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Beginner Skills

Features We Like And Don't Like In Trail Shorts

The short list of what works and what doesn't.

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Features We Like In Trail Shorts

  • Gusseted crotches and leg hems that don’t grab thighs when high-stepping
  • A removable, nonstretch belt, so you can convert it for emergency use as a strap, repair item, or tourniquet
  • A strong but trim belt buckle that’s comfortable under a cinched hipbelt
  • Fast-drying fabric
  • At least one zippered pocket to safeguard critical items
  • A zipper fly for easy deployment and easy shedding
  • A snaps or blue jean-type button at the waist, because most regular buttons come loose or crack
  • Streamlined pockets that don’t snag swinging arms and are deep enough to hold key items even when you sit down
  • Cargo pockets on the side of the thigh-not in the front-to keep bulkier items from hitting your legs

Features We Don’t Like

  • Elastic belts, which sag under a pack
  • Buttons; they’re slow to undo, fragile, and quick to fall off
  • Mesh pockets, which most testers found fragile and quick to snag on objects