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Showers Pass Review: Women’s Apex DWR Shorts & Apex Tech T-Shirt

Showers Pass is well known for their cycling-specific rain gear, but did you know that they make mountain bike apparel as well? We recently tested out both the women’s Apex short and the Apex Tech Tee, and were happy to discover that they were as functional and durable as we’d expect from this company.

Read on to learn more.

showers pass apex shorts

Showers Pass Women’s Apex DWR Shorts

Pros:

  • DWR finish works well in wet climates
  • Durable construction
  • Stretchy and move well
  • Reflective accents for additional visibility on the road
  • Come in regular clothing sizes
  • Thigh vents

Cons:

  • Only comes in black, lacks more feminine features
  • Zipper slips down easily

Price: $105

showers pass womens apex dwr short

Comfortable, True To Size Fit

I hate trying to guess what size of shorts to order online. That’s why I appreciated that the Showers Pass Women’s Apex DWR shorts come in regular clothing sizes (2-14) and they fit true to size.

I ordered a size 6 (which is what I wear in jeans) and the shorts fit perfectly. They are comfortable, stretchy, and don’t tug anywhere (even over my larger hips and bums).

While not snug at all, the Apex short is slimmer fitting than many baggies. This means that they look nice and tailored, but they wouldn’t be my first choice for use with knee pads. The 11″ length is about an inch shorter than I’d prefer for downhill days. That said, they’ve been one of my top picks all summer for trail rides where I don’t need any armor.

Adjustable Waist

I won’t even consider buying a pair of shorts that don’t have an adjustable waist. Fortunately, the Apex shorts do.

The waist adjusts via an external velcro strap on either side of the hips. Because I have sensitive skin, I appreciated that this adjustment was on the outside of the short, rather than the inside.

On the inside rear of the waistband there is a silicone gripper. Combined with the velcro straps, I found that this kept the shorts in place and avoided the dreaded gap between back and short.

The waist closes via a zipper, two snaps, and a hook and bar closure. While this certainly, kept the shorts on, I did notice that the zipper had a tendency of slipping down–not ideal!

DWR Finish Sheds Water And Dirt

The Apex short is finished with a rain-resistant DWR finish–exactly what we would expect from Showers Pass. This makes these shorts a great choice for anybody who lives in a wetter climate.

The DWR finish also has the added benefit of doing a good job of repelling spills and dirt. My local trails this summer have been DUSTY, and I found that I could easily brush the dirt off of these shorts.

The overall construction feels durable and I expect these shorts to survive lots of abuse.

Two Hand Pockets And A Rear Zippered Pocket

One of my biggest complaints with women’s mountain bike shorts (as compared to mens) is the lack of zippered pockets! The Apex short DOES have a zippered pocket–but it’s a rear pocket.

rear pocket

This means that it works okay for a gel or even some cash, but not so well for a car keys or anything more rigid! You don’t want to sit on your cell phone!

There are two hand pockets but no other cargo pockets (except the thigh vents I’ll mention in a moment), so this is a pair of shorts where you really need a pack to carry your gear.

Zippered Thigh Vents

There is a zippered thigh vent on either side of these shorts. I found that these did add some appreciated airflow on hot summer days. That said, they are not as large and do not provide as much airflow as the vents on the Shredly shorts, for instance.

If you’re not using the thigh vents, you could also use these as pockets. They aren’t huge (not big enough for a phone), but can easily stash wrappers, a bar, or treasure you find on the trail.

thigh vents

Reflective Accents Are Nice For Low Light Riding

Most mountain bike shorts don’t have reflective accents…..’cause when you’re mountain biking you’re generally not near traffic. The Apex shorts, however, do feature quite a few reflective accents. This can be nice if you’re using the shorts for gravel riding or for biking home from the trailhead in the last few moments of daylight.

relective details

Only Come In Black

I remember not that many years ago when all of my mountain bike shorts were black. But in recent years, I’ve really embraced the fun colors and designs coming from companies like Shredly and Wild Rye.

The Apex short ONLY comes in black, which is great if that’s what you’re looking for. Black shorts look sleek.

But if you want something more fun or feminine, this isn’t your short. The Women’s Apex looks like a man’s short….cut for women.

Bottom Line: Durable, Comfortable Short For Wet Or Dusty Riding

If you’re looking for a traditional black baggy short, the Showers Pass Women’s Apex is a great choice. They are stretchy, comfortable, and run true to size.

The DWR finish is also an added bonus for anybody riding in wet or dusty climates as they do a good job of repelling both water and dirt.


Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt

Pros:

  • Merino wool is the best!
  • Comfortable, loose fit
  • Can be used for other activities

Cons:

  • No pockets

Price: $75

showers pass apex jersey

Merino Wool Is THE BEST Material

This jersey had me won before I even tried it on thanks to the fact that it’s made out of Merino wool. If you’re not familiar with Merino for cycling clothes, you should get familiar.

Merino is quite simply the best. It somehow rejects stink (so you can wear multiple days bikpeacking or touring), stays dry even when you sweat or it’s raining outside, and lasts forever.

It also looks beautiful and wrinkles fall out easily. This top looks far more expensive and fancy than your average mountain bike jersey.

The jersey is thin and quick drying which makes it perfect for hot, sweaty days. On the flip side, I also feel like this is a jersey that I’ll use for cooler weather fall riding layered with a flannel. Because it stays dry, merino is great for cool and wet weather.

Comfortable, Loose Fit

If you don’t like clingy jerseys, you’ll like the Apex Tech Merino Tech T-Shirt. It fits like a loose fitting tee and provides plenty of space around the middle if you have a bit of a belly you want to hide.

The back is also cut a bit longer so you don’t have to worry about any plumbers crack or a gap between your shorts and top even when leaned over.

apex tech t-shirt

Sun Protection

If you don’t want to wear long sleeves, but still want to be protected from the sun, this jersey does a good job. The sleeves are a little longer than many bike jerseys, and the material has UPF 40 sun protection.

Tech T-Shirt Can Be Used For Other Activities As Well

It’s always awesome when you can use a piece for multiple purposes, and the Apex tee does that well. It’s not obviously a mountain bike jersey, so you can easily use it for hiking or even for going out in public.

That said, because it’s a t-shirt, it doesn’t have any pockets. I’m a big fan of pockets, so that’s always a bummer for me, but if you’re riding with a pack, it might not matter to you.

Bottom-Line: A Perfect Piece To Add To Your Merino Collection

If you’re like me, you hoard merino pieces. They last forever and are great for all riding and weather conditions.

The Apex Tech T-Shirt is flattering, comfortable, and can be worn multiple days in a row for bikepacking or touring. Highly recommend.

More Help Finding Great Shorts & Jerseys

About The Reviewer

kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @kristenlbonkoski

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