Record-breaking temps punished most of the southwest on the first day of summer this year, ushering in a season that promises to be very long and very, very hot. Combat those unavoidable high temps with these travel-ready shorts, which include everything from sun-protecting fabric to iconic profiles that have been in fashion for decades.
1. Lululemon Commission Shorts, $88; 2. Columbia Just Right II Capri Pants, $55; 3. Nau Acoustic Shorts, $130; 4. Icebreaker Terra Shorts, $140; 5. Royal Robbins Classic Billy Goat Shorts, $52; 6. Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Skirt, $110; 7. Fjallraven Ruaha Shorts, $85.
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).
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You may not realize you need these shorts until you own a pair. Then you'll realize that they're one of the best warm-weather, fashion-forward options on the market, with a length that drops just above the knee and a touch of Lycra for stretch. That said, they fit loose, and are made of the company's Qwick Oxford fabric that wicks sweat, dries quickly, and boasts a soft touch. You also get four standard pockets, a hidden security pocket, and Lululemon's awesome "anti-ball crushing" design that lets your boys stay comfortable.
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It's all in the name—a comfy capri made of summer-weight nylon with a bit of elastane, treated with UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-Shield to shed stains and rain. The internal drawcord secures without binding, and a zippered security pocket makes a solid, travel-friendly stash-and-go feature.
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These quick-drying poly double-weave soft shell shorts rank as one of the most technical on the round-up, ideal for biking, hiking, and traveling in foul weather. A touch of stretch polyester offers some give, and the double-layer back seat patch adds durability and comfort. The 12-inch inseam keeps things modest without becoming baggy, and a robust series of zippered and traditional pockets offer ways to carry your cell, keys, and other essentials. Bonus: the left-back pocket has a stowable, cycle-friendly strip of reflective tape.
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Wool may seems like an odd fabric for warm-weather pursuits, but the Terras will convert you. Made of a mixture of all-natural, high-performance merino and polyester, they're durable enough to handle rock scrambles and the demanding environs of any back road, with a buttoned front fly, hand pockets, a zippered hip stash pocket. And they're also odor-resistant, wicking, and quick-drying because…(again) merino wool rocks. And right now they're 50% off at Icebreaker.
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Norm-core fashionistas will love these classics, which echo back to the days when
Royal Robbins himself was scaling impossible rock faces in the '70s. An elastic waistband makes it action-friendly, and UPF 50+ treatment adds just a touch of tech. With a five-inch inseam, these put your legs on display—which might be exactly what you want.
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On the outside, a mid-length skirt. On the inside, a pair of performance shorts, making them the ideal piece of apparel for hardcore cycling, hiking, climbing, and traveling. The lightweight fabric has four-way stretch, with reversed seams to minimize chaffing, an A-line cut, and a small zippered pocket on the right thigh.
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Men can also benefit from Fjallraven's innovative fabrics. The Ruaha are made of G-1000 Lite, a mixture of poly and cotton that's one of the most durable outdoor fabrics available. The shorts come with standard belt loops and two hand pockets, two leg pockets with snap flaps, an inside safety pocket, and two back pockets with hidden zips—enough storage to handle most travel kits. Perfect for hiking, wandering, and even concealing a pair of padded cycling shorts underneath 'em.