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Zoic Navaeh Women’s MTB Shorts Review

Zoic makes some of the best mountain bike shorts for under-served portions of the mountain bike community (a.k.a women and children).  Rather than being a sized-down version of a men’s short, the Navaeh has been designed to fit a woman’s body and it comes in cute (and often changing) colors and patterns.

The short has quickly become one of my favorites, thanks to the stretchy fabric, velcro waist strip, and SUPER comfortable liner.  In fact, the removable chamois is the best part of these shorts and I often use it with my other baggy shorts. 

If, however, the liner isn’t YOUR favorite and you have another mountain bike chamois that you prefer, you can also buy the Navaeh short without a liner which is a nice option.

Zoic Navaeh MTB Shorts

May 2023: Updated to reflect new versions of the short as well as updated pricing.


Review in a Nutshell

Pros:

  • Super stretchy material
  • Comfortable, adjustable waistband
  • Breathable, removable chamois liner
  • Several waist and length options
  • Comes in plus-sizes

Cons:

  • Legs are a little narrow

Price & Where to Buy:


Zoic Navaeh Fit

Writing about the fit of a woman’s bike short is difficult because every woman has a different body.  That said, we’ve talked to lots of women about their favorite fitting bike shorts, and the Zoic Navaeh always comes up on the shortlist.

Most of this is thanks to the super-stretchy Polyester-Spandex fabric that allows the shorts to accommodate a large range of body sizes.  The original Zoic Navaeah shorts have an 11″ inseam.  On most women, this will fall right at knee-length.

The legs are intentionally cut narrow to “avoid seat hang-ups.”  While this is true (I’ve never had these shorts catch), they can feel a bit tight on women with muscular thighs.  (That’s most of us female mountain bikers, by the way).  Luckily, thanks to the aforementioned stretchy material, the shorts may feel narrow but never TIGHT.

zoic navaeh waist band

I also really dig the waistband on the Zoic Navaeh.  My waist is exceptionally narrow; my hips, on the other hand, are not, which usually leads me to buy up a size and having to safety pin or sew the waistband on my shorts. 

Thankfully the Navaeh has a comfortable, adjustable velcro waistband that allows women to cinch in or let out the shorts.  The waist closes with both a zipper and double snaps, so you also don’t have to worry about it popping open after a long lunch.

The rise on the shorts is high enough to avoid that horrible gap between shorts and jersey, but not so high as to feel like you’re wearing mom jeans.

zoic shorts

Zoic Essential Liner

The Naveah short can be purchased with or without the Zoic Essential liner. I would recommend buying it with.

The chamois has undoubtedly become my favorite part of the short.  It seems to hit a sweet spot between being thick enough to protect my underside on all-day rides and breathable enough that I don’t end up with saddle sores and other issues.

The liner is fairly short (5″) and fits well under other other baggy shorts as well without sticking out the bottom (or the top).

If you buy it with the Navaeh short it is easy to snap in or snap out, although I find that the short and liner works well together even without attaching the two.

zoic mountain bike chamois

Pockets, Zippers, and Snaps

If you’re a packet kind of gal, you’ll like these shorts.  They have six pockets, all of which have zippers to keep your stuff safe. 

I don’t often use the pockets but do like the ability to carry a credit card or some cash without worrying about them falling out.  The pockets are a good size, although due to the narrow legs, you would be hard pressed to comfortably carry a wallet or anything very big.

The zippers and snaps have all held up well, even for me.  I have a tendency of losing snaps on mountain bike shorts (too many cooies?!?), but I’ve been wearing these for about a year now and I haven’t broken anything.

Multiple Colors and Patterns

Because everybody has their own style and color preferences, we appreciate that the Zoic Navaeh comes in multiple colors and patterns.  These also seem to change semi-regularly, so you can always add to your collection.

My shorts are the White Plaid “Novelty” version.  As I’ll get into below, I wouldn’t recommend buying white shorts, but several of the other patterns look promising.

Durability

After nearly a year of heavy use, I’m happy to report that shorts have held up well.  As previously mentioned, all zippers and snaps have remained intact.  The velcro on the waistband has held up well, although I have friends who’ve had there’s longer and the velcro has started to wear.

As one might expect from white shorts (really, who buys white mtb shorts?!?!), the bottom has become stained.  This is thanks to sitting in red dirt in the desert and I don’t think reflects poorly on the fabric.  You might want to consider buying the shorts in a different color, however.

zoic navaeh

New Additional Lengths, Sizes, And Waist Options

Since I first reviewed the Zoic Navaeh, it has been release in new versions. (It still comes in the traditional 11″ length and fit that I first reviewed here).

The Navaeah 7 shorts have a shorter inseam, of you guessed it, 7 inches. These are great for hotter days or for ladies who just like to show a little extra leg.

Finally, the Navaeh Bliss version has a yoga-style waistband (highly recommend this!) and goes up to size 3x. This makes it a great plus-size baggy short option.

Bottom-Line

The Zoic Naveah short is comfortable and fits a wide-range of body types thanks to the stretchy material and adjustable waistband.  We appreciate the zippered pockets, breathable chamois, and all-day comfort. 

The only ladies we wouldn’t recommend the short to are ones with exceptionally muscular thighs or those who prefer a more baggy feel.

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About The Reviewer

kristen bonkoski

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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