The Best Women’s Hiking Shorts 2020

We’ve all been there, searching for the perfect women’s hiking shorts for our adventure, and finding nothing but uninspiring colors and drab styles. We all have different tastes, but I’ve gathered a few styles that I personally love, and I think you will too! These styles go beyond the typical bland hiking shorts and give your outdoor wear a fresh update. In fact, most of these shorts can be worn anywhere, anytime. Whatever you’re vibe, there is a style here for you! Of course, all of these women’s hiking shorts are made with zero animal products. Lets’ go!

Things to Consider When Buying Women’s Hiking Shorts

Hiking, Climbing, Chillin’ – We all enjoy the outdoors in our own way. Choosing the right clothing can make or break your overall experience. Hiking shorts that cause chafing or pinching can ruin your trip. Here are some basics to consider when choosing the right hiking shorts: 

Shorts For Rock Climbing

Climbing often involves rough surfaces that will rub against your shorts and cause them to break down prematurely. Look for fabrics like Cordura Nylon, which is resistant to tears and abrasions. A gusseted crotch will provide extra mobility for climbers in pretzel-like situations. If you plan on carrying anything with you while climbing, look for zipper pockets to keep your stuff from falling out!

Shorts For Hiking

Do your research and be prepared for whatever the trail might throw your way. River crossings and sun exposure should be a factor to consider when choosing the right hiking shorts. Look for fabrics that provide UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) to shield against harsh sun rays, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen on those exposed legs! If your route includes a stream crossing or you encounter significant rain, you’ll want to be wearing hiking shorts made of a quick-dry material like Nylon.

Shorts For Camping

If your trek is simply from the car to the campsite, the only thing to consider is your own comfort. Fortunately these women’s hiking shorts are all made with comfort in mind, so you might as well grab yourself a quality, versatile pair that you can wear anywhere.

Which Are The Best Women’s Hiking Shorts?

These are my personal favorites based on durability, versatility, quality, and style. Below is a chart I’ve made for easy comparison of materials, price, and notable features. I’ve provided links and descriptions as well so you can do a bit more research and find your perfect hiking shorts!

PatagoniaBaggies100% recycled NylonWater Repellant$$
ColumbiaSandy River100% NylonOmni-shade Sun Protection$
PatagoniaStand-Up97% Organic Cotton 3% Spandex CanvasFront Pockets$$
TopoMountain Shorts97% Organic Cotton 3% SpandexT-Lock Belt$$$
The North FaceParamount94% Nylon 6% ElastaneUV Protection$$
TopoChore Shorts100% Cotton Duck CanvasStain-Resistant Coating$$$
Outdoor ResearchWadi Rum68% Cotton 29% Cordura Nylon 3% SpandexUV Protection$$$

Patagonia Baggies

Not only are these Patagonia baggies made from 100% recycled nylon, they are also water resistant! The casual style and easy fit are a win for me. There are several different colors and patterns to choose from as well. The pockets feature a mesh lining for drainage and the waistband draw cord allows and adjustable fit. Check them out on Patagonia

Columbia Sandy River Shorts

These shorts are perfect for all of your river and lakeside adventures. While made for hiking, they also have a very casual look and easy fit. The back features a zip pocket that provides extra security to keep all of your personal items safe. The quick-dry nylon has omni shade built in, which has a UPF of 30 for sun protection. See all colors at REI

Patagonia Stand Up Shorts

This short is a classic revival from early Patagonia designs. I especially like the crescent moon back pockets and the old school style. These have a zippered fly, waistband loop holes, and metal rivets, making these hiking shorts very durable and versatile. They’re also certified fair trade! View more colors at Patagonia.

Topo Mountain Shorts

I love how Topo always adds a playfulness to their designs. These shorts are giving off a chic park ranger vibe and I’m into it. The high-wasted fit and the slanted front pockets create a stylish look. The little T-lock belt is a nice touch and makes adjusting the waist super simple. These hiking shorts are made with a thick cotton twill for additional durability. Check them out at Topo.

The North Face Paramount Active Shorts

The Paramount shorts offer the highest UPF rating (50) of any hiking shorts on my list. They’re also made with a quick-dry fabric called Flashdry. These shorts have all of the pockets you could ask for. There are front drop-in pockets and a secure zipped pocket for small essentials. I love the rust color, but you can check out more options at REI.

Topo Chore Shorts

You can really do anything in these shorts! They are essentially the shorts version of a classic work pant. The structured design and metal rivets make for a quality garment. The cotton duck canvas is super strong and get more comfortable as it wears and fits to your form. The stain-resistant fabric will keep these lookin’ good for a long time. Check ’em out in a tan color on Topo.

Outdoor Research Wadi Rum Short

Ok climbers, these are the shorts for you! Built specifically to hold up to abrasive cliff walls, these shorts are made of super durable Cordura Nylon. They also have a gusseted crotch, which means your joint movement will be less restricted and reduce risk of chafing. The lightweight construction allows air flow and prevents over-heating. See them at Outdoor Research.

Lets talk about your favorite women’s hiking shorts! Leave a comment below and let everyone know which brand and style is your favorite for hiking, climbing, or camping. I will be updating the post with reader’s suggestions every few months!

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