As the warmer weather approaches it is time to pack away the winter gear and opt for more summery attire so that you can enjoy the same quality and comfort as other outdoor clothing but specifically designed for the sunshine and helping you stay cool. While some hikers prefer to continue wearing walking pants throughout the year as they afford greater leg coverage which is a bonus in terms of protection but others may prefer shorts instead for keeping cooler throughout trekking trails so at Walking.org we decided now was the time to look at our favourites from the last year for our Top 5 Walking Shorts for 2015.
While Walking and by extension Hiking Shorts are similar to their longer-leg counterparts albeit obviously without the legs, many still have plenty of variation and technical fabrics along with features that make them quite a different garment in their own right. As there are numerous premium brands that produce quality walking shorts it makes the collections fairly varied and some are designed for specific conditions so are streamlined and lightweight over other more durable ones with more pocket options for carrying gear, it can make choosing the most suitable pair for your needs a little tricky. With this in mind as per our other Top 5 Guides from this and previous years we have aimed to look at as many different walking shorts as possible for a wide range of options for you to choose from, so if you need breathability and flexibility over weight, or prefer a cargo-style that has a more rugged feel you will hopefully find the right pair of shorts for walking and hiking to suit you.
Berghaus Vapour Baggy Shorts
If you want a pair that is adjustable and flexible the Berghaus Vapour Baggy Shorts are ideal, though despite the name not quite as ‘baggy’ as some other shorts available. The bulk of the fabric is Polyamide but two panels are made from a Polyester/Elastane mix which allows for a 4-way stretch so will move as you do without restriction, plus the Berghaus Vapor Shorts are coated with a Durable Water Repellent finish so water droplets will bead away in light rain showers. Two mesh-lined vents allow for continual cooling and you have the option for a comfortable fit thanks to a hook & loop adjustment around the hems. There is also an integrated web belt so you have complete control of the waistband fit without the need of a separate belt. As the design is almost minimalist the four pockets almost go unnoticed, but as the two front and leg are zipped they are ideal for small items you may need in a hurry.
Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts
If you want a durable cargo-style but lighter than your average pair; the Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts are the way to go. They feature a classic fit so you know what to expect in terms of how they wear and feel but have the added bonus of a side elastic waistband and a gusset detail so you have nice control over the fit while having plenty of freedom of movement. Despite being quite lightweight the Colombia Silver Ridge Cargos are constructed from Silver Ridge Ripstop so are hard wearing and as they’ve been designed with the brand’s Omni-Shade and Omni-Wick technologies so are ideal for sunnier climates as they offer UPF 50 protection, plus work at keeping your dry. It also has a zip security pocket and side hand pockets with mesh pocket bags.
Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Midweight Active Shorts
The Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Midweight Active Shorts are a softshell garment designed for both hiking and climbing and sport a slim cut with tough 4-way stretch fabric for freedom of movement through the most active trails made from Chockstone Mid-weight Doubleweave Softshell complete with a DWR finish. These do work well with a harness if you do go technical climbing, plus the conical waist is Micro-Chamois lined and seamless for better overall comfort underneath a backpack as well. Similar to the previous pair of walking shorts these by Mountain Hardwear have an integrated webbing belt so they can be easily adjusted to fit plus secure zip pockets that are positioned for easy access when you need it.
Jack Wolfskin Sun Shorts
Jack Wolfskin Sun Shorts are ideal for any type of travelling, especially hiking in warmer weather when you just need a straightforward pair of shorts. They are very light in weight and entirely made from Polyamide so offer some durability though not quite as much as the others but have been designed to be extremely fast drying which is ideal for when you perspire. A loose fit makes them very comfortable to wear, plus helps to aid cooling as well. Each pair of JW Sun Shorts also affords high protection from UV rays so they are ideal for routes that have little in the way of shelter from the sun.
Montane Terra Alpine Shorts
The Montane Terra Alpine Shorts are the most rugged of our walking shorts Top 5, being designed for more rigorous travel whether trekking in the mountains or extensive backpacking. A Granite Stretch fabric sees to this as it combines Nylon with Spandex enabling a four-way stretch and abrasion resistance and is held together by twin needle sewn seams for lasting durability and resistance to tearing. To enhance your mobility further the Terra Alpha design has a high lift crotch, plus the waist is a tailored fit with an included webbing belt so is easy to adjust as well enabling you to make the most of the active mountain fit. This pair does have the least amount of pockets with two zipped hand pockets and one security pocket that handily can be pulled out if required.
From lightweight warmer weather shorts to durable mountain trail styles these best of Walking Shorts for 2015 should provide you with plenty of choice for the summer or whenever your next hike is in a warm climate. Of course there are other factors that may help you make a decision on the most appropriate pair for you such as pricing, overall style and of course performance that we have given specific awards to.
Best Value: Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts
These are not just the best in value due to the fact that they are on average the cheapest of the top 5 but also because the Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts for the price offer plenty of comfort features like UPF protection, breathability, adjustment options and fit but the Silver Ridge Ripstop makes them quite hard wearing as well so there is plenty of use to be had from them.
Best Performance: Montane Terra Alpine Shorts
To experienced hikers it probably won’t be much of a surprise that the Montane Terra Alpine Shorts were voted as best performing as the brand has built a reputation on quality, durability and lasting performance with all of their outdoor gear. These are no exception giving all the freedom of movement you need, a comfy fit and durability so you more than get your money’s worth.
Best Looks: Berghaus Vapour Baggy Shorts
While for the most part one pair of walking shorts looks pretty similar to the next, especially as many of this type are a cargo style, the Berghaus Vapour Baggy Shorts offer something a bit different. Despite their baggy description these look a little sleek with some modern styling and a simple bit of colour contrast that makes them look pretty smart and they do perform well also.