When you go hiking, you have enough to worry about on the trail. Pack enough drinking water, wear the right supportive shoes, keep the occasional and angry critter away – there’s enough to deal with in the great outdoors, and sweat shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best hiking shorts you should invest in.
This summer, stay cool and dry (cough, cough, chafe-free!) wherever you go. Whether you plan on taking a few hikes here and there, or have a whole calendar full of rugged outdoor adventures, you deserve to stay comfortable even when the temperatures also soar. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best women’s hiking shorts that won’t leave you sweating, no matter how rough the trail.
Hiking shorts that won’t let you sweat, at a glance:
How we selected our shorts
By hiking there, of course! But also a number of different factors, including material, weight, style and technical specifications: Specifically:
- Material: Textiles themselves are important and can make a big difference in comfort and feel. But other thoughtful features like water resistance, stretch, and sun protection are also essential.
- Lester: Most of the shorts on this list weigh between 6 and 8 ounces, so they’re not too heavy but not so light that they won’t hold up to the elements.
- Technical specifications: The little details of your shorts, like the style of the waistband, the carabiner loops and, of course, the pockets.
Now, without further ado, say goodbye to sweaty thighs and scroll down to shop the coolest, driest women’s hiking shorts your money can buy.
Sweat-Free Women’s Hiking Shorts to Stay Cool
Outdoor Research, Women’s Ferrosi Shorts – 5″ — $56.00
Originally $75, now $56
Ideal for : Afternoon hikes and through hikes. Climbing, biking, paddling – really anything that happens outdoors.
Between: Sizes XS-XXL, in six different colors and two inseams.
Outdoor Research never fails to provide fashionable and functional outdoor products that Actually live up to the hype. The Ferrosi 5 inch women’s shorts are no different and are so good that they landed at the top of our list.
They’re made from the brand’s award-winning Ferrosi fabric, a ridiculously lightweight yet durable recycled material that can withstand treacherous hikes and tough activities. without leaving you sweaty. While other fabrics are heavier to stay strong, these are sturdy yet light as a feather, keeping you cool and comfortable while you move. At just over 6.5 ounces, they’re water-resistant, wind-resistant, quick-drying, and built with UPF 50+. Rock them in scorching temperatures and see what we mean: you’ll be as cool as a cucumber.
Outdoor Voice, SolarCool 3″ Short — $68.00
Ideal for : Hiking, running, and climbing where you want to feel free and free from fantasy.
Between: XS-XL in green, white and yellow, and two inseams.
Outdoor Voices’ lightweight shorts are also incredibly comfortable, which is why they’re our runner-up. They are made in two inseams, but because they are a little looser, we prefer the 3 inch model to recreate.
If breathability is your priority, you’ll love these shorts. They’re made from the trademark sweat and water-resistant fabric, so even if you start to shine, they won’t mind. As with all OV products, the devil is in the details. Think: a mesh sports liner (which keeps things from getting *really* swampy), a carabiner loop, and a zip pocket. The only reason they didn’t land at number one is that they’re a little loose, which can be prone to snags and chafing Our advice: order a size down.
Best on Amazon
Amazon, Santiny Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts — $30.00
Ideal for : Day hikers on a tight budget.
Between: Sizes S-3XL, in 18 different colors.
With over 2,000 reviews, these cargo shorts are the best your money can buy on Amazon. Like the others, they’re made from a lightweight, quick-drying fabric that you can splash, drip and swim in when the weather passes. The Bermuda-style length also adds extra coverage, without weighing you down. As for other features, there’s a drawstring waist, side zip pockets and UPF protection, making them tech-friendly and easy to carry.
Like the OV Shorts, however, they are roomier, so size down if you prefer a more compressed fit. And note that they are not the more durable – they’re made from a poly/spandex blend which, quite frankly, is tough on the environment. But if you’re on a budget and only have a few hikes planned, this is a good bet.
Topo Designs, Earth Shorts – $69.00
Ideal for : Recreators who prefer a thicker, heavier style, but don’t want to sweat.
Between: Sizes XS-XL, in six different shades.
Often the words ’twill’ and ‘hiking shorts’ immediately conjure up visions of body parts drenched in sweat, which is not the case with Topo Designs.
His fan-favorite dirt shorts are made from a beautiful, light and airy cotton that’s infused with a bit of stretch, giving you plenty of breathing room on your hike. At 7.6 ounces, they are heavier, but comes in handy when climbing rocks or carving your way off the beaten path. And don’t worry about tight flys and buttons sweating your lady parts – the drawstring lets you breathe. All in all, they’re a great choice for getting dirty. Just note that they are not water resistant. If you plan on getting wet, go for the short river ($79), which is even lighter, minus the twill.
Prana, Kanab Shorts — $59.00
Ideal for : Hikers who need to jump, stretch and climb, and don’t want to worry about buttons or zippers.
Between: XS-XL in black, olive, brown and blue.
If flexibility is your number one priority, get the Kanab shorts from Prana. They’re marketed as climbing shorts, so you know they’re designed to move and provide support without being restrictive. This is especially noticeable in the knit waistband, which jumps and drawstrings, buttons or zippers for a pull-on style. Other fun features include rear flap pockets (to keep your stuff secure) and carabiner loops (for hands-free storage).
Although they are cool and won’t make you sweat, they might fall off if you get the wrong size. This pull-on belt gives you no leeway to adjust as needed, and they do run a bit big. We recommend going down a size and if you prefer a more fitted fit opting for the Court of Hall II ($52) that sports a button and zip fly instead.
Great for summit (and post-summit) beers
Girlfriend Collective, Easy Stretch Woven Shorts — $55.00
Ideal for : Go from the path to tapas.
Between: Sizes XXS-6XL, in olive, black and royal blue.
You want shorts you can relax in and Trek? Check out these sweat-wicking shorts from Girlfriend Collective that are just as technical and relaxed.
On the technical side, they have everything you expect from hiking shorts, including waterproofing, stretch and, of course, pockets. But they’re comfortable enough to wear as lounge shorts or to sip on that drink you’ve earned after the hike. They’re durable, inclusive and so comfortable to wear, on and off the beaten path.
Best Bike Shorts
Kari Traa, Ane hiking shorts — $90.00
Ideal for : Anyone who prefers a longer length, but doesn’t want to get choked up and sweaty.
Between: Sizes XS—XL, in green and navy.
Those who have hiked in bike shorts know that you can’t hike in just any old bike shorts unless you want a one-way ticket to Swampville. That’s why we love these hiking shorts from Kari Traa: they’re breathable bike shorts that won’t build up heat when (and where) you don’t want it to.
These sculpting shorts have full stretch, from the four-way stretch fabric to the gusseted crotch to give you a little extra flexibility. Made from recycled and OEKO-TEX certified fabric, they are breathable and eco-friendly, and most importantly, wick away moisture. If you do get a little sweaty, silicone grippers on the hems hold the shorts in place, so there’s no slipping or chafing. Layer the front zip pockets and you’ll want to wear them mile after mile.
Just notice that they do run small. They are made with a fitted fabric which is a little tight so we recommend sizing a little larger.
The most elegant
Free People, Off The Grid Solid Shorts – $68.00
Ideal for : Day hikers who want to bring flair to the trail.
Between: Sizes XS-L, in olive, white, orange and berry red.
No need to sacrifice style with these on-trend hiking shorts. Designed with a button fly and a paper bag-style bungee cord waistband, they’re the chicest and trendiest take on the gorpcore. The best part is that they are then lightweight, with a 1 inch inseam and barely there fabric that will lower the temperature as you walk. Plus, they’re loaded with zippered cargo shorts to keep your stuff like your wallet and keys safe at all times.
Our only complaint? The 1 inch inseam may be a little short. And, if the A-line silhouette isn’t your speed, you might want to take a look at some other Free People options.
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