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Best Hiking Shorts of 2024

Owen Mitchell

Written by Owen Mitchell

Owen's outdoor pursuits range from bouldering to backpacking to backcountry skiing and everything in between.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Hiking Shorts of 2024

For those hot summer days, or even for those not so hot days when you want to move fast, a good pair of hiking shorts is something you should absolutely have in your closet.

We've trekked through hot forests, cold mountains and a few beaches to figure out which hiking shorts we felt like we couldn't live without.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

9.2 /10
Patagonia Quandary Shorts Hiking Shorts
Patagonia Quandary Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
10
Versatility
10

The Patagonia Quandary Shorts are the top pick due to their comfort and high durability that testers rave about.

Runner Up #1

8.8 /10
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts Hiking Shorts
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts are a top runner-up due to their unparalleled comfort and flexibility. If you like these, there is a pants version that we love for the colder months.

Runner Up #2

8.6 /10
Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts Hiking Shorts
Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
8

The Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts are our runner-up pick because of the thoughtful design, plentiful zippered pockets and comfy fit. They're a bit more expensive than the competition, however.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Fit

The shorts should provide a snug fit without being too tight, allowing for superior mobility during vigorous activities.

Comfort

Consider the overall comfort, which could be enhanced by factors like a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement and adjustable waistbands for a personalized fit.

Material

For hiking, camping, or climbing, you should look for shorts made of quick-drying, breathable fabric for optimal comfort, such as nylon or polyester.

Additional Features

Look for useful add-ons such as pockets for storage, UPF protection for safeguarding from harmful sun rays and DWR finish for water resistance.

9.2 /10

Patagonia Quandary Shorts

$79.00
The Best Hiking Shorts

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Quandary Shorts are the best Hiking Shorts on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Patagonia Quandary Shorts Hiking Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
10
Versatility
10

Reasons to Buy

  • Highly durable
  • Quick-drying material
  • Mobility-friendly design
  • Perfect fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • A little pricey
  • May lack ventilation in extremely hot conditions

The Patagonia Quandary Shorts are quite a hot item when it comes to tried and true gear for men's hiking shorts. They boast a casual style that allows them to fit in just as well off the trail as they do on it. With a 10-inch inseam, they hit right above the knee, providing both comfort and protection.

These shorts are made with a flexible, lightweight nylon fabric (95% nylon to be specific) with a dash of stretchy spandex (5% to be exact) that provides exceptional freedom of movement. Whether you're scrambling up rock faces or simply navigating a winding trail, these shorts have got you covered.

The material is also treated with a durable water repellant finish, so they dry quickly in case you encounter a surprise shower or work up a decent sweat. This feature is highly appreciated by folks who love summer hikes, where the weather can be a bit unpredictable.

Quandary's comfort-focused feature doesn't stop with its material makeup. They also have an elasticized waistband along with a detachable, moisture-wicking belt to create a fit that's both secure and comfortable. No more dealing with the bane of hiker's existence - the dreadful waist chafe!

Some other nifty details include a gusseted crotch for mobility and reinforced cargo pockets that safely stow your trail essentials. In fact, customer reviews flagged up the pocket configuration - two standard hand pockets, two rear pockets, and a zippered thigh pocket, as one of the most useful features.

User reviews also highlighted the sun protection factor. Patagonia has added a UPF 50+ rating to these shorts, showing thought has gone into ensuring not just comfort, but skin safety too.

Regarding downsides, a handful of users reported the size running a bit large. They suggested ordering a size down for a more accurate fit. And even though these shorts come with a hefty price tag, most agree that the durability and the comfort the Quandary shorts provide are worth the investment.

8.8 /10

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts

$79.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts are a great choice if you're looking for hiking shorts to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts Hiking Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent breathability and mobility
  • Quick drying
  • Ideal fit for hiking and climbing

Reasons to Avoid

  • The fit might be too loose for some
  • No integrated belt

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts are a popular choice among hikers looking for practicality, comfort, and durability. These shorts offer a tremendous blend of functionality and style that will have you feeling good on your adventures.

One of the first things buyers notice about the Ferrosi Shorts is their rugged construction. They are made from 86% ripstop fabric and 14% spandex, providing the perfect balance between toughness and flexibility. This ripstop fabric helps resist tears and rips, which is fantastic if you expect to hike through some brushy areas or encounter some rough rocks on your outings.

But despite their ruggedness, these shorts are also incredibly comfortable. The spandex in the fabric gives them a nice amount of stretch, which helps make them feel less restrictive than some other hiking shorts. Numerous users mentioned how this stretchiness added to their overall comfort on long hikes or climbs.

There was also feedback from some people about how lightweight the Ferrosi Shorts feel. These shorts won't weigh you down, which aids in freer movement and less fatigue when you're out on the trail. The shorts also feature a minimalist design, with only an essential number of pockets and features.

Looking at the factors of breathability and quick drying, it seems the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts tick the boxes. Considering both of these aspects are vital for hikes in hot weather, it is clear that these shorts were designed with usability in mind.

When it comes to durability and longevity, the reviews were just as favorable. Many buyers said that they had been using the Ferrosi Shorts for years with little to no signs of wear and tear.

8.6 /10

Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts are a great choice if you're looking for hiking shorts to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts Hiking Shorts
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Top-notch durability
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Lots of zippered pockets
  • The material is stretchy and comfortable
  • Built in belt

Reasons to Avoid

  • The price tag may seem high
  • Might be a little snug for some

We all know how essential comfortable and functional clothing is on any outdoor adventure. Well, the Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts stand out in the crowd of hiking shorts for men. They marry comfort and functionality seamlessly, thereby proving themselves to be a great item to pack for your next nature expedition.

One of the standout features of these shorts is their quick-drying capability. The customers have claimed that even after a sweaty uphill trek or an unplanned dip in the creek, these shorts dry remarkably fast. The shorts are made from a performance stretch fabric that's lightweight yet durable, ensuring mobility without any annoyances or constraints.

Customers also appreciated the exceptional ventilation provided by these shorts. Exposure to air is maximized through a minimalist design, which is especially appreciated during those particularly strenuous hikes or warm weather excursions. The fabric is also sun-protective, which is a nice little perk.

These shorts have been praised for their fit as well, offering ample room without being baggy. The adjustable integrated belt allows individuals to customize the waist size for the ideal fit. It's like these shorts are tailored made for adventure!

Pockets are also a significant aspect when choosing any shorts and thankfully, Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts do not disappoint. Users have reported the pockets are easy to access and secure with solid zippers. However, some purchasers have mentioned that they would have preferred deeper pocket options for extra storage.

Lastly, a review of these shorts would be incomplete without mentioning its aesthetic. Many reports have celebrated their sleek design and complementary fit. There have been a few comments about lack of color choices, but most buyers seemed to appreciate the classic hues offered.

Despite a higher price point compared to other choices in the market, based on customer reviews, it's quite apparent that the Arc'teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts hold their own due to their high quality and performance. These quick dry shorts can elevate your hiking experience, making the investment worthwhile.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.8 /10

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

$49.99
Best Budget Hiking Shorts

Based on our research and testing, we think the Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts are a great pick if you're looking for hiking shorts that are more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts Hiking Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
7
Mobility
8
Versatility
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable fit
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Affordable price
  • Quick drying fabric
  • Ample storage with multiple pockets
  • Durable construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not ideal for cold weather
  • No stretch
  • Some reviews mentioned zipper issues
  • Can be too baggy for some

The Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts are a popular choice among budget-conscious hikers for good reason. It's true, they don't bankrupt your wallet yet provide a raft of features common on higher-end options.

People who have purchased the Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts are particularly impressed by their comfort and functionality. With a relaxed-fit cut, they provide an ample range of mobility, especially important during strenuous climbs or long hikes.

Several reviews specifically mention the adjustable waistband. The addition of an elastic element ensures a snug fit and praises for comfort while eliminating the need for a belt. A tight yet comfortable fit promotes excellent freedom of movement, a feature that hikers love in these shorts.

Functionality is also a standout feature. The Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts boast multi-functional pockets that users find convenient for storing items. These include two side cargo pockets, two front pockets and two back pockets, all of which are equipped with secure fasteners to prevent loss of belongings.

Reviewers rate the material highly for its durability and quick-drying ability. The shorts are made of ripstop nylon, an advantageous pick for tougher trails. The fabric resists wear and tear, ensuring long-term use, while the Omni-Shade UPF 50 protection safeguards your skin against harsh sun radiation.

On top of that, the moisture-wicking Omni-Wick technology helps keep you dry even on sweaty summer hikes or unexpected showers. Users appreciate the shorts' ability to dry quickly, allowing them to stay comfortable during extended trips.

However, it's not all roses. Some reviewers noted inconsistent sizing, with a few stating the shorts run large while others believed they were small. It would be wise to try them on or pay close attention to the size chart before purchasing.

Some customers also expressed disappointment with the pocket zipper quality, claiming they can be somewhat fragile and prone to breaking. Nonetheless, it was not a widespread complaint, with many reviews expressing overall satisfaction with the product.

In summary, the Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts are applauded by the majority of the users for their performance versus price. They encompass essential features: comfort, functionality, durability, and quick-dry aspect into an affordable package. Minor issues aside, they seem to have hit the sweet spot for budget-conscious hikers.

7.8 /10

Patagonia Baggies Shorts

$59.00
Best Hiking Shorts for Quick Drying

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Baggies Shorts are a solid choice if you want hiking shorts that's really well suited to Quick Drying.

Patagonia Baggies Shorts Hiking Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
9
Features
6
Mobility
9
Versatility
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Superior quick-drying capabilities
  • Versatile with great mobility
  • Comfortable fit for all body types
  • Lightweight and breathable material
  • Decent amount of storage options

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not suitable for cold weather
  • Little to no water resistance
  • Could use more pockets

The Patagonia Baggies Shorts are a staple in the hiking community, and there's plenty of reasons why they've garnered such a loyal following. The most prominent of these reasons is the ability of these shorts to dry off in what seems to blink of an eye. If you find yourself trekking through river beds or just caught in a spontaneous shower, these shorts are a real game changer.

Constructed from 100% recycled nylon with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, the Patagonia Baggies take their role as 'quick-drying' shorts seriously. They shun away water like a seasoned ducks back, making them a perfect pick for hikes with water bodies on the itinerary. But quick drying doesn't just mean water resistance. It also boils down to breathability, something these shorts don't skimp on. With these shorts on, you'll get a ventilation level that's refreshing as a gentle summer breeze.

Now, they're called Baggies for a reason. They sport a relaxed fit that provides ample room for movement. So, whether you're clambering up rocky terrains or casually strolling down wooded trails, these shorts won't restrict your strides. They come loaded with a comfortable elastic waistband and an internal drawstring for maximum adjustability. So, fret not about gaining a few holiday pounds!

One standout feature is its user-friendly pocket design. The Patagonia Baggies are decked out with vertical side pockets that have drain-and-dry mesh corners, further emphasing its quick-drying theme. There's also a handy rear pocket with a secure button closure.

However, they're not without their flaws. Some hikers have raised concerns over the rather 'baggy' fit, which may not appeal to everyone's taste. They've also been said to be somewhat baggier than other hiking shorts in the market. Additionally, while we're on the topic of design, they don't offer as many colors. So, if you're the type who likes to mix and match your hiking gear, you might find the color options a bit limiting.

Online reviews of the Patagonia Baggies Shorts are generally full of high-praise, confirming their quick-drying capabilities, comfort, and breathability. However, customers do wish for a little more in the style and color scheme department. Overall, the consensus seems to be that the Baggies are a dependable, go-to pair of shorts for any hiking expedition, with their positive qualities far outweighing the negatives.

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