Warmer weather is nearly here and it’s time to plot out your fresh-air adventures. Whether you plan on hiking in the mountains, along a beach, through the desert, or across the prairies, bogs, and marshes, you’ll need a pair of shorts that can stand up to the task. We’ve compiled the best styles for active trekkers, ones that are hard-wearing and well-made, as well as a couple of designs that are good for chilling out around a campfire or while venturing off to your next awesome hike in the ol’ RV.
Winner for Affordability and Versatility: REI Co-op
For the most reasonable yet high-quality shorts, look no further than REI Co-op. The brand has a vast variety of colors and styles to choose from. For men, we like the REI Co-op Screenline Technical Shorts. These shorts are lightweight, fast-drying, and a bit stretchy so you can move well in them. There’s a belt included, and the shorts feature multiple pockets designed for clipping tools and gear. Plus, the shorts come in three different colors, including cacao, so you can brighten up your wardrobe and enjoy something a little “extra” outside of the standard army green and khaki.
For women, check out the sturdy ripstop REI Co-op Craglands Shorts. The best feature: pockets. Lots of them. With so many women’s short styles being pocket-free or designed with little, coin-sized stashes, it’s nice to have a brand recognizing that women like to get dirty, hike far, and carry gear. The Craglands are not only durable but also water repellent and have a comfortable waistband. These are shorts you can traverse the landscape in—over boulders, on the trail, and through streams and rivers. You’ll be inspired to build a whole active adventure around these shorts, guaranteed.
Best for Style and Comfort: PrAna
PrAna creates sustainable and stylish clothes that are made for adventurers—yoga lovers, climbers, surfers, travelers, and hikers. Many of their styles are imaginative and colorful. The well-loved and highly-rated Women’s Olivia Short shows off their active and bright ethos. The shorts are well-made with PrAna’s best-selling stretchy Zion fabric, which dries quickly and is abrasion-resistant for all of those brush-ups with nature. These shorts are built to last and will likely be among your favorites.
For men, check out PrAna’s Hybridizer Short. These good-looking, light-weight shorts are built for performance and comfort. Feel confident sweating it out on a trail or getting a little wet—these guys are designed to dry quickly. Plus, you won’t feel weighed down by the fabric. The back pocket features a bungee cord for securely attaching keys and carabiners.
Built to Last: Smartwool
You may already be savvy to the marvels of Smartwool’s socks—they have long been leaders in the performance space for materials that keep your feet dry and blister free, regardless of what you are doing. Smartwool also has a number of active short varieties that are a great mix of quality and performance. We love the Women’s Merino Sport Hike Short because they look good and perform well. Whether you’re high in the mountains or low in the desert, these quick-drying multipurpose shorts will get you through the day. The fabric is flexible and lightweight, and you’ll be able to move well without being encumbered by the material. Multiple pockets are a big bonus.
The Men’s Merino Sport 10” Short gets our seal of approval. The best feature for this pair is the DWR finish (durable water repellant) to keep you dry and moving no matter what weather floods your way. Of course, these spring shorts are lightweight and comfortable, with a waistband that excels in next-to-skin ease. Two front hand pockets and a single back one with a zipper completes the design. Two colors are available: bourbon or black. These shorts are adaptable and fashionable and can be worn off the trail.
Best for Hiking Through Mosquitos and Bugs
We know this may seem like a strange category to include but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a style of hiking apparel that covers and protects the legs for those times when bugs—or, gasp, leeches—are paramount. Also, if you’re a nocturnal hiker and need an extra layer, we’ve got you covered here.
Enter: Sand Cloud. This brand dedicates a whopping 10% of their profits to saving and helping marine life—you can feel really good about your purchases at this company. Check out their super soft and cozy leggings, which can be worn under shorts or alone while hiking and exploring, convening around a campfire, or during a long road trip. The Seaglass Green Leggings are well-reviewed, high-quality, multipurpose, and they also provide a bit of warmth in the evening hours or while out adventuring at night.
Looking for a reason to hit the trail in your new shorts? Book your next trip with an RV from Outdoorsy and take your adventures to all new lengths.
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