Women need practical outdoor clothing too! When I saw Coalatree was bringing out a shorts version via Kickstarter of their unisex Adventure Pants, I had to check them out. I wrote a review of the Adventure Pants from a woman’s point of view because the pants are unisex. However the shorts come in both a men’s and women’s version. This review is of the women’s version, because, well, I’m a woman.
The women’s shorts are shorter than the men’s, with a 4″ inseam, and the waistband is flat at the front (more flattering) with an elasticated back. The pockets are identical on both styles – two flaps on the butt, one with velcro, and two deep side pockets.
Another feature of both the pants and shorts is that they squish into one of those side pockets for easy transport (that is, when you’re not wearing them). The ones on the right, with the orange writing, are the shorts. To give you an idea of scale, the shorts bundle up into something the size of a thick pair of rolled-up socks.(The bundle on the top left is the pants.)
The fabric itself is AMAZING.
First of all, it stretches. I cannot tell you how comfortably it stretches. When you squat or bend down, the waistband magically stays in place. Yet when you’re standing up, it’s not all baggy. Nor are we talking clinging like spandex. They’re just a good comfortable fit, not too tight and not too loose. As an extra bonus, they are water-repellent.
This is actually me pouring water on the trousers, but the shorts are exactly the same. The water beads and rolls off. Now, I haven’t tried these in a thunderstorm, and as they’re washable I presume they can get wet. But if you’re doing something where you’re likely to get splashed (I’m thinking log flume) this would be perfect. Because let’s face it, no one likes to walk around in damp clothes. As an extra extra bonus they are antimicrobial, which is a fancy way of saying you can wear them for ages without them getting horrible stinky. Perfect for camping trips and traveling light.
As the fabric is the same as the Adventure Pants, it will have the same tear- and snag-resistant qualities. I did inadvertently test this when I wore the pants in brambles, but quite frankly, if you plan on walking through brambles while wearing shorts you’ve got bigger problems than worrying about snags.
OK, so the fabric is amazing, water-repellant, non-stinky blah blah. But how to they look on an actual person who isn’t some long-limbed model type?
(By the way, these are the MEDIUM size, same as the pants.)
I’m 5’5″, size US6/UK10. I’m neither long-limbed or a model, and this is what they look like on me. I love the length, short enough to be flattering and make my short legs look slightly less short. They’re not heading into Bermuda shorts territory, but long enough to cover my ass and a bit more. Also long enough so when I bend down there’s no danger of flashing my ass. As mentioned above, the waistband is flat at the front and the elastic is at the back. There’s also a drawstring, in case the waistband is loose.
I found they sat very comfortably above my hip. They are neither too tight or too loose. They are close to being perfect in fact. They are slightly tighter than the waistband on the pants, but only marginally so. The flat front does indeed look much better than the gathered elastic of the pants, and there are even belt loops if you want to dress them up a little. Oh, and the fly is a fake. They just pull on.
From the side you can see the gathering at the back. There’s plenty of stretch in there to allow for eating a big lunch!
My only tiny criticism is that only one of the back pockets has velcro, and even that isn’t very secure. But being a girl, I always carry my crap in a bag, so I’m less worried about it.
You can definitely tell these have been designed specifically for women, rather than the unisex design of the trousers.
The legs are slightly looser than the trousers, and the waistband is smaller. This works very well for the average woman-shape, which generally has a waist that is smaller then the hips and ass. My chunky ass and thighs like this fit very much.
I can honestly say these are the most comfortable shorts I have ever owned.
They arrived pretty late in the summer, but I wore them in the woods, on the beach, and around the house. Right now you have to order them from the US, and they are not cheap at $69 plus shipping. But while I am usually a huge cheapskate, I think it’s totally worth it. You can also get a discount if you sign up to their newsletter. If you’re looking for a pair of shorts that are comfortable, flattering, and practical, these are the ones for you. Buy them here! Here is the obligatory glamorous picture, with the shorts in action on the beach.
Not that there’s much action, I’m basically lying there, trying to get an insta-perfect picture. It took me bloody ages to get this picture. I’m crap at selfies.(The blanket, by the way, is also from Coalatree, a Puffy Kachula. Also wonderful, and also from Kickstarter. I love Kickstarter.)