No matter how you plan to spend your summer outdoors, you’re going to need a solid pair of hiking shorts. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Stretch shorts hope to be just that. The Silver Ridge Stretch Shorts prove a consistent middle-of-the-pack option for anyone who considers themselves a casual hiker or outdoor enthusiast. They aren’t made for scaling rock face or scrambling uphill, but they will prove a valuable asset on many summer hikes and bike rides.
Made with a 95 percent/5 percent nylon/elastane blend, these shorts boast plenty of stretch without compromising a bit of structured tailoring. The crotch is gusseted, which provides even more mobility. However, you will notice some limitations when high-stepping. A soft felt built-in waistband reduces chafing on the hips and does not interfere with a waist pack or backpacking gear. There is some adjustability in the waist, but not quite as much as similar pairs available on the market today. Colombia did add belt loops so you can adjust on your own terms with a belt. The waist will loosen up a bit throughout your hike.
In terms of features, the Columbia Silver Ridge Stretch Shorts are a perfect marriage of form and function. They focus on simplicity rather than over the top amenities. There are two front, two rear, and one right zippered thigh pocket to provide all the carrying capacity you would need. Each pocket is lined with ultra-breathable mesh. The back pockets feature velcro closures which can be tricky to open with one hand. However, for the most part, you’ll find these pockets to be more than adequate. Even with the additional pockets, the shorts are very lightweight and perfect for a casual outing.
Additionally, the Silver Ridge Stretch shorts would be great for fishing and boating as they are waterproof. The adequate 10” inseam falls just above the knee on most individuals and should provide enough mobility to do what you need to do outdoors. The fabric does have a UPF 50 rating and a nice tight weave. This can bring you solid wind protection in addition to sun protection. Both mist and heavier rain bead up nicely on the fabric, which dries quickly as well. These shorts would prove handy for water crossings or even kayaking.
Still on the fence about the Columbia Silver Ridge II Stretch Shorts? Let’s break down the pros and cons.