Wonderful walking shorts, for fastpacking, hard hill hikes, casual afternoon strolls and longer backpacking missions in summer.
Excellent four-way stretch
Water repellent and quick drying
No rear pocket (on men’s)
Limited pocket space
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Salomon Wayfarer shorts: first impressions
The Salomon Wayfarer is tight-fitting cargo-style hiking short designed for people who don’t want to waddle around with pockets full of stuff. The men’s version has just three pockets: one jeans-style hand pocket on each side, and a modest-sized zipped pocket on the right thigh, while the women’s shorts have one small back pocket and one on the thigh, both with zips.
The design is ostensibly minimalist, but there’s more going on here than you might initially realize. The waistband is especially broad, and is more than a little bit elasticated, so you can dispense with a belt (particularly because you’re unlikely to have much to weigh these shorts down, with the slimfit design actively discouraging the stashing of anything in the pockets). There are hoops if you do want to wear a belt, but get the sizing right and it shouldn’t be necessary.
The main material mix contains a high percentage of elastane, and these shorts stretch wonderfully when you’re raising your leg high to scale a rocky ascent.
The fabric is water repellent (enough to deal with light showers – see waterproof versus water-resistant for more on this subject), but also quick drying, and don’t get weighed down by retaining water when you get caught out in a heavier downpour.
They’re also well ventilated, with mesh webbing behind the pockets allowing air to get through and cool you down when things threaten to get sticky.
• RRP: $85 (US) / £65 (UK)
• Style: Mid length (28cm / 11in inseam), sporty cut
• Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s versions available
• Sizes: Men’s XS–XXL Women’s 6–18
• Average weight: 200g / 7oz
• Materials: Polyamide (86%), Elastane (14%)
• Colors: Men’s Ebony / Black / Goji Berry / Martini Olive Women’s Night Sky / Marina / Martini Olive / Black
• Compatibility: Hiking, trekking, fastpacking, scrambling
Salomon Wayfarer shorts: on the trails
Maybe it’s simply because they’re made by Salomon – a brand that’s intrinsically connected to trail running, rather than trail dawdling – but there’s something about Salomon Wayfarer shorts that positively encourages you to walk fast. Stride even.
They’re unquestionably hiking shorts, rather than trail running shorts, but they still have a distinctly sporty feel to them. A versatile short, we wore them on hikes across moors to the tops of tors, and to summits in the Surrey Hills, and peaks in wilds of Wales, and loved them every step of the way.
The length is about perfect for hiking shorts, offering some protection but plenty of freedom. The four-way stretch in the main material certainly allows for plenty of high-energy movement when you’re roaming around on the hillsides and peaks, and there’s no excess fabric flapping around to annoy or slow you down.
The minimalist approach to pockets – quite unusual in cargo shorts – means you need to stash things (wallet, keys and so on) in your backpack, but that’s a positive thing, improving efficiency when you are walking. And that’s what these shorts shout about: efficiency and performance.
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.