Best Hiking Shorts for Men and Women 2019
August 14, 2019

Being out on the trails is one of the most rewarding experiences an outdoor enthusiast can have. But in order to have an enjoyable time, you must have the right gear with you. Owning a good pair of the best hiking shorts can make it easier to climb or hike and have an overall better trek.

In this article, we will look at and review some of the best hiking shorts based on their material, intended use and quality.

The items are divided by the wearer’s gender and are listed from good to best.

ProductSeasonRecommended ForOur VerdictPrice
little donkey shorts
Little Donkey Andy Women’s Stretch Quick Dry Shorts
Winter, spring and summerHiking, camping, trekkingBest waterproof hiking shorts for womenCheck Price

White Sierra Hanalei Bermuda Short
Spring, Summer, Fall, WinterFall, spring and summerBest lightweight hiking shortsCheck Price

Columbia Women’s Sandy River Cargo Short
Fall, spring and summerHiking, bouldering, water rafting, trekkingBest hiking shorts for womenCheck Price

Columbia Men’s Palmerston Peak Short
Fall, spring and summerHiking, trekking, kayaking, nature walksBest waterproof hiking shorts for womenCheck Price

Bimini Bay Outfitters Men’s Outback Cargo Shorts
Fall, spring and summerHiking, nature walks, trekkingBest hiking cargo shortsCheck Price

PrAna Stretch Zion Men’s Shorts
Fall, spring, summerHiking, backpacking, campingHiking, backpacking, campingCheck Price

Best Hiking Shorts
for women

4. Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Short

Material CompositionMixture of soft Nylon and Elastane fabric
Weight1 pound
Product Dimensions4.5-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, trekking
Added FeaturesUPF 50 protection, side pockets, Omni-shield defense mechanism against liquid absorption, adjustable elastic waist

The Hanalei Bermuda Shorts are among the best womens hiking shorts for the ability to adjust the lower leg opening. This makes it easier while out on the trails.

This product is also desirable for its lightweight material that is quick to dry. The Nylon is easy to clean in the washing machine.

3. Little Donkey Andy Women’s Stretch Quick Dry Shorts

Material Composition90% Polyester, 10% Spandex
Weight7 ounces
Product Dimensions8 to 9-inch inseam length
SeasonWinter, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, camping, trekking
Added FeaturesUPF 50+ protection, adjustable belt loops

With a mixture of polyester and spandex, these womens hiking shorts are lightweight and flexible with the ability to dry quickly.

Added features included in this product are the zipper pockets to hold additional essentials. These pockets are located on the sides and backside of the shorts.

2. White Sierra Hanalei Bermuda Short

Material Composition100% Nylon
Weight1 pound
Product Dimensions11-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forLight hiking, kayaking, nature walks
Added FeaturesUPF sun protection, zippered pockets, adjustable leg opening, elastic waist

These Columbia women’s trail shorts are ideal for those wanting a water and stain resistant material. The material included allows for 2-way stretching.

Located on the sides of this product are two side pockets, each of which has a hook and loop closure for securing small items.

1. Columbia Women’s Sandy River Cargo Short

Material Composition100% Nylon
Weight5.6 ounces
Product Dimensions6-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, bouldering, water rafting, trekking
Added FeaturesElastic waist for adjustable fitting, one zip-closure pocket, UPF 30 protection, quick-drying fabric

The Sandy River Cargo Shorts by Columbia are made to be durable with protection against UVB and UVA rays.

On the sides of these women’s shorts are a few pockets, one of which is closed by a zipper. The other two side pockets have buttons.

Best Hiking Shorts
for men

6. Vcansion Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Shorts

Material Composition90% Nylon, 10% Spandex
Weight12.3 ounces
Product DimensionsNot specified
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, sports, nature walks, kayaking
Added FeaturesQuick-dry fabric, tear-resistant, UPF 50 protection, waterproof, multiple pockets, elastic weight

One of the most noteworthy differences with the Vcansion Men’s Hiking Shorts is the number of available pockets located on the sides, lower leg and backside. Three of these have a zipper closure.

This product is also made with tear-resistant material that is both breathable and quick to dry when out being active.

5. Columbia’s Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

Material CompositionNylon and Polyester
WeightNot specified
Product Dimensions12-inch inseam length
SeasonSummer, spring
Recommended forHiking, camping, nature walks
Added FeaturesUPF 50 protection, elastic waistband on the side, lightweight, breathable through Omni-wick technology, mesh pocket bags, hook and loop closure

The Bimini Men’s Outback Cargo Shorts are fitted with 8 separate pockets, one of which is meant for tools. All pockets are closed by Velcro closures.

This product also has an elastic waistband for a more comfortable fit, making them among the top picks for the best mens hiking shorts.

4. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Shorts

Material Composition100% Cotton
WeightNot specified
Product Dimensions8-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring, summer
Recommended forHiking, backpacking, trekking, camping
Added FeaturesSeven pockets altogether with Velcro and zipper closures, elastic waistband along the back with button front closure

These mens hiking shorts are ideal for a more casual outdoor experience as they offer UV ray protection, stretchable material and a ventilated inseam for additional breathability.

They are also preferred by those looking for a longer short due to the inseam length hitting just above the knee at 12-inches.

3. Columbia Men’s Palmerston Peak Short

Material Composition100% Nylon
Weight8 ounces
Product Dimensions11 or 9-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, trekking, kayaking, nature walks
Added FeaturesUV ray protection, classic fit with a mid rise, waterproof, zipper-closure pocket with two buttoned pockets

The Palmerston Peak Shorts are a great candidate for men’s shorts due to their breathable and quick-drying fabric. They have Omni-shade protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Buyers are able to choose from a longer 11-inch inseam that sits just above the knee or the shorter 9-inch inseam short. This makes them a comfortable option for mens hiking shorts.

2. Bimini Bay Outfitters Men’s Outback Cargo Shorts

Material Composition100% Cotton
Weight7.5 ounces
Product Dimensions7.5-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring and summer
Recommended forHiking, nature walks, trekking
Added FeaturesMultiple pockets with Velcro closures, elastic waistband, machine washable

Although not waterproof, the Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts by Columbia are one of the best travel shorts for their adjustability and breathable fabric. With advanced Omni-wick technology, these shorts prevent their user from becoming overheated.

The combination of hand, zippered and Velcro pockets all make it easy to store small items while out on a hike.

1. PrAna Stretch Zion Men’s Shorts

Material Composition97% Nylon, 3% Spandex
Weight1 pound
Product Dimensions12-inch inseam length
SeasonFall, spring, summer
Recommended forHiking, backpacking, camping
Added FeaturesWater-repellent, UPF 50 protection, 4-way stretchable fabric with a wicking finish, two side cargo pockets with Velcro closure

With seven pockets, the Wrangler Men’s Canvas Shorts allow the user to be well equipped. There are two front pockets with Velcro closure and four of which are on the side and back with both Velcro and zippers.

The elastic band located around the back of the waist makes these pants have a more personalized fit while out on the trail.

What You Should Know
When Shopping for Hiking Shorts

Knowing what to look for in a good pair of hiking shorts can make all the difference between an enjoyable hike or a miserable trek.

  • Recommended Use: knowing the intended activity should be a consideration. Buying a pair of shorts designed for camping may not have the same amount of stretch as those needed for bouldering.
  • Fabric: the type of fabric used is pivotal in making sure that one is prepared. Certain products offer water-wicking technology while others are more breathable.
  • Comfort: depending on the type of outdoor activity, longer shorts can protect the user from possible scuffs while shorter products can offer more movement.

Common Questions
& Answers

Looking at other buyers and the most commonly asked questions is a good way to understand the quality of the product. The following answers are based on the list of best hiking shorts reviewed earlier.

Which inseam length would reach the knees?

In order to have a short length hitting around the knee, one would need to purchase a product with an inseam of around 12 inches.

Is the elastic waistband removable?

The belt is easy to remove for the user to wash when needed.

Are the side pockets large enough to fit a cell phone?

Both cargo and side pockets are deep enough to fit a cell phone while out on the trails.

Conclusion

The products reviewed are all candidates for the top ten best hiking shorts due to their material, added features and overall comfort. If you have any thoughts or experiences with these products, please leave some comments to help out the next hiker.

Lidia Bertesteanu

Main Editor

About the Author

"When I’m on a trail, it gets quiet, it gets peaceful, I feel like I can breathe again and enjoy nature’s untouched beauty."

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