Shorts are an essential part of any outdoor kit for summer adventures. This summer I will be testing the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Shorts as I pursue outdoor adventures in the southeastern United States. Read on for my initial thoughts on the shorts.
I recently made the move from Juneau, Alaska to New Orleans, Louisiana and I have to rethink my wardrobe. I am hoping that the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek shorts can become my go to shorts. The shorts are 100% nylon and feature six pockets – two standard hand pockets with mesh lining, a rear pocket and a cargo pocket on the left leg. The right pocket, rear pocket and cargo pocket also feature zippered security pockets. Mountain Khakis states that the shorts have a UPF 50 rating, a DWR finish and are treated Scotchgard to help resist stains.
I chose my shorts based on the sizing on the company’s website – 35 waist, with a 9 inch inseam. The shorts that arrived are true to size, though my wife tells me that she thinks that they are snug in the seat, I think they fit well! The shorts look sharp and only feature a small embroidered “MK” logo above the right hip pocket for advertising. The numerous pockets are nice and allow me to place my iPhone and other essentials close at hand without feeling like they are constricting my movement. I appreciate that the zippered pockets also have a bit of line as a zipper pull to help with opening and closing. There are numerous belt loops and the waistline is flat so don’t anticipate any bunching under a backpack, but this is an area I will monitor.
I generally evaluate shorts on two main criteria – comfort and durability. Under comfort, I will specifically monitor how well they perform in hot conditions. Here in New Orleans the temperatures are in 90’s for most of the summer with 100% humidity. Do the shorts wick sweat well? Do they dry quickly? Under durability, I will monitor how well they stand up to abuse on the trail and from wearing them under a backpack. I am generally pretty hard on gear and I am excited to see how the Granite Creek shorts perform.
Update September 9, 2016
I have used the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Shorts over the past several weeks on dayhikes and on an overnight camping trip, putting over 37 miles on them over this time period. They have performed admirably wicking away sweat and showing no signs of wear. Read on for the rest of my report.
Most of my hiking over the past month has included daily walks on the Mississippi River Levy overlooking the river and on an overnight camping trip to Fountainbleau State Park in Louisiana. Conditions have been in the 90s with almost 100% humidity and the occasional thunderstorm. Winds have varied between 5 to 10 mph while walking on the Levy. I have worn the shorts for 37 miles of hiking over this time period.
I mentioned in my initial thoughts that I evaluate shorts on comfort and durability. Comfort has been superb. I have experienced no bunching or chaffing, which is extremely important with the almost unbearable heat that we have had here in Louisiana. I am sweating from the moment I step out the door, and I have been impressed with how well the shorts wick sweat away from my legs and their ability to dry quickly. On one evening hike, I was caught unexpectedly in a rain storm and had to run back to the house while getting soaked in the process. Even fully soaked the shorts did great with no chaffing, and I had freedom of movement to run. I generally wear the shorts with a belt to keep them in place and I haven’t had any issues with the waist seam or rubbing in the waist. The pockets are useful. I find that I can easily carry my essentials in the side pockets including an iPhone without any noticeable change in the fit of the shorts. I appreciated the zippered side pocket while wearing them walking in downtown New Orleans. I felt comfortable knowing that my essentials where in a zippered pocket safely away from potential pickpockets.
The durability of the shorts have been superb as well. They still look brand new with no signs of wear on any of the seams or in the crotch which is where I find that shorts in general tend to wear out more quickly. I haven’t done anything special with regards to washing the shorts, I throw them in the wash with the rest of my family’s clothes and they continue to come out of the laundry looking brand new. I also appreciate the fact they don’t wrinkle even if it takes me a day or two to get around to folding laundry.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Shorts. I will continue to test them over the next month and have a multiday backpacking trip in the Pinhoti Mountains of Alabama that should put them to the ultimate test.
Final update October 16, 2016
I have found my new favorite pair of hiking and backpacking shorts. I have used the shorts for over 100 miles of hiking and backpacking since receiving them in July including two multi-day backpacking trips. They have proven to be comfortable, durable and an all around great pair of shorts. Read on for my final impressions.
I have used these shorts on two backpacking trips since my last update; a 3 day trip on the Pinhoti trail in Northern Alabama and a 3 day backpacking trip on the Tuxachanie trail in the De Soto National Forest of Mississippi. In addition, I have used the shorts while walking on the Mississippi River levy which sits right outside my house, and for hikes at the Woodlands Conservancy trails, one of the last remaining stands of hardwood swamp in Louisiana. Temperatures have ranged from the upper 90’s to the low 60’s and the weather has been clear with no precipitation since my update in September. Overall, I have used the shorts for 110 miles of hiking and backpacking.
As I stated in my initial review, I was searching for a new pair of shorts since shorts were non-existent in my Alaska gear kit. The Mountain Khakis Granite Creek shorts are my new favorite shorts. They work well for backpacking and hiking. They are very comfortable and I never had any issues with chaffing even on 8 hour days of backpacking in 90 degree weather on the Pinhoti trail. They wicked sweat away while hiking and dried quickly while lounging around camp in the evenings. I was also pleased with the flat waist seam. I carried a 50 pound pack and had no issues with pinching or bunching around my hips. My only con with respect to comfort is smell. After three days of backpacking in 90 degree weather they stunk to high heaven. I am happy to report though that the smell doesn’t stay in the shorts and washed out with no lasting effects.
The second factor I evaluated the shorts on was durability. I am pleased to say that the shorts continue to look brand new. There are no pulled seams or blown out stitching and dirt and stains have washed out. I also appreciate how stylish the shorts are. They are equally at home walking around the French Quarter as they are on the trail. I mentioned the usefulness of the pockets in my September update and I still think the pockets are just as useful. I can carry all my essentials without feeling like I will lose anything and the zippered pockets provide that extra level of security when I need it.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek short. They are comfortable, durable, and stylish. I plan on continuing to wear these shorts until the fall apart… if they ever do.
Thank you to 4alloutdoors.org and Mountain Khakis for allowing me to review the shorts.