The Best Hiking Shorts for Men and Women: Buyer’s Guide

Do you know hiking is not walking casually on mountains but to sport-climb through the rough-difficult landscape and encountering your physical fitness? Hiking is a powerful aerobic cardio workout with long walks and enjoying the freedom of nature. Hiking the mountainous terrain, enjoying the air, and being comfortable is indeed a challenging task. 

Then how to be comfortable while hiking? The best ultralight hiking shorts are smart and key before planning. It is so damn important to be comfortable while hiking. Just think in the middle of a sunny hiking day you feel sweaty and tired, will you be able to continue?

best hiking shorts for men and women

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Therefore, the best hiking pants for hot climates will keep your legs cool and free to hike. Therefore, hiking shorts must be included in your hiking packing list as well as your camping packing list.

These right pair of summer hiking shorts are perfect for handling the dirt, sand, water-rock, and all the emergencies that come on your way.

It’s strong and unbreakable just like you. 

I’ve created a guide plan which will help you to purchase the best hiking shorts for men and the best hiking shorts for women. Get the best utilitarian cheap hiking shorts with equal measures of style and breathable fabrics.  

I’m a hiker too and I know your pain points. I’ll guide you to get good outdoor shorts. 

Benefits of Hiking Shorts: 

To hit the trail on a sunny day the best hiking shorts for men & the best hiking shorts for women is the best choice. It’s perfect for all-terrain, weather, and yet comfortable too.

I’m listing down the benefits of why you should choose breathable hiking shorts before planning a hike. 

MATERIAL:

Best hiking shorts for men & the Best Hiking Shorts for Women are made up of 100% cotton, a blend of nylon and polyester, and microfiber material. 

Cotton material shorts are breathable and very comfortable but it has its shortcomings. Cotton absorbs a lot of moisture, which means it is obvious that in the middle of the hike when you will sweat a lot your pants will even get wet. Will you hike throughout the day in wet pants? Is that your plan? 

No, right, then what will you do? Therefore, cotton-polyester, cotton-nylon blend shorts, or microfiber material shorts are windproof and pleasant to buy those to keep you cool.

WEATHER:

Fluctuation in temperature is so common while hiking. Therefore, you must know what kind of shorts to wear when hiking

I hope you are not planning your hiking program on a cloudy rainy day. If you’re a hiker too then you know the clear sky is the best day for hiking. If you are choosing a hiking trail in the tropical or temperate region then get the best walking shorts and you are good to run! The weather will be hot and therefore choose your clothes wisely. 

Get the best hiking shorts for men and women that are breathable and comfortable. 

COMFORT:

Best hiking shorts for women are comfortable, minimal, and yet fashionable. Breathable and versatile clothing is important while hiking.

Hiking in a dry and hot environment with a full-sleeved top and full pants is very uncomfortable and clumsy. Wear a breathable and comfortable short which allows you the freedom to move freely on the rough terrain and makes you lightweight. Clumsy clothing won’t allow you to hike freely. 

Therefore, functional and comfortable shorts are your best friend on the hiking trail!  

best hiking shorts
Hiking with shorts is comfortable

FASHION:

Are we forgetting something? Yes, Fashion. Best hiking shorts for hot weather are perfect when they have the right pocket size, fit properly, and are in trend

We all look for shorts that have at least one big thigh pocket where we can keep our wallet or our iPhone. Well-designed and well-fit comfortable shorts are enough to click the great picture with mother Earth. 

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Durable trendy hiking shorts will make your day!

What to Look for to Purchase Good Hiking Shorts for both Men and Women? 

With years of trial and error, I’m listing down a few points to remember before purchasing the best backpacking shorts for men and women. Undershorts have various subparts of shorts according to their length.

Therefore, choose shorts as per your wish and remember the following points mentioned below.

Let’s start shopping wisely! 

For the best hiking shorts for men:

STRETCH:

Do you want to buy hiking shorts where you can’t move your thighs comfortably? Then how will you hike this high terrain? Best men’s outdoor shorts need to be stretchable without getting ripped off. 

Stretchable shorts will help you move freely and you can hike through scramble rocks, boulders, rough surfaces, hop over the small length trees or climb steep trails without feeling uncomfortable. Climbing mountains in comfortable clothes like you are unchallengeable! 

Therefore, get a fresh fabric like Spandex which is breathable yet fashionable.

POCKETS:

Another important feature to remember while purchasing the best hiking shorts for men is the number of pockets it has. Do you want 6 to 7 pockets or 1 pocket which has depth, placement, and great construction? If you ask me, I would go with the second option. A smart pocket is wiser than 5 pockets!

Get a short that has deep pockets and is not too shallow or narrow. If you get small pocket shorts then you won’t be able to keep your important documents or things securely. At least buy pants with a pocket where you can keep your smartphone or wallet smartly without losing it. 

Therefore, the smart, durable, and functional pocket will ease your hiking journey and give you a smart look. 

For the best hiking shorts for women:

WAISTBAND:

When you are choosing the best hiking shorts for women it’s important to choose something in which you truly feel yourself and you are comfortable. Therefore, choosing hiking shorts that are mid-rise or high waist is always wiser. 

High waist shorts with a waistband comfortably fits at your hip and which is not too loose or too tight. An adjustable high waist short with a drawcord allows you to adjust it accordingly to your body shape and size. 

Regular button and zipper shorts are therefore not comfortable compared to shorts with a waistband. 

best men's shorts for hiking

SUN PROTECTED – UPF:

Your skincare regime contains sunscreen lotion. Similarly, the best hiking shorts for women also have UPF which protects from sun protection. UPF rating tells us about the amount our clothes block harmful ultraviolet sun rays. 

We all know how harmful sun rays are for our skin and they can cause skin cancer. Therefore, protect your face as well as your legs by wearing shorts that have UPF rated. 

Shorts that are leveled with UPF 50+ are considered the best and UPF 20 AND UPF 15 are good.

Let’s now drive more into buying actual products from Amazon.com!

5 Best Hiking Shorts for Men:

If you are looking for comfortable and the best hiking shorts for men which protect you against scuffs, scrapes and facilitate with more storage capacity then these following shorts are made for you. 

The following 10 stylish hiking shorts, 5 for men and 5 for women which you can pick from Amazon and you can wear for outdoor activities like hiking, running, and playing.

1. prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Short

  • Weight: 258 g (9.1 oz)
  • Inseam (inches): 10, 12
  • Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% spandex 

prAna Stretch ‘Zion’ fabric shorts are a classic and the best hiking shorts for men that keep them comfortable while hiking. I love the look of these slim-fit hiking shorts with their outlook. It is lightweight and versatile and makes you feel like your skin. 

The material will protect you from harsh sun rays because it is made up of Zion i.e. UPF 50 +. Even if you get wet it takes a few minutes to dry up. There are 2 colors available and a built-in belt is great and fashionable too. It has two pockets that are deep for your phone to slip in.

best hiking shorts for men | prAna Men's Stretch Zion Short
prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Short

Pros: 

  • Great quality, lightweight, stretchy and trendy. 
  • Great ventilation because of the presence of two mesh-lined pockets and air vents in the crotch.
  • Durable material and has seam stitching. 
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Cons:

  • In the long run, the fabric may pull off
  • The left pocket has a strange outlook

2. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

  • Weight: 196 g (6.9 oz)
  • Inseam (inches): 8, 10
  • Materials: 95% Nylon, 5% elastane

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Shorts are the best hiking shorts with pockets. They are lightweight and awesome shorts at the budget for summer adventure hiking where pockets are deep and have huge space. This product is our all-around favorite at the low price range. 

This product has advanced Omni-shield repellency which protects your legs from harmful UV rays. Therefore, its dual functionality makes it highly desirable among hikers. It has wide waistbands which also help you and protect you from chaffing on the hips.

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts
Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

Pros:

  • Gusseted crotch adds mobility
  • The breathable fabric, therefore, is great for the summer season
  • Simple, lightweight, and comes in two colors

Cons:

  • Not a stretchable fabric
  • Lack of belt

3. Fjallraven – Men’s Abisko Shorts

  • Weight: 316 g (11.1 oz) for size 48
  • Inseam (inches): N/A
  • Materials: G-1000 Original: 65% polyester, 35% cotton; 63% polyamide, 26% polyester, 11% elastane

Fjallraven is one of the best hiking shorts for men. They manufacture rough and extremely adventurous shorts which I like personally. We went hiking in Switzerland where my friend wore these shorts and he rated them 4.8 stars. This short is durable and is made up of great fabric. 

This hiking shorts for men, Fjallraven, has Greenland Wax which is an added benefit from harsh weather. It also has a tough poly-cotton blend in the crotch area so that there is less friction. The eye-catching features of this product are it has 5 pockets exclusively for keeping the phone.

walking shorts for men | Fjallraven - Men's Abisko Shorts
Fjallraven – Men’s Abisko Shorts

Pros:

  • High-quality product
  • G-1000 fabric makes it unique 

Cons:

  • Absence of back pocket
  • Not lightweight and not properly ventilated

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4. KUHL Renegade Shorts

  • Weight: 272 g (9.6 oz)
  • Inseam (inches): 8, 10, 12
  • Materials: DURALUX: 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

KUHL Renegade is another best hiking short for big thighs. It is compelling and a blend of ruggedness and durability. It is made up of softshell fabric with a DWR finish and UPF 50+ that is again a great protector from sun rays. The nylon-spandex blend keeps them nice and comfortable.

This is very flexible and provides great freedom to move freely. The product is lined with a Microchamois free Ryde waistband which is super comfortable. On the crotch gusset, the fabric is stretchable and of great quality. When we went hiking in Lake Tahoe in California in 2019, my father wore this and he rated it 4 stars. 

KUHL Renegade Shorts
KUHL Renegade Shorts

Pros:

  • DWR finish helps to dry up quickly if it gets wet
  • Eight pockets

Cons:

  • Shallow pockets
  • Bulky outlook

5. Marmot Arch Rock

  • Inseam (inches): 32/11
  • Material: 94% Nylon / 6% Elastane

Marmot Arch Rock is the best shorts for camping for men. They are tough hiking shorts manufactured by the best brand at Marmot. This product has abrasion-resistant material which is comfortable even in harsh climatic weather. 

It is made up of UPF 50 which means it is protected from harsh sun rays. It comes with a zipper tick pocket which increases its mobility. In 2019, my dad and his friends went to the hiking trails of South California and I saw how these shorts complement my dad’s age too.  

best men's shorts for hiking | Marmot Arch Rock
Marmot Arch Rock

Pros:

  • best hiking shorts for fat guys 
  • Comfortable and high-intensity shorts 

Cons: Fluffy cloth

5 Best Hiking Shorts for Women:

For women who want super functional, comfortable yet fashionable, and right length best budget hiking shorts then these following shorts are just perfect for you. Among these 5 hiking shorts, I own 4 shorts that I love and have been using for years.

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6. Eddie Bauer Women’s Guide Pro Shorts

  • Length: 4 inch
  • Material: 94% Nylon, 6% Spandex

Eddie Bauer is the best hiking shorts for women which is perfect for outdoor activities. And, these are excellent shorts in your wardrobe which you can wear whenever you want. It is breathable and provides a long coverage which is versatile and available in wide colors. 

The aesthetic fabric is so beautiful and it has a sun protection material called UPF 50+. It has StormRepel DWR which is water-resistant. This product is mid-waist and partnered with the blue sign which ensures that it is made up of sustainable textile which protects you from sun protection.

best hiking shorts for women | Eddie Bauer Women's Guide Pro Shorts
Eddie Bauer Shorts

Pro:

  • 4 pockets
  • Great quality and water resistance 

Cons: Do not have a back pocket.

7. prAna Women’s Olivia Short

  • Length: 5-7inch
  • Material: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex

prAna Women’s Olivia Short is my personal favorite and the best women’s hiking shorts with pockets. This short is soft and durable and I guarantee if you use this you will fall in love with its material. It has four pockets – 2 at the side and 2 at the rear. You can slip in your smartphone and other essentials. 

Its moisture-wicking finish is so desirable because during hiking it’s very common to sweat and get all wet but this product won’t allow you to remain wet for long. It has a button closure which is trendy. 

Pro: UPF 50+

prAna Women's Olivia Short
prAna Women’s Olivia Short

8. Willit Women’s Yoga Lounge Shorts

  • Length: 5.5 inch – 11 inch
  • Material: 68% Cotton, 29% Nylon, 3% Spandex

Willit Women’s Yoga brings the best budget hiking shorts for women. These shorts are light and very comfortable for hiking. They are perfect for hot and humid weather and are made up of 20 % Spandex and cotton. You can even use them at home while doing yoga or other physical exercises. 

This is affordable which makes it desirable but the quality is not so good. The length is very short, therefore; if you prefer long shorts then this won’t be your preference. Despite its quality, it is the best affordable hiking short for women.

Willit Women's Yoga Lounge Shorts
Willit Women’s Yoga Lounge Shorts

9. Arc’teryx Creston Short 4.5″ Women’

Material: Nylon, Elastane

Arc’teryx Creston Short is ultra-thin and great hiking shorts for extra hot and humid weather. It has a unique warp stretch plain weave fabric that is durable and highly air permeable. It is one of the versatile and flexible women’s shorts that is so breezy and comfortable.

Arc'teryx Creston Short
Arc’teryx Creston Short

Pros:

  • Waist & Belt Configuration
  • Low profile waist design with belt loops
  • Pocket Configuration
  • Two reinforced back patch pockets

10. Helly Hansen Maridalen Shorts

Material: 95% Nylon, 5% Elastane

Helly Hansen is one of the best-designed hiking shorts for women because it has lots of pockets and a lot of storage facilities. My sister personally loves them because when we went hiking in Colorado Springs she was so comfortable and the material is so breathable too. 

Lake Tahoe has very rough terrain and this short was my sister’s constant friend; its durability is amazing. It comes with 2 years of warranty too. 

Pro:

  • Back flap pocket, UPF 40+
  • Particularly designed for outdoor activities. 
Helly Hansen Maridalen Shorts
Helly Hansen Maridalen Shorts

This is our sorted list of the best quality hiking shorts for men and women. Choose as per your need and enjoy your hiking day.

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FAQ on The Best Hiking Shorts for Women and Men

1. What should you not wear while hiking?

A: Never wear a gown dress or tight pants like leggings which will stick with your skin. Even thick fabric-like types of denim are also not suitable hiking cloth. Don’t choose cotton or silk material.

2. Can I wear running shorts for hiking?

A: It depends on your wish. I don’t like it. My running shorts are ranging between 4 – 6 inches and 1-2 inches. For hiking, I prefer short shorts which will provide me more ventilation.

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