TOP GEAR PICKS

Best Men’s Hiking Shorts: The Most Comfortable Shorts

Young couple hiking with their dog
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

You have to agree with us that, if you are a man, and you want to be in comfortable clothes while hiking or camping, you have to invest in the best men’s hiking shorts you can buy.

Some people don’t give much thought to the kind of shorts they are buying, but most of us want to be in a pair that proves to be comfortable during our outdoor expeditions so that we can enjoy the adventure to its full extent.

When you are camping or backpacking, you don’t want to worry about the clothes you are wearing, you want something that doesn’t bother you and makes you comfortable during the hiking, travelling and all the climbing. You need the perfect pair of hiking shorts, period.

A man with a backpack sitting on a wood near a river

Here, we will guide you on how to explore your options when buying hiking shorts and the things you need to consider while shopping.

We will start by taking a look at the most important features, and then we will give you a list of the best reviewed shorts, so that by the end of the article you’ll know what you want and what you need, and you’ll buy it with confidence.

Product NameWeightMaterialsSpecific FeaturesPrice
Columbia Silver Ridge11.2 ounces100% other fibers.Partial elastic at waist, sun protection, gusset detail, exterior adjustable waist.Check price on Amazon
Columbia Barracuda16 ounces62% cotton and 38% ripstop nylon.Imported, sun protection, quick dry, security pocket.Check price on Amazon
Arcteryx Incendo5.6 ouncesInvigor (polyester).Drawstrings back pocket with zipper, reflective blades, air permeable.Check price on Amazon
Outdoor Research Turbine11.8 ouncesPolyesterStretch mesh with inner brief.Check price on Amazon
Singbring Outdoor Sport7 ouncesPolyesterImported, elastic closure, lightweight.Check price on Amazon

Features To Consider Before Buying

Before you go online to buy any pair of shorts for hiking or outdoor activities, there are bunch of features that you must consider.

It sounds like a piece of cake, but once you’re in the middle of the Yosemite and you’re tired and wet, you’ll want to look carefully at these features. So, we recommend you pay attention; we certainly did whilst writing this.

Versatility

Most of the backpackers keep the backpack lightweight and they only carry clothes they are wearing. If you are going for a one day or an overnight trip, then you are going to be wearing the same shorts all day so you want them to be versatile.

The perfect pair of shorts will perform well in almost all kinds of conditions and environment. These conditions include wind, rain, hot sun rays, and cold.

Image of a man wearing a pair of cargo shorts

If your shorts are convertible, it will really help the versatility because you can solve the issue by zipping them up and converting them into pants if you need pants, and by zipping them off and converting them into shorts when needed.

Breathability

Breathability is another important factor because not all shorts are comfortable in hot temperatures, so you need to check the breathability of the fabric, the ability of the shorts to diffuse heat and the moisture.

If they get wet, you have to know how quickly are you able to dry them off. These small details are all important and matter a lot when you are out there. If the fabric is lightweight then they will dry off quickly.

Durability

Another important factor that you need to consider is the reliability and the durability of the shorts. If you are planning to go on a long trip, then you need to make sure that you can rely on these shorts for longer use. The shorts need to be abrasion resistant because the trail can be a little difficult.

/Image showing a man wearing a pair of cargo hiking shorts

And, the conditions can vary if it rains, so they need to dry off quickly. On the other hand, if the weather is too hot, then they need to keep you cool. If they are abrasion resistant then it means they can survive for long term use.

Color

Color is not on the priority list of most of us when we are buying hiking clothes, but the color of camping shorts can prove to be an important factor.

Picking the right kind of color can be really big factor in the product performance and also your feelings in different conditions. All the products that we reviewed have different colors available so this shouldn’t be a big problem of yours.

A man hiking in shorts

Mostly we seem to prefer light colors in warm climates like beige, white, etc, and we prefer dark colors for cold weather. The reason for choosing light color is that dark colors absorb the sunlight more than lighter colors thus we pick light colors. Dark colors absorb more light so obviously they are suitable in cold weather.

Fabric

When you are looking to buy shorts the fabric is also an important consideration for you. Most of the charts are either made of polyester or nylon. So you need to decide which one do you want.

Image showing a hiker wearing a pair of hiking shorts

There are pros and cons of both of these, but you need to pick one that suits your conditions best. Nylon made shorts are usually durable and you can rely on them for long trips, but polyester is lighter in weight and dries quickly which can prove to be a great advantage,

Comfort Level

The shorts that you are going to be wearing should be comfortable so that you can move around with ease. You are going to be walking a lot and you need to be in something that fits perfectly and is breathable to keep you cool even after all the hiking.

A man feeling comfortable to hike while wearing a pair of shorts

Comfort level depends on lots of things like fitting, sun protection, breathability and quick drying. All these factors influence the comfort level of the shorts. Therefore, before buying a pair look into all these specifications so that you can enjoy your trip fully.

Fitting

When you buy hiking shorts fitting is the first thing you should look for. You should buy what fits right. Some people go for loose fitting shorts, but they can prove to be annoying during climbing because of the bagginess.

If you get too tight shorts, then it can cause restriction so pick carefully. Choose something with stretchable material for easy mobility.

Men wearing hiking shorts

With the right fitting pants you will be comfortable moving around during your trip. Fitting affects mobility too. Another aspect that you need to consider about fitting, is that after a period of time, your shorts will get loose by getting used again and again. You should buy a pair that comes with a belt or a drawstring to tight them.

Weather And Destination

The most important factor in buying shorts is the weather of the place you are planning to go to. You should always look at the forecast before starting your trip so you’ll be able to prepare for the upcoming circumstances.

You need to buy a pair of shorts that is best suited for the climate and conditions of your destination. So here are a few tips about which shorts you need for what kind of weather:

Cold Or Moderate Climate

For cold weather there are shorts that are specifically made to keep you warm during snow camping. For a place with normal temperature opt for rolling pants or convertibles because if you feel hot, you can roll them up conveniently.

Man wearing a pair of OR-men-convertible-pants

In cold weather layering up is the key to survive the temperature so wear and pack warm hiking shorts.

Rainy Climate

If where you are going is a place where it rains a lot you need to pick waterproof pants. Also, you must carry an extra pair with you. This is important because getting wet and cold for too long can cause hypothermia.

Dry or Hot Climate

In case you are hiking in the desert it is recommended that you buy shorts or convertibles. But if protection from the sun and wind is a concern of yours, then convertible pant is a great option for you.

Image of a man jumping while wearing a pair of hiking shorts

Pick shorts that are made of lighter fabrics to facilitate you in the dry climate. For one day trips, shorts are the best options though.

Top Men’s Hiking Shorts Reviews

After reviewing the features, it’s time to deep your feet in the water by taking a look at the best reviewed hiking shorts, pay attention to price, features, looks and the descriptions we came up with, so that by the end you’ll know which exact pair you want.

Columbia Silver Ridge ShortsColumbia Silver Ridge

Price: $25 – $70

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Material: 100% other fibers

Specific features: Partial elastic at waist, sun protection, gusset detail, exterior adjustable waist

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: The Columbia Silver Ridge Shorts are available in 10 different colors. These shorts are priced between $20 and $80, depending on where you buy them. They are made of 100% other fibers, and are imported. They are lightweight, comfortable and perfect to keep you cool.

Moving around in these shorts is very comfortable because of the gusset detail. The partial elastic at the waist make the fitting easy and comfortable. The Omni-Wick advanced evaporation makes it cool and breathable. It has Omni-Shade sun protection, which protects you against harmful rays.

These shorts also have an exterior adjustable waist to keep the fitting as comfortable as possible. These shorts are available in almost all sizes and they are a good choice for outdoor adventures like hiking and backpacking.

The 10 colors all are vibrant and trendy so that gives you the choice to get one in your favorite color if you decide to wear them also during casual occasions.

PROS:

  • Many pockets to store different items or things
  • Zip closed security pocket, ideal for valuable items
  • Very comfortable

CONS:

  • Small fit
  • Pricey

Related: The Darn Tough’s 1722 Socks are a good item to buy alongside these shorts. They are no show socks, so even during social gatherings they won’t show, and they will keep your feet comfortable even during long hikes.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Barracuda Killer Shorts

Columbia Barracuda

Price: $23 – $70

Weight: 16 ounces

Material: 62% cotton and 38% ripstop nylon

Specific features: Imported, sun protection, quick dry, and security pocket

Best use: Camping, hiking, backpacking.

Description: These Columbia Barracuda Killer Shorts are made of 62% cotton and 38% ripstop nylon, which makes it lightweight, durable and comfortable. This product is priced between $30 and $70 depending on where you buy it from.

They have UPF 15 sun protection to give protection against harmful sun rays. The fabric is lightweight and dries quickly. The pocket is zip closed so you can put your things in it without worrying about them dropping out.

Available in 4 colors: sage, fossil, grill, carbon, and different sizes to accommodate all body types.. These shorts are perfect for rainy weather destinations, they are comfortable, reliable and lightweight, which makes them a good investment decision. The fitting of these shorts is comfortable and they are breathable so you can move around with ease in them.

PROS:

  • Fairly comfortable
  • Many pockets and side pockets to carry more things
  • Very stylish

CONS:

  • Not very stretchy, not ideal for difficult leg movements
  • Sizes are a bit small

Related: The Columbia Bahama II Shirt is normally bought with these shorts, it is a very classy shirt that will look good during any hike or any casual occasion. It’s breathable, comfortable and very high quality.

Check the price on Amazon

Arcteryx Incendo Long Shorts

Arcteryx Incendo 

Price: $40 – $60

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Material: Invigor (polyester)

Specific features: Drawstrings back pocket with zipper, reflective blades, air permeable

Best use: Trekking, fishing, hunting.

Description: The Arcteryx Incendo Long Shorts are made of invigor, which is basically polyester. This fabric is new and the design is trendy. These shorts are available in three cool colors: black, legion blue, pangea, they are air permeable and the woven fabric has a mechanical stretch DWR finish.

They are also moisture repellent and their inseam length gives more coverage. The waist has a drawstring for easy fitting and the lower pocket has a zipper for safety.

These shorts are available in all sizes and feature reflective blades. The product is reasonably priced at around $60. They are lightweight and extremely comfortable for outdoor trips. The material used is lightweight and dries quickly.

They perform efficiently and you can rely on these shorts as being some of the most durable or best quality in the list. Arcteryx is well known for between experienced hikers and outdoor specialists for the great quality products it comes up with.

Another advantage is that these shorts can be washed in cold water and still clean very well. That means you can clean them properly during any hike or camping trip, and just wait a few minutes until they dry off. Then, voila! You’re clean and ready.

PROS:

  • Cold wash
  • Very good quality
  • Excellent breathability and comfort

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • No side pockets

Related: The Arcteryx Motus Crew Shirt is a great match with these shorts. They are both comfortable and breathable products by Arcteryx, that will help you have a better hike overall.

Check the price on Amazon

Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts

Outdoor Research Turbine

Price: $14 – $60

Weight: 11.8 ounces

Material: Polyester

Specific features: Imported, stretch mesh inner brief

Best use: Camping, hiking, backpacking.

Description: The Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts are made of polyester as well and these shorts are imported. These shorts have stretch mesh inner brief. The price range of these shorts falls between $20 and $60 depending on where you buy.

These shorts are available in all sizes and three amazing colors black, lemon grass and hydro. i personally like the lemongrass best.

These shorts will keep you cool during hot days and you can rely on them for long hiking trips. They are breathable and has seven-inch seam that makes them perfect for hot temperature and long trips.

These are best suited for daytime and when the darkness starts to fall. These shorts also feature UPF 50+ rating and reflective logos and trims.

One must know that these shorts have a built in liner, it is one of the most characteristic features of the pair of shorts. If you don’t like built in liner, then these are not for you. If you prefer the inner liner, then these are ideal. However, do not overlook this key feature, it can be a make or break between a good or bad purchase.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Dry very quickly
  • Breathable
  • Reflective trims for night walks

CONS:

  • Sizes fit very small
  • Built in liner

Related: The Outdoor Research Swift Hat is normally bought alongside these shorts. It’s a good idea to protect your face from the sun by wearing a hat during the long hikes you have plan, so buying it with the shorts makes sense.

Check the price on Amazon

Singbring Outdoor Sport Shorts

Singbring Outdoor IXWP5S

Price: $17 – $25

Weight: 7 ounces

Materials: Polyester

Specific features: Imported, elastic closure, lightweight.

Best use: Camping, hiking, backpacking, travelling.

Description: The Singbring Outdoor Sport Shorts are made for outdoor activities like mountaineering, hiking, camping, etc. They are priced between $17 and $25 depending on where you buy them.

They are available in 3 colors: army green, black and gray. They have zippered front pockets so you can keep your phone, keys or other stuff safely in them.

These shorts are ultra lightweight so they dry quickly and the inner drawstring is for easy fitting. They are comfortable and breathable. Moving around in them is very convenient and they are perfect for outdoor adventures. All in all, these are a great choice and they will fall within the budget for most.

The zipper pockets are one of the best features of these shorts, as they will enable you to put your phone, wallet or other valuable items in them, without the risk of falling off at some point during a tough moment of the hike.

Also, as they are safe right in your pockets, you’ll be able to reach out comfortably for your phone, wallet or any other gadget whenever you need it.

PROS:

  • Excellent price
  • Very lightweight
  • Dry very quickly
  • Zipper pockets
  • Comfortable

CONS:

  • They might take a bit longer in the shipping, as they are imported

Related: The Tesla HyperDri Shirt is a good idea to buy with these and any other hiking shorts. These shirts are made for outdoor activities and will complement perfectly the shorts for any hike.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

Now, you should be ready to go into that long hike or camping trip and conquer it! You’ll be comfortable thanks to the knowledge we shared with you here.

A man wearing a pair of shorts on a valdivian-temperate-rain-forest

However, we are not perfect, so we wanted to ask you: did we leave any model out? If we did, please tell us about it in the comments section below. Otherwise you can also ask questions if you have any and we will be more than glad to find the appropriate answer for you as soon as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John C. Porter

John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.