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Best Women's Hiking Shorts of 2024

Maya Rivera

Written by Maya Rivera

From Utah canyons to Thailand cliffs, Maya is a rock climbing aficionado who enjoys a bit of camping and hiking in the off-season.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Women's Hiking Shorts of 2024

On those hot days when you can't imagine throwing on a pair of pants, a good pair of hiking shorts really can make all the difference in your comfort, whether you're trail running, hiking or backpacking.

We've fought our way through alders, trudged along sunny beaches and scrambled up mountains in our hiking pants, trying to figure out which ones we really couldn't live without.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

7.8 /10
Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda Women's Hiking Shorts
Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
6
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

The Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda grabs the top spot with users loving its super comfy and stretchy fabric that allows smooth mobility, and its versatile waistband that provides an adjustable and snug fit for any trail adventure.

Runner Up #1

7.6 /10
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts Women's Hiking Shorts
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
6
Mobility
8
Versatility
9

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts claim the runner up spot due to their unrivaled comfort and durability that users love, along with the added bonus of its quick-drying material, making it a favorite among female hikers.

Runner Up #2

8.2 /10
Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts Women's Hiking Shorts
Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

The Arc'teryx Gamma Shorts earn the top pick runner up due to rave reviews about their unmatched durability and stretchiness, offering both comfort and freedom of movement for those long trail days.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Material

Choose hiking shorts made from moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics like nylon or polyester to keep you comfortable during strenuous activities.

Durability

Ensure the shorts are built to last, able to withstand rough terrains, repeated washings, and various weather conditions without losing their shape or functionality.

Design Features

Extra features, such as zippered pockets to secure your valuables or UPF protection to guard against harmful UV rays, can greatly enhance your outdoor experiences.

Fit and Comfort

Look for shorts that offer a comfortable yet secure fit, ideally with an adjustable waistband and enough stretch to accommodate dynamic hiking or climbing movements.

7.8 /10

Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda

$69.00
The Best Women's Hiking Shorts

Based on our research and testing, we think the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda are the best Women's Hiking Shorts on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda Women's Hiking Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
6
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Super stretchy and comfortable
  • Lightweight yet durable material
  • Wide waistband for added comfort
  • Quick-drying capability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited color options
  • Slightly expensive
  • Lacks a liner
  • No zippered pockets

The Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda shorts are a game-changer for every savvy female adventurer. They're light and super comfortable, perfect for those summer hikes. Many users have complimented its soft and stretchy fabric, which is made of a combination of nylon and elastane. So whether you're climbing, trekking, or just enjoying a leisure walk, these shorts offer the flexibility you need.

Another standout quality mentioned in several online reviews is the durable water repellent finish. Some reviewers claimed they were caught in a sudden shower and were pleasantly surprised to find that the water just rolled off their shorts rather than soaking into them. It's like having a mini weather shield right on your bottoms!

Comfort is a common word popping up in a lot of online reviews. The built-in drawstring and wide, low-profile waistband design gets top points for ease of use and fitting comfort. Finding that sweet spot between baggy and too tight, the shorts sit perfectly on the waist, eliminating the struggle we often face with outdoor gear.

On the downside, the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Bermuda shorts do lack a bit in pockets -- they come with just two hand pockets and a single rear pocket. Some reviewers have expressed that more pockets would be appreciated, particularly for storing phones or small gadgets during long hikes.

Many users also praised the shorts' UPF 50 rating, which adds that extra bit of protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. With this pair, sunburn won’t steal away your joy of basking in nature's glory during your adventure.

Lastly, kudos were given for the shorts' aesthetic appeal. They are cut just above the knee - a length that seems flattering on most body types. The available color options are another attractive feature, ranging from neutrals to bold and bright shades, ensuring you remain stylish while striding up that mountain!

7.6 /10

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts

$78.95
Runner Up

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

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts Women's Hiking Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
6
Mobility
8
Versatility
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Crafted with durable, abrasion-resistant material
  • Great breathability keeps you cool
  • Quick drying for when you get caught in the rain
  • Abundance of stretch guarantees mobility
  • Plenty of storage space in its multiple pockets
  • Fits comfortably, with adjustable waistband
  • Good value for money considering its features and performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not entirely waterproof
  • Pockets may not secure smaller items
  • Some may find the fit too loose

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts are a real winner among hiking lovers, particularly for their impressive blend of comfort and durability. These shorts are lightweight and agile, making them an excellent choice for long hikes or quick outdoor jaunts.

Coming in a range of sizes and colors, the Ferrosi Shorts hit the sweet spot for most female hikers. They're not too short, nor too long and provide plenty of freedom of movement without looking baggy or unflattering. The fabric is stretchy and offers UPF 50+ sun protection, which is a cool bonus for those sunny-day hikes.

One rave review talked about how the shorts 'feel invisible', they are that comfortable. The reviewers appreciated their roomy fit, particularly around the waist and thighs.

The Ferrosi Shorts are praised for their ability to dry quickly. One user mentioned her surprise when, after being caught in an unexpected shower, her shorts were dry not long after the rain stopped. Another reviewer loved how breathable the material was, keeping her cool in hot weather conditions.

Storage is another highlight for these shorts. With two front hand pockets, two rear pockets and a zippered thigh pocket, hiking with essentials has never been easier. A handful of reviewers appreciated the functional pockets, saying they were deep enough to hold essentials securely.

There are, however, some downsides mentioned by users. Some commented about the lack of a built-in belt, which could have added an extra bit of fit adjustment. A few others noticed that the stitching around the waistband came undone after a few hikes, implying a possible durability concern over time.

Contrary to this, most reviewers felt that the Ferrosi Shorts held up well on rugged trails and in challenging weather conditions, consistently rating it highly for its resilience and tough nature.

8.2 /10

Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts

Runner Up

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

Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts Women's Hiking Shorts
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
8
Mobility
9
Versatility
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent mobility and stretch
  • Great breathability
  • Ample storage options
  • Durable and abrasion-resistant

Reasons to Avoid

  • Bit pricey for some budgets
  • May run large for some wearers

The Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts are certainly worth the attention of those who love to hike and want something that doesn't restrict movement, while also providing a hint of style. The construction of these shorts combines nylon and elastane, resulting in a durable product that can withstand different kinds of terrain and weather conditions. Hiking in the rain isn't an issue with these shorts as they offer rapid drying capabilities.

A key feature that sets these shorts apart is their outstanding mobility. The stretchy fabric and gusseted crotch give you the freedom to move without any hindrance. Whether you are ascending steep trails, practicing yoga by the campfire, or just ambling around the campsite, the Shorts adapt to your activity and provide absolute comfort. The smooth waistband further ups the ante for comfort.

The design aspect also deserves a mention. Available in neutral and vibrant colors, the Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts ensure the fashion-conscious outdoor lover isn’t left wanting. The trim design isn't just for looks, it also reduces the quantity of fabric, thereby preventing excess bulking or snags while on the go.

When it comes to storage, the shorts offer two hand pockets as well as a handy thigh pocket with a zipper to secure important items. The Arc'teryx Gamma Shorts might not be teeming with pockets, but what is available is smart and user-friendly.

While feedback is overwhelmingly positive, some buyers have mentioned that they found the shorts a bit on the expensive side, and a few have noted that the sizing can run small. However, most online reviews confirm that the value and performance these shorts deliver are well worth the price. They also recommend checking out the size chart before making a final purchase.

From tackling day to day hiking adventures to trying out more challenging outdoor exploits, the Arc’teryx Gamma Shorts definitely stands out in style, comfort and functionality.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.0 /10

Columbia Sandy River Short

$29.99
Best Budget Women's Hiking Shorts

Based on our research and testing, we think the Columbia Sandy River Short are a great pick if you're looking for women's hiking shorts that are more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Columbia Sandy River Short Women's Hiking Shorts
Comfort
7
Durability
6
Features
5
Mobility
9
Versatility
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable without compromising quality
  • Quick-dry fabric is a boon for rainy days and water crossings
  • Comfortable and ample mobility for various hiking terrains
  • Versatile for other outdoor activities too

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of a built-in belt might be an issue for some
  • The storage options are somewhat limited
  • Might run a bit large and requires careful size selection

Hiking is all fun and games until you're halfway up the trail in uncomfortable attire. That's when the Columbia Sandy River Short comes to your rescue. Billed as a budget-friendly option in the category of hiking shorts for women, these shorts have a lot to offer.

First off, these shorts are made of quick-drying nylon, which is, honestly, a boon for those unexpected rain showers or accidental water crossings. There's nothing worse than walking around in soggy shorts - and with Columbia Sandy River, that's one less thing for you to worry about.

It's not enough for shorts to dry quickly, they should also be comfortable. And comfort is very much on the table with the Columbia Sandy River Short. They come with an elastic waist, an adjustable exterior belt and a moderate inseam, to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. These design choices make them super comfortable and versatile for women with different body types.

One feature buyers repeatedly praised was the shorts' lightweight design. They're so light you’d hardly believe you’re wearing them. This is a big plus for hikers who like to travel light and fast.

Pockets always come in handy when hiking, and these shorts offer that too. They have two side pockets, just enough to carry a few small essentials.

While most user reviews were positive, some did mention issues with inconsistency in sizing. These might fit differently than other Columbia products you might own, so it's a good idea to try them on before setting off on your adventure.

7.6 /10

Patagonia Barely Baggies Shorts

$59.00
Best Women's Hiking Shorts for Quick Drying

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

Patagonia Barely Baggies Shorts Women's Hiking Shorts
Comfort
7
Durability
9
Features
7
Mobility
8
Versatility
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Extremely quick drying
  • Comfortable and stretchy material
  • Ample pocket storage
  • Great mobility and flexibility for diverse activities

Reasons to Avoid

  • May fit loosely on some body types
  • Lacks some durability compared to other shorts

With Patagonia Barely Baggies Shorts, you can pack light and dry fast. Great for hikers who sweat a lot, these shorts are made with a quick-drying recycled polyester fabric. They're just as suitable for a lazy day at the beach as they are for a strenuous hike up a mountain.

Users love that the fabric is highly breathable and requires little time to dry, making it perfect for a dip in the creek or unexpected bouts of rain. The shorts also come with a water-repellent finish, adding an extra layer of defence against wet conditions.

In terms of fit, they sit nicely on the hips, are snug yet comfortable, and many users have noted there's not too much thigh-hugging going on. You will have plenty of room to manoeuvre, whether you're scrambling up rocky terrain or just strolling through a sunny park.

Of course, it's not just about functionality. These shorts also score big on the style front. Their low-key, laid-back vibe can be dressed up or down, depending on what your day has in store. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns, so beauties from all walks of life can find something that suits their unique taste.

However, there are a few gripes among users. Some find the elastic waistband a bit too tight, leading to discomfort after a long day of wear. The pockets are also quite shallow which, while fine for carrying small items, is less ideal for loose change or your smartphone. Some users have also expressed concerns that the shorts are shorter than what they're used to, which might not be ideal for those who prefer a bit more coverage.

All in all, Patagonia Barely Baggies Shorts deliver a winning combination of comfort, quick-dry capabilities, and considerate design choices that have earned them a top spot in hikers' wardrobes. But, keep in mind the potential issues with the fit, pocket depth and length.

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