kitsbow premium all mountain bike shorts and jersey from schoeller dryskin cordura and merino wool

If you’re rocking your trucker hat with a straight bill off center and 2nd generation Oakley Frogskins, look away. Look away now.

California upstart Kitsbow has introduced high end, tailored technical apparel for trail riding. And we couldn’t be more thrilled. While Rapha has been providing roadies with upscale gear for a spell, and Mission Workshop, Outlier and others have had commuters covered in fashion, mountain biking hasn’t seen a whole lot of, um, nicer looking options.

We’ll give you a minute to work the one percenter jokes out. Good, now take a look at the technical features: The Sastan Jersey uses a tough Cordura outer layer with fine Merino wool against the skin. The Soft Shell shorts use Schoeller Dryskin with a brushed interior. Both are tailored to avoid the usual baggy appearance, and both are full of well conceived features, well placed pockets and premium materials.

Weave your way behind the break for details…

kitsbow premium all mountain bike shorts and jersey from schoeller dryskin cordura and merino wool

The Sastan Jersey has a few mountain bike specific features that set it apart from even “normal” mountain bike gear. Shoulders are quilted to both cushion hydration pack straps and help keep them from slipping around. Zippered side pockets provide quick access to small items without bulking up underneath a pack. Articulated elbows have reinforced pads to hold up to wipeouts, and a microfiber swatch inside the chest pocket lets you wipe your lenses so you can avoid said wipeouts.

The Cordura outer surface repels branches that could rip lesser materials, while the Merino wool insides help wick moisture and keep things fresh. A tight knit on the outside also helps keep it tough, but also means it’ll be warmer, so it’s definitely for cooler weather. An extended tail section keeps mud and water from reaching your backside. Retail is $327 and it’s available in five sizes.

kitsbow premium all mountain bike shorts and jersey from schoeller dryskin cordura and merino wool

The Soft Shell A/M Shorts are also designed for cool weather, and also show their mountain bike intents. The Schoeller Dryskin material deflects water and wind, yet it remains fairly breathable and moves fluidly while being pretty resistant to scuffs and rips. I have several jackets made of the stuff and it’s amazing.

Unlike most MTB baggies that have adjustable waists, these are fitted in single size increments from 28 to 34, and 36. The legs are cut to rest at the bend of the knee, raised slightly at the rear so it doesn’t brush your calves when pedaling. The insides have taped seams and covered stitching for comfort that resemble dress clothing more than riding kit. Zippered external side pockets are reversed so your cargo sits the way gravity’s going to want it to sit anyway when in the riding position, and their mesh lined to double as vents. The front snap is from Italy’s RiRi and slides to lock so it won’t pop open during gnar production sessions. Retail is $269.

Both garments are made in British Columbia, Canada. The Merino wool is sourced from sustainable suppliers in New Zealand and Australia, and Schoeller’s technical fabrics come from Switzerland. Both also have subtle, almost color-matched reflective piping that won’t stand out during the day, but provides some visibility at night.

Check ’em out at


  1. “gnar session” means probably running pads to me. will pads work with their tapered fit? Race Face does a short with a similar lining that has a pad friendly cut. $270? that’s practically a whole kit w/poc pads!

  2. Fantastic. Clothes for people who don’t actually ride. Did they figure out a good way to hang these clothes in the garage for optimal placement when the other surgeons, CEOs, and lawyers visit for a soiree?

  3. C’mon now, if people buy into Rapha, there’ll be plenty out there that’ll buy into this. Not my thing but I’m sure, no, I KNOW, it will be for others…. and I’ve known some of those types personally.

  4. call me old fashioned – but when i ride my bicycle through the woods, i wear a pair of cutoffs and a tshirt. if im feeling particularly fancy that day, ill put on a polypro top of some sort

  5. i didn’t understand the high prices as well, but one read of their journal/blog entry with ‘taking it to 11’ had me understand why their clothes cost as much as they do. they are definitely using great fabrics, design and their product is made in Vancouver, BC and not overseas in China. At least their product looks good and they are showing commitment to the everyday rider, as they are sponsoring a trail work day this Saturday at Tiger Mtn near Seattle. this shows these guys actually walk the walk besides talk the talk. don’t get me wrong, the price will put off many, but there’s very little high end clothing in the mtb market, so they are pushing the boundaries here and they are bound to have a little pushback. from what i know, their owners really ride and they are in touch with our sport. it doesn’t look as bad as Rapha, so I say we not rush to judgement and at least give them a shot with an open mind and let the products speak for themselves. i look forward to a long-term review by Tyler and then we’ll really see if these items are a good value.

  6. i can back domestic brands

    i will lol at the dork who pays this much though. outer shorts and rear derailleurs, things not to invest in.

  7. I should add to my comment of “absurd prices.” The stuff looks amazing in quality, style and execution. Their site is super nice, even inspiring AND they make no bones about what they are doing – “MTN bike wear for obsessives” Fair enough. I hope they find themselves a fertile market. I have no doubt I will see some around Marin riding on some equally over the top carbon FS jobbers. Had I a sh*t ton of cash I would not mind supporting their efforts in the slightest. Go on with your bad selves Kitsbow!

  8. I don’t understand people who are critical of the price. Full suspension bikes cost a sh!tload more than a department store bike, but it’s the norm. Congrats to Z and crew for getting good gear out there.

  9. These guys are not the only guilty ones, but whats the deal with wind resistant biking shorts??!!?

    I wear shorts in summer, Summer is hot, a bit of wind on the marbles is a selling point to me.

    remember when zip vents and light fabrics were cool?

    I do.

  10. superb execution Z and Co. Z previously designed the fuutre of coffee brewing. Now found in starbucks stores. High end in terms of style, detail, quality translated well for this mtb afficionado. the machine is called the clover and like Z’s latest creations, I make it a part of my daily ride.

  11. People who wear trucker hats with a straight bill off center and 2nd generation Oakley Frogskins, also tend to have large amounts of disposable income that they like to spend on things like jet skis, lift kits for their Chevy pickups and expensive mountain bike clothing. So it’s probably not helping Kitsbow at all much for you to alienate an entire segment of their potential customer base.

What do you think?