity.
Cargo bib shorts are often based on the best cycling shorts, so saddle comfort and quality fit shouldn’t have to be sacrificed.
The most important piece of clothing in a rider’s cycling closet is bib shorts, but to cater to the needs of the emerging crop of gravel riders, the best cargo bib shorts take the necessary feature list from normal bib shorts and add extra functionality such as pockets for storage, redesigned materials for durability, and adjusted fit for the altered riding position.
Normal road cycling bib shorts are all about two things, fitting well is the obvious first consideration and the best cargo bib shorts continue that trend, but the second consideration is going fast, with modern designs heavily influenced by wind tunnel tests. This emphasis on speed leaves a hole in the market for those who are less concerned with average speed and more concerned with the journey. Those same riders might find themselves spending long days riding through remote locations in jerseys without pockets, with little space to store their essentials. That’s where cargo bib shorts with pockets come in.
It may seem like one extra feature to worry about, compared to choosing the best cycling shorts, but if you’re less worried about speed and would prefer to be comfortable over long days in the saddle with a multitude of snacks immediately to hand, then opting for a decent pair of cargo bib shorts is a wise move.