If you want to get into hiking, especially in hot weather, you might be looking for the best hiking shorts for men. A good pair of hiking shorts will protect your skin and allow enough air to flow to your skin to stop you from overheating.
The question is: how can you find the best pair of hiking shorts? What key features should you be looking for? What about water resistance? Is UPF protection important?
We’ll answer all of these questions and give you some recommendations for the best hiking shorts out there.
The bottom line upfront: we like the YAXHWIV Men's Tactical Shorts. They’re robust, durable, and comfortable to wear, and they have an excellent UPF rating.
We also like:
- Wrangler Authentics Men's Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short – these are incredibly soft and comfortable
- Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II – not only are these durable, but they’re also very easy to care for, with stain-resistance built-in
We’ll be looking at:
- What to look for in hiking shorts for men
- Our top 5 recommendations, including our honest thoughts on their pros, cons and key features
- Some frequently asked questions about hiking safety and hiking gear
- Which shorts do we like the best, and why
Table of Contents
- Best Hiking Shorts for Men Compared
- What to Look for in Hiking Shorts for Men
- Top 5 Best Hiking Shorts for Men
- 1. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short – Most Comfortable
- 2. Rdruko Men’s Quick Dry Hiking Shorts – Best for Hiking Near Water
- 3. Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II – Most Durable
- 4. Toomett Men’s Hiking Cargo Shorts – Most Versatile
- 5.YAXHWIV Mens Tactical Shorts – Good All-Rounder
- Frequently Asked Questions
- To Sum Up …
Let’s start by looking at how the best hiking shorts for men compare to each other!
Best Hiking Shorts for Men Compared
What to Look for in Hiking Shorts for Men
Here are a few key features you need to look for in hiking shorts for men:
Sizing is the main consideration. Different styles of shorts tend to fit slightly differently. For example, gym-style shorts with a lot of elastic have a bit of stretch in them, whereas stiffer cargo-style shorts don’t have that ‘give,’ which means if they’re too small, you won’t be able to squeeze into them.
Some shorts have a built-in belt or a drawstring fastening, which means if you size up, you may still be able to get them to fit.
Hiking shorts should have a good amount of pockets. If you have large enough pockets and you’re going on a short hike or walk, you might be able to get away with leaving your backpack at home.
Look for pockets with fastenings on for your essentials, like your phone and wallet. Lower pockets sometimes come with drainage ports, so if you’re hiking near water and you do get wet, you won’t have to worry about your larger pockets becoming waterlogged.
Comfort is key on a hike! Look for soft, comfortable shorts that won’t dig into your skin as you walk.
It’s also important to look for lightweight shorts with good ventilation, especially if you’re hiking in warmer weather. You can get moisture-wicking shorts, which will help draw moisture away from your skin, helping you feel more comfortable and stopping the fabric from rubbing against your skin.
If you plan to hike near water, you can look for water-resistant shorts. These won’t stop water from leaking through completely but can help to protect you from the occasional splash of water.
Look for shorts made from quick-drying fabric. This means even if you do get wet, you’ll dry off quickly, so your skin won’t get sore or feel uncomfortable.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) Rating
Some shorts are made from UPF-protective material. This stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This indicates how much UV radiation will be able to reach your skin. Fabric with a rating of UPF 50 will block 98 percent of the sun’s rays, allowing 2 percent to penetrate the fabric.
If you live in a hot climate, or you’re going to be hiking in full sun, this is an easy way to protect your skin from harm.
Ease of Care
You can look for shorts that are machine washable, which will save you from having to hand wash them after each use. If your shorts have UPF protection, they may have to be washed at a lower temperature, and you may have to leave them to dry naturally. They shouldn’t take too long to dry, though.
Plus, you may be able to find shorts specifically designed to resist dirt or stains, which is helpful if you’re on a dusty, muddy trail!
Top 5 Best Hiking Shorts for Men
Now, here are our top 5 hiking shorts for men. We’ve included the key features, plus our honest thoughts on their pros and cons, so you can find the best shorts for you.
1. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short – Most Comfortable
- Materials: Nylon, spandex
- Pockets: 6
- UPF Protection: Yes, UPF 30+
The Wrangler Authentics Men's Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short are incredibly comfortable. They’re designed to be soft, with a relaxed fit, and easy to wear, which is just what you want for a long hike. They are on the longer side, though, so if you have short legs, it’s something to bear in mind.
These shorts have 2 cargo zip pockets, 2 back pockets, and 2 slash pockets. If you’re going on a shorter hike and you don’t want to carry a backpack, you could fit all your key items in there.
The material is UPF 30+, which will help to protect your skin against the sun (and stop the shorts from fading too quickly). They’re moisture-wicking, which means they’ll draw moisture away from your skin, helping you to be comfortable even if you feel sweaty.
They’re quick-drying, making them a good choice if you’re hiking near water, and they’re machine washable.
- Very comfortable and soft
- Lots of pockets
- UPF 30+ material
- Machine washable
- On the longer side, so not good if you have shorter legs
2. Rdruko Men’s Quick Dry Hiking Shorts – Best for Hiking Near Water
- Materials: Synthetic
- Pockets: 3
- UPF Protection: No
The Rdruko Men's Quick Dry Hiking Shorts is comfortable to wear. They have an adjustable waist with a drawstring closure, and they’re designed to be lightweight and easy to wear. We’d recommend these shorts if you tend to get overheated on the trail.
They have fewer pockets than some of the other shorts on this list, with just 3 pockets. This is something to keep in mind if you want to leave your backpack behind for a short hike.
The material doesn’t have UPF protection, which is a downside. It may be a good idea to put sunscreen on your legs underneath your shorts just to be on the safe side. However, they’re moisture-wicking, so they’ll keep your skin comfortable if you start to sweat, and they are quick-drying, making them a good choice if you want to hike near water. They’re machine-washable too, which is a bonus.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Machine washable
- Only 3 pockets
- It doesn’t have UPF protection
3. Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II – Most Durable
- Materials: Nylon
- Pockets: 9
- UPF Protection: Yes (varies by color)
The Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II are comfortable and durable, so they should last for a long time. They’re easy to wear and look great with hiking boots. They’re close-fitting in the leg, which is something to keep in mind. If you prefer looser-fitting shorts, you might want to look at some of the others on this list.
These shorts have 9 pockets, including front pockets and pockets near the bottom of the shorts with drainage ports, which are ideal if you’re hiking near water. The pockets are large enough to fit your essentials, which is great.
They have ‘blood guard’ technology. This means they have a chemical bonded into the fibers to help prevent stains. Despite this, they’re still machine washable, making them easy to care for. They do have UPF protection, but the level varies depending on the color you decide to go for.
- UPF protection
- Machine washable
- Plenty of pockets
- Pretty close-fitting in the leg
4. Toomett Men’s Hiking Cargo Shorts – Most Versatile
- Materials: Nylon
- Pockets: 6
- UPF Protection: Yes, UPF 50
The Toomett Men's Hiking Cargo Shorts are comfortable and breathable. They’re ideal for hiking in hot weather, as they’ll keep you cool. They’re versatile enough in style to be worn in all types of situations. You can wear them on hikes, to the beach, golfing, fishing, and more. The downside is they’re pretty tight to wear, so you may want to go for a larger size.
These shorts have 6 pockets, including 2 side pockets, 1 zipped thigh pocket, and 2 zipper back pockets. They’re pretty large, so you should be able to fit a lot of essentials in there.
These shorts are easy to care for. They’re machine washable at lower temperatures. Plus, they have UPF 50 protection, making them a super-protective choice if you plan to hike in the sun.
- 6 pockets
- Machine washable
- Excellent UPF protection
- Fairly tight-fitting
5.YAXHWIV Mens Tactical Shorts – Good All-Rounder
- Materials: Polyester and Nylon
- Pockets: 6
- UPF Protection: Yes, UPF 50
The YAXHWIV Men's Tactical Shorts are a good all-rounder, ideal for hiking in different types of weather. They’re comfortable and easy to wear, although they run small, so you may need to bear this in mind. You may want to order a bigger size just to be on the safe side.
These shorts have 6 large pockets, which makes them ideal for carrying all your essentials, including 2 large velcro-fastening pockets for items like your wallet and smartphone.
They’re quick-drying, so they won’t feel uncomfortable even when wet. The shorts are made from dirt-repellent and water-repellent fabric, which makes them perfect for hiking. They’re also designed to resist creases, and they’re machine-washable too.
- Comfortable to wear
- Dirt and water-repellent fabric
- A good amount of pockets
- Quick-drying material
- Sizing runs small, so you may have to order a bigger size than usual
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we give you our final verdict on the best hiking shorts for men, here are some frequently asked questions you might find useful.
Can I wear hiking boots with shorts?
Yes, you can wear hiking boots with shorts. The main thing to consider is that your boots don’t rub against your skin, so look for a pair of hiking socks slightly longer than the height of your boots to stop them from rubbing.
How can I keep my skin safe on the trail?
There are a few steps you can take to keep your skin safe while hiking.
Firstly, there’s sun protection to consider. It sounds obvious, but skipping on sunscreen can cause many issues. Sun damage can cause soreness, discomfort, and blistering. It also penetrates the deepest layers of the skin (the dermis) and can take years for the impact to become visible. Sun damage can cause cancer, so it’s really important to protect yourself.
Look for a sunscreen that will last for hours. If you’re hiking near water, go for a sunscreen with water resistance, too. We like the Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen.
Make sure you look at both the UVA and UVB ratings on your sunscreen. UVA (ultraviolet A) is associated with skin damage, whereas UVB (ultraviolet B) is associated with burning. You will need a good amount of protection from both.
Ideally, you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. While you may not remember to do it, it’s a good idea to take some with you if you’re going out for a longer hike, so you can top up as and when you remember.
You may also need to look for an insect repellent spray to keep you safe from bug bites.
What essentials do I need for hiking?
There are a few things you need to get started with hiking:
- A good backpack to hold all your essentials without weighing you down too much
- A good water bottle to keep you hydrated on the trail
- Some high-protein hiking snacks to keep you going, especially for longer trails
- Your phone
- A paper map of the area if you prefer to use those
- A phone or a paper map
- Hiking boots, hiking shoes, or hiking sandals
How can I keep myself safe when hiking in hot weather?
Other than using sunscreen, there are other steps you can take to protect yourself when hiking in hot weather.
It’s worth avoiding the trail during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm if you’re hiking in a heatwave or if you tend to find it harder to hike in full sunlight. You can also look for shaded areas, stopping and resting regularly if you need to.
The most important thing is that you stay hydrated as much as possible. If you find it easier, you can get a water bottle with markings on the side to remind you to drink a certain amount every hour. We like the Arc Water Bottle.
To Sum Up …
If we had to pick one pair, we’d go for the YAXHWIV Men's Tactical Shorts. They are very comfortable, with a decent amount of pockets to keep your essentials safe. They’re also quick-drying, dirt and water-repellent.
Just bear in mind the sizing runs small, so it might be worth going for one size bigger than you normally would.
If you want to look for something very soft and comfortable, check out the Wrangler Authentics Men's Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short. They have a lot of pockets, and decent UPF protection and they dry quickly, so you can hike near the water with no problems.
We also like the Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II. They’re very durable, and they have stain resistance built-in.
We hope this has helped you to find the perfect pair of hiking shorts for you!