GoLite Yunnan Hiking Shorts
$75, 6 oz. (men’s small)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
Hot summer hiking is a breeze in these shorts. I wore them for five straight, hot August days backpacking with my family (read: sweating under a heavy pack) in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, and on summer dayhikes from Idaho to New Hampshire’s rugged and humid White Mountains. These shorts are cool and dry fast, thanks to mesh-lined hand pockets and a lighter, thinner nylon than is used in many other hiking shorts—perfect for summer hiking. But they still sport two hand pockets and two zippered pockets (thigh and rear), and belt loops, and have an inseam that extends nearly to the knee. Plus, the soft fabric feels comfortable all day.
MontBell Stretch Light Shorts
$70, 9 oz. (men’s small)
Sizes: men’s S-XL
From dayhikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains—including a 19-mile, 7,000-vertical-foot traverse of the Carter Range—to hiking and rock climbing in Idaho’s City of Rocks, the Stretch Light Shorts withstood any abuse I subjected them to. The dense nylon weave resists abrasion and damage from scraping against rough granite, yet mesh-lined pockets, two-way stretch, and a soft lining in the waist keep them comfortable. The four pockets (two front, one thigh, one rear) all have zippers to secure contents, and there’s an integrated belt—making them only slightly heavier than some shorts, but versatile and sure to last.