Best Mens’ Hiking Shorts: How to Choose the Right Fit

Written by Dennis Owens

Hiking opens you up to the natural beauty of nature. As you traverse the beautiful and challenging trails, not only do you get to have a really good physical activity, you also get to explore nature. And since you will cover long distances, having the right and comfortable clothing is a must especially when you go out on a hiking activity. By having the best mens’ hiking shorts for, you get to hike with comfort.

When choosing an apparel, it is essential that you really take the time to buy the shorts that best fit you, something that is comfortable to wear and can last long. With all the brands out there, we know how confusing it can get most of the time especially when you do not know which one to buy. At first glance, they may even look as if they are all the same.

Just keep on reading and let us help you through the process of picking the best hiking short and get the most out of your hiking experience.

Hiking Shorts vs Hiking Pants

The decision as to whether you will choose to wear hiking pants or shorts is really up to you. But if you really want to have ultimate freedom and if you are going on a summer hike when it is too humid and hot, you would definitely want something cooler than hiking pants. In which case, many would prefer to wear hiking shorts.

Hikers who prefer to wear hiking pants would do so when there is a drop in temperature and if you expect that there is heavy vegetation. Wearing pants can protect your legs against allergic plants and it can keep you warm especially when the temperature is cold.

But if you are heading for an outdoor activity when it is summer and the weather is really hot, wearing hiking shorts is the best. You feel lighter, cooler and you have greater mobility and movement which is something that you want to experience when you are enjoying the outdoors. Once you have already decided to wear hiking shorts, the next step is to find out which ones are the best.

What to Consider

The level of comfort, mobility, and quality that you can get would depend on your choice of apparel. And when it comes to buying hiking shorts, it actually helps that you know what to look for prior to buying. What are the different factors to consider? Here are the specific details you need to pay attention to:


Brands use different combinations of materials when making hiking shorts. They are usually made using a combination of nylon and other materials. In reality, this can mean very little since you will only get to know how the apparel really is when you are already wearing it.

men hiking

If you want to have a better range of motion that can give you more freedom of movement and mobility, it is strongly recommended that you find hiking shorts that use elastane or spandex. Shorts that use this material are excellent not just for hiking but even for other outdoor activities. It is perfect for those who engage in different outdoor activities apart from hiking.

Then again, this will also depend on what you need. For instance, if you want a more lightweight apparel then you can choose the best hiking shorts that are made up of 100% nylon. The only downside is that it does not have that much stretch. So in a way, it restricts your movement making the apparel more suitable for easier hiking or other casual activities.


Not everyone wants to have pockets in their hiking shorts. But if you do want them so you can secure your valuable items, you need to look at the quality of pockets used. Most hiking pants offer a few storage options like a cargo pocket both left and the right.

There are also brands that feature 4 or even more pockets. These shorts have zippered pockets giving you ample storage for your personal items. If you want to put in your mobile phone, you can also find hiking shorts that have pockets specifically created for phone storage.


Makers of hiking shorts these days have become more creative and innovative when it comes to producing a wide range of hiking shorts in their product lineup. Nowadays, it is not just a battle between quality and style but as well as features. Some hiking shorts are created simply with no additional features at all. On the other hand, there are now brands that make use of technology to give you added comfort and convenience.

For example, there are now brands whose hiking shorts have UPF rating which only means that the apparel can protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Some brands have UPF 30+ rating while others have UPF 50+. Having this apparel is perfect for summer outdoor activities.


You may also want to wear hiking shorts that have anti-odor features. When you are out for a physical activity, there is really a big chance of the clothing item to produce microbes that can induce odor. And with anti-odor features, you can prevent remove odor from your hiking shorts which is definitely a big plus for many.

Apart from these features, you may want to consider a couple of things like for instance you may choose hiking shorts that are water resistant or abrasion resistant. Depending on your personal style and specific preferences, there is now a wide array of choices to choose from.

Top Products on the Market

To help you sort out your choices, we reviewed some of the hiking shorts that are widely popular. Take a look at some of these brands and see which one you think best suits you.

PrAna Stretch Zion Short


Material: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex

Weight: 11.4 ounces

Designed for the adventurous traveler, the Prana Stretch Zion Short features a stretch fabric. What you will like about it is that it is quick drying and it is resistant to abrasion. This short is durable but very comfortable to wear even when you are out on a tropical hike and when you are scraping in rocks.

Prana Stretch Short also has mesh pockets as we as a ventilated Gusset to prevent overheating and to give you a good range of motion. If you are looking for a hiking short that is incredibly comfortable to wear and can last with you for a long time, this is one of the best choices to have.


  • Uses Zion fabric that has wicking finish
  • Very comfortable to wear and very durable
  • The short is quick drying.
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Very lightweight so it gives you complete mobility
  • Features ventilated free-range Gusset


  • Can be quite tricky when it comes to the sizes
  • The pockets don’t have zippers.

Check the price on Amazon

Kuhl Renegade  Shorts


Material:  91% Nylon, 9% Spandex

Inseam: 12 inches

Weight: 10.4 ounces

 If you are in search for a hiking short that is perfect for your summertime activities, the Kuhl Renegade Shorts might just be the one you are looking for. It features TuffleX stretch nylon fabric that is quick to dry and can resist wrinkles. This fabric is what makes the short really comfortable to wear. On top of that, it also has a UPF 50+ rating which means that it can provide protection against the harmful UV rays from the sun which is simply perfect for those hiking during summer.

Wearing this short allows you to have agood range of motion with its Gusseted crotch. You can also put your valuables with its front hand pockets, 2 rear hook and loop pockets and a side pocket for your mobile phone. This is one of the few hiking shorts that gives you storage for your travel items. And unlike other shorts that can be quite uncomfortable to wear.


  • Made from stretch nylon fabric that can easily resist wrinkle and has a dry quick feature
  • Can protect the skin against harmful rays of the sun with its UPF 50+ rating
  • Has lots of pockets giving you enough storage for any items you take with you while hiking
  • Promotes airflow with its zippered kuhlair vents
  • Lightweight and very comfortable to wear


  • None

Check the price on Amazon

 Urban Cycling  Shorts

the pub

Material: Polyester with cotton

Whether you are biking, hiking or doing any outdoor activity, the Urban Cycling Short is designed to look great when you wear it and to give you nice clothing that is comfortable to wear. It uses polyester which is lightweight and durable.

The brand also uses soft brushed cotton giving you free movement of legs which makes this hiking short very easy and comfortable to wear. The material has a quick drying feature. And to keep your personal items secured, it comes with secured pockets.


  • The panels and the pockets have been stitched twice giving you an added strength.
  • Has dry-fast wicking material
  • Comes with 5 secured pockets which include a cargo pocket for your mobile phone
  • The pockets are deep so your valuable items are secured.
  • Very lightweight and durable which is perfect for outdoor activities
  • A great looking hiking short


  • None

Check the price on Amazon

Under Armour Fish Hunter Shorts

under armor

Material: 93% Polyester, 7% Elastane

Weight: 1 pound

A short that is designed to take on any weather condition, Under Armour is a good choice especially if you are looking for a short that has water resistance feature. It is made of 93% polyester and 7% elastane giving you a durable apparel that can repel water with its UA storm technology. The materials used are salt and chlorine resistant so you can be sure it does not fade and wear even in water.

Under Armour has a quick dry feature and a lightweight design which makes it a comfortable wear all throughout the day. With its 4-way stretch fabrication, it gives you better mobility. Another thing to like about this short is that it has anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of microbes that cause odor. It also has UPF30+ which can protect you from the harmful rays of the sun


  • Has a loose-fit design giving you more mobility
  • Comes with 5 pockets so you can secure your personal items
  • Uses Ua storm technology that can repel water without comprising breathability
  • Lightweight and very comfortable to wear
  • Has dry-quick construction
  • Uses anti-odor technology and has 30+ UPF rating


  • None

Check the price on Amazon

A. Wave  Sports  Short

A. wave

Material: 100% Polyester

Product Dimensions: 23×24 inches

Available Colors: Black, Grey, Oregano, Navy,Beige

Sizes: M(30-32) ,L(34-36) ,XL(36-38) ,XXL(38-40) , XXXL(40-42) ,XXXXL(44-46)

A. Wave Sports Short is a lightweight short featuring a rugged designed, the comfy cut of this hiking short give you the freedom when you go out on a hike. It makes it easy for you when traveling as it is very comfortable to wear. It is made from 100% polyester and it has a classic fit in the waist giving you enough room through the thigh. What you will like about A. Wave Outdoor Sports Cargo Short is its wicking fabric. The brand made use of a high-quality fabric that is designed for outdoor sports.


  • A comfortable cargo shorts giving you freedom of movement
  • It is designed for those who are into outdoor sports.
  • Has a side elastic waistband and relaxed seat
  • Features a classic fit in the waist
  • Uses high-quality wicking fabric
  • Available in various colors
  • Machine wash


  • You may encounter some slight problems with the size so make sure that you complete check your size first before buying.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Silver Ridge Short

silver ridge cargo

Material: 100% nylon Silver ridge rip stop, 57% recycled polyester

A cargo short from one of the world’s most trust outdoor clothing brand, Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Short is one of the top favorites among hikers. This hiking short has a lot of amazing features that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. With its tight weave construction, it can block UV rays thereby protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

The short is made from 100% other fibers. The gusset detail adds aesthetic value to this clothing. It also features partial elastic at your waist. For its Omni-Wick advanced evaporation and Omni-Shade UPF50 sun protection, you have a hiking short that you can comfortable wear even during the hottest weather.


  • Features Omni-Shade UPF sun protection to protect your skin against harmful rays of the sun
  • Has a classic fit which makes it really comfortable to wear
  • Comes with side-elastic waistband
  • Has a hook and loop closure
  • Comes with zippered security pocket
  • Looks stylish and very comfortable to wear
  • Very durable and perfect even under the most extreme weather conditions


  • Unlike other brands, there are not too many choices when it comes to the color.

Check the price on Amazon


Wearing comfortable clothing is one way to ensure a great hiking experience. So which one is the best among the different hiking shorts in this list? It would basically depend on where you intend to use it, your allotted budget and your personal style.

In terms of features, the Under Armour Hiking Shorts is the best choice as it has anti-odor, water resistant and UPF features that other brands. If you are planning to hike during summer, you might as well go for Kuhl’s Mens Renegade Short and Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Short since they have higher UPF rating at 50+ compared to the former.


The Prana Zion Short is a good choice if you want an abrasion resistant clothing that can give you a wide range of options when it comes to colors and so is the A. Wave Outdoor Sports Cargo Short. Each hiking short has its respective features and your choice would really depend on your style and personal preferences.

But make sure that you choose an apparel that you feel comfortable wearing and will give you greater mobility. Have you tried any of these hiking shorts or perhaps you might have another better option in mind? We would like to hear from you!


Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.