Best Trail Running Shorts For 2020 | Lightweight Options For Running And Hiking - Outdoors Magic

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Best Trail Running Shorts For 2020 | Lightweight Options For Running And Hiking

Lightweight and breathable, yet providing protection from the wind, trail running shorts need to strike a tricky balance. Here's seven of the best for 2020

Trail running is an incredibly simple and accessible activity. All you’ve got to do is grab a pair of lightweight trail shoes, water and some snacks, and you’ll be able explore your local trails to your heart’s content. What about your clothing though, more specifically your shorts? Well for casual trail running, any pair of shorts will do really, but if you’re covering big distances and/or taking on difficult terrain and weather, you might want to invest in a pair of trail running shorts that are specifically made for the job. Get a good pair and they won’t weigh you down at all, they’ll feel non-restrictive and breathable, they’ll dry quickly after rain and they’ll ultimately let you concentrate on logging in the miles.

Like traditional road running shorts, trail shorts tend to carry a few extra features that make them ideal for life off the beaten track. Expect to see pockets for extra gels, a longer fit for protection and all-day comfort being built into many of them. Here’s our pick of seven of the best men’s and women’s trail running shorts you can get your hands on this year if you are looking for something specific, particularly if you’ve got any competitions or timed challenges on the horizon.

 

BEST BUY: Salomon S/Lab Short 6

Price: £65
Weight: 40g
Leg Length: 15 cm

Part of Salomon’s modular system of S/Lab trail running clothing, the S/Lab Short are perhaps the most performance focused short in this roundup, particularly when paired with their equally featherweight inner (sold separately). There’s also the option to attach a belt to this modular system, giving extra capacity for fitting a 500ml flask, some gels and a mobile that’ll see you through short to middle distances.

Perhaps the most notable feeling when putting these shorts on is of course that lack of weight – it’s akin to putting a pair of mesh shorts on (don’t worry, they’re not see-through). This extremely lightweight 4-way stretch fabric has been built with micro holes in it, to improve breathability. Silicone around the inside of the waistband ensures things are held up adequately.

Get the latest price at:
salomon.com

 

Montane Razor Shorts

Price: £40
Weight: 80g
Leg Length: 18 cm

Montane describe the Razor Shorts as a “super lightweight, fast drying, loose fitting running short,” and we couldn’t agree more with this. By using a stretchy ‘Aeroflyte QD’ fabric, Montane have built a pair of shorts that remain exceptionally lightweight, while also offering a little protection from the wind and sun.

The Razor shorts feature a mesh inner brief, that has been treated with Polygiene to keep things smelling fresh. You’ve also got a zipped pocket on the back of the shorts, big enough to fit a medium-sized mobile phone. The team here at Outdoors Magic loved the loose fit which gave them an airy feel during the summer heat. This fit also means that they’ll easily fit over a pair of tights when winter begins to bite. The Razor Short is also cracking value, at just £40.

Get the latest price at:
montane.com

 

Rab Talus Shorts

Price: £50
Weight: 120g
Leg Length: 22.5 cm

Rab have made a strong push into the ultra running world this year with the release of their Skyline range. This range promises to combine “the latest, lightest fabrics with cutting edge design” and these, the Talus short, are a great example of that ethos.

We were left impressed with the lightweight fabric used on the Talus shorts. Rab have named this fabric Matrix: it’s a single weave fabric that’s extremely stretchy and when combined with a loose fit, you’ve got completely unhindered leg freedom when you’re charging up, or down the fells. There’s no inner within these shorts, so you’ll want to combine them with a pair of technical briefs or boxers.

While we reviewed the bold and luminous ‘acid’ colour, there are also options for slightly more subtle tones, such as Azure (blue) and Beluga (grey).

Get the latest price at:
rab.equipment

Soar Dual Run Shorts

Price: £86
Leg Length: 12 cm (shell), 25 cm (liner)

If you were to select one pair of shorts to smash your next ultra-distance run, then these would be the ones to reach for. They’re extremely lightweight and wicking, while the inner offers improved comfort thanks to the use of a fabric that’s been designed to support your quads.

We found these shorts to be extremely comfortable, even over longer distances. The outer is built from an extremely lightweight, stretchy fabric that has holes laser cut into it to promote ventilation and the woven inner provides a great balance between protection and breathability for year-round use.

Although they come with an eye-watering price tag, we were sold by their all-day comfort of and their impressive ability to remain ventilated while providing decent upper leg protection. We did just have one gripe with these shorts: we’d have loved to see a laser bonded hem (similar to that found on the Rab Talus and On Lightweight Shorts) at the ends of the outer, as we could see them at the seams fraying over time.

Get the latest price at:
soarrunning.com

 

Patagonia Endless Run Shorts

Price: £55
Weight: 119g
Leg Length: 11.5 cm

While these may look like just a pair of simple tight shorts, the Patagonia Endless Run Shorts offer more than meets the eye, with two full length large pockets on each thigh that will both easily swallow up a mobile, or even a compact Harvey Map. There’s also a third gel pocket on the rear.

As we’ve now come to expect from Patagonia, the Endless Run Shorts boast decent eco credentials. For example, they’re made from 80% recycled polyester (which has been treated with ‘HeiQ’ odor control), and they’re Fair Trade certified as well.

The Outdoors Magic team praised the comfort of these shorts: the tight fitting design meant they never got in the way, yet remained unrestrictive when running hard. Patagonia also makes a men’s version of the Endless Run Shorts, which features a slightly looser cut, but all the same features and low weight as the women’s version.

Get the latest price at:
eu.patagonia.com

Dynafit Vertical Shorts

Price: £60
Weight 88g
Leg Length: NA

The Dynafit Vertical Shorts are a throwback to traditional running shorts: minimal and verging into ‘hot pants’ territory. However, this traditional design has been paired with a modern looking camouflage print to keep them in the twenty-first century. We’ve been big fans of the streamlined design Dynafit have gone for. This no-thrills approach means there’s little risk of anything malfunctioning over time.

Although Dynafit have kept the design pretty subtle, they’re still packing a gel pocket, a comfortable waistband and an internal mesh brief. Just a quick note about fit: although Dynafit describe it as ‘loose’, we’d recommend that you size up if you tend to sit between sizes. We found the medium was quite snug.

Get the latest price at:
dynafit.com

On Lightweight Shorts

Price: £70
Weight: 105g

Swiss-based On are one of the fastest running companies out there, with their highly-cushioned ‘cloud’ footwear seemingly becoming extremely popular. They also make some great trail running kit as well though and these shorts being a great example of that.

The Lightweight Shorts feature a dual design, with a lightweight stretchy fabric on the front, and a perforated polyester fabric on the back, which gives the shorts the ability to easily dump heat – perfect for warm weather days on the hills. One thing to note with these shorts is the lack of wind protection that this perforated section offers. You’d probably want to choose a slightly more wind protected pair if you don’t want so much airflow.

Aside from the materials used, these shorts have a rather simple design. A small (but stretchy) gel pocket at the rear which has a key loop, is basically the only notable feature. There’s also a comfortable elastic waistband.

Get the latest price at:
on-running.com

 

For More Like This:

Best Lightweight Waterproof Jackets 

Best Trail Running Packs

 

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