Functional rather than fancy (short) pants, the Kiwi Pros perform well and look and feel good when you’re on the trails – providing flexibility and comfort where it’s required.
Guaranteed for life
No map pocket
Less dynamic than some others
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Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Shorts: first impressions
The first thing about the Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Shorts that impressed us was the fact that British brand Craghoppers have produced them largely from recycled materials, which is an excellent move in the right direction for all outdoor garment manufacturing.
As with their long-legged cousins, the Kiwi Pro II Lightweight walking trousers featured in our best hiking pants guide, these hardwearing hiking shorts are constructed with a splashproof finish, which is both lightweight, lightly rain resistant and quick drying.
There are four pockets (three in the women’s shorts) – two side ones, a rear pocket and a relatively shallow thigh pouch – all of which have zips. In the left-hand pocket there is a dedicated lens wipe for cleaning sunglasses or camera lenses. The waist, which fastens with a zip and a button, is slightly elasticated, so a belt is purely optional, but there are hoops if you’d like to wear one.
• RRP: Men’s £45 (UK); Women’s £40 (UK)
• Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s versions available
• Style: 9in (men’s) / 7in (women’s) trail-walking shorts
• Sizes available: S-XL
• Weight: 230g / 8.1oz
• Materials: Polyamide (96%) & elastane (4%)
• Colors: Men’s: Ocean Blue / Black / Pebble / Dark Lead / Dark Khaki Women’s Dark Navy / Graphite / Desert Sand / Dove Grey / Black / Mediterranean Blue
• Compatibility: Walking, hiking, trekking
Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Shorts: on the trails
There isn’t quite as much movement in the fabric of the Kiwi Pros as there has been with some other shorts on test, but neither do they feel restrictive when you’re out hiking on the hills and clambering across crags.
We tested them on the mountains and valleys of South Wales, where there are stiles to climb every few hundred metres, and it they never felt restrictive as we were clambering around.
The pockets – particularly the thigh pouch – is perhaps a little shallow to be much use for carrying anything other than a compass or small snack, but the fact that all the pockets zip shut was reassuring when walking with objects you really don’t want to lose mid hike, such as a phone, car keys, cash and credit card.
The cut of the Kiwi Pros is a bit shorter than many of the other cargo-style short pants we tested – good for tan lines and a sense of freedom, but it does expose you to nettle stings and brambles. (For help deciding whether shorts are the way to go, check out Hiking shorts or pants? And if for you added coverage comes up trumps, our buying guide to the best hiking pants is the place to be.)
We felt the fit was really good. The slightly elasticated waist means a belt isn’t completely necessary and the shorts won’t end up around your knees even when you have a phone and wallet in your pocket.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.