With an ultra-distance chamois, good compression, unusual back pocket and ceramic coating that prevents the fabric from tearing in the event of a crash, the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts set out to trump the competition. They can be yours for € 210 and we put them through their paces to find out if they’re worth it.

Note: We also tested the men’s version of the Isadore Gravel Bib Shorts.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Which are the best cargo bibs of 2023 – 13 cargo bib shorts in review.

Specs & quality of the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts

The outer of the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts is made of a Swiss fabric with a ceramic coating. The coating is applied in a honeycomb pattern and covers the legs from the insides of the thighs, over the front, to the outside. It had to give way to a more breathable material on the back. Thanks to the DWR finish, the bibs promise to repel both water and dirt. The Coldblack finish keeps the bibs from heating up in the sun despite being black, making them feel like white bibs. In addition, the Coldblack coating provides UVA and UVB protection. The shorts are neatly finished, with flat seams reducing pressure points. This is especially important with bibs that offer a compression fit. You might be led to believe that the many coatings and promised compression come at the cost of comfort. However, the fabric feels soft and conforms to the shape of your body.
With just one pocket across the back, the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts stand out from the rest of the test field. The pocket is accessible from both sides, and it closes slightly due to the overlapping fabric.

Cargo functionality of the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts

The storage space offered by the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts isn’t on par with the other women’s models, since they only have one pocket on the back. Thanks to the dual-sided opening, this 25 x 16 cm pocket is easy to reach and access. The overlapping pieces of fabric, which are supposed to stop your belongings from falling out, aren’t the most confidence inspiring. We never lost a smartphone, but we still felt a bit nervous.
The pocket is perfect for storing clothes, as they can protrude slightly to the left and right. This is very handy if you start riding early on a chilly morning and are out in the sun during lunch time. With the pocket empty and a jersey over the top, the bibs don’t reveal their cargo carrying capabilities.

Safety/visibility of the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts

While the ceramic coating on the legs gives you added peace of mind, we’d still advise against crashing and – fortunately – we didn’t get to experience the abrasion resistance first hand. The cuffs have a reflective print all around, and the Isadore logo on the outside of the legs is also reflective. We like this reflector even more since it remains inconspicuous during the day.

Comfort of the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts

It’s no secret that the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts are designed to offer a compression fit. For riders who don’t want that much compression, Isadore recommend sizing up. Due to the clean workmanship and the soft fabric, we found them comfortable to wear in our usual size. The chamois of the Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts comes from Italy and should be suitable for ultra-distance rides thanks to its shock absorbing properties. The bib’s compression fit encourages you to tackle looong rides, and the chamois can keep up, performing well even after several hours of use. Since the Isadore bibs are all about high-tech coatings, the soft outer fabric of the chamois also makes use of a special coating. It’s claimed to protect particularly sensitive areas. Whether or not this holds true, we found it comfortable and have nothing to complain about. The shorts have a relatively low cut at the front. Nevertheless, they stay in place and don’t curl up.

The chamois of Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts

Thanks to water-repellent, cooling, and protective coatings, the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts are a high-tech cycling garment. With just one pocket, however, they can’t keep up with the competition in terms of their cargo carrying capabilities. That said, the Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts boast excellent workmanship, perform well on long rides thanks to their compression, and you can keep your cargo nicely hidden if you wear a jersey over them.


  • durable, water-repellent and thermoregulating coatings
  • compression fit
  • position of the back pocket is inconspicuous
  • generously sized reflectors


  • only 1 pocket with limited versatility
  • compression fit

For more info visit isadore.com.

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Which are the best cargo bibs of 2023 – 13 cargo bib shorts in review.

All cargo bib shorts in review: Café du Cycliste Chloe | Isadore Women’s Gravel Bib Shorts | Rapha Women’s Core Cargo Shorts | Rapha Women’s Cargo Bib Shorts | ROSE ROSE UNPAVED bib W II women’s gravel bib shorts | Café du Cycliste Helene | Café du Cycliste Virginie | Canyon Signature Pro Cargo Bibshort | Isadore Gravel Bib Shorts | MAAP Alt_Road Cargo Bib | POC Rove Cargo Bib Shorts | Rapha Core Cargo Bib Shorts | Rapha Cargo Bib Shorts | Specialized Adventure Bib Shorts SWAT

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Words: Christoph Staudinger Photos: Peter Walker