Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
I like raw denim as much as the next guy, but once I got into high-quality techwear I found myself wearing my raws less and less. One of the main benefits of tech fabrics is their breathability and temperature control properties, which makes them an ideal material for your summer shorts. Sure, the price will be nominally more expensive than it would be for shorts made from a less fancy material, but when the heat is beating down on you relentlessly, the price increase is easily justifiable.
1) AND WANDER: Nylon Climbing Shorts
and wander is quickly gaining popularity as a techwear brand, and their Nylon Climbing Shorts are a great introduction to their wears. Made with a 100% nylon outer and 100% polyester lining, these water repellent shorts offer great details in their reflective stitching, a built-in-belt, and five pockets (including a hidden pocket). While these might be a bit too short for some of you, they’re a great choice if you like the style.
Available for $215 at Blue Owl.
2) Outlier: New Way Shorts
Most well known Slim Dungarees, Outlier’s New Way Shorts pack the same goodness into a pair of everyday wear shorts. Constructed from 97%/3% Nylon/Elastane F-Cloth, these shorts are treated with DWR for water repellency and feature a range of great details, such as YKK zipper, Paracord internal drawstring, and mesh pockets.
Available for $125 at Outlier.
3) Mission Workshop: The Stahl
Mission Workshop’s utility short, nicknamed The Stahl, are a great pair of shorts for anything you throw at them. Made in the USA from four-way-stretch fabric, these shorts are designed with comfort and durability in mind but without sacrificing style. Available in a range of basic colors, these shorts are inexpensive enough that you can start a collection but of high enough quality that you don’t need multiple pairs if you don’t want them.
Available for $155 at Mission Workshop.
4) Uniqlo: Dry Stretch Easy Shorts
While techwear of any kind can get quite expensive, Uniqlo has been offering great, entry-level pieces of years. Their Dry Stretch Easy Shorts combine cotton and polyester into a great fabric for your new favorite shorts, and Uniqlo cleverly added an elasticated waist for improved comfort and ease of sizing. They’re available in just about any color you can imagine, and at their entry-level price, there’s no reason to not pick up a few pairs for your wardrobe this season.
Available for $15 at Uniqlo.
5) Arc’teryx Veilance: Voronoi LT Short
To me, Arc’teryx Veilance represents the very best in techwear pants, but that doesn’t mean their Voronoi LT Shorts are anything to scoff at. Made from the same great materials as their pants, these shorts offer great wind and water resistance…but, I mean, they’re still shorts so not that much. That said, their articulated fit, webbing belt loops, and geometric pockets make them a great choice for those who want a pair of techwear shorts that look just a bit different.
Available for $350CAD (~$260USD) at Haven.
Plus One — Vollebak: 100 Year Shorts
If you are in the market for a pair of shorts but don’t want to worry about them wearing out after only a few decades, then Vollebak’s 100 Year Shorts are the clear choice. Made from fabric created by Schoeller, one of the most well-respected companies in regards to techwear fabric development, these abrasion resistant and water repellant shorts really are one of the kind. Oh, and did I mention the fabric expands in the event of a fire to protect the wearer, because it does that too. Sure, they’re pricey, but they truly are one of a kind.
Available for $345 at Vollebak.