Excellent lightweight and quick-drying hiking shorts with copious amounts of cleverly designed pocket space.
Good pocket storage (including secret pocket)
Plenty of stretch for freedom of movement
One color only
Women’s version more expensive
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Páramo Maui walking shorts: first impressions
On first wear, our first thoughts were that the Páramo Maui walking shorts are a good-looking pair of shorts, among the classiest in our best hiking shorts test, for sure – perfectly pub acceptable as well as practical for pounding paths and scaling peaks.
They are available in any color you like… so long as you only like charcoal grey. Love it or lump it – but at least it is a nice slate grey, which doesn’t show up too much mud and trail juice when you wear them out in the wet and wilds.
In total there are five pockets on these shorts, perfect for stashing all that best hiking technology. There’s even a secret zipped pocket within a pocket on the right thigh, for safely concealing a credit card, some cash or a hotel key room.
With a button-and-fly fastening system, the waist is slightly elasticated, which means a belt is optional (the Maui does have good-sized belt loops if you prefer to wear one). The close-weave Nikwax Cotton+ fabric dries super fast, provides UPF 50+ protection from UV rays, and fends off biting insects too.
There is no female-specific version of the Maui – the closest women’s version of these shorts is the Alipa, which are a bit shorter, only have three pockets and yet cost more (£75) – less for more seems to be a pattern in women’s clothing, but we have no idea why.
That said, Páramo’s manufacturing ethics are excellent, and they will recycle old gear with their label on it, offering cash back in return.
• RRP: Men’s £65 (UK)
• Gender specificity: Men’s (closest women’s short is the Alipa)
• Style: Cargo shorts
• Sizes available: S-XXL
• Average weight: 299g / 10.5oz
• Materials: Quick-drying Parameta, a Nikwax Cotton+ fabric (73% cotton and 27% polymide)
• Colors: Charcoal
• Compatibility: Excellent for hiking, backpacking and travelling
Páramo Maui walking shorts: on the trails
The Maui are supremely comfortable, quick-drying, cargo-style shorts, absolutely ideal for a range of conditions from cooler spring days to hiking in hot weather at the height of summer. There’s plenty of stretch in the main fabric, plus a shaped gusset to aid freedom of movement out on the hills.
We wore these shorts on trails on Exmoor and Wales, where conditions got pretty wet and wild at times, and we’re pleased to report that the Parameta material genuinely does dry out quickly even after getting soaked through.
The next-to-skin comfort levels are good, and both the well-designed cut and the dynamic fabric permit plenty of movement, whether you’re hiking over technical terrain, scrambling over rock or riding a bike. We found the length just about perfect (although this is of course a subjective factor) balancing staying cool on the trails during summer while providing some protection for everything from the sun to brambles and nettles.
Carry capacity is generous, with two hand pockets at the front, a zipped rear pocket and a cargo pocket that’s capable of swallowing a folded paper map such as the Ordnance Survey sheet maps. Páramo claim the hidden pocket on the right thigh is passport sized – we found it a bit tight for that, but it’s still useful, especially when travelling.
Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. 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 (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).
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