Hiking in full pants can be uncomfortable and clumsy. That’s why the best hiking shorts are essential for any outdoor enthusiast. Breathable and comfortable hiking shorts offer freedom to move freely on different terrains. As the temperatures shoot up, donning a breathable pair of shorts can guarantee comfort.
In many ways, hiking shorts are better than regular pants with zip-offs. Hiking shorts should be comfortable and flexible. They should also come with pockets for the safe storage of your items. Here are some hiking shorts you may like to add to your wardrobe.
Also read: How To Choose The Best Travel Pants
- Best Hiking Shorts
- How To Choose A Good Pair of Hiking Shorts
- Best Hiking Shorts for Women
- Best Hiking Shorts For Men
Best Hiking Shorts
How To Choose A Good Pair of Hiking Shorts
Look for a durable, quick-drying, flexible, and comfortable material such as nylon and polyester. Nylon is more durable than polyester while some polyesters absorb moisture better. Nylon is also softer.
A combination of both plus a touch of spandex to add stretch for comfort also works well.
Silk, cotton and rayon hold onto water and cotton, in particular, takes a long time to dry. If you’d prefer a natural fibre, wool can keep you warm even when it’s wet.
Some fabrics used to create hiking attire are more effective at blocking out UV rays.
The higher the UPF rating, the better, and some fabrics are pre-treated with UV-blocking dyes.
Hiking shorts should be rated at UPF 50 and above to provide adequate protection against harmful UV rays.
You may want to carry a phone and other accessories for quick access while hiking. If you do, make sure you choose a pair of hiking sorts with lots of deep pockets.
Zippered pockets are an added advantage, and deep pockets can accommodate more items with less chance of anything falling out.
The durability of the pockets is another factor to take into account as pocket seams are often the first to wear out. There’s nothing more annoying than pockets with holes.
Best Hiking Shorts for Women
1- Eddie Bauer Women’s Rainier shorts
Brand: Eddie Bauer
Material: 94% nylon/6% spandex
Eddie Bauer women’s Rainier hiking shorts come in a top-grade fibre that is comfortable and durable. The two-way stretch nylon/spandex repels water and can withstand strenuous activity. The shorts also carry bluesign® approval, meaning they were manufactured using sustainable practices to keep the oceans and air safe.
- Designed for comfort – Comfort matters when you’re hiking for hours and these shorts look good and are comfortable. The slightly curvy design will suit women and sits just below the waistline.
- Two-way stretch fabric – These women’s hiking shorts are made from a flexion two-way stretch fabric. The material offers easy adjustment for a snug fit for most women.
- Machine washable – The ease of cleaning is important for outdoor clothing as hiking shorts are likely to get dirty. The fact that this pair of shorts is machine washable is another tick for hiking enthusiasts.
- UPF 50 sun protection rating – With UPF 50 sun protection, this is one of the best hiking shorts for women. While some other shorts can get uncomfortable in hot weather, this pair is comfortable to wear in the heat.
- Pockets – The hiking shorts come with secure and quick-access cargo pockets to hold valuable items while focusing on hiking. In addition, there’s enough space for your everyday gadgets like a phone and small musical accessories.
- The two-way stretch nylon/spandex offers comfort.
- It features a durable water-repellent fibre.
- The design makes it versatile for a range of activities like kayaking and hiking.
- These shorts fit a range of body shapes.
- The stitching on the zipper and waist area can be a little loose in some shorts.
2- CRESTA Women’s Water Repellent Outdoor Shorts
The CRESTA women’s hiking shorts boast a top-rated water-repellent fabric for utmost comfort. In addition, the stretchy material offers a snug fit for most women. What’s more, this pair features a breathable and lightweight material that provides adequate ventilation for extra comfort.
- Water repellent – Wearing hiking shorts that are water repellent and quick drying is a big bonus when it comes to being out in nature. This is especially handy if you’re hiking in places where the weather is likely to be wet.
- Soft and flexible – The material is soft, light and highly comfortable for hiking. The material also offers adequate ventilation for increased convenience even when hiking over challenging terrains.
- Secure pockets – Like most of the best hiking shorts, this pair has two front pockets for easy access. In addition, a zippered back pocket offers secure storage for cash and other valuable items.
- Adjustable waist Velcro – With the adjustable waist Velcro, the hiking shorts offer a perfect fit for different body shapes.
- It is suitable for most body types
- The shorts are made from a comfortable quick-drying material
- Flexible and adjustable
- The price is a little on the higher side
3- Icebreaker Merino Women’s Persist Hiking Shorts
Brand: Icebreaker Merino
Material: 60% nylon/35% wool/5% lycra elastane
Icebreaker is a company in NZ known for its merino wool products.
- Drawstring waistband – One nice feature of these women’s hiking shorts is a convenient drawstring that allows you to adjust the waistband to make the fit more comfortable.
- Breathable outer nylon cover – The shorts have a top-grade quick-dry outer nylon material that makes them perfect for different outdoor activities, including fishing and kayaking.
- Stretchy Spandex material – The 4-way-stretch spandex material offers flexibility and enhanced mobility. The design also has a soft merino cover next to your skin for added comfort.
- The spandex adds to the comfort of the design
- It features a convenient closure design
- Breathable and flexible
- The combination of nylon, wool and spandex provides a balance of luxury and durability
- It offers easy washing
- Sizing is on the small side
4- Mammut Women Hiking Shorts
Mammut is a Swiss brand that has been making hiking apparel and gear since 1862. These women’s hiking shorts fit snugly, are lightweight and made from quality water-repellent material to withstand different weather conditions.
- Quick-drying – You want shorts that dry fast as, unless you’re hiking in the desert, chances are you’ll get rained on. This pair features a high-quality and quick-drying material that is perfect for various outdoor conditions.
- Water repellent material – The water-repellent material is due to DWR treatment.
- Concealed zippers – The pockets have an excellent concealed zipper design that allows you to store your important items safely and get quick access to your valuable items.
- Two side pockets – Besides the zippered back pocket, this pair also features two nice side pockets designed to hold different gadgets such as an iPod.
- Zippered pockets for safe storage
- The stretchable material guarantees comfort
- Fast-drying breathable material
- The waistband is a little inelastic
5- mimiliy Women’s Stretch Hiking Shorts
Material: 75% nylon/25% spandex
One of the reasons these are popular hiking shorts for women is that the nylon/spandex blend makes them very comfortable to wear, flexible and durable. The somewhat baggy design makes them ideal for other outdoorsy activities like fishing and kayaking. With a UPF 50+ rating, these hiking shorts are suitable for different outdoor conditions.
- Cool design – Unlike most floppy shorts, this pair has an advanced zipper closure design and is a snug fit.
- Four-way stretch fabric – With the advanced four-way stretchy fabric, the hiking shorts offer increased mobility and comfort. In addition, the soft and stretchy fabric facilitates convenient movement.
- Water-repellent and quick drying – Sometimes the weather changes when you’re out there hiking. When that happens, you want to have a pair of shorts that won’t get soaked quickly. This pair keeps you comfortable even when rains come unexpectedly with the advanced water-repellent material and quick-drying fabric.
- Six durable pockets – When hiking, there are several gadgets you’d want to carry along. For instance, you might want to bring your phone and other accessories to listen to music while traversing the different terrains. Naturally, the safety of these gadgets are important, and it’s quite a bonus that these hiking shorts have six pockets to keep your valuable items safe at all times.
- They are a comfortable fit that is loose around the thighs
- The UPF 50+ fabric is great for sun protection
- The lightweight spandex adds extra comfort
- Made from breathable material
- Elasticised waist for extra comfort
- No concerns so far
Best Hiking Shorts For Men
1- prAna Men’s Short
The PrAna men’s hiking shorts live up to the expected quality, with a design that looks smart enough to wear as general travel shorts.
- Durable material – These hiking shorts are made from a blend of nylon and spandex, delivering comfort, durability, and flexibility.
- Good fit – The stretchy material adjusts to suit men of different sizes and they come in two inseam lengths, 9 and 11 inches.
- Ideal Length – The shorts are knee-length and they look good.
- The comfortable inseam measures 9 inches and 11 inches, respectively.
- It offers a stylish design that can work well as a general travel pair of shorts.
- They dry quickly and aren’t too heavy when wet, which works well for impromptu swims.
- The stretchy and flexible material makes it ideal for the outdoors.
- The colours can look a little darker online so expect a bit of variance.
2- XKTTAC Men’s Outdoor Stretchy Hiking Shorts
The XKTTAC men’s hiking shorts have a flashy design with six pockets and reflective strips to ensure you glow in the dark. The shorts come in six colours and an excellent multipurpose pair of shorts for outdoorsy types.
- Quick-dry and breathable fabric – The UPF 50+ rated material is breathable and offers excellent water resistance. In addition, it protects against UV rays and dries fast, making these shorts our top choice for outdoor activities like fishing and kayaking.
- Adjustable waistband – These hiking shorts are fitted with an adjustable waistband that offers a perfect fit for most men. It is one of the best hiking shorts for men. The waistband makes it flexible and convenient for everyone.
- Lightweight and durable – These shorts are created from a stretchable and lightweight material that offers comfort and ease of movement. In addition, the stretchy material delivers a perfect and standard fit.
- Versatile – The shorts are versatile and multipurpose, ideal for a range of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
- Multipurpose use
- It is a durable and sporty design
- The breathable material makes it comfortable
- No back pockets
3- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Ii Stretch Short
Material: 95% nylon, 5% elastane
The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Ii Stretch Short is a high-quality pair of hiking shorts made from a comfort-stretch UPF 50 fabric treated with their Omni-Shield advanced repellency fabric treatment. It has a classic design with a zip-closed thigh pocket.
- Advanced Technology – This pair of men’s hiking shorts is manufactured from high-tech material featuring Omni-Shield advanced fabric treatment to repel water and the Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection. Additionally, the excellent wicking fabric pulls moisture away to keep you dry and cool.
- Handy Features – This men’s hiking short is fitted with a single zipper pocket and side pockets with a hook and loop closure design. It also has a partial elastic waist that offers a perfect fit.
- It has a very stylish classic fit
- The fabric stretches for a perfect fit
- The material protects against UVA and UVB rays
- It is relatively affordable
- The material is slightly stiff
4- Marmot Limantour Shorts
Material: 88% Nylon 12% Elastane Plain Weave 5.4 oz/yd | 90% Nylon 10% Elastane Twill Weave 6.3 oz/yd.
The Marmot Limantour shorts are comfortable shorts designed from a blend of two fabrics. It has the usual features you’d expect, such as pockets and waist-cinching options and a longer inseam.
- Four-way stretch – The four-way stretch design is one of the features that make this pair one of the best hiking shorts for men. It offers an easy fit with lightweight and stretchy fabric and is made with a sustainable dye.
- Durable and water-resistant – Besides being durable, these hiking shorts also feature a water-resistant fabric for utmost convenience. The advanced DWR coat sheds moisture offering easy and quick drying. It’s rated UPF 50+.
- Well designed – These hiking shorts feature a belt loop waistband fitted with a zip fly and an attractive button closure for convenience and easy use. It also has an advanced mesh lining for added comfort.
- The mesh lining makes it breathable
- The hand pockets offer safe storage for your items
- It comes with a zippered back pocket
- The signature branding makes it attractive
- The shorts appear a little thinner and stretchy
5- Haglofs Mid Fjell Outdoor hiking Shorts – SS17
Haglofs hiking shorts for men are the pick of shorts you’d wear on a challenging adventure. The hard-wearing Climatic™ stretch fabric gives it a slight edge on comfort and durability, while the design will stretch during exertion.
- Zippered fly – The zippered fly comes with a convenient button closure design with additional six belt loops for easy access and use.
- Pockets – These hiking shorts come with hand-warming pockets designed to keep your hands warm, a back pocket and two thigh pockets, one zippered for valuables.
- The shorts have secure pockets for your valuable items
- They’re made from high-end material and are durable
- The shorts are quick-drying
- Relatively affordable
- There are only three colour choices
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you need a few pairs of shorts that you feel comfortable in so try these on and let us know your thoughts.
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