Review: Rapha Women’s Core Cargo Shorts

Rapha’s Women Core Cargo shorts stand out from the market, with the unique feature of two mesh pockets on each side of the shorts. They are specially designed for adventure riders or cyclists who need extra storage space when they are out for a ride. 



  • Women-specific chamois pad
  • Lazer-cut, silicone leg grippers
  • Low-cut at the front for comfort in an on-bike position
  • Mesh pocket on each side of the shorts
  • Material: 82% Polyester, 18% Elastane



Rapha states that the core cargo shorts is “a comfortable, dependable pair of cycling shorts for every day, with pockets to support any riding.”

Is that true? Let’s find out:



The shorts are exceptionally comfortable and have a good fit, though I must point out that it has a relaxed fit compared with the Rapha Souplesse Detachable Bib Shorts.

It features a lower cut at the front to avoid riding up when in a bent over position on the bike. I did not experience any discomfort in the belly area when riding, which is a plus point for me.



The grippers are low in profile with flat-locked seams to prefer chafing.

I loved the material and the look of the shorts, however, I wish that the shorts were a little shorter in length.


The Core Cargo shorts have a more relaxed fit as compared to Rapha’s range of bibs built for racing, for example, the Rapha’s detachable cargo shorts. (link: https://sportsincycling.com/blog/review-rapha-souplesse-detachable-bib-shorts/)


Mesh pockets

There are two mesh pockets on each side of the shorts which enables you to have quick access to your energy bar, phone, or for stashing your gloves or cap.

The cargo shorts was able to hold my phone securely without sagging.



Rapha says that “The shape and construction of the pockets have been tested extensively to ensure contents remain safely stowed for the duration of your ride, whether you are on the way to work or crossing a continent.”

The pockets are spot on storage for gels, bars, and maps, but personally, I would not put anything valuable such as my phone in there.



The pockets came in handy for me when I went I crossed the border for day-long Malaysia rides. 3 pockets on the back of my jersey were insufficient to hold my passport, phone, cash, nutrition, and arm sleeves. The pockets allowed storage for my gloves during rest stops, and to stash any snacks that I bought at petrol stations.


Material and Chamois pad 

No qualms on the chamois pad, as Rapha bibs and shorts always deliver a high-quality chamois pad which makes your ride comfortable and sore-free.

Even though the Cargo shorts are part of Rapha’s core range, which is set at a lower price point, the quality of the bibs and the material was not compromised.




The Rapha Core Cargo shorts are suited for cyclists who prefer to wear a casual tee instead of tight-fitting lycra, and it will surely benefit those who are out for long distance rides and need more storage.

I would not stuff too many things in there though. Otherwise, the shorts would resemble a hamster who has stuffed many seeds in its mouth pockets. With the cargo shorts, you are buying comfort, quality, and practicality at an affordable price of £95 (S$166). 



Click here to find out more about Rapha’s Core Cargo shorts.

Esther Koh
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