At times gear is the key to comfort. Unfortunately, it can be a costly venture finding the right gear. It takes time to research, to save up money, and then redo everything when your first purchase did not meet your expectations. This is my problem when it comes to shorts.
I have worn multiple types of swim suits, surf trunks, quick drying shorts, rock-climbing shorts, and hiking shorts. The recurring problem is chafing, a desire for a quick drying material, and the look of professionalism. I have had problems with chafing in the groin and where the back band connects. My goal has always been to find a system that I can easily wear multiple days on the water, around camp, function well under the hip-belt of a twenty pound pack, provide a great range of motion, and look presentable when I am walking around town.
It has been a long and arduous quest filled with a drawer of many failed attempts to find lasting comfort. Until now, I can empty my drawer donate all of my old shorts to the needy and replace those shorts with one pair of Mountain Hardwear Wildlands Shorts.
These shorts made by Mountain Hardwear feature a patented, micro-chamois lined seamless conical waist. Thus the design eliminates pressure points where a back band of a kayak and a backpack would rest. The cloth is 100% nylon and coated with a DWR finish that sheds dirt and moisture. I will admit that the shorts do become stiff after a few days of being in and out of salt water. However, the stiffness has not produced chaffing. The shorts are available in ten and twelve-inch inseam lengths. I chose the twelve-inch inseam just because I liked the look. There is a down side to the shorts. It has small pockets in the front. Consequently, when sitting in a kayak it is nearly impossible for me to get anything out of my front pocket. Then again, I wear a skirt over the cockpit and why would I be wanting to get into my pocket.
- Overview statistics of the Wildlands Shorts
- Updated hand pockets and integrated belt
- Micro-Chamois™-lined seamless conical waist for comfort under a pack
- Integrated webbing belt with buckle closure for easy fit adjustments
- Lots of pockets for storage
- Mesh drain panels in pockets for river crossings and spontaneous swims
- Full length inseam gusset for mobility
- DWR finish sheds moisture
- UPF 50 sun protection
All in all these are great shorts. I have them in khaki, and I now plan on purchasing a pair in cigar brown, stone green, and black. If you have too many clothes at home and you are looking to simplify then replace all of your shorts with this pair, for it does it all. Happy paddling – Jeff