Smartwool Flagstaff Bib Shorts

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Manufacturer Description

Flatlock seams make this 8-panel ergonomic bib short comfortable and functional. With a 9″ inseam short (for size M), SmartWool Technical Knit Merino terry back knit and an Italian designed chamois lined with SmartWool’s Microweight fabric, you’ll ride on in extraordinary comfort. Made in Vietnam of New Zealand


  • Fabrics – upper: 96% SmartWool, 4% elastic jersey knit; short: 45% nylon, 39% SmartWool, 16% elastic
  • 8-panel ergonomic bib design
  • SmartWool T.K.M. terry back knit
  • Flat lock seams
  • Reflective Little Guy logo at left thigh
  • Fabric Weight – 260 g/m2
  • Italian designed chamois lined with SmartWool microweight fabric
    Both Fabrics
    • Chamois Length – 35 cm (13.8 in)
    • Chamois Width – 20.5 cm in back (8.1 in), 15 cm in front (5.9 in)
    • Chamois Thickness – 8.6 mm in thickest part
  • Measured size medium
    • Inseam Length – 23 cm (9 in)
    • Leg Width at Thigh – 22 cm (8.7 in)
    • Leg Width at Opening – 20 cm (7.9 in)
    • Weight – 209 g (7.4 oz)
  • Retail – $150

YMMV Review

I have done this review in conjunction with the Smartwool Flagstaff Jerseyreview. Both are a wool mix to give it the features of wool and the performance of a synthetic piece.  If you would like to know more about wool, check out the article linked below.

Design ★★★★☆

The Smartwool Flagstaff Bib Shorts are a made of two different fabrics. The upper bib portion is made out of 96% Merino wool and 4% elastic. This gives the upper the properties of wool while having the stretch and mobility of elastic. The shorts are made out of 45% nylon, 39% merino wool, 16% elastic mix. Smartwool has used this particular mix to optimize the amount of wool with the durability and stretch of nylon and elastic. The shorts need to be made out of a more durable fabric due to the interaction with the saddle. The shorts feature a 9 inch inseam for longer coverage. The bib short is made out of 8-panels for an ergonomic fit. Even the Italian designed chamois is lined with SmartWool microweight fabric for ultimate comfort. The fabric weight used is 260g/m2. This falls more in line with a midweight fabric, it is not as light as the Flagstaff Jersey. The logo on the front is reflective but small.


Fit ★★★★☆

The bib shorts have a good length to them. I prefer to have longer bib shorts and these fit the bill perfectly for me. The shorts are not as compressive as other shorts I have tested. The bib straps are a good length. On a 90 mile ride they never once dug into my shoulders. The chamois has treated me well. I know chamois are a personal preference so I have included the measurements above. I found it to be comfortable on my long rides. The 260 g/m2 fabric is a little on the thicker side. I felt like it did a good job wicking moisture from my skin. But it is a bit warm for the hottest days of the summer hear in Bend. I like using it on days below 85 degrees as it dries slightly slower than my synthetic bib shorts. This has not been tested in any way, just my feeling. I have had no chafing issues with the shorts; the flatlock seams and fit have worked well for me. The front cut hits me just below my belly button and is stretchy enough for when nature calls. The fabric has a nice feel next to skin and I have had no itchiness normally associated with wool.

Performance ★★★½☆

The performance of the bib shorts has been about what I expected. They have been comfortable and fit well. They run a bit on the warmer side so I like them on all but the hottest days. I am a big fan of wool and these are no exception. The durability has been good and I have seen no issues with them yet. As with other wool garments the bib shorts do not stink after riding in them and you can wear them more than once before washing them if you wish. With a chamois I am a bit hesitant to do this unless I can get them to thoroughly dry. This makes these bibs a good option for bike touring. Wool is antimicrobial.

Overall ★★★★☆

The Flagstaff Bib Shorts are a solid bib short for all you’re cycling adventures. The chamois is well designed and worked well for me. The length of the inseam is 9 inches long like I prefer. The fit is not compressive but is secure. There are not many negatives about these bib shorts. They do run a little more expensive then other middle of the range bib shorts from other companies though. But they are made out of wool which is good for something. My other only gripe is that they are made overseas. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Inseam Length
  • Made of wool


  • Price (?)
  • Made Overseas


About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

5 Responses to “Smartwool Flagstaff Bib Shorts”

  1. I am thinking about getting a pair of these. I have the shorts version and love them. Any tips on sizing for the bibs? I am 5’11” 33″ waist and usually would take a Medium. However some bibs like Asos I have to size up to L so the bib straps aren’t too tight. I’ll have to order online since no retailers. Ear me stock them. Thanks!

    • Hello Craig,

      I have been a fan of these bib shorts. I am about 5′ 11″ and my waist is 32″ and these fit me well. I hear you when you say some other shorts get tight in the torso length but these were not like that for me. They were snug but not tight. I have been testing some Assos and Castelli and these run slightly looser than those. I would recommend the size medium for you. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.


  2. Thanks for a very thoughtful and informative review. Just like Craig, I also have the shorts version (Rambition) in size M and fit me well at 5.11 and 145 lbs (waist size 31-32, depending on brand). I’m planning on getting these bibs and was wondering about the ease of performing “nature’s call”, as you put it 🙂 Is it relatively easy to pull down the front so you can get your (average-size) hose out? I wish they made bibs with a small zipper at the front (have that in my winter thermal bibs)

    • Hello Steve, thanks for the question. It made me laugh a bit. The bib are not very tight like some other bibs are so that makes it actually really easy to pull the front down to use the bathroom. I think it would be easy no matter what the size. I wore them this weekend to make sure for you.
      On the other hand, a zipper might be a good option but I would be worry about chafing or a “Something About Mary” moment. Glad you liked the review!


  3. Thanks a lot about your response and the “in action” test. I meant no offense with the “average size” of course 😉
    I’ve been debating between the Flagstaff and the Specialized BG RBX bibs, which are also relatively painless to use for dispensing excess liquids.

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