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As the summer months draw closer and the weather heats up, traditional walking trousers can often be too hot and too heavy for long days out and about.
If you’re finding yourself shedding layers out on the trail, a good pair of walking shorts might be just what you’re looking for.
The key selling point with hiking shorts is their versatility. Firstly, they generally are made of incredibly lightweight, fast-drying fabric, which gives you added movement and momentum in tough environments.
Secondly, they’re often wind-proof and have a protective layer of water-resistance, which means anything in your pockets will stay safe and dry.
Thirdly, they are often suitable for a huge range of uses - from everyday wear to even swimming - so they’re a great addition to our outdoor kit and are something that you’ll probably find yourself coming back to time and again.
Best men’s hiking shorts at a glance
- Best technical shorts: Fjallraven Keb Shorts
- Best for comfort: Montane Men’s Terra Alpine Shorts
- Best for for fast drying: Rab Men’s Momentum Shorts
- Best all-round option: Berghaus Senke Stretch Shorts
- Best for water-repellency: Columbia Titan Pass Shorts
- Best for breathability: Jack Wolfskin Active Track Shorts
- Best premium option: Klattermusen Vanadis 2.0 Windproof Shorts
- Best sustainable option: Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts
In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best on the market at the moment - many of which would be comfortable for days of wear on larger adventures as well as just packing as a comfortable, quick-drying alternative to longer trousers.
Price-wise, we’ve featured a range, but it’s worth trying on a few pairs and for our money, spending a little more on technical fabric that’s optimised for outdoor use.
You can go cheaper, but the lower to mid-range options we’ve featured here offer all the benefits of performance trekking trousers in a smaller package.
Get kitted out for your hiking and adventures
Of course, if you’re off hiking you need to be prepared for a number of contingences. Stay dry in the rain with one of the best waterproof hiking jackets, or the best waterproof hiking trousers.
These are the best men’s hiking boots on the market, and our favourite lightweight hiking tents.
Keep it comfy with the best camping folding chairs, and sleep on the best air beds around, as listed here. And keep things illuminated with a great camping head torch.
For longer treks in more challenging conditions, the Keb shorts are part of Fjallraven’s long line of excellent outdoor wear and although come at a premium, are highly recommended for hikes in more challenging conditions.
We liked the fact they have generous pockets that can be secured with buttons and they come with a choice of four attractive colours.
The stretchiness of the men’s Terra Alpine shorts mean that they’re ideal for more strenuous activities like hiking in rough terrain or even climbing.
Designed for high-step movement, they’re a comfortable and easy to wear option. We also liked the two zipped pockets to keep things ultra-secure if you’re in more challenging terrain.
They’re also great for weight-saving, as the stretch fabric feels light to wear and pack away.
As well as being good value for money, these Rab shorts are perfect for changeable mountain conditions, as they feature a very lightweight quick-drying fabric that is well suited to a range of different conditions.
Easy to pack, stretchy, comfortable and durable, they come in a choice of five different attractive colours and feature a zippered back pocket, too.
Berghaus are used to making highly versatile pieces of kit for outdoor wear, and these Senke stretch shorts would be our favourite ‘go anywhere’ everyday shorts.
We found the fit to be a bit looser than some of the other shorts in the list, which allows for good freedom of movement for a range of activities.
Great for hiking, but for climbers we also liked the fact they also feature a chalkbag loop.
Part of the larger Titan Pass range, these options from Columbia feature Omni-Shield™ advanced repellency and stain protection, which means they’re well suited to British hiking in inclement weather and will offer good protection through a range of conditions.
The zippered hand pockets are a great addition, and the zippered leg cargo pocket adds extra versatility.
These soft-shell shorts are another great option for everyday wear, and we particularly liked the ‘Flex Shield’ fabric that offers great weight savings and breathability.
They feature two hand pockets, a back pocket and a laminated cargo leg pocket, which adds versatility, and the soft-textured fabric feels comfortable during the skin after a long day on the trail.
Klattermusen are making a solid name for themselves in the UK towards the higher-end of the outdoor market, and these multi-purpose shorts are in many ways a cut above the rest.
They feature a lightweight, fast drying fabric that we found very enjoyable to wear, but the key difference is the fact that they’re also suitable for swimming, which is a great feature for those wild dips whilst out on a hike.
Some of the best all round lightweight hiking shorts we tested.
A lovely range of colours accompany these hybrid shorts, which like the Klattermusen options above, are also designed for a wide range of uses including swimming.
For the money, they’re a great investment and we particularly liked the fact that as with much of Finisterre’s clothing, they’re made with a recycled nylon and super-lightweight elastane blend.