The articulated cut and gusset of the Tinden shorts definitely make for a very comfortable adventure indeed. The fit is loose and light with 4-way stretch and they feel absolutely effortless to wear. The Ripstop fabric is definitely durable and surprisingly breathable for a synthetic, but it has more of a squeaky, silky feel to it when compared to other cotton and cotton blend options in this line-up. It beads nicely in the damp and dries out in minutes.
The integrated belt is a nice touch. Because women’s bodies in particular come in such a wonderfully vast array of shapes, it’s a useful addition in case you fall somewhere in between sizes. That said, I found the sizing to come up a little bigger on me than usual (I tested out a Medium), but that might be more to do with the strange and subjective nature of women’s clothing sizing! If in doubt, I’d suggest trying on before you buy. The Tinden shorts have two hand pockets of decent depth and a concealed zip back pocket which comfortably fits a phone or wallet.
The price point for the Tinden shorts (when not on sale) might be at the higher end of the scale, but they feel as though they could happily see you through a good few years of fast and light adventuring.
Ok, these look great. The semi-tailored fit and have a hem turn-up of the Ursa shorts make them quite a stylish option if that’s your thing, though if you like a high waist these might not be for you as they are more of a mid-rise. The microfleece lined waistband is super soft and comfy with no rub on long hill days and the press stud and button fastening feels secure.
Whilst pockets are plentiful, I found them to be a bit shallow. Owing to the low profile of the hip pockets, a normal-sized phone by today’s standards would almost certainly be in danger of falling out and whilst the rear pockets are deeper, they have no zip closures so don’t feel entirely secure. There is however, an additional zipped security pocket on the right hand side which is big enough for a key or credit card.
Montane’s GRANITE Lite fabric is breathable, fast-drying and stayed cool on a very humid multi-day hike. The downside is a bit less give than some of the other options on the market, so higher steps felt restricted by the lighter stretch. They do feel durable and withstood some serious bum-shuffling off snaggy Lake District rhyolite boulders, however.
The most outstanding feature of the Kiwi Pro III is without a doubt the stretch – for all you climbers out there, these shorts more than pass the heel hook test.
I don’t think these shorts are necessarily the most flattering fit, though for the stretch and dynamism it’s a compromise I’m totally willing to make. I found the waistband to gape a bit on me, and whilst this is almost certainly down to the wearer’s unique shape, I had to wear a belt in order to keep them up.
The NosiDefence fabric provides a robust barrier against biting insects, but I did find it to be a little less breathable on a steep summer walk than some of the models I tested, and it took a little longer to dry out. The pockets are deep enough for your phone and all three are zipped, which is great if like me, you like to have your phone handy on scrambles in case of a photo op. One even has a handy glasses cloth stitched inside it!
For the price point, I think these are a really great option if comfort and stretch are your top priority, or as an entry-level hiking short.