When hiking or spending time outdoors in summer conditions, a good pair of hiking shorts is always going to be more comfortable than a pair hiking pants. And for women, women's hiking shorts are going to provide a much better fit, and higher level of comfort, than generic hiking shorts. Of course there are a few things that separate the good hiking shorts from the bad hiking shorts.
Women's Hiking Shorts
Features to look for when reviewing women's hiking shorts.
Material - There are a couple of different fabrics that you will find hiking shorts made out of, but one of the most popular for hiking shorts and all kinds of other hiking clothing is nylon. It dries quickly, feels good against the skin and has a couple of other things going for it that make it ideal as a hiking clothing material.
DWR - DWR, which stands for Durable Water Repellent, is a treatment applied to some outdoor clothing to make it water resistant. If you think you might be getting a little wet while wearing hiking shorts, then you should definitely get a pair of hiking shorts with a DWR treatment.
Best Women's Hiking Shorts
A few of the very best women's hiking shorts.
REI Sahara Shorts - The Saharas by REI are a great all-around hiking short. They have a DWR finish, so they resist water well, and any water that does manage to get through will dry quickly, because of the nylon material. They're also knee length hiking shorts with a looser fit, one positive of which is that there is more room for pockets. The Saharas feature a total of 6 pockets for storing whatever you need to carry. And finally, they have a UPF 50+ rating.
The North Face Paramount Moraine Shorts - The Moraine shorts are a shorter, mid-thigh pair of hiking shorts. Despite that, North Face has still managed to find room for 5 pockets, for carrying whatever needs to be carried. Beyond that, they're nylon and have a DWR finish, so you don't have to worry too much about water, and come with UPF 30+ protection from the sun.
Mountain Hardwear Petra Shorts - The Petra shorts are another longer and looser pair of hiking shorts. They're nylon with a DWR finish, and several large pockets and UPF 50+ protection, but what sets these hiking shorts apart is a conveniently placed chalk bag loop at the center rear of the waistband, so if rock climbing is something you like to do when you're not hiking, these shorts would work well there too.
Alternatives to Women's Hiking Shorts
Of course if you want the most versatile clothing option possible, there is always a good pair of convertible pants. They're a pair of hiking shorts when you need them to be, and a pair of hiking pants for when things get a little chilly.