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Kitsbow A/M Short

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
Kitsbow AM Short
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Tested: Kitsbow A/M Ventilated Short

Rating: Vital Review

Let’s get to the price of this short right away. A while back a grocery clerk asked if the green Super Food juice I was buying was “worth it?”, which highlighted both the differences in taste (literally and figuratively) between us, and our financial comfort with a $3 purchase. The idea of drinking something green, and paying 3x more for it than her favorite soda, was appalling enough to warrant asking a total stranger what possible reason one could have to make such a purchase. Surely there must be some tangible level of gain afforded by spending so much money and suffering through such nastiness. Yet the reality is that I drink that green stuff because to me it tastes good, it might be good for me, and I don’t find its price to be a point of concern. ThenKitsbow’s $240 A/M Ventilated short showed up for review, and I found myself in the same judgmental position as the grocery clerk. For that price, especially without an included chamois liner, I thought the A/M had better help pedal the climbs and offer quad massages on the descents. Well, it doesn’t. It is simply a nice short, made by a company that sweats the details. Read on to find out what that means on the trail.


Kitsbow A/M Ventilated Short Highlights

  • Schoeller-Shape 93% nylon and 7% elastane, finished with Schoeller 3XDRY treatment for enhanced water resistance
  • Zippered reversed side pockets
  • Stretch mesh paneling in front, waist, and sides
  • Laser-cut perforations on the back yoke
  • RiRi slider snap keeps the fly locked
  • Sizes: XS (27-29), S (29-31), M (31-33), L (33-35), XL (35-37), XXL (37-39)
  • Colors: Black, Gunmetal Grey
  • Alloy slip hooks at the waist enable a full inch of adjustability on each side
  • Articulated waistband, raised in back and lowered at sides
  • MSRP: $240 USD

Initial Impressions

The overall styling of the A/M short is on the discreet side, with subdued colors and a cut that would not look entirely out of place at the country club.


Beautifully crafted alloy hooks and accompanying loops provide adjustability in the waist. While they’re not on-the-fly friendly with regards to fine-tuning, they stay in place very nicely even with hydration packs bouncing around on them. The Italian RiRi slider snap also stays completely locked in place until it’s time to unzip the fly, which is greatly appreciated by a rider with a belly that has a tendency to occasionally unsnap other fly closures. The two side pockets are located in stealthy, angled position just behind the hips, and each offer just enough room for a wallet, energy bar, keys, or a phone smaller than Apple’s latest.


On The Trail

The Kitsbow A/M offers a slightly more tailored fit compared to the typical “baggy”, and it is definitely a shorter, more streamlined fit for a short hinting to be all-mountain with its A/M label. The 12-inch inseam for our size XL kept the hem line just above knees, and the accompanying 20-inch leg opening probably wouldn’t be a good match for knee pads, either. Individual segment measurements are specific to each of the 6 options, so take these XL examples for what they are worth.


The 93/7-percent ratio of nylon and elastane offers plenty of stretch while on the trail, and is impressively swish-free while pedaling thanks to both the materials used and the cycling-specific cut. Temperature regulation is great, though considering “Ventilated” is part of the model name, airflow isn’t overly impressive.

Things The Could Be Improved

It's very hard to look past the $240 tag when comparing this short to the vast variety of offerings available in a saturated market at far lower price points. Yes, materials and workmanship are first class on the Kitsbow, and the short is highly functional. Perhaps that is reason enough to warrant a premium, but everything is a matter of degrees and here, Kitsbow is pushing it a bit. At the very least, including a premium chamois liner seems feasible at this price.

The tight cut and reduced length may or may not suit your riding style - we'd welcome a slightly longer version with more room for leg protection, but this is more a question of preferences and intended use.

Long Term Durability

Over a dozen or so rides and subsequent washes this short looks as good as the day it showed up. Nothing has shown any signs of giving up the early ghost, but at this price point, we'd really not expect any issues so soon either. So far, the quality seems to match the price tag.

What's The Bottom Line?

The bottom line on Kitsbow’s A/M Ventilator short is that it's a very well-made mountain bike short that’s targeted toward trail riders who wish to ride in something that offers excellent materials and craftsmanship specific to cycling, yet is styled neutral enough to not look out of place at the coffee shop. Is it “worth it”? If you have to ask, then probably not.

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About The Reviewer

Zach White has been writing for various cycling publications since the mid-90’s, and comes from a racing background dating back to 1989. That may make him sound a bit crusty, but he holds his own surprisingly well through most genres of mountain biking.


Product Kitsbow A/M Short
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Shorts Type Shorts
Material Schoeller-Shape 93% Nylon and 7% Elastane, Finished with Schoeller 3XDRY Treatment for Enhanced Water Resistance
Pockets Zippered Reversed Side Pockets
Vents Stretch Mesh Paneling in Front, Waist, and Sides; Laser-Cut Perforations on the Back Yoke
Size XS (27-29), S (29-31), M (31-33), L (33-35), XL (35-37), XXL (37-39)
Colors Black, Gunmetal Grey
Miscellaneous Alloy Slip Hooks at the Waist Enable a Full Inch of Adjustability on Each Side // Articulated Waistband Subtly Raised in Back and Lowered at Sides, to Ensure Complete Coverage While Reducing Potential Hotspots
Price $240
More Info

Kitsbow Website

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