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Swappin' Out My Shorts
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Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 05:52:07 MDT Print View

Okay, Gents. I've been hiking for years in lightweight, quick drying shorts with a sewn in bathing suit type liner. For the most part they've worked out great. However, in humid or wet conditions I can get some serious chafing from the liner, especially when walking a lot of miles. I think I'm going to move away from these shorts, but need some advice on what has worked well for you. I'm still focused on lightweight and quick drying...probably something with a built in belt (but not essential). Also, if you've had great luck with a particular type of wicking boxer briefs, do tell.


Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Three words. on 04/04/2013 06:31:55 MDT Print View



REI (is that a word?).

Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Swappin Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 06:49:59 MDT Print View

I get sense I'll recognize you if I see you in the Whites!

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 08:08:18 MDT Print View

Have you tried using Sportslick or Body Glide? I also hike in running shorts and get chafing in humid weather but find that Sportslick works really well for me. I just put a little bit on in the morning and it normally lasts all day.

Another option you might not have considered is cutting the liner out of your shorts and wearing wicking underwear instead. Then you retain the part about the shorts that you like and get rid of the part you don't like.


Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Re shorts on 04/04/2013 08:22:06 MDT Print View

I can't wear those either. Brooks makes a running short with a boxer brief style liner that is awesome though. Don't know the model name but I found it at REI

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

MH on 04/04/2013 08:23:44 MDT Print View

I took the Mountain Hardwear running shorts (like 3oz) and cut the liner out, and I use Smartwool Briefs instead.

The Smartwool wicks and never smells, and the MH shorts are thin, light, and comfortable.

Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
Boxer briefs on 04/04/2013 08:24:40 MDT Print View

I've had good luck with the Target C9 performance boxer briefs (the 100% synthetic not the cotton blend); as well as the Terramar body sensors. I like the fit of the Terramar a bit better but the C9 are fine and easily available.

Those with any lightweight synthetic shorts work just fine - I've never been overly fond of the mesh liners when working out or exercising or hiking for the same reason as mentioned and find the boxer brief/shorts combo to be the best option.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 09:12:43 MDT Print View

I apply a little bodyglide down there.

Also, like others said, cutting out the liner and instead using a pair of wicking boxer briefs can work well.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 09:58:31 MDT Print View

Check out the prAna Mojo shorts. I'm surprised they don't get more attention with hikers. They have a long inseam, basic pockets, and a simple elastic waistband that keeps the bulk and complexity to a minimum. About 7oz.

Ex Officio, REI, and the Champion C9 briefs work for me.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 10:43:18 MDT Print View

+1 on exofficio give-n-go. They're expensive for a pair of boxer-briefs but around 95% of people that have tried them admit they're 5 star underwear and end up buying more pairs (on sale usually).

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Swappin' Out My Shorts: WWDCD? on 04/04/2013 11:50:44 MDT Print View

WWDCD = What Would Dave Chenault Do? After, ahem, "liberating" the idea from Dave, I bought a pair of Patagonia Stretch Wavefarers. These are great shorts. The design is simplicity: a little stretch, one simple small zippered pocket on the leg if needed, drawstring closure at the waist. They dry fast and are super durable.

The cons are the initial expense (not cheap for shorts but these should last YEARS) and weight (compared to a running short w/ liner). I think mine are a little over 6 oz but the coverage is longer than running shorts. I'm usually wearing underwear and either long pants or these shorts (with shell layer and midlayer to match) depending on the trip. I know skin-out weight is important, but I'm never going to regret the 2-3 oz on my lower body for comfort.

Btw, you can find these on sale (especially closeout colors) with patience.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 12:12:58 MDT Print View

I REALLY like the REI brand running shorts. They fit just right, above the knees but not short short. They dry fast and have held up very well to bushwacking and scraping on abrasive rocks.

Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Shorts! on 04/04/2013 14:21:12 MDT Print View

Thanks to everyone for your insight and opinions. As usual, it was another worthwhile discussion that helped out a lot.


Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Shorts on 04/04/2013 14:56:06 MDT Print View

I spend 80% of all my backpacking time in shorts and so I have a particular fixation on what works and what I need.
** It must have a drawstring tie and no belt loops or plastic NF style buckles to interfere with the hipbelt.
** It must have two front pockets for snacks, camera, watch, paper towel.
** Instep must be around 7 inches and no longer or shorter---regular size.
** Must have mesh liner like with swim trunks.
** Must be light and dry quickly.

My old pair of North Face Flight shorts died a good death and then it turns out of course that NF discontinued the model. Instead they make the Agility which is as good or better and fits all the criteria.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Swappin' Out My Shorts on 04/04/2013 15:15:21 MDT Print View

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
shorts on 04/04/2013 15:44:30 MDT Print View

I usually wear a pair of under armor boxer briefs. If I dont I will have a rasberry on the inside of both my thighs. But its not like I wear them only cause I have to, they breath really well, I like to swim in them and the dry really really fast. Way faster than amy swim suits I've ever had. I wear those and a pair of exificiio(spelling?) pant short things.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Other thoughts: on 04/04/2013 15:55:56 MDT Print View

With odor management, silk and merino wool are significantly better than synthetics. Plus, what's actually happening there is the prevention of microbial growth, which means your sensitive areas stay healthier using these fabrics.

Call me crazy, but I give Ex-Officio a 2/5 star review. The pockmarked surface was irritating if I had to sit in a bike seat or walk long distances, and they just wouldn't stop riding up. That could also be because I have cycling thighs... but they weren't comfortable at all. Much happier in Smartwool.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Happy parts on 04/04/2013 16:51:42 MDT Print View

Liner-less lightweight shorts, boxer briefs, wipes to clean and powder. A couple of minutes of works, hour of pain free.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Kilt Or Nothing! on 04/05/2013 06:50:13 MDT Print View

Lose the shorts, stay away from the girlie-looking MHW kilt/SKIRTS and just go old school with a Stillwater Kilts Thrify Kilt (under $50.00 and good from 10 degrees to 80 degrees IMHO):

And then you can afford a custom enLIGHTened Equipment hiking sporan!


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: kilts or pants my take on 04/05/2013 06:56:06 MDT Print View

While I love the kilt idea. The problem for me is I don't want my wardrobe to be a source of conversation. You know,hearing the same stupid comments over and over. I just want to hike. I wear long pants all the time hiking anymore. Keeps my legs prettier.

Some Pati boxer briefs to go with, I'm fine.

Edited by kthompson on 04/05/2013 06:57:19 MDT.