This photo shows the author wearing the Showers Pass Apex DWR 12" Shorts on a mountain biking ride.

Showers Pass Apex DWR 12″ Shorts Review

- Field-tested -

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The Showers Pass Apex DWR 12″ Shorts are an all-around cycling short for mountain bikers and gravel riders who want a flexible, casual short with a longer inseam.

To get us a closer look, Showers Pass sent Man Makes Fire a review unit. After wearing the Apex shorts while mountain biking, casual riding, and out and about off the bike, this is what we learned:

Showers Pass Apex Mountain Biking Shorts

This photo shows a closeup of the Showers Pass Apex DWR 12" Shorts being worn by the author during a test mountain biking ride.
The Apex DWR 12″ Shorts feature a lightweight nylon-spandex blend that delivers a super comfortable 4-way stretch.

There are two major benefits of the Apex DWR 12″ Shorts: First, the nylon-spandex blend delivers a super comfortable 4-way stretch. Second, the inseam is 12 inches. If you’re a casual mountain biker, you might appreciate the length, and if you really get after it and wear knee pads when you ride, you’ll appreciate the length, too.

The Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating is a nice addition. Light rain beads up and moisture from brush hanging over the trail beads up and rolls off, too. Note: When your DWR finish eventually wears off, you can give it a shot of GEAR AID Revivex to refresh it.)


Excellent, Adjustable Fit

The fit is spot-on. It’s loose enough to accommodate a chamois or liner short, but definitely not baggy. The overall cut works well on a bike, but also feels good in casual settings — like when you’re having a beer after a ride.

To dial in your fit, Showers Pass uses an adjustable waist cinch system. You get two straps on each side that cover a stretch panel section that easily folds when tightened but also stretches if needed. The amount of adjustment is generous. It seems as if you can change the waist fit by about 3 inches. It works very well. Despite looking like a casual short at first glance, there are no belt loops on the Apex shorts — and you don’t need them.

This photo shows the adjustable waistband on the men's Showers Pass DWR 12" Shorts.
The adjustable waistband lets you dial in the fit.

The waist adjustment is on the outside rear sides of the short. In comparison, the Showers Pass Gravel 10″ Shorts have belt loops and a similar waist adjustment system that’s on the inside of the waistband on the Gravel shorts. The Showers Pass Cross Country 11.5″ Shorts don’t have belt loops, but the waist cinch system is back outside, this time positioned more forward over the hips than the more rearward Apex system.

All three shorts have the Showers Pass silicone grip system embedded in the back of the waistband — and we’re big fans. It helps keep your shorts from riding down or shifting around.

Shop the Apex Shorts at Showers Pass and get FREE Shipping!


This photo shows the author riding a mountain bike while wear testing the Apex DWR 12" Shorts.
The thigh vent/pockets are just big enough to hold a large smartphone.

The two hand pockets have mesh interiors, which lets them release heat when they’re not full. As a casual pocket for keys and a wallet, they’re a bit smaller than we prefer, but mostly doable.

Showers Pass includes two thigh vents that double as pockets. They can fit a large iPhone with a slim case, but I wouldn’t say they are roomy.

You also get one back pocket, which again is mesh lined.

As we’ve come to expect from nearly all Showers Pass cycling clothes, the Apex shorts include a strip of reflective fabric on each leg to help with low-light visibility in headlights.


The Verdict

All-in-all, the Showers Pass Apex DWR 12″ Shorts are lightweight, water-repellant, fit well, look good, and stretch whenever you need the room. The quality is excellent throughout. Highly recommended.

Get the Gear:

Apex DWR 12" Shorts
4-way stretch fabric is lightweight and super comfortable
Adjustable waistband lets you dial in the fit
DWR finish helps shed light rain
The pockets are functional, but could be bigger to make the casual comfort even more functional around town

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