Alé Stone Cargo Shorts

Alé Stone Cargo shorts may be what I need with my reduced mobility!

After a fairly forgettable 2023, I’m starting this year with reduced mobility in my right arm. What, you may wonder does this have to do with the Alé Stone Cargo shorts? A recent crash has left me with a limited – and painful – range of movement in one arm. It makes getting anything out of my right-hand side rear pocket almost impossible. At a recent gravel race I had to stop and remove my jacket to get access; not great! So I looked at cargo shorts after dismissing them as not for me.

The Alé Stone Cargo shorts have four storage pockets
The Alé Stone Cargo shorts have four storage pockets

Looking through their summer range, I came across the Alé Stone Cargo bib-shorts. I must admit I hadn’t understood the need for adding extra storage to a pair of bib-shorts. However, now I can see a need! While I can’t get my hand into my back pocket, I could reach a side pocket.

So let’s take a look at the Alé Stone Cargo shorts. Firstly they come in male and female variants; shorts are one place you don’t want a uni-sex approach. The men’s shorts come in the following colours: brownie, forest green, atmosphere blue, plum, black and grey. Women meanwhile have five colours to choose from: brownie, forest green, atmosphere blue, plum and black.

Zaffiro Lycra®Power and GREEN 4H pads

The shorts are made from Zaffiro Lycra®Power, Alé say this material is used for “top performance and protection“. The refers to the UPF50+rating rather than any form of crash protection. The men’s and women’ shorts differ in the type of pad they use. There’s a GREEN 4H pad for men and GREEN W4H pad for the women.

The GREEN range of pads are designed to meet the needs of both road and off-road cycling. Why are the called GREEN? This is because the outer layer is made from recycled polyamide, so they’ve coloured it green. Underneath that top layer there’s up to 12mm of open cell foam to cushion your ride.

Cargo pockets

That’s the technical details covered, but “what about the pockets”, I hear you ask? These are, after all, cargo shorts, meaning you can carry extra stuff. Why would you need to though? Surely you have enough room in your jersey? I think it is a combination of things that have happened in the gravel/Mtb world. Riders wanted to wear looser t-shirts rather than a traditional jersey, which they saw as too ‘roadie’.

However, while these suited their more relaxed style, they missed the practicability of rear pockets. Adding pockets to the side of their bib-shorts gave them back some much needed storage. There’s also the growth of longer ‘ultra’ races, where the ability to carry more stuff is appreciated by the mile-munching monsters.

The Alé Stone Cargo shorts allow you to carry even more stuff!
The Alé Stone Cargo shorts allow you to carry even more stuff!

The Alé Stone Cargo Shorts actually have four pockets to fill with goodies. The first of these are large open-mesh pockets, on the outside of both thighs. Meanwhile there are two extra pockets situated around the back, at the bottom of the straps. The thigh pockets are perfectly placed for me and my injury. I could reach them mid-ride without having to grit my teeth and lose concentration; not what I want when racing off-road.

The rear pockets would be less useful mid-ride I think, but could be handy for storing items that you generally don’t need on the bike. I’m thinking ID cards, maybe a key, or just fill them with more gels? If I can get a pair, I’ll let you know how useful that extra storage is.

The Alé Stone Cargo Shorts are part of the OFF-ROAD range from Alé’s performance ranges. The other ranges starting from the top are: R-EV 1, PR-E and PRAGMA. Prices for the Stone Cargo Shorts are 149.95€ for men and 142.95€ for the women’s. If you’d like to see my review of the Alé Hammer shorts, click here.

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