Summer Roundup: Best Hiking Shorts Of 2024

Now that summer is in full swing, we figured it was time to share the best hiking shorts of the year! Our gear testers here at Backpackers have been hitting the trails and pavement on a relentless pursuit to find out the best of the best. Whether you’re playing in the alpine or sweating it out in the Southwest deserts, we’ve got the perfect pair for you in this summer roundup.

The top factors considered in creating this roundup are comfort, breathability and fit. It’s important to hit those three marks when it comes to hiking shorts. You want to have great range of motion, stay cool and stay chafe-free! Of course we also factored in things like quick-dry and style!

The best hiking short of 2024 are all in stock and come in a good array of sizes. Which means you can snag a perfect pair just in time for your next adventure.

Keep scrolling to check out the best hiking shorts of 2024!

Helly Hansen Tech Trail Shorts

helly hansen tech trail shorts are one of the best in 2024Helly Hansen’s Tech Trail Shorts are beloved by our gear testers. They’re stretchy and comfortable and even feature UPF 30. The Tech Trail Shorts are great for hikes and beach days alike. They perform well as a super lightweight and quick-drying option for both women and men. Gear tester Danielle especially liked the zipper pocket for stashing her keys and ID.

These hiking shorts are a bluesign product, meaning they are manufactured to strict safety and environmental requirements. This is appealing to many, including the Backpackers team!

See the Helly Hansen Tech Trail Shorts

See the Helly Hansen Tech Trail Shorts On Amazon

REI Active Pursuits Shorts

active pursuits shorts in blueWhen it comes to lightweight yet mighty, REI’s Active Pursuits Shorts are an awesome hiking short! They are stretchy and strong, while offering UPF 50+ sun protection and great breathability. The Active Pursuits Shorts are perfect for early morning summit bids and trail runs.

These shorts are a budget-friendly pick and come with REI’s phenomenal warranty. They’re available for women and men, and come in lots of nice colors.

See the REI Women's Active Pursuits Shorts

See the REI Men's Active Pursuits Shorts

lululemon Pace Breaker Linerless Shorts

pace breaker shorts are a summer staplelululemon’s Pace Breaker Linerless Shorts are a favorite of gear tester Arthur! From running and hiking, to rec league practice, these shorts are designed with an ultra-soft waistband and low-bounce pockets so you can move with ease.

The Pace Breakers are made with insanely comfortable 100% recycled polyester that is comfortable and designed to keep you out longer. These shorts also feature breathable mesh-like vent panels at the lower back, just below the waistband, and as strips that run down each leg.

See the lululemon Pace Breaker Linerless Shorts

See the lululemon Pace Breaker Linerless Shorts On Amazon

Coalatree Trailhead Shorts

coalatree trailhead shorts offer great stretchThe Trailhead line by Coalatree has gained a big fanbase over the years. Here at Backpackers, we’re also big fans! So of course we’ve included the versatile Trailhead Shorts on our Shorts Roundup. They are perfect for hiking, travel and just hanging out. They feature a lot of stretch and durability that will have you feeling confident to booty-scoot down a talus slope.

The Trailhead Shorts have deep pockets to stash all your things and are available for both men and women. If you’ve enjoyed Coalatree’s famous Trailhead Pants, you will absolutely love the shorts!

See the Women's Coalatree Trailhaed Shorts

See the Men's Coalatree Trailhaed Shorts

Stio Cut Bank Shorts

stio's cut bank shorts

If you enjoy time on the water as much as time spent hiking, Stio’s Cut Bank Shorts are something you need to check out! These shorts are made for summer, featuring UPF 50+ and a stretchy design. They are highly breathable and super lightweight. They have a zippered right thigh and back pockets, and a handy drop-in pocket.

If long days are your jam, you might also appreciate the Cut Bank Shorts anti-odor finish! The soft waistband makes these shorts a great pick for backpacking adventures. So really, these are a do it all pair of shorts!

See the Stio Cut Bank Shorts

Free Fly Apparel Bamboo-Lined Breeze Shorts

free fly shorts 2024

Featuring UPF 50+ sun protection and stretch for days, Free Fly Apparel’s Bamboo-Lined Breeze Shorts are seriously awesome. They are airy and as comfortable as it gets. Our gear tester Courtney wears them for basically everything, including long hikes with her dog and days out on the paddleboard.

They feature a zipper stow pocket on the waist band and a bikini-style bamboo liner. If lightweight, quick dry and breathability are what you’re looking for in a hiking short, these are a pretty perfect pick!

See the Free Fly Apparel Bamboo-Lined Breeze Shorts

See the Free Fly Apparel Bamboo-Lined Breeze Shorts On Amazon

Kuhl Renegade Shorts

renegade shorts 2024

Kuhl’s Renegade Shorts are perfect for days when you want to go from a long hike to town and still look put together. They are practical on trail and off, featuring a lightweight design that’s also extremely durable. The fabric they’re made from is very soft and has UPF 50+ sun protection.

Here at Backpackers, we love Kuhl’s Renegade line for its versatility. And the Renegade Shorts are a shining example of that. They’re practical and at home in the woods, a cute mountain town or just bopping around your garden.

See the Kuhl Renegade Shorts

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts

ferrosi shortsAnother do it all pair of hiking shorts, Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Shorts truly are spectacular. They are stretchy and breathable, durable and well designed. They are weather resistant, abrasion resistant and bluesign approved.

These shorts have been updated with a wider belt for 2024, adding more comfort and adjustability than in previous iterations. The Ferrosi line wins a lot of awards and has become a go-to for many adventurers. Try a pair of these hiking shorts and you’ll immediately understand why that is.

See the Men's Outdoor Research Ferrsosi Shorts

See the Women's Outdoor Research Ferrsosi Shorts

Patagonia Baggies Shorts

baggies shorts

Patagonia makes a lot of products that come with a huge fan following. And the Baggies Shorts? Yep! They’re one of those. These shorts are meant to be used for any adventure you can throw at them. Baggies are loose fitting, durable and super breathable. They come in a ton of colors and patterns. They somehow look really nice on every body.

When creating this Summer 2024 Roundup, we knew right away that the Baggies would be included. They’re a classic at this point!

Patagonia Men's Baggies Shorts

Patagonia Women's Baggies Shorts

Roark Layover Trail Shorts

roark shorts

Roark’s Layover Trail Shorts close the Best Shorts Of 2024 Roundup! Our gear tester Jon has been wearing them for months and loves them for adventure travel. He’s been taking them from flights to adventures in new places and appreciates their spacious pockets and comfortable style. They’re durable, stretchy and quick drying.

Roark Layover Trail Shorts

All images courtesy of respective brands, All Rights Reserved. Affiliate Policy: This guide contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear, we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.


Deirdre is a photographer and outdoor writer based in Tucson and the San Juan Mountains. She is a big fan of type II fun and loves gear! To check out some of Deirdre's work, check out her IG! Instagram.

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