Words: Carsick John

If you took a sharp pair of scissors and cut off a pair of Polaris’ AM 1000 trousers at a slight angle about 4cm below the knee you would have a pair of AM 500 shorts.

Polaris AM 500 Repel shorts. They are almost identical to the Repel trousers (apart from the fact they're shorts) and that can only be a good thing.

Initial scepticism

Shorts need to be designed with a different cut to trousers, so I was sceptical about how well these shorts would fit and perform, as they are literally (as far as I can tell) a cut off trouser.

Visually they feature the same mix of tonal crotch and knee panels as the trouser, a feature that clothing designers the world over seem to think appeals to sporty outdoor types. They are also made with the same attention to detail and build quality as the trousers.

The shorts drop just below the knee (thankfully not quite to the point of being 3/4 length), but when on the bike the cut turns out to be just right.

Polaris don’t half know what they’re doing

The roomy feel of the AM 1000 trouser actually works well as a pair of AM 500 shorts, with less fabric mass they do look a bit baggy but on the bike this doesn’t seem to translate into acres of fabric flapping, they actually just feel light and airy.

Initially I thought the ‘below the knee’ cut would also be a problem but yet again once the bike the waistband rose higher and they felt good especially in wet conditions giving a little extra coverage on my normally exposed knees.

Technically these are also incredibly well made shorts - 100% nylon and (funnily enough) just like the trousers the material is both tough and lightweight and constructed to a high standard in China. They do more than keeping the odd puddle at bay - these aren't your average 'splash proof' cop-outs - and in fact they are more waterproof than my trusty old 'boil in a bag' shorts that, previous to owning these, were my go-to for rainy days.

I'm sold.


The AM 500 shorts, like the trousers, are a real keeper, some of the best waterproof cycling shorts out there.

Available is sizes small to XXL and in two subtle variants; black/charcoal with neon yellow zippy bits and black/charcoal with bright blue zippy bits.


Competitively priced

Tough and well made


Brightly coloured trims

Possibly a bit to baggy for some people

Price: £49.99

More info: Polaris AM 500 Repel shorts

What Polaris say:

  • Robust and Rugged Mountain Bike Short with DWR coating.
  • Velcro fastening waistband adjuster and elasticated waistband to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Two hand warmer pockets – one with internal zipped security pocket.
  • Leg vents with mesh backing.
  • Colours: Black/Charcoal
  • Sizes: S - XXL