Hiking shorts are a dime a dozen you say? What's so special about a short anyway you wonder? So did we, but after extended testing, we have to say, the GoLite Women's Hike Short is pretty nifty (for most woman at least, more on that later). Weighing in at only 4 ounces for a size medium, the short is made with stretch ripstop nylon and features a gusseted crotch for added comfort. A lumbar Cordura Lycra panel is intended to reduce fabric bunching and volume between the skin and a pack's waistbelt. The side pocket combined with the two front pockets provide ample room for stowing small items like a few sheets of toilet paper, chapstick, or other must-haves.
After putting the shorts through a 50-day wear test in the Alaskan wilderness, here is what one of our female testers had to say.
"Once I put these shorts on, they were so comfortable I didn't want to take them off. I used them for rafting, kayaking, backpacking, mountaineering, sleeping, and just hanging around. Lightweight, comfortable and extremely durable (despite numerous thrashings through devil's club and alder thickets they would not tear â€¦ not that I was trying) these shorts are ideal. They dry quickly (a nice feature when you're paddling) and I had no problems with chafing (a great feature when you're going to be spending all day hiking and the sweat is pouring). The stretch panel across the lumbar area of the shorts is very comfortable under a pack's waistbelt and dries quickly."
On less-raving positive notes are the colors they come in: Very light tones and pastels. This tester had a light blue, for example. She added: "They aren't too good at hiding stains, and the material wasn't too good at repelling them, so for someone who has more frequent encounters with blood and dirt than they do with, say, a washing machine this could mean very grungy-looking short." OK, so fashion isn't the goal in the woods or backcountry, but who wants to look like a transient?
Another problem is the sizing for another smaller tester who normally fits into many smalls, but found these to be so baggy for her, she couldn't test them since the waistline would have bunched up and likely been uncomfortable. (FYI: GoLite has said it will be adding XS some time in the future.)
SNEWS Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested retail: $49
For More Information:www.golite.com