When Hannah went looking for some impact protection shorts for women, she couldn’t find any – so she tried these unisex ones from Leatt instead.
Impact shorts are perhaps more usually worn by gravity riders racing their way down seriously gnarly courses at high speeds. However, I wanted something to give me a bit of extra protection and confidence when learning to jump, pushing myself to ride more technical terrain, or going a bit faster than usual on the occasional uplift day.
I couldn’t find a pair of women’s specific impact shorts, which left me looking for chamois-free impact shorts. I know from experience that a men’s chamois won’t result in a happy experience for me. I guess I could get away with one on an uplift day where I’m not doing a pile of sitting down and pedalling, but for flexibility I looked for something that didn’t have a chamois, so I could wear my own under them. This pair of Leatt Impact shorts were the only ones I could find, so I took a punt and got them ordered in. Subsequently I’ve discovered US brand Zoic do a liner short with women’s chamois and impact protection, but they’re not available in the UK and the protection is more limited than these Leatt Impact Shorts.
The Leatt Impact 3DF shorts are a largely mesh construction – which is good for breathability and stretch, but somewhat revealing for modelling purposes. I’m sure you’ll forgive the undergarments in the images here, but there are limits to what I’m prepared to display on the internet, and I wanted to show the extent of the shorts without wearing similarly black cycling shorts underneath.
There’s an upper gel pad on each hip, and a lower foam pad on the thigh – approximately where you might catch your bar (or a shifter) in an off. An elasticated waist keeps them up, with no adjustment for fit. The legs have slight silicone grip at the bottoms.
The hip pad is certified to ‘Level 1’ – this is the lowest level of ‘certified’ impact protection performance, but it is still certified. As makers of motorcycle products, Leatt is particularly big on promoting where its products have been independently tested and certified and includes the test certificates on its website. The foam thigh pads don’t meet any such certification requirements, but they’re certainly more protective than a basic fabric short would be.
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|Product:||3DF 3.0 Impact Shorts|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 6 months|