There’s a lot of debate out there about what kind of shorts are best for hiking. Some people swear by cargo shorts, while others prefer more traditional khaki shorts. But what does the data say? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both options to see which is really the best choice for hitting the trails.
The Pros of Wearing Khaki Shorts While Hiking
There are several reasons why hikers might choose to wear khaki shorts while out on the trail. For one, the lighter color of khaki tends to reflect rather than absorb heat, making it a good choice for hikes in warm weather. Khaki is also a fairly robust fabric, meaning it can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear — important for an activity like hiking where clothing can quickly become stained or torn. Finally, khaki shorts tend to be highly affordable, meaning hikers on a budget can still find decent-quality gear.
The Cons of Wearing Khaki Shorts While Hiking
While khaki shorts may be versatile and comfortable, they are not necessarily the best choice of clothing for hiking. Here are some of the reasons why:
They offer little protection from the sun. Khaki shorts are made from a lightweight fabric that does not offer much protection from the sun’s rays. If you are planning on hiking in sunny weather, you may want to consider wearing a pair of longer shorts or pants that will provide more coverage.
They offer little protection from insects. Like other light-colored clothing, khaki shorts are not particularly effective at repelling insects. If you are hiking in an area where bugs are a problem, you may want to consider wearing darker-colored clothing that will make it less likely for insects to land on you.
They can be uncomfortable in hot weather. Khaki shorts are made from a synthetic fabric that does not breathe well, so they can be uncomfortably warm to wear in hot weather. If you are planning on hiking in hot weather, you may want to consider wearing a pair of shorter shorts made from a more breathable fabric such as cotton.
The Best Khaki Shorts for Hiking
Forget what you wear to work—khaki shorts are an excellent choice for when you hit the trails. They provide good coverage and breathability, protect against brush and sun, and can even double as swimwear in a pinch. Plus, their tailored look means they won’t look out of place at the post-hike pub stop. We’ve rounded up the best khaki shorts for hiking, so you can pick a pair (or two) that fits your style and needs.
How to Choose the Right Khaki Shorts for Hiking
Choosing the wrong material
One of the most important factors when it comes to any type of clothing for hiking, whether it be a pair of shorts, a shirt, or a jacket, is the material. The fabric that your clothing is made out of can make all the difference in the world when it comes to comfort and performance.
There are a lot of different materials that you’ll find khaki shorts made out of, but not all of them are created equal. Some materials are better at wicking away moisture, while others are more breathable. And some materials are more durable than others, which is something you’ll definitely want to take into consideration if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking in thorny bushes or rocky terrain.
With all of that being said, here are a few different types of materials that you’ll often find khaki shorts made out of, along with their pros and cons:
-Cotton: Cotton is one of the most popular choices for khaki shorts (and other types of clothing) because it’s so affordable. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst materials you could choose for hiking purposes. Cotton absorbs moisture (sweat) like crazy, and once it gets wet, it takes forever to dry back out again. This can lead to some serious chafing problems, not to mention just being plain old uncomfortable.
-Nylon: Nylon is much better than cotton when it comes to hiking shorts (or any other type of hiking clothing). It’s much more lightweight and breathable than cotton, and does a pretty decent job at wicking away moisture. However, nylon isn’t the most durable material out there, so if you’re planning on doing a lot of bushwhacking or scrambling over rocks, you might want to choose something else.
-Polyester: Polyester is very similar to nylon in terms of comfort and performance, but is usually a little bit cheaper. It’s also surprisingly durable for such a lightweight fabric, so if you’re looking for something that’s both affordable and built to last, polyester might be the way to go.
Choosing the right fit
In addition to choosing the right material, it’s also important to make sure that you choose a pair of khaki shorts with the right fit. If your shorts are too loose, they’re going to get caught on things and end up ripping. And if they’re too tight, they’re going to be uncomfortable and restrictive. Ideally, you want something that’s fitted but not skin-tight, with enough room to move around comfortably without feeling like your range of motion is being limited in any way.
Another thing to keep in mind is that certain types of shorts (like cargo shorts) tend to have a lot of extra fabric in certain areas (like around the thighs), which can make them more likely to catch on things or get snagged on branches and rocks. If you’re planning on doing any off-trail hiking or bushwhacking, you might want to avoid cargo shorts altogether and stick with something simpler and more streamlined.
The Benefits of Wearing Khaki Shorts While Hiking
While any type of shorts can technically be worn while hiking, khaki shorts offer a number of benefits that make them a great choice for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. First, the lightweight fabric is ideal for warm weather conditions and won’t cause you to overheat. Additionally, the neutral color won’t stand out too much against your surroundings, which can be helpful if you’re trying to avoid attracting attention to yourself.
Khaki shorts are also typically very comfortable, thanks to their relaxed fit, and they have plenty of pockets that you can use to store snacks, your phone, or a small first aid kit. Plus, they’re easy to find at most stores and don’t tend to be too expensive. When choosing a pair of khaki shorts for hiking, look for a style with a higher waistband that will help prevent chafing and ensure your shorts stay in place as you walk.
The Drawbacks of Wearing Khaki Shorts While Hiking
While khaki shorts are a staple of many hikers’ and campers’ wardrobes, they have a few drawbacks that make them less than ideal for extended backcountry trips. First, they offer very little in the way of warmth, so they’re not a good choice for hiking in cold weather. Second, they’re not very durable, so they’re more likely to tear or be damaged than other types of shorts. Finally, they don’t offer much in the way of sun protection, so you may want to consider another option if you’re hiking in sunny conditions.
The Different Types of Khaki Shorts for Hiking
There are many types of khaki shorts available on the market, but not all of them are good for hiking. The best type of khaki short for hiking is one that is made from a lightweight, breathable fabric with plenty of pockets for storing essential items. Some khaki shorts also have built-in sun protection or insect repellent, which can be helpful in keeping pests away while you hike.
How to Care for Your Khaki Shorts After a Hike
It’s important to take care of your clothing, especially if you want it to last for multiple hikes. If you don’t take proper care of your clothing, it will wear out quicker and won’t protect you as well from the elements. Here are some tips on how to care for your khaki shorts after a hike:
-Wash your shorts as soon as possible after your hike. This will help remove any sweat, dirt, or grime that may be on your shorts.
-If your shorts are particularly dirty, you may want to soak them in a mixture of water and laundry detergent before washing them.
-Wash your shorts in cold water to prevent them from shrinking.
-Hang your shorts up to dry, or dry them on a low setting if you are using a clothes dryer.