Best Shorts for Hiking: Early Shopping Tips for Summer 2021

The thing you need to pay most careful attention to when planning your next outdoor adventure is choosing a pair of top-quality, durable, and comfortable hiking shorts. They will have to be lightweight, breathable, water-resistant, and stretchy. You will also want them to be as functional as possible and look good enough to be worn into town.

To help you choose the very best shorts for hiking, I have compiled a list of top-7 most exciting and trusted models that are guaranteed to keep you comfortable and safe on your outings to the wilderness next summer.

Top Pick
Little Donkey Andy Men's Stretch Quick Dry Cargo...
UPF 50+ sun protection
My preview
Little Donkey Andy Women's Stretch Quick Dry Cargo...
3 secure zip closure pockets
My preview
Vcansion Men's Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Shorts...
Suitable for machine wash
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Libin Women's Lightweight Hiking Shorts Quick Dry...
6 secure multi-purpose pockets
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Little Donkey Andy Women’s Ultra-Stretch Quick...
UPF 50+ protection
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Top 7 Best Shorts for Hiking

When prepping this article, I looked through dozens of most highly-rated models and read hundreds of hiking shorts reviews to choose the very best of what can be found on the market today. Below is my shortlist of top-7 best shorts for hiking.

1. Best Overall Men’s Hiking Shorts: Little Donkey Andy Men’s Stretch Shorts

Little Donkey Andy hiking shorts are my top pick since they offer the most striking balance of comfort, fit, and efficiency. Structured from polyester and spandex, these shorts promise exceptional durability and wearing quality. The fabric has a comfortable stretch to it that is movement enhancing in every way. Besides, the material is breathable enough to keep you cool on a hot day.

The Little Donkey Andy lightweight shorts wash and dry super quickly and have an innovative water-repellent finish to them that fends off moisture and keeps you comfortable in any weather conditions. The model has multiple zipper and flap pockets for safe storage and quick access, and the belt loops on the elastic waistband provide increased adjustability. For further convenience and added health benefits, the item has the UPF 50+ protection index and blocks up to 98% of harmful UV sun rays.

  • High-quality blend of spandex and polyester for comfortable and durable wear;
  • Dry quickly and come treated to a water-repellent finish;
  • Many zipper pockets for convenient and safe storage;
  • UPF 50+ sun protection;
  • Available in 8 different colors.
  • Users with sensitive skin may feel a little uncomfortable.

2. Best Adventure Shorts for Women: Little Donkey Andy Women’s Stretch Shorts for Hiking

Adequately priced and built to last, these women’s hiking shorts from Little Donkey Andy are a perfect mix of comfort and functionality. While there are only three pockets here for storing traveling essentials, all of them are deep enough to accommodate larger items and have a zipper closure to make sure whatever you put there stays safely in place.

With 5% spandex, this model is super-comfy and has a decent stretch for enhanced mobility. The polyester here ensures the general lightweightness of the garment and helps these shorts wash easily and dry quickly. Users can choose between 12 different colors of the Little Donkey Andy women’s shorts – from traditional earthy tones to more cheerful looks.

  • 4-way stretch fabric for exceptional comfort of movements;
  • 3 secure zip closure pockets;
  • Lightweight and quick-drying;
  • Water-repellent finish;
  • Part elastic waistband with belt loops.
  • Comes with only one inseam length option.

3. Best Low-budget Quick Dry Shorts for Men: Vcansion Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Shorts

The Vcansion Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Shorts are the right choice for men who need a comfortable and durable product at a very reasonable price. Thanks to the 4% spandex insertion, these shorts have a slight stretch to them, which makes the garment tear-resistant. The lightweight fabric is also quick to dry and highly breathable, meaning it will provide the users with exceptional comfort throughout the hottest day.

The loose fit of the Vcansion shorts allows men a full range of motions and superb ventilation, which is perfect for hiking, trekking, running, swimming, and other summer outdoor activities. Apart from the elastic waist design with drawstring closure, the shorts come equipped with three front and rear pockets for safe storage of essential items.

  • The stretchy make ensures resistance to tear;
  • Loose fit design for exceptional comfort of movements;
  • Quick-drying fabric with waterproof abilities;
  • Suitable for machine wash;
  • Budget-friendly price.
  • The choice of colors is limited to only 5 options;
  • Sizes may run small.

4. Best-looking Women’s Nylon Hiking Shorts: Libin Women’s Lightweight Hiking Shorts

Libin Women’s Lightweight Hiking Shorts are a perfect choice of summer athleticwear that is comfortable on the road and looks stylish when worn in town. The well-balanced blend of 12% spandex and 88% nylon promises superb stretch of the fabric and its wearing durability while also keeps the model lightweight and breathable.

These shorts are amazingly functional and come equipped with six multi-purpose pockets to tend to all your storage needs. Apart from 2 slant hand pockets, the model has 2 side cargo pockets for storing larger items and 2 zipper pockets at the back for safe transportation of the most valuable essentials.

  • Chic and stylish model suited for sports and casual activities;
  • Has a good stretch for enhanced performance;
  • 6 secure multi-purpose pockets;
  • Lightweight, properly-ventilated, quick-dry, water-repellent;
  • The shorts sit safely on your waist, thanks to the zip fly and metal button closure on a belt loop waistband.
  • A bit pricey.

5. Best Lightweight Outdoor Shorts for Women: Little Donkey Andy Women’s Ultra-Stretch Bermuda Shorts

These quick-dry, versatile Bermuda shorts from Little Donkey Andy were specifically designed for women who enjoy exercising heavily in the wild outdoors. The 75% nylon and 25% spandex mix of the fabric is breathable enough to keep you cool and ventilated on the hottest summer day. The model stretches super-nicely, so you do not have to worry about it tearing on you while you are out there trekking or mountaineering.

As a bonus, the material of the shorts is certified to be UPF 50+, meaning it can give you perfect protection from harmful UV sun rays. The design features four spacious pockets – two slant hand pockets in the front and two zip closure pockets on each side for securing the most valuable of your possessions. The color selection includes six of the most popular choices.

  • The exceptional comfort of movements due to the four-way stretch fabric;
  • The elastic waistband with drawstring closure ensures a customized fit;
  • Quick-dry material with a water-repellent finish;
  • UPF 50+ protection.
  • Tends to run small.

6. Best Hiking Shorts for Mountain Biking: Cycorld Men’s Outdoor Hiking Shorts

When choosing versatile Cycorld Men’s Outdoor Hiking Shorts, you get top-notch functionality and convenience in addition to sleek and modern design. The shorts are decorated with multiple comfort-promoting components, including 4 leg zip closure pockets and two deep front pockets, an elastic waistband, and a customizable hook and loop fastener for perfect waist fit.

Its well-designed combination of lightweight and breathable fabrics such as polyester and spandex ensures exceptional comfort of movements, superb wearing durability, and just the right amount of stretch to prevent accidental tears. The model resists water well, dries quickly, and draws moisture away from your body in the sweatiest moments.

  • The model ensures a snug fit without feeling tight or limiting movements;
  • Durable stitching with reinforced crotch seams;
  • Waterproof, quick-dry stretchy design;
  • Multiple comfort-promoting components.
  • The shorts are only available in two colors.

7. Best Multi-purpose Hiking Shorts for Men: prAna Men’s Stretch Shorts for Hiking

The prAna Zion shorts are a great piece of men’s clothes suitable for both outdoor sports activities and casual use. A well-measured blend of spandex and nylon in the prAna Stretch Zion model ensures a superb wearing quality as well as gives the fabric an added stretch, which is why the shorts feel super-comfortable and offer great flexibility of movements.

The durability of the garment is further enhanced by the sturdy triple stitch and DWR finish. Such repellent treatment prevents the shorts from absorbing water, which can increase their weight and hinder movements. For additional comfort, the shorts have an elastic adjustable waistband and six pockets. One of the two side pockets is flapped, and the other is a smaller pocket with zipper closure for storing smaller items safely. The model is averagely priced and comes in 12 different colors.

  • The fabric is quick to dry and repels moisture effectively;
  • Lightweight and durable model;
  • Adjustable waistband;
  • Ventilated gusset;
  • Suitable for outdoor adventures and indoor wear.
  • UPF protection is not specified.

Best Hiking Shorts FAQ: The Most Popular Questions Answered by Experts.

man on the mountain in shorts

Can I wear running shorts for hiking?

If you are planning a summer day of epic outdoor adventures that include distance trail running or light backpacking, running shorts might be a decent alternative to traditional hiking shorts. The fabrics used here are usually lighter, and the length is less restrictive. On the downside, running shorts offer less sun protection and have little to no wind resistance.

What should you not wear while hiking?

When it comes to hiking, your clothing choices or rather clothing faux pas may ruin the entire experience. If you want your outdoor adventure to go smoothly, make sure you avoid wearing the following items and fabrics: silk, denim, cotton, no-show socks, unsupportive shoes, bras with clasps, and single-layer outfits.

What is special about hiking shorts?

Compared to pants, good shorts for hiking will provide you with more freedom and flexibility to move around on the trail. They also have great ventilation and are cooler, which can be an essential quality if you are seeking what to wear on a hiking day in summer. However, if you expect heavy vegetation on the trail, pants can offer you a bit more protection.

Final Words

Good-quality, breathable, and sturdily built shorts are an essential item in your summer hiking wardrobe. The very best of them, like Little Donkey Andy Men’s Stretch Shorts, can easily combine superb functionality with elegant looks and an attractive price. Use my list of top-7 best shorts for hiking to pick the one model you will be most comfortable in.

Which of the hiking shorts brands do you prefer to wear in summer? On what occasions would you trade hiking shorts for pants? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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