Top 7 Best Hiking Shorts of 2021


Best Hiking Shorts

Hitting the hiking trails with shorts is very comfortable, especially in the summer months. Long hiking pants are comfortable for hitting the trails in fall and spring but not in summer. Hiking shorts are lightweight and are quick drying pants that are made of Nylon in different combinations.

They are also lightweight and feature a number of pockets to keep important accessories within reach of the user. They have absolutely no bulk and dries faster as well. Some shorts have elastic inseams to keep the fabric in place. Most of the shorts lie above the knee or at the point of the knee so as to not disturb knee articulation and movement of the hiker.

Every summer frequent hikers hit the market to equip themselves with all hiking accessories and predominantly the attire. To make their search easier, we have listed the top 7 hiking shorts for frequent summer season hikers. We have also discussed how to choose the hiking shorts, provided the market is flooded with them.

Top 7 Best Hiking Shorts – [2021]

  1. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Utility Hiker Short
  2. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Short
  3. Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short
  4. LEE Men’s Dungarees New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short
  5. prAna Stretch Zion Short
  6. UNIONBAY Men’s Survivor Belted Cargo Short
  7. TRU-SPEC Men’s 24-7 Polyester Cotton Rip Stop Shorts

Best Hiking Shorts

Best Hiking Short Reviews

#1. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Utility Hiker Short

Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Utility Hiker Short


  • Shorts material: 100% cotton
  • Button closure
  • Relaxed fit
  • Lies above the knee
  • Front slant pockets
  • Flap cargo pockets on either side
  • Back waist has elastic bands

The Wrangler Authentic Men’s Canvas hiker shorts is one of the best attires to be worn on a hiking trip for relaxed and comfortable climbing and hiking. The material of these hiking shorts is of 100% cotton and is of the imported brand. It is possible to wash the shorts in the machine and still, the fabric comes durable for years together.

Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Utility Hiker Short

It features a relaxed fit so as to not hinder the difficult movements of the hiker. The shorts are comfortable to wear and hits above the knee so as to not interfere with the knee articulations. Any clothing that sticks on to the knees is difficult to carry on adventurous trips.

There are two slant pockets at the front end so as to carry valuables such as maps and mobile phone. There are also two cargo pockets at the flap on both sides of the thigh to carry other important things within reach. The elastic band at the back waist to carry a knife and to hold the shorts intact.

Best Hiking Short

#2. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Short

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Short


  • Material: Polyester and nylon
  • Imported material
  • Silver Ridge cargo shorts
  • Omni Shade UPF 50
  • Omni wick technology
  • Zip closure security pockets
  • Ultimate convenience and efficiency

The Columbia Men’s Silver cargo short is of imported nylon polyester material. The cargo shorts feature Columbia’s silver technology. Some of its best features are Omni-Shade UPF 50 to protect against the sun. Its Omni-wick technology absorbs moisture away from the user and keeps the hiker dry and cool during warm days as well.

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Short

There are a number of handy features with the shorts, such as zip closure security pockets, pockets with hook and loop closure an also mesh pocket bags for the ultimate efficiency and convenience.

There are a number of adjustable features with the shorts as well such as partial elastic band and gusset detail for the ultimate comfort. Its Omni-shade technology also blocks UVA and B rays so as to prevent skin damage and sunburns with long term sun exposure. The cargo shorts are available in multiple color ranges and lengths.

Best Hiking Short

#3. Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short

Levi's Men's Carrier Cargo Short


  • The material of the shorts: 100% cotton
  • Zipper closure for the pockets
  • Machine wash compatible
  • The inseam of the shorts is 9.5”
  • Zip fly with button closure
  • Knee length
  • Side slant pockets and button flap pockets

The Levi’s is a famous brand name in men’s apparel and is ideal to use as both casual wears and for hiking and other adventures trips. The shorts are of 100% pure cotton and is the best to use in summer months, as cotton helps to keep the wearer comfortable and cool.

Levi's Men's Carrier Cargo Short

There are a number of storage provisions with the shorts, and all of them are secured with zipper closure. It is okay to machine wash the shots without causing any damage to the fabric. The inseam of the shorts is about 9.5 inches and thus renders a relaxed fit for the wearer. It is a knee length short with two side slant pockets and two button flap pockets at the rear.

They help to keep important gear within reach of the shorts. Thus, Levi’s Cargo shorts are a perfect blend of comfort, style, and utility. It is ideal for weekend lounging and rugged adventures and is real style statements when they pair with sneakers, and a tucker Jacket from Levi’s.

Best Hiking Short

#4. LEE Men’s Dungarees New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

LEE Men's Dungarees New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short


  • Shorts made of 100% cotton
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine washable
  • Durable twill construction
  • Stylish design
  • Features cargo pockets
  • Inseam: 11.25 inches

The Lee Men’s Dungarees Wyoming cargo short is of 100% cotton and features a durable twill construction. It renders a broken-in feel for the user and its belts offer a ready to wear style. The short has the best utility design and features multiple side pockets of different sizes.

LEE Men's Dungarees New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

The pockets are secured with Velcro and buttons for the needs of the user. They are the best style statements just like the other products from Lee and are ideal for both summer hiking trips and for windy fall days as well.

Lee is a renowned brand in the world of dresses, belts, shorts, and shirts. Its shorts also do not fail with their style statement and can be of use as both casual wears with Lee tees and shorts. They are also good to wear as hiking wear for an adventurous trip as well.

It includes coordinating D-ring belt also and these belts are short so as to not compress the waist. The inseam of these shorts is about 11.25 inches.

Best Hiking Short

#5. prAna Stretch Zion Short

prAna Stretch Zion Short


  • Material: 97% nylon and 3% spandex
  • Machine wash
  • Dimensions: 5×3 inches
  • Original fabric with wicking finish
  • Quick-dry performance
  • Mesh pockets
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Ventilating inseam gusset

The Zion stretching shorts are of original Zion stretch fabric and thus offers the ultimate comfort and durability for the wearer. The material of the short is 97% Nylon and 3% spandex. Its 3% spandex helps with the ultimate elasticity of the shorts and this is stretchable and easy to use.

prAna Stretch Zion Short

The best property of the Zion shorts is its moisture wicking properties and thus is the best to use in summer months. The shorts also feature UPF 50+ sun protection features. The Zion short is a quick dry short that falls just above the knee and features a number of mesh pockets for carrying additional gear.

Its ventilating inseam gusset keeps the wearer comfortable for many hours even in tiring adventurous trips. The short material is resistant to abrasion and thus many adventures prefer shorts for their expeditions.

Best Hiking Short

#6. UNIONBAY Men’s Survivor Belted Cargo Short

UNIONBAY Men's Survivor Belted Cargo Short-Reg and Big & Tall Sizes


  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Belt closure
  • Machine wash
  • Vintage wash
  • Oversize pockets
  • D-ring belt
  • Includes belt
  • Relaxed fit
  • Regular length with 11” inseam
  • Sits just above the knee

The Union bay men’s survival cargo short is of 100% cotton and features belt closure. It is imported and is fine with a machine wash. These cargo shorts feature two oversize pockets with D ring belts. The shorts are of relaxed fit and is of regular length with an inseam of eleven inches.


The shorts sit just above the knee or at the knee. There are multiple pockets with the shorts that are of heavyweight cotton and is built to last. The shorts are good enough to last in all season. The shorts feature a classic fit with a woven belt. It sits below the waist and its cargo pants are good to use for multiple tasks.

Its vintage wash feature offers the shorts a lived-in look. Union bay is a household name for American sportswear for more than 30 years. It is affordable and throws a lot of focus on the needs of the customer.

Best Hiking Short

#7. TRU-SPEC Men’s 24-7 Polyester Cotton Rip Stop Shorts

TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 Polyester Cotton Rip Stop 9-Inch Shorts


  • Features original Prym snap with YKK zipper
  • Comfort fit with waistband construction
  • Extra deep front pockets
  • Two accessory pockets for carrying a knife
  • Expanding back pockets with loop and hook closure
  • Magazine pocket

The Tru-Spec Cotton Ripstop shorts features an original Prym snap with brass YKK zippers. The shorts feature a comfort fit slider waistband that eliminates the desire for elastic side tabs. The waistband can accommodate paddle style or inside the pants holsters.

TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 Polyester Cotton Rip Stop 9-Inch Shorts

The shorts also feature 1 ½ belt loops and 2 ½ wide openings with extra deep front pockets. There are also two accessory and knife pockets in the shorts to keep important gear within reach of the user.

There are expanding back pockets for the shorts with hook and loop closures below side gussets. The shorts have two internal magazine compartments to keep mobiles and maps within reach.

The shorts are meant for use 24/7 and have the complete list of features keeping in mind the needs of active outdoor enthusiasts. Its material is of quality polyester and cotton rip-stop material with water repellent coating and a 9-inch inseam.

Best Hiking Short

Points To Consider While Choosing The Best Hiking Shorts

TRU-SPEC Men's Shorts

  • Material of the shorts
  • Weight of the shorts
  • Pockets
  • SPF
  • Fit


The material of the shorts:

Nylon is the material of choice for hiking shorts. Nylon breaths well dry off quickly and is extremely durable in comparison with shorts of other material. Cotton shorts can be tough and they are not water resistant. Cotton dries slowly than nylon and is an important consideration for those who will have water contact during their hiking trips.


Weight of the shorts:

Weight is an important aspect while choosing all outdoor gear. Most hikers prefer the lightest of all shorts without giving up on the quality of its materials and the pocket spaces. Carrying a tough attire while on an adventure is not a very good idea.



Pockets are an exceptionally useful feature in all hiking gear, especially the clothing from jackets to pants. These pockets help to stores most of the important things within the reach. Shorts with sufficient storage space eliminates the need to carry backpack every time for storing basic things such as GPS, camera, map or wallet.



Most hiking endeavors are done when it is sunny and worm.  Thus choosing the pair of short with sun protection factor is the best deal, especially for those hiking in equatorial and high altitude areas. SPF is indicated in the material of the short along with its protection from UV rays.

Higher the UPF number greater is the protection for the skin. Shorts of nylon and polyester material helps to repel the sun rays. Also, clothes with certain dyes are tuned to protect against the harmful Ultra Violet radiations.



The best hiking shorts fit perfectly for the user and are neither too tight nor too loose. The perfect fit attire renders the needed mobility while hiking uphill and while coming in contact with rocks. A short that is too much baggy with excess material flapping on its sides is a nuisance during long trips. Loose fitting shorts may result in chaffing as well. Thus the right fit shorts is all that is needed for a hassle-free hiking journey.


Different Materials OF Hiking Short Fabrics:

The type of fabrics that one chooses for hiking shorts impacts their performance. Shorts can be of different material such as cotton, polyester, Lycra, etc., each of them having their own advantages for the hiker.

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Cotton
  • Lycra



Original Polyester is a soft and wicking fabric that lays the base layer clothing of the hiking shorts. Fabric that is made of this fabric is stretchy and wicking. The different weaves of the fabric can result in different outcomes of the cloth in terms of feel, texture, and performance. Polyester, however, is an excellent sports fabric and is good to invest in a hiking short made of polyester.


Fabrics that are made of nylon are durable and are resistant to abrasion. They are also excellent shorts for bouldering, canyoneering, and climbing where rough rocks can rub and snag the clothing. Nylon is an elastic and rough material capable of retaining sweat and moisture. When it blends with other materials it is pleasant though 100% nylon has less breathing property than polyester shorts.


Cotton shorts are generally the best outdoor fabric material in summer months and in day time hiking. They have a slow drying time and thus tries to keep the user cool on a hot day. Cotton shorts are pretty fine to sue when the danger levels of the hike are low.


Shorts are not made entirely of this material but it is used as a blend with polyester or nylon to help then add a bit of stretching to their texture.



Hiking Shorts Construction Style:

There are different construction styles when it comes to shorts and the style that one chooses depends completely on their personal preference. There are a few suggestions here to help our readers pick up the best fit shorts construction.

  • Zip-offs
  • Cargo shorts
  • Running shorts
  • Shorts with or without belts



Convertible zip off shorts is a good choice as they come as a 2-in-1 alternative. These types of pants were trendy in the 90s but are still active in the world of hikers. They are handy as they help to adapt to the changing weather.

Cargo Shorts:

Cargo shorts feature a number of pockets for storage. But the items stored in these pockets are capable of rubbing against the user’s legs when hiking. For instance, phones and keys can cause chaffing when they bang and rub against the legs. Cargo shorts are best for short distance hiking when there is a need to carry a large volume of goodies.

Running Shorts:

For those who do not wish to sue the pockets in the hiking shorts, then these pair of athletic shorts are the best choice. They are lightweight, breaths well and also move with the hiker. But their drawback is that they do not have pockets, which some hikers don’t prefer.

Shorts with or without belts:

Some shorts have belts with them while others don’t. For those carrying a backpack with the hip belt then shorts with belts are of less importance. Belts can be irritating and may cause rubbing and chafing when worn under the backpack strap. The weight of the pack can cause blisters to develop in the skin.


Final Thoughts

There is so much to consider and remember while choosing to buy hiking short. There is no offense in picking up different hiking shorts from different brands and choose the one that is great for backpacking, climbing or hiking. One important consideration is to avoid loading the pockets of hiking shorts with gear as it eventually becomes uncomfortable during long trips. Careful consideration of pocket location, the material, and the fit is all that is needed for the best backpacking trip. We hope our guide helps you in picking up the best performing shorts of your preference for your expeditions.


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