KETL Mountain Bike Apparel Reviewed

Travis GneitingApparel, Reviews

KETL Mountain Bike Apparel Reviews
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Durability
  • Fit
  • Comfort


KETL has a wide offering of mountain bike apparel for warm weather trail riding as well as colder weather rides.

Ketl Mountain Bike Shorts

You may recognize the Ketl brand from Worldwide Cyclery and their popular YouTube channel and owner. Ketl was purchased by Worldwide Cyclery and makes high-end trail riding clothing. One of their most popular products is their shorts which come in two lengths. The shorts were recently updated as a second version with better closure and styling.

Ketl Virtue Hybrid Shorts Version 2

The shorts are the perfect trail riding mountain bike shorts. They are extremely soft stretchy lightweight and move well on the bike. The one thing that stands out to me the most is the unique styling added to pieces like the inside of the pockets breathable super soft and stretchy lining. The unique flat laying belt works a lot better than snap/button closure I also like the notched leg hole and red kettle tag. 

Virtue 11-Inch

The shorts have one open pocket for quick access and another zipper pocket on the right side for keeping things safe while on the trail. The back right pocket has a zipper and the left back pocket has a button. It’s an excellent mix between fashion and function. 

On the inside of the short is a rubber gripper around the waist velcro closure. A slight adjustment can be made to the short waist with the belt built in. The shorts fit true to size for a medium. I’m about 5’10” with a 31-inch waist and the size medium fits me perfectly.

Virtue 9-Inch

The shorts come in two different lengths a 9-inch and an 11-inch. The different lengths are a personal preference although when pedaling a bike the shorter 9-inch shorts seem to rise up about mid-thigh. While the 11-inch shorts provide a bit more coverage and don’t show a stripe of skin when wearing with some knee pads.

There are hundreds of mountain bike shorts on the market so why would you choose Ketl over another. The shorts are specifically they are focused on trail riders. Because the shorts are soft and stretchy they don’t offer as much protection against falls. They are however super comfortable for multi-hour rides on the bike. Other reasons you might consider Ketl over another brand of bike shorts are pockets having zippers.

Ketl Virtue Features

  • 9” or 11″ inseam is perfect for on the bike but can be used for any activities
  • Functional, minimalist design
  • Gusset keeps the family jewels nice and comfortable
  • Super stretchy, lightweight fabric provides freedom of movement
  • Grippy waistband & new G hook adjustable closure system dials in fit
  • Quick drying so you can take a bath in the lake and not regret it
  • Mesh-lined front pockets
  • 2 zipper pockets secure the essentials
  • 53% nylon, 35% polyester, 12% spandex
  • Weight: 218g (taken from size medium)
  • Fabric weight: 144gsm

What size and length should you buy?

9″ on Left, 11″ on Right

The Shorts come in 5 different sizes (small to XXL) and two lengths (9-inch and 11-inch) so what size should you buy?

I was lucky enough to try both the 9-inch and 11-inch shorts of the new version 2 of the Virtue Hybrid Shorts.  I weigh about 165 lbs and have a waist of about 31 inches. The medium shorts fit me perfectly. I would advise using the sizing guide as I feel that it accurately represents the waist size to purchase.

As for the length, if you like riding with knee pads I would recommend the longer 11-inch shorts. If you are a light trail rider who also likes the feeling of sometimes riding lycra I think you will appreciate the shorter 9-inch shorts.  

Ketl also offers free shipping and returns so you can get the exact fit you like. However, we all hate the hassle of having to return or exchange for a different size so I hope the pictures and description help us get the right size the first time.

KETL Virtue Shorts Conclusion

I have ridden over 50 different pairs of mountain biking shorts. The reason I like the Ketl Virtue shorts and turn to them over other shorts is the soft comfortable feeling. With some shorts, I want them off as soon as I’m done riding because they are stiff and rugged. I often keep wearing the Ketl Virtue shorts all day or reach for them even when I’m not riding.  There are some reasons not to wear them or purchase another option. If you are looking for something that offers more protection for enduro or downhill riding I wouldn’t recommend these for park laps. Also, the shorts tend to wrinkle a lot when packed. However, wearing them throughout the day seems to release wrinkles.  For $75 where a lot of other cycling shorts are easily over $100, these are a great value for a comfortable pair of shorts for on and off the trail.

KETL Wayward Shirt Review–_FBzc0

The Wayward shirt is super lightweight biking, hiking, or just around town shirt with a true “cycle fit” to it. The KETL wayward shirt comes in long sleeves and short sleeves. It features flatlock seams, super lightweight, and breathable fabric, a rear zipper pocket big enough to fit a credit card or key, microfiber glasses wipe, and a lower rear cut to keep your crack covered.

If you’re looking at the shorts you should also take a look at their cycling jerseys they are made from 53% polyester 40% recycled polyester and 7% panda expandex and made in China.

This makes for a super lightweight stretchy moisture-wicking Jersey that has a nice long cut and stays down when biking. Some of the features include a small zipper pocket lined with microfiber material for cleaning glasses and zipper closure. There are thousands of bike jerseys out there you might consider choosing a kettle mountain bike Jersey when purchasing the kettle mountain bike shorts because of the color matching the fit with a longer sleeve for some protection.

I am 5’10” tall and about 165 lb wearing size medium fits me exactly how I like. The sleeves are tight enough that they don’t flap in the wind, and the length is long enough to cover the front and rear when walking around town or in the saddle. While the jersey has a “cycling cut” to it, it wouldn’t easily be identified as a bike jersey. The natural color options and casual style make this a lightweight shirt I like to wear all the time.

Ketl Wayward What Size to Buy

The Wayward shirt comes in sizes small to XXL. The shirt is also offered in both long sleeves and short sleeves. I am 5’10” tall and about 165 pounds and wearing a size medium. I feel like it fits me perfectly. Not too loose for flapping in the wind but not so tight it is restrictive. 

Ketl Wayward Features

  • Minimalist design great for the trails and post-ride brewery session
  • UPF 30 rating
  • Lightweight and breathable material
  • Side zipper pocket can fit ID or credit cards
  • Microfiber eyewear wipe
  • Fold over collar style
  • Raglan sleeve with flatlock stitching throughout
  • 53% polyester, 40% recycled polyester, 7% spandex
  • Weight: 139g (taken from size medium)
  • Fabric weight: 129gsm

Ketl Wayward Shirt Conclusion

Pairing the Wayward shirt with the Virtue shorts is a great look and feel for a cool riding kit. It is super breathable for hot days, stretches in all directions, and dries quickly. It’s minimal design but has a few subtle branding tags that I appreciate. I love the added zipper pocket for stashing small items when I don’t want to carry a pack or have something in my pockets.  A $50 bike jersey is pretty hard to find when you get free shipping, exchanges, returns, and a lifetime guarantee.

KETL Socks

I believe a good pair of riding socks are one of the most underrated pieces of cycling clothing. If you are wearing a pair of puffy cotton socks it’s time to try a bike-specific sock. They are expensive but having just a single pair and seeing how long they last will be worth the cost in the long run. I’ve literally been wearing some cycling socks for over a decade. A lot of them are built much better than your cheap grocery store tube socks.  The Ketl warm weather socks are as high quality as they come. 

The Merino wool socks fit more snugly and don’t move around your feet as much. The Merino wool allows for a more breathable stench-free sock because of its natural properties. 

Ketl socks come with the same free shipping, and free returns so it’s worth giving them a shot. If you don’t like them return them. 

Ketl Warranty and Repairs

Everything we make is guaranteed to be amazing & last a lifetime. We stand behind our craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty & offer a thorough repair / replace the program. Visit our Warranty / Repairs page for more information on our commitment to excellence.