Reviews You Can Rely On

Fox Racing Ranger Short Women's Review

Plain but functional, these shorts perform well if you can get the right fit
Fox Racing Ranger Short Women's
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $90 List | $71.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Long inseam, water-resistant, affordable, comes with padded liner short, affordable
Cons:  Limited waist adjustment, small zippered pocket, plain style, no fly closure
Manufacturer:   Fox Racing
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 12, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 7
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 6
  • Protection - 20% 7
  • Pockets - 10% 5
  • Style - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Fox Ranger Women's are a no-nonsense, functional pair of mountain bike shorts that offer a good amount of protection in terms of inseam length and water resistance. In general, they are relatively basic, with nothing that really makes them stand out from the pack. We found the waist-adjustment system to be limited, so it is especially important to get a good fit or they will be sliding down your backside. The zippered pocket is a little small, so these shorts are best suited for someone who carries a pack. The plain style may not be for everyone and they are not the best in any category, but if all you want is the basics, these are comfortable and affordable.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $71.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$88.00 at Backcountry$110 List
Check Price at Backcountry
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$56.21 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
91
91
90
76
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Long inseam, water-resistant, affordable, comes with padded liner short, affordableFeminine fit, burly material, glide patches for smooth pedaling, easy cinching at the waist, zippered pocketsGreat fit, smart waist adjustment, usable pockets, lightweight, comfortableLightweight, four-way stretch, excellent fit, breathable, super comfortableLightweight, breathable, many pockets, affordable
Cons Limited waist adjustment, small zippered pocket, plain style, no fly closureNot the lightest weightNot waterproof, slim fit may not work for all ridersNot as protective for burly terrainNot water resistant, runs large, velcro waist adjusters
Bottom Line Plain but functional, these shorts perform well if you can get the right fitA flattering and durable short built with an emphasis on downhill funReally comfortable and lightweight shorts that fit well, have great pockets, and look good on and off the bikeOne of the best fitting shorts we have ever tested, with a minimalist design, lightweight, and a high level of comfortA very functional pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and super affordable
Rating Categories Fox Racing Ranger S... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Specialized Trail C... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Fit And Comfort (30%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Protection (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Pockets (10%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Style (10%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Fox Racing Ranger S... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Specialized Trail C... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Shell Fabric Stretch ripstop, 65% polyamide nylon, 29% polyester, 6% elastane Stretch polyester with DWR Vaporize woven fabric 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex 86% polyester, 14% spandex
Lining Main Fabric Stretch polyester None None Sold seperately None
Chamois Dual density Fox chamois None None Sold seperately None
Inseam Measurement 12 in 12 in 11.5 in 11.75 in 11 in
Number of pockets 4 4 4 1 4

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


The twelve-inch inseam provides protection from vegetation and UV...
The twelve-inch inseam provides protection from vegetation and UV rays.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

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.

While this model comes with a padded liner, we are not reviewing liners or chamois in this review. However, online reviews mentioned a lot of discrepancies between the liner size and the short size.

The waist adjustment system is inspired by goggle straps. We found...
The waist adjustment system is inspired by goggle straps. We found it didn't adjust very much, so make sure you get a good fit.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Protection


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.

Plenty long to wear with knee pads or to offer adequate protection...
Plenty long to wear with knee pads or to offer adequate protection from overgrown bushes or the sun.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pedal Friendliness


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.

Plenty of stretch to keep these shorts moving with you as you pedal.
Plenty of stretch to keep these shorts moving with you as you pedal.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pockets


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.

We shot this inside out to show that a phone barely fits, and it was...
We shot this inside out to show that a phone barely fits, and it was nearly impossible to get it in there while riding.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Style


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 fly does not have any way to stay closed, which may be a problem...
The fly does not have any way to stay closed, which may be a problem if you want to wear them without a liner short.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Value


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.

They are basic, but provide good protection and comfort on the bike.
They are basic, but provide good protection and comfort on the bike.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Conclusion


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.

Laurel Hunter