Hiking events

The best hiking shorts of 2022

Missionary Workshop

Hiking, as a discipline, demands certain things from its followers: courage, tenacity, quick thinking and the ability to go without cell service for many, many miles. Disciples, in turn, demand a lot from their hiking gear, especially shorts. They need to dry out quickly, in case of water crossing, rain storm or inability to resist jumping into an alpine lake. Shorts should be durable, able to withstand climbing rough rocks, slipping and falling on muddy trails, or rubbing against a pack all day. The ideal shorts combine just enough stretchy, breathable fabric and sun protection to keep you comfortable after the first mile, the fifth mile and the tenth.

When it comes to the humble hiking shorts or the humble hiker, no two are alike. Everyone will have their own tastes, desires and adventures to live. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best in the business: so you can browse extensively and find the perfect shorts for you.

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How we tested

Our tester was tasked with putting these shorts through their paces, and they did just that. The pairs have been released in variable weather, as well as worn in multiple use cases. Each short was worn for at least two weeks, with the longest being 300 non-consecutive days (and still counting). Our tester hiked, climbed, surfed, paddleboarded and traveled, while testing several variables: stretch, durability, breathability, comfort, storage and fit. With shorts, more features don’t always equal a better product, so overall quality was also assessed.

BEST OVERALL

Prana Stretch Zion Short II

When it comes to choosing hiking shorts, things have to be perfect or you will be uncomfortable for the whole excursion. Prana’s Stretch Zion II hits all the right notes, with new and improved durability to boot. Along with new ReZion fabric, which is made with a massive 95% recycled nylon, Hikers feature a concealed zip pocket with key loop, 4-way stretch, abrasion resistance and a UPF 50+ rating.

The Stretch Zion II also features moisture-wicking properties (a must on hot days) as well as an adjustable canvas waistband for customizable comfort. If you’re looking for a do-it-all pair, get a pair or two of these.

  • Comes in a wide selection of colors
  • Contains recycled content
  • Reviewers say the material is stiff compared to the predecessor

BEST MADNESS

Arc’teryx Lefroy Short 11

There’s an old adage that goes, “You get what you pay for.” And with Arc’teryx, that always rings true. Although the brand’s outerwear and apparel consistently ranks higher on the price scale than its competitors, it’s still worth it. Example: the Lefroy shorts. Designed to perform in hot weather and on long trails, the technical shorts are made with Arc’teryx’s exclusive Aequora AirPerm fabric, which combines the durability of nylon with the stretch of spandex to result in shorts that dry quickly, resists abrasion and outperforms its competitors.

With a snug fit, light weight, and low-profile adjustable waistband, the Lefroy is discreet enough that once you put them on, you’ll forget they’re there. That’s comfort.

  • Made in a Fair Trade certified facility
  • Fast drying
  • Cost prohibitive for infrequent hikers

BEST BUDGETARY CHOICE

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

Columbia is well known for its affordability and quality, and these low-profile cargo shorts continue that tradition. The Silver Ridge comes in a range of neutral tones and features moisture-wicking fabric, UPF 50 protection and easily accessible (and deep) pockets that make the cargo shorts stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking for unassuming utility, this is the short for you.

  • Affordable price
  • Loose fit
  • Lacks the technical distinctions of other competitors

THE BEST HIKING BOXES

Florence MarineX Solid boardshorts

Have you ever thought of hiking in a trunk? If you’ve ever hiked trails in a humid, hot climate, or hiked to that secret waterfall yet to be discovered by Instagram’s hordes, you’ll know how wet things can get. . That’s why we love a strong trunk in our touring line, and there’s really no way to beat this pick from Florence MarineX. They’re low-profile, have a soft, four-way-stretch fabric, and if that’s not enough, maybe it’ll convince you: our tester wore them for almost 300 days in a row (excluding snow days) and they still look brand new. .

  • The fabric is soft and durable
  • The price is right
  • Not having the pocket storage of traditional hiking shorts

BEST BIKE FOR SHORT HIKING

Mission Workshop MW x ASP Short

Mission Workshop started as a bike-centric brand in San Francisco and slowly expanded its line to include everyday and active picks that stand the test of time. These shorts combine the high quality construction and performance of MW’s ASP shorts with a stretch woven fabric developed exclusively for the brand by Italian textile mill Mectex.

Featuring a unique collaboration-branded waistband, thoughtful details including an integrated key clip in the left pocket and Velcro closure on the back pocket, and proudly made in the USA, this n is no ordinary hiking shorts.

  • Single fabric
  • Comfortable fit

BEST CLASSIC DESIGN

Topo Designs Dirt Shorts

Nothing like classic hiking shorts, right? The kind you might imagine your dad wearing in an old photo, which is still styled today (gorpcore style). Topo Designs scratches the itch for no frills and fun shorts with their Dirt design. It has a relaxed fit, organic cotton and fair enough detail to be interesting, the Dirt Shorts are for hiking, camping trips and everything in between. The garment-dyed mid-weight stretch canvas will move in all the ways you need and, as the name suggests, will hold up to a little dirt.

  • Classic no-frills design
  • Cool color options

BEST ATHLETIC SHORTS

Vuori Clothing Kore Shorts 5″

Hiking shorts tend to be a bit stiff. If you’re looking for a more athletic and stylish feel, check out Vuori’s versatile shorts. The Kore is made with recycled polyester, so it has a silkier feel than most of the other shorts on this list; Plus, the 5-inch inseam reaches mid-thigh, giving the shorts an athletic look. And, there’s a benefit when leaning toward active shorts like these: the built-in liner keeps things breathable, cool, and right where you want them.

  • Shorter length is ideal for warmer rides
  • Very stretchy
  • Not as durable as other fabrics

BETTER USE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS

Patagonia 5″ bags

When you want to be active, but also want to support the planet, there’s a brand to turn to: Patagonia. The environmental leader is committed to infusing as many recycled and sustainable materials as possible into its products, and the Baggies are no exception.

A classic style that’s been part of the Patagonia line since 1982, and the 2022 release combines classic styling with modern attributes, like NetPlus, which is 100% post-consumer recycled nylon made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce plastic pollution of the oceans. In addition to innovative fabric, these Baggies also feature an elastic waistband with internal drawcord, vertical side pockets with mesh corners for water drainage and a quick-drying black mesh lining.

  • Technical and ecological
  • More than 10 colors to choose from
  • Often sold out due to high demand

The best hiking shoes you can buy

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