Pants Reviews

Smartwool Merino Sport 8-Inch Shorts

The best mile-crushing shorts of 2021.




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These shorts keep us cool and comfortable during long trail days, and they never bag out. A double button and interior drawcord on the merino-lined waistband help dial in fit, and kept the shorts secure under the weight of a pack on a three-day backpacking trip around Mt. Hood, Oregon. The 8-inch inseam prevented chafing, and the exterior polyester/elastane fabric proved bomber during run-ins with thickets. And when we dipped in a lake during a 95°F day near Hood, the Merino Sport dried within minutes of getting out. With two zippered front pockets and two drop back pockets roomy enough for a card-size wallet and keys, these shorts also exceeded our storage expectations.

w’s XS-XL