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Mescal Ventilated Short

Go faster, stay cooler, ride harder in the short built to breathe. The exceptionally lightweight and carefully tailored Mescal Ventilated Short maximizes airflow for all-day climbs and brutal descents, and is our first outer short made-to-order in Old Fort, USA.

Pairs well with a Zen Ventilated Cycling Liner.

Note: When you place your order today you will wait at least 8 weeks for your shorts to ship. Why? Because we make each pair of shorts to order, due to our deep commitment to waste less. We stay in touch by email, and your purchase date determines your place in line. 

Made To Order, Less Waste™ simply means minimizing waste — by making only what is needed — and maximizing our flexibility to offer customers more choices, more colors, sizes and fits.

More choices, premium quality gear and the commitment of less waste, sounds pretty great, right? The trade-off is that it takes longer for us to make, but you get exactly what you want, and we never make apparel that isn’t wanted.

Curious to know more? Give a listen to this podcast

What do the different purchase options mean?

Add to Cart: Your gear will ship today, or no later than the next business day.

Make Mine: When you buy it, we'll make it! Production times vary by product (and are constantly changing).

Make Mine, Pre-Order: Kitsbow sometimes offers pre-orders for products we know will be in high demand. Pre-orders secure your place at the front of the line.

Have questions about your order? Please email us at
  • Durable soft shell for high mobility
  • Generous stretch-mesh paneling at waist, rear yoke, and back of knees ensures maximum active ventilation
  • Tailored fit ensures short won’t snag on saddle or flap in the wind
  • Simplified alloy hook at the waist enables 3 inches of adjustability
  • Articulated waistband subtly raised in back and lowered at sides to ensure complete coverage while reducing potential hotspots
  • Sculpted back of each knee bends discreetly with knee so it won’t brush your calves with each pedal stroke
  • Zippered side pockets for easy access and perfectly placed storage
  • Inset mesh fabric interfaces with mesh ventilation panels on the Zen Ventilated Cycling Liner
  • Reflective elements on the back and side
  • Sewn in the USA (Old Fort, NC)


WAIST* 28 30 32 34 36 38
INSEAM 12.875







71.12 76.2 81.28 86.36 91.44 96.52






*Note: Measurements above reflect actual garment measurements.


Our crew often rides hard and we are here for you when things go awry. If you crash and trash your Kitsbow, get in touch with us.

If it can be repaired, we'll do that for a reasonable charge. If it can't be repaired (if you were really ripping it), we'll figure out a way to get you back on your bike wearing Kitsbow anyway. Just get in touch. The same policy applies to typical wear and tear: we'll repair it for a reasonable charge (if it can be repaired) or get you back into Kitsbow some other way if it cannot be repaired.


Customer Reviews
4.5 Based on 55 Reviews
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New Zealand New Zealand
  • If a garment, please rate the size. Runs SmallSlightly SmallTrue to SizeSlightly LargeRuns Large
Worth the wait!

Excellent quality and attention to functional detail.

Mark M.
United States United States
  • If a garment, please rate the size. Runs SmallSlightly SmallTrue to SizeSlightly LargeRuns Large
Best cycling shorts ever. Period

Have been searching for these shorts for 20-plus years. On-body feel is so smooth, light and compliant that I had to look down a few times the first ride to make sure still had clothing on. The shorts have become my go-to for MTB, gravel and even road; already purchased more Mescal shorts. Love the pockets’ functionality. Can place iphone in one and ID or energy chews in the other without any pedaling disruption or bulky feel. The shorts do not bunch-up on saddle, but the shorts do tend to crawl up thigh revealing first inch of Zen liner after 2 hours or so of riding without standing above saddle. It is not a dealbreaker, though.

United States United States
  • If a garment, please rate the size. Runs SmallSlightly SmallTrue to SizeSlightly LargeRuns Large
Mezcal ventilated shorts review

I purchased a size medium. Like the material and the tailored/athletic fit of the shorts through the hips and legs. BUT, the waist is too big. . .must be 33" or more. Waist size doesn't jive with the athletic cut of the hips and legs. What person who orders a medium has a waist of 33" or more? Also, don't like the metal clip/buckle. Doesn't grip the nylon between well. Won't stay tight. Constantly having to tighten it during rides. AND it bangs around in the washing machine (potentially damaging inside of washing machine, and damaging the shorts and other clothes in the same load?). Suggest replacing with high quality, durable buckle made with some other material, and designing it with some little teeth so it grabs the belt better and maintains tension.

Darrell S.
United States United States
  • If a garment, please rate the size. Runs SmallSlightly SmallTrue to SizeSlightly LargeRuns Large
Amazing fit, feel, and performance!!!

The fit was true to size from the beginning. Riding in them were amazing as they did not irritate the skin from running, and didn’t hold in moisture or sweat. Will be purchasing another pair when I am in the market for another pair of riding shorts!

John H.
United States United States
  • If a garment, please rate the size. Runs SmallSlightly SmallTrue to SizeSlightly LargeRuns Large
Mescal And Zen: The Dynamic Duo

Are there days (or times of the day) where you avoid riding due to the heat? What if I were to tell you that you could invest in a mountain kit that would allow you to ride all day long, no matter how high the temperatures rise? Meet The Mescal Ventilated Short and the Zen Ventilated Liner. If you add the Superflow Cooling Tee, you are set for all-day epic adventures in 100+ temps. I waited until our temps literally reached 102 to write this review and here is what I have for you: The Mescal Ventilated short is everything you need and want from a warm/hot weather short. Leave it to Kitsbow to even consider making such a thing! The Mescal features a tailored fit...much like the original A/M short, different from the baggier fit of the Masterlink short. Still, I feel they run true to size. The fabric is substantial but with the perfect amount of stretch. There are three mesh panels on the rear, one below the waist and at each lower leg. The rear ventilated panels are even subtly arched so it doesn't scrape against your calves on your pedal upstroke. There are two zippered pockets big enough to fit a smart phone and placed on your hip so it won't interfere with your ride.This short includes another brilliant belt design with a hook closure that allows you to adjust the waist a stays out of the way in all positions on your bike. Safe to say this is THE BEST warm weather short on its own. HOWEVER, do not stop there! Add the Zen Ventilated Liner as the Robin to your Batman! The Zen Liner is made specifically to be used in conjunction with the Mescal. It is lightweight while maintaining great stretch and compression. It includes mesh panels on the lower back and legs, aligning perfectly with the Mescal. Kitsbow includes the same CyTech chamois they use in their other liners. It's padding is in "the Goldilocks zone," not too much, not too little...just right! One notable observation: they fit small and somewhat short in length. Nothing wrong with going up one size on the Zen. Wait, there's more!! I know it's hot out but no need to ride topless! Grab a Superflow Cooling Tee to complete your hottest weather mountain kit! I have written a review of THE BEST warm weather shirt as well but please allow me to sing this piece's praise one more time. This shirt is not just lightweight, it is also the most breathable shirt EVER! If you hold it up to the light, it appears light transparent mesh. Put it on and it is solid. Ride it and the wind just penetrates the shirt and keeps you Superflow COOL! Kitsbow has dropped many color combinations so there is a Superflow (or 3...or 4) for all of us! Once again, Kitsbow knocks it out of the park! CHEERS!

Kitsbow Mescal Ventilated Short Review