Fox Racing Ranger Short Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Fox still makes the Ranger Shorts for women, although they have been redesigned for the 2022 model year. They now have zippered hand pockets and a modified waist adjustment system. -May 2022
There is nothing fancy about the Fox Racing Ranger Women's Short, but if you want a basic pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and offer protection from vegetation, rain, and UV rays, these are a reasonably priced option to consider.
Fit and comfort
The Ranger is made of lightweight 2-way stretch ripstop nylon which is lightweight and durable.
Using a plastic tri-glide buckle and webbing adjustment system that is similar to what is used on goggles, the waist on the Ranger has a fairly limited amount of adjustment. Pulling the plastic pieces away from each other takes in the waist and the material gathers on the back. Bunchy material on the back is the least attractive way to manage extra waist material and adds bulk where you tend to get sweatiest on a bike ride. You will want to get the best fit possible with this pair to avoid excessive bunching of material.
The 12-inch inseam on the Ranger is enough to protect your skin from random pokey bushes as well as provide coverage and compatibility with kneepads. While we weren't able to test these in the rain, the fabric is coated with DWR, and water beaded up without soaking in when we sprinkled with the hose. This is an excellent feature if you live in a damp or rainy climate.
As long as you find the right size, the Ranger performs well on the bike. There is plenty of stretch for dynamic movement and the material is lightweight enough to glide over the tops of your thighs when pedaling.
There is one zippered pocket on the Ranger, and it is just a little too small to hold a phone. We were able to squish a phone in by pulling on the pocket fabric under the leg material, but that is pretty impractical when you are on a ride. The pocket itself is constructed of lightweight mesh material which is not fully attached to the shorts. For small items, this was not a problem, but we found that heavier items, such as keys, bounced around noticeably.
There are also two hand pockets at the waist, which are always handy for holding things pre and post-ride, as well as for stashing micro-trash that you may collect on a ride.
The Ranger is pretty basic in most ways, with few details that add flair or style. There isn't even contrast stitching or zipper pulls. Overall, they remind us of the old days of mountain biking, when women had to wear men's shorts because no one was making women-specific bike shorts. There are lots of more feminine models available, but if you prefer a subtle and functional look then the Ranger is an option for you.
One thing we found to be quite odd is a complete lack of closure on the fly. You would almost always be wearing a liner short, so modesty is not necessarily a problem. But if you wanted to wear the shorts around town, or to jump in a lake after a ride (sans chamois), you have a gaping hole to worry about.
Besides the khaki option that we tested, the Ranger is also currently available in black, pewter, matte blue, chili, and purple.
The Ranger comes with a liner short and still is one of the lower-priced shorts that we tested. Considering they are quite functional, we feel they are a good value for anyone seeking a no-frills trail riding short.
The Fox Racing Ranger Short is not the best short that we tested, but it will keep you protected and comfortable out on a ride without breaking the bank. Just make sure to get the right size for the best fit to avoid bunching fabric at the waist.
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