Three shorts to get the best out of summer walks – a review

posted in: Country & Casual, Hiking & Walking | 0

This year I have decided to wear shorts on all of my walks – unless the weather is really rough!

Clive on Nantle ridge

I am a bit of a nervous short wearer, there is something in my psyche that rumbles in the back of my brain “but what if you feel cold”. Perhaps I have been conditioned by the seventies, looking cool in those days meant wearing flared denim jeans in the hottest of weathers (76), shorts were only for football.

So far this summer it has been a good decision, June 2018 is heading towards being the driest June on record and there has been plenty of sunshine. Even when it has been a little bit cooler or windy (plenty of wind this year) I have been surprised at the resilience of these two spindly sticks that I walk upon. Infact I am enjoying the sense of freedom that wearing shorts seems to bring, not to mention they are cooler (temperature wise, not fashion wise I mean!)

Unfortunately shorts do have some drawbacks, a thick patch of stinging nettles across my path fills me with a sense of panic and a desperate search for a stick. After walking through long grass or bracken I am not ashamed to be seen intensely staring at my legs – looking for ticks, those little black things that steadily make their way up your legs to find somewhere warm to suck your blood. Some evenings have driven me mad scratching itching bites in bed after a days walking in my shorts.

So far though these drawbacks have not outweighed the pleasure of wearing shorts, I am still committed.

The shorts that I have been wearing to date are Jack Wolfskins Hoggars, but most good outdoor companies supply shorts. They vary in cut as we do in shape so here are three others that I have tried.

I recommend shorts not just for hot days, whether they offer greater freedom of movement than trousers or not I do not know, but it certainly feels like it. Who knows? I might try and stick it out as long as I can this year, become a hardcore shorts wearer!

Berghaus Men’s Baggy Short

I am a 32″ waist, the shorts I tried were 32″ waist.

The baggy’s were not as baggy as the name might suggest, but even so they were ‘roomier’ than the Hoggar shorts I have been wearing. The material has a light feel to it and the microfleece waistband was very comfortable. Unlike the other two shorts reviewed the Baggys do not have a belt but a Velcro hook and loop on either side of the waist, this I liked, belt buckles can get in the way of my belly (make your own mind up!) or the waist belt of a backpack. Unfortunately there is a great big pointless button where the front popper does up, I assume this is some kind of fashion accessory?

The baggies are a good length sitting just above the knee, there are vent pockets on the side of each leg which help a bit to stay cool on a really hot day. The hand pockets I find a little oddly positioned , they kind of sit in your crutch. The other pocket is a little oddly positioned as well, it is on the front of the right leg, I find this uncomfortable, I would much prefer it to be on the side of the leg.

The baggys are great material and a good cut, but I have the feeling that Berghaus have tried to add a bit of fashion to them, there is a massive Berghaus logo down one leg which I find off putting. Really I want funcional trousers when walking on the hills, I am not really out to be on a fashion parade. All said and done though they are comfortable to wear.



Mountain Equipment Men’s Approach Shorts

The Mountain Equipment Approach Shorts are a simple design, the fabric feels light and cool, it is a trim cut but there is enough fabric to allow sufficient freedom of movement. The hand pockets are open not zipped, which I like, zips seem a bit pointless to me in shorts. I do not want to carry anything of any significance in my pockets when wearing shorts, for me it is about lightness and freedom. There is a small zipped pocket on the left leg, presumably for small items like mobiles, but I find this irritating.

The Approach shorts have a microfleece waistband, which is comfortable and helpful to soak up sweat. There is a belt around the waist with a fairly flat plastic buckle, what I found awkward was the button that does up the waist, I think simple poppers would have been much easier and simpler to use.

The Approach shorts are very straightforward and comfortable, I like there overall design.



Montane Men’s Terra Alpine Shorts

Montanes motto is “further, faster”, so these shorts are designed not only for walking but fell running and cycling as well. The fabric is a four way stretch so they flex with your body, it felt a little unusual when I first put them on, not uncomfortable just ‘different’. The Terras have a looser feel than the other two (Montane do not do waist sizes, they are either, small, medium or large), although the tailored waist is close enough. There is a belt around the waist with a buckle that is deeper than the one on the Approach shorts which I was not keen on.

The Terras are a good length, I found the seams at the bottom of the legs a bit bulky, and they were noisy when walking when the material rubbed at the upper leg.

Again the pockets are zipped, maybe useful when cycling but I think unnecessary for a walker, there is an odd little security pocket on the left leg, again probably more useful for runners or cyclists.

The Terras were the most comfortable to wear I liked the looser feeling around my legs, definitely useful for people who are regularly involved in more than one type of outdoor activity.



Technical Info

 Berghaus BaggyMountain Equipment ApproachMontane Terra Alpine
FabricDurable plain weave, 100% Polyester, DWR treatedLight, tough, fast dryingGRANIT four way stretch fused Nylon and Spandex, abrasive resistant
Waist beltWaist adjuster tabsLow profile webbing beltLow profile webbing belt
Waist fasteningPoppersingle button2 poppers
Waist bandLight weight meshMicrofleeceMicrofleece
crotchGussetedActive cut
Hand pockets2 side zipped 2 front zipped2 front zipped
Extra pockets1 front zipped on RH thigh1 zipped on LH legPull out security
Vents2 vent pocketsIn hand pocketIn pockets
Price @ e-outdoor£47.45£30.00£51.00

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I have loved walking in the in the great outdoors as long as I can remember, weather is not an issue and any landscape is a new adventure. Personal details:- Height 5'10"(1.78m), Wt 12st10oz(81kg) Chest 41"(104cm) Trouser size 32"W,32"L, Baselayer/midlayer size medium. Hardshell layer size large.