Best Hiking Shorts for the Camino de Santiago

I am one of those men who wear hiking shorts as soon as possible after winter passes. So, as you might guess I have bought lots of different shorts from many different brands. If you are planning on walking the Camino de Santiago during the summer hiking shorts are your best bet.

What I look for in hiking shorts when I am on the Camino is:

  • a couple of pockets for things I need to hand
  • Easy to wash and quick to dry
  • Not too long and not too short – I don’t do short shorts!
  • Loose fit – when I get hot, I don’t want irritation from seams on the shorts

Without further ado, here are my reviews of the nine best hiking shorts for men and nine best hiking shorts for women:

Best Hiking Shorts for Men Reviewed

Arc’teryx Men’s Gamma Quick Dry Shorts

Arc'teryx Men's Gamma Quick Dry Shorts


Key features:

  • TerraTex nylon fabric
  • Temperature-regulating
  • Very stretchy
  • Plenty of pockets

As someone who loves Arc’Teryx outerwear, I was eager to test the brand’s premium Gamma Quick Dry Shorts.

Constructed from the brand’s durable yet stretchy TerraTex fabric, these technical shorts excel in rugged terrain. The slim fit and articulated patterning gave me unrestricted movement on the trail, while the breathable softshell construction did an excellent job at regulating temperature.

I appreciated the five zippered pockets, including two hand pockets, two thigh pockets, and one rear pocket – very handy for securing essentials during active pursuits.

Though pricey, the Gammas impressed me with their versatility, resilience, and functionality.


  • TerraTex nylon fabric is durable, stretchy, breathable
  • Articulated patterning allows free range of motion
  • Five thoughtfully-placed zippered pockets


  • Expensive

Columbia Men’s Barracuda Killer Shorts


Columbia Men's Barracuda Killer Shorts

Key features:

  • Quick-dry fabric
  • UPF of 15
  • Cotton & nylon
  • Security pockets

Available in two different colors and two different sizes, the Columbia Men’s Barracuda Killer Shorts are worth considering if you’re looking for a cheaper pair of shorts that you can wear on the Camino de Santiago or any other hike.

With a UPF rating of 15 and made from quick-dry fabric, these shorts come with a zip-closed security pocket, so your belongings are kept as safe as possible.

One thing I didn’t like about these shorts is that they do not have a belt or an elasticated waist. However, they allow for plenty of movement and are, therefore, an excellent choice for hikers.


  • One of the best hiking shorts for men who are on a tight budget
  • Three back pockets and two side pockets
  • Machine-washable & quick-drying


  • No integrated belt

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Bassdash Men’s Water Resistant Hiking Shorts


Bassdash Men's Water Resistant Hiking Shorts 

Key features:

  • 100% nylon
  • UPF of 50+
  • Seven pockets
  • 6-inch inseam

I recently tested the Bassdash Men’s Water Resistant Hiking Shorts, a model constructed with 100% nylon fabric.

These particular shorts provide UPF 50+ sun protection along with water resistance – they kept me dry during the testing period. The partial elastic waist and loose fit allow freedom of movement, while the 6-inch inseam enables an unrestricted stride.

I loved the seven thoughtfully designed pockets, including reinforced pliers and zippered back pockets, which neatly organize gear.

Though not cheap, the shorts durable and practical – what more could one want from a product of this type?


  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Water resistant coating
  • 7 convenient, durable pockets


  • Could be cheaper

Columbia Men’s Cargo Silver Ridge Shorts


Columbia Men's Cargo Silver Ridge Shorts

Key features:

  • UPF of 50
  • Security pocket
  • 100% nylon
  • Classic fit

Here we see Columbia again offering men’s hiking shorts that are ideal for hiking. Made from nylon and the company’s proprietary fabric that features recycled polyester, offering UPF 50 for maximum protection, the Columbia Men’s Cargo Silver Ridge Shorts include the Omni-Wick technology which helps to keep you cool.

Complete with side pockets and a security pocket, Cargo Silver Ridge hiking shorts offer plenty of room to store all of your essential equipment. With a classic fit that helped me stay comfortable during my active days in the backcountry, these shorts offer freedom of movement and are available in a range of prices depending on the color and size you select.

Personally, I find the Cargo Silver Ridge Shorts to be among the best clothes of this type currently available on the market.


  • Sports a classic fit for ultimate comfort
  • Moisture-wicking fabric keeps the user dry and cool
  • Each side pocket features a hook and loop closure


  • Wrinkle easily

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Xkttac Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Shorts


Xkttac Men's Outdoor Lightweight Shorts

Key features:

  • Zip-off legs
  • UPF of 50
  • Features six pockets
  • Quick-drying

The Xkttac Men’s Lightweight Hiking Shorts are made from 92% polyester and 6% spandex, which makes them are stretchy, breathable, and quick-drying – perfect for active pursuits.

The UPF 50+ fabric provides protection from the sun’s rays. I loved the six pockets, including four sizable zippered side pockets, which neatly organize hiking essentials.

The partial elastic waist and lightweight fabric allow unrestricted movement on the trail.

My only gripe was the slightly high cost, but overall these versatile shorts performed very well, keeping me comfortable on hikes, while the reflective strips boosted visibility for early morning treks.


  • Breathable, quick-dry fabric
  • Reflective strips for visibility
  • Six pockets, including four zippered side pockets


  • Slightly high cost

Northyard Men’s Lightweight Athletic Shorts


Northyard Men's Lightweight Athletic Shorts 

Key features:

  • Spandex / polyester
  • UPF of 50+
  • Mesh pockets
  • Great for running, too

Next up are the Northyard Men’s Lightweight Athletic Shorts, another bestseller you should take into consideration if you’re shopping for a clothing of this type.

Constructed from 90% polyester and 10% spandex, these shorts boast a stretchy and quick-drying fabric that wicked moisture and kept me cool during the testing period.

The stylish mesh pockets and breathable side holes offer extra ventilation on sweaty hikes or runs. I appreciated the UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s harmful rays along with the reflective strips for low light visibility.

The elastic waist with adjustable drawstring ensures a customized fit. My only complaint is the lack of belt loops, but overall these shorts performed very well, keeping me comfortable across various activities from beach volleyball to trail runs.


  • UPF 50+ sun protection and reflective strips
  • Elastic waist with customizable drawstring
  • Breathable mesh pockets and side holes


  • No belt loops

Tacvasen Men’s Cargo Hiking Shorts


Tacvasen Men's Cargo Hiking Shorts

Key Features:

  • Five pockets
  • Expandable waist
  • Quick-drying
  • Sleek design

The Tacvasen Men’s Cargo Hiking Shorts feature a construction that’s similar to many other models in my roundup – they’re made from 90% nylon and 10% spandex.

These shorts boast a lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable fabric that kept me cool and comfortable on the trail.

The smart multi-pocket design includes two slash hand pockets, one back zip pocket, and two thigh zipper pockets – I found this very handy for organizing my hiking essentials.

I also appreciated the classic expandable waistband with belt, button, and zipper closure for a customized fit.

Though baggier than I expected, these shorts proved comfy and durable during testing, with water and stain resistant properties keeping them looking newer for longer. Overall, it’s a versatile pair of men’s shorts suitable for hiking and everyday summer wear.


  • Lightweight, stretchy, quick-dry fabric
  • Expandable waist for customized fit
  • 5 multi-functional zippered pockets


  • Baggier than I expected

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Shorts


Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Shorts

Key Features:

  • Quality brand
  • UPF of 50+
  • Slim fit
  • Water & wind resistant

The Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Shorts feature a flexible nylon and spandex blend and provide exceptional comfort and mobility for active pursuits.

The slim fit is far more flattering than typical bulky cargo shorts, making them suitable for casual wear too.

Outdoor Research’s softshell fabric proves lightweight yet durable, with quick-drying, breathable properties that kept me comfortable in warmer weather.

I appreciated the UPF 50+ sun protection along with the water and wind resistance – very handy for variable conditions.

My only complaint was the hand pockets were fairly shallow. Overall, the Ferrosis deliver outstanding versatility whether climbing peaks or running errands around town.


  • Slimmer fit than most hiking shorts
  • Lightweight, breathable, quick-dry softshell
  • Stretchy fabric allows full range of motion


  • Shallow hand pockets

Prana Men’s Stretch Zion Shorts

Prana Men's Stretch Zion Shorts

Key Features:

  • Nylon & spandex blend
  • Quick-drying fabric
  • UPF of 50
  • 10” inseam

To put it simply, the Prana Men’s Stretch Zion Shorts are a functional combo of comfort and durability. While this company certainly isn’t as well-known as, say, Arc’Teryx, they undoubtedly know how to make excellent shorts for thru-hiking.

The Prana Stretch Zion short is made out of spandex and nylon, and, as such, provides its wearer with plenty of stretch. This durable, water-repellant model is resistant to abrasion and stains while also being fully machine-washable.

Prana Stretch Zion short also has a ventilated gusset that ensures good breathability, as well as an integrated belt, two (shallow) hand pockets, and a cargo pocket.

In summary, I’d say that the Stretch Zion Shorts stand as one of the best products of this type for hot weather trekking escapades.


  • Long-lasting and stylish trekking short
  • Comfortable & adjustable fit
  • Convenient cargo pocket


  • Shallow hand pockets

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Best Hiking Shorts for Women Reviewed

Columbia Women’s Sandy River Breathable Shorts

Columbia Women's Sandy River Breathable Shorts


Key features:

  • 100% nylon
  • UPF of 30
  • Button closure
  • Multi-functional pockets

Columbia Women’s Sandy River Breathable Shorts are crafted from quick-drying nylon with UPF 30 sun protection.

They are designed to keep ladies cool, dry and protected during summer adventures. The partial elastic waist and included belt ensure a comfortable, customizable fit for activities like hiking and kayaking.

A female friend of mine who tested these shorts appreciated conveniences like the zip-closure security pocket and two side pockets for organizing essentials. She said that, with their classic mid-rise design, the Sandy Rivers deliver outstanding versatility from the trail to town.

Her only wish was for more secure zippered pockets, but overall Columba gets top marks for comfort, coverage and functionality with these shorts.


  • UPF 30 sun protection
  • Breathable, quick-dry nylon
  • Partial elastic waist with belt


  • Side pockets lack secure zipper closure

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Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Shorts


Columbia Women's Saturday Trail Shorts

Key features:

  • Omni-shield technology
  • UPF of 50
  • Four pockets
  • Active fit

Another excellent women’s shorts from Columbia, the Saturday Trail Shorts are made out of quick-drying nylon with Omni-Shield stain resistance and, as such, they can keep you clean and comfortable on the trail.

The partial elastic waist ensures a flexible fit, while the UPF 50 sun protection shields from harmful rays. Features like the two front pockets and two back pockets for organizing gear and smaller essentials deserve special words of praise.

The only thing you may not like about these shorts is that they’re significantly shorter than the ones I analyzed above.

But overall, these are durable, high-performing shorts ready for hiking, climbing and all manner of adventure.


  • Omni-Shield stain resistance
  • Partial elastic waist for comfort
  • Two front and two back pockets


  • Some ladies may find them too short

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Willit Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts


Willit Women's Hiking Cargo Shorts

Key features:

  • Quick-dry fabric
  • UPF of 50
  • Four pockets
  • Allow a customized fit

The Willit’s Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts feature a 90% nylon and 10% spandex construction.

They boast a lightweight, stretchy, quick-dry fabric that wicks moisture and keeps female hikers comfortable on sweaty treks.

The UPF 50 sun protection is a key highlight, shielding my legs from harsh rays. There are also zippered cargo pockets and back Velcro pockets to securely organize essentials.

The partial elastic waist with belt loops ensures a customized fit. The only drawback is the short inseam, but overall, Willit delivers outstanding comfort and coverage ready for the trails.


  • Lightweight, stretchy, quick-dry fabric
  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • Zippered cargo and Velcro pockets


  • Short 10-inch inseam

Columbia Women’s Silver Ridge 2.0 Shorts


Columbia Women's Silver Ridge 2.0 Shorts

Key features:

  • Omni-Wick technology
  • UPF of 50
  • 100% nylon
  • Four pockets

The women’s variant of the Columbia’s Silver Ridge 2.0 Shorts is made out of quick-drying nylon ripstop, wielding a smorgasbord of conveniences for outdoor activity.

Key highlights include the UPF 50 sun protection to shield from harsh rays, along with the Omni-Wick technology actively wicking moisture to keep you dry.

There are plenty of pockets here, like the zippered back and security pockets, to neatly organize trail essentials. The partial elastic waist allows a flexible fit.

The only major disadvantage is that the 10 and 12-inch inseams come up short for taller hikers. Still, these hard-wearing, high-functioning shorts ready for backcountry missions.


  • A well-designed durable women’s short
  • Comfortable, moisture-wicking fabric
  • Convenient cargo pockets


  • Limited 10 and 12-inch inseam options

The North Face Women’s Wander Performance Shorts


The North Face Women's Wander Performance Shorts

Key features:

  • FlashDry-XD fabric
  • Adjustable drawcord
  • Abrasion-resistant fabric
  • Stylish

Next up are the Women’s Wander Performance Shorts, made by one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of outerwear – the North Face.

Constructed with FlashDry-XD fabric, these shorts actively wick moisture to keep you dry and comfortable on adventures. The partial elastic waistband allows flexibility, while the secure zip hip pocket and back pocket neatly organize essentials.

The Women’s Wander Performance Shorts also have an adjustable drawcord and abrasion-resistant fabric ready for the rigors of the trail.

A female friend of mine who tested these shorts said that her only wish was for more than five-inch maximum inseam, but she concluded that the model delivers a durability, comfort, and practicality – pretty much everything you need for your next hike.


  • FlashDry-XD moisture wicking
  • Secure zip hip and back pockets
  • Adjustable drawcord for fit


  • Limited 3-5 inch inseam

Eddie Bauer Women’s Rainier Shorts

Eddie Bauer Women's Rainier Shorts

Key Features

  • Nylon & spandex
  • Zippered thigh pocket
  • DWR finish
  • Belt loops

The Eddie Bauer Women’s Rainier Shorts feature a nylon and spandex construction – just like most other models in my roundup.

These shorts sport a two-way stretch ready for dynamic motion on the trail. Some of their best features include the water-repellent finish to shed moisture along with UPF 50 sun protection.

On these shorts, you will also find a zippered cargo thigh pocket for securing essentials.

My only wish was for more pocket storage overall, but the Rainiers deliver outstanding comfort and coverage to stand up to the rigors of the backcountry.

If you are interested in Eddie Bauer products, check out my Patagonia vs Eddie Bauer comparison as well.


  • Two-way stretch fabric
  • Water-repellent finish
  • UPF 50 sun protection


  • Lacks additional storage pockets

Viodia Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts

Viodia Women's Hiking Cargo Shorts

Key Features:

  • Lightweight nylon
  • UPF of 50+
  • Elastic waist
  • Quick-drying

While not the most popular product of this type, the Viodia’s Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts have a lot going for them.

Constructed from lightweight nylon, these shorts deliver quick-dry performance to whisk moisture away on sweaty treks. Best features include the UPF 50+ sun protection to shield from harsh rays, along with water resistance for weathering light rain.

Like most other shorts in this roundup, these also feature zippered back and side pockets to securely organize hiking essentials. The partial elastic waist with belt loops, on the other hand, allows a customized fit.

The only not-so-good thing about these women’s shorts is that they’re not as stretchy as some of the other models on my list. But overall, they’re a durable, high-functioning pair ready to stand up to backcountry demands.


  • Quick-dry moisture wicking fabric
  • Zippered pockets for storage
  • Water resistant


  • Lacks stretch fabric

Baleaf Women’s High-Waisted Hiking Shorts

Baleaf Women's High-Waisted Hiking Shorts

Key Features:

  • Abrasion-resistant nylon
  • 5-inch inseam
  • Water-repellent
  • Sleek design

Another pair of women’s hiking shorts recently tested by a female friend of mine is the Baleaf’s High-Waisted Hiking Shorts.

Made out of an abrasion-resistant nylon blend, these shorts balance stretch and durability to perform across varied terrain.

The wide 3-inch waistband feels smooth against skin while the built-in drawstring customizes the fit, and the 5-inch inseam allows freedom of movement.

Other features worth mentioning are the UPF sun protection and DWR water resistance to combat elements.

While they feature no zippered pockets, these shorts still stand as a slim, sleek pair ready to stand up to trails near and far.


  • Abrasion-resistant stretch fabric
  • Wide high-rise waistband with drawstring
  • UPF sun protection and DWR finish


  • Lacks zippered pockets

Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynama/2 Shorts

Mountain Hardwear Women's Dynama2 Shorts

Key Features:

  • Quality brand
  • UPF of 50
  • Deep pockets
  • Elastic waist

The last women’s shorts on my list are the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Shorts, one of the brand’s bestsellers.

Constructed with moisture-wicking nylon and strategic mesh panels, these shorts actively vent to prevent overheating on the trail.

The 9-inch inseam allows freedom of movement while the streamlined elastic waist eliminates potential discomfort.

As expected, the shorts also feature a deep zippered thigh pocket and UPF 50 sun protection.

Although not available in more stylish options, but the Dynamas deliver outstanding performance across activities, from yoga to thru-hikes.


  • Moisture-wicking fabric with mesh panels
  • Streamlined elastic waistband
  • 9-inch inseam enables free range of motion


  • Lack trendy style

Best Hiking Shorts Buying Guide

Man in hiking shorts

While it’s true that personal preference is what matters the most when you’re looking to buy a short for your Camino adventure, there are still a couple of vital factors you need to keep in mind while shopping for one:


When it comes to hiking, you need to make sure your shorts provide optimum comfort. While comfort may not seem as important as the style of the shorts at first glance, it’s essential that the clothes you’re going to be wearing while you’re tackling some tough terrain are perfectly comfortable.

The best hiking shorts should give you enough room to maneuver in but not be too large so that they fall.


Regardless of how hot or cold it may be on the way, your body will start to sweat. It’s, therefore, essential that moisture is moved away from the surface of your skin so that the fabric does not become wet. When fabric becomes wet it can become uncomfortable, cold, and heavy. If the day is a hot one, shorts with zero breathability will not allow you to cool down properly.

Shorts that allow your body to breathe will keep you feeling as cool as possible on those hot days on the Camino de Santiago and as warm as possible on chilly days.

Hiking Shorts Features

Woman wears hiking shorts

When it comes to features, the best hiking shorts can offer more than you think. With advanced repellency and moisture repellency, shorts can protect you in many different ways. Some shorts offer a UPF of 30 to 50, protecting their wearers from the sun’s rays.

Lastly, many shorts come with security pockets that can be zipped up, keeping your precious items a little safer. Think about the features that are important to you, and choose a pair of shorts that meet the criteria.

Durability of Shorts

The more durable your shorts are, the longer they will last. Shorts need to be tough enough to withstand scrapes from rocks, from your equipment, and anything else they come up against.

They should also be durable enough to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Try to find shorts that are known for their durability so they last.

Converting Pants into Shorts

Hiker wears convertible pants

Some hiking pants come with an added feature that allows you to shorten them (check out my reviews of the best hiking pants). This feature offers an additional level of comfort that you may appreciate when the sun is beating down on the trail. While this is not a feature that everyone automatically looks for, it’s certainly one that’s well worth considering.

We never know what the weather is going to be like out on trails like the Camino de Santiago, The Pennine Way, Hadrian’s Wall walk, or the West Highland Way, and it can appear to do exactly what it pleases. Wearing shorts that can be made even shorter when the sun is at its hottest or longer when it starts to get chilly is nothing short of convenient and will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible, no matter what the weather’s doing.

Of course, you can also get a pair of leggings. Check out my reviews of hiking leggings. If you are looking to buy other items for your next adventure, check out this list of the best outdoor clothing brands on the market.

Best Hiking Shorts – The Verdict

All the hiking shorts I analyzed above are good in their own ways.

However, if I had to choose the best of the best, those would probably be Arc’teryx Gamma Quick Dry Shorts for men and Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Shorts for women.

These shorts can and will make your days or weeks on the trail safer and comfier by protecting you from the sun while offering you the chance to keep your precious items safe.

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