Choosing Summer trekking shorts for men: Montane shorts range reviewed

Jul 22, 2022 BY Mark Pawlak

I’ve previously spent little time thinking about what I’m wearing on my legs. Choosing summer trekking shorts for men seemed like an indulgence for me as usually I’d just wear whatever I had. But let’s first look at the types of trekking shorts then have a look at the Montane shorts range reviewed here and see what’s on offer – and why you should / might be interested.

3 pairs of bright summer trekking shorts on a fence with alpine background

Trekking or Walking shorts – does it matter?

Well, this depends on how you define these activities. For me the two become interchangeable. Both involve walking in shorts. Trekking is often used to describe longer, more arduous, walks. So, not really worth holding onto the definitions.

Interested is splitting the differences? Here’s a great look at the difference between walking, hiking and trekking by Bald Hiker. If I had to differentiate: When it comes to buying shorts for trekking, they should probably be of a tougher construction.

Types of Summer Trekking shorts

Well, there’s a few ‘types’ – these can be based on length (short shorts or long shorts) or how tough or stretchy they may be. So maybe better to look at the differences between types of trekking shorts and what you might look for when buying a pair?

I picked 3 pairs from the Montane range that should show the main variations and options you’ll have when buying trekking shorts. The 3 things to really consider are: weight, design and flexibility (stretch). Ultimately, you’ll want a combination of all three depending on what you are doing.

Walking over snow with trekking poles and red trekking shorts

There are 2 popular lengths and some of this is just personal preference. The shorter shorts aren’t actually that short, they sit mid-way down your thighs so don’t worry that they’ll be like running shorts.

Benefits of shorter shorts

Well, they are lighter – and combine lightweight construction with shorter length and they come in really light. You’ll get more airflow – as long as you have a great fit, and you have a more casual style that could be worn off trail.

Benefits of longer shorts

Big pockets. Yes, you’ll get larger spaces to dump items but more importantly you get more protection when you sit down, rub against rocks etc. Yes, more coverage will keep more rain off, but if you’re that bothered – and there’s that much rain – you’ll probably put waterproofs on.

Ok, let’s look at 3 pairs from the Montane shorts range reviewed here which demonstrate the differences between their trekking shorts and give you an idea which are best suited for what you might need.

(For an idea of size difference, here they are in the top photo from L to R as reviewed in this piece.)

3 pairs of mens summer trekking shorts in size order
3 pairs of colourful trekking shorts on table in mountains

Worth noting, the Montane Terra shorts reviewed here only come in men’s versions – there are excellent lightweight options for women – in fact more than for men. Take a look at the Axial light or Tucana shorts if after something for friend, partner etc.

Terra Shorts

Summary: Super light, casual but well specified pair of walking shorts for summer.

Best for: Walking. trekking in hot conditions and as a spare pair of lightweight, casual shorts when travelling

Features

  • Microfleece lined waistband with belt loops
  • Zipped fly with press snap and button closure
  • Two mesh lined, zipped hand pockets
  • Zipped rear pocket
  • Eco-friendly DWR treatment to help water resistance
  • Weight: 155g

The most casual, and lightest of the Montane shorts reviewed here. They feel like a shell, almost like thin running shorts but have enough pockets to be practical, too. I’m not sure how tough they will prove over repeated uses but they handled three days of hard wearing so that’s good sign.

The classic fit limits the range of flexibility when compared to more technical shorts, but the trade off is you get a pair of shorts that have more casual uses. There’s no special super stretch panels. No security pockets. No frills. That’s not to say they are under-specced. You still get 3 good zipped pockets, belt loops and a lined waist band.

They pack so small you could easily stash a couple of pairs if you were travelling, regardless of sport.

What I liked: Everything

What I didn’t like/ could be improved: Nothing – and that’s rare for me!

Dyno Stretch Shorts

(The same name is used on a pair of women’s shorts, shown in the pictures but the specifications aren’t exactly the same.)

Summary: All-round active shorts, mid-weight construction with plenty of features

Best for: Hiking and trekking in most conditions, better in Spring and Summer. Maybe also for climbing – but I’m not a climber so can’t say.

Features

  • Active cut for high step movement
  • Waist button fastening
  • Belt loops and belt
  • Fine brushed microfleece inner rear waistband
  • Removable lightweight belt with low profile buckle and belt loops
  • Two mesh lined hand pockets
  • Thigh pocket and rear right hand mesh lined pocket with YKK reverse coil zip
  • Weight: 250g

If you had to buy just one pair from the range for walking or trekking I’d go for these. Yes, they are better suited to warmer months, but if it’s warm enough for shorts you’ll be fine with these.

You’ll find some key features that you should look for if choosing trekking shorts for Summer, and discover why attention to detail really matters in a product. Montane has included deep mesh pockets and integrated a brushed micro fleece into the waistband to help absorb sweat and minimise rubbing. I found these super comfy. Worn with a small rucksack when trekking in Albania, they were my favourite of the 3 pairs tested here.

The material has some stretch to it, there’s SPF and some water repellency and great punchy colours. One compromise is the open, casual front pockets. While they are deep enough you might prefer to have front zipped pockets, or need a secure inside pouch.

Detail of microfibre waistband

What I liked: Really great balance of features and fit. Thoughtful design elements. Personally I wouldn’t often need heavier, tougher shorts, so these are my go-to walking shorts.

What I didn’t like or might be improved: The belt. While it’s useful I think they should go for a heavier construction on the clasp and use a rucksack type clip.

Terra Alpine Shorts

Summary: Trekking shorts with heavier construction with added stretch and water resistance

Best for: Hiking and trekking outside of Summer months

Features

  • Active cut to help movement
  • Tailored waist with double press stud fastening
  • Integrated belt
  • Two zipped hand warmer pockets
  • Pull out security pocket
  • Mesh lined left thigh pocket
  • Weight : 310g

A good example of the tougher, heavier choice when you are choosing Summer trekking shorts – so much so, you might want to keep these for cooler times. I did wear them in 30C plus and they weren’t restrictive or cumbersome – it’s just that you have lighter choices available.

The DWR treatment does help water bead off in a shower, but will reduce breathability. The material of the Montane Terra Alpine shorts reviewed here is from its Granite Stretch design. Key here is a tougher outer layer contrasted with a softer inner fabric. They were dragged over rocks and no issues.

There’s consistent quality in the design, pockets are excellent and the zipped security pocket a good thought – although, why just have it the size of a credit card? Could it not be bigger?

security pocket with keys inside red summer walking shorts

The extra construction does bring up the weight, something you’ll notice when switching to them from lighter options. I naturally prefer tough over light so was generally impressed here.

Things I liked: Rugged build quality, tough but stretchy fabric, outrageous red colour.

Things I didn’t like or that could be improved/ changed: Not much, the security pocket could be bigger. Integrated belt: not sure you can replace it.

Choosing Summer trekking shorts for men: Summary

When buying trekking or walking shorts for summer I’d go back and think about what you really need them for. Just because a manufacturer makes it, doesn’t mean you need it. Also, just how hot is your Summer? For me, when selecting shorts it comes down to a trade off of weight and durability.

Group of people walking in forest in Summer

I’m also not 100% convinced – or perhaps experienced enough to work out what’s more important, cut or stretch. It’s got to be a combination of the two, depending on the activity. So, pick them based on the activity first and maybe try some to see just how stretchy they might be. Ok, you’ll get odd looks in the shop if you start bouldering the shelves, but you get the idea.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to choosing Summer trekking shorts for men. The Montane shorts range reviewed here was provided to me, however as always I’m under no obligation to give a positive review. Always impartial. You can find out more here about Montane shorts.

 

Abseiling, Bouldering, Camping, Caving, Hiking, Mountaineering, Multi Activity, Trekking, Via Ferrata, Walking

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