Marmot Limantour Short Review
Cons: More expensive, baggier feel
Our Analysis and Test Results
Through miles of backcountry, these shorts kept us comfortable. We like the subtle, but thoughtful features like the felted waistband. Their length is sometimes challenging, with extra material getting caught up in overgrown trails, but also a value-add for sun protection. All in all, the value isn't quite there, but we were nonetheless pleased with their performance.
The Marmot Limantour scores big on comfort with solid supporting features. They perform solidly all-around, earning them a spot near the top of this review.
Comfort and Mobility
These shorts don't skimp on the comfort features. They are primarily made from an 88%/12% nylon/elastane blend (with a 90%/10% blend in the seat). This is by far the highest proportion of stretch material, and it shows. In addition, the fabric stretches both vertically and side-to-side, which is not actually that common in hiking shorts. What this means is that even when you are scrambling and twisting, the shorts move as you do.
The felted waist also adds to the comfort factor by reducing chaffing and abrasion, especially when wearing a backpack. Though not as low-profile as the Arc'teryx Palisade, the seam around the inside leg feels discrete and didn't cause any chaffing during testing.
The 12" inseam is the longest of any model that we tested. Even though the fabric itself is stretchy, we found that this added length and looser cut means more material, which gets snagged on brush and occassionally limited mobility, especially for shorter wearers whose knees might be covered by these shorts.
These shorts come decently appointed. With both traditional belt loops as well as an interior drawstring, it is easy to get the fit just right, especially if you find that your waistline shrinks over the course of your trip, especially if you are out for an extended period of time. There are four pockets: two front, one zippered rear on the right, and one zippered cargo on the left. Though the opening on the cargo pocket is a little on the small side, we appreciate its angled design, which makes it easier to open and close with one hand. It's not very deep, but can still easily hold multiple snack bars and many smartphones.
On the flip side, we found the opening on the rear pocket to be much easier to access than other rear pockets like those on the REI Co-Op Sahara Cargo. The metal button looks and feels like it is on the cheaper side relative to others in the category, but it stays secure throughout the day.
Versatility and Style
These shorts are somewhat unique in their versatility. Their dual-material design puts stretchier fabric in the front and legs, and a more durable panel in the seat. We would characterize their style as a cross between hiking shorts and board shorts. They are longer than any other model and looser than the Patagonia Quandary and Prana Brion. These shorts would bunch up underneath a harness, but we enjoyed them for day hikes and think that they would be good for canoeing, or water activities where you might want more coverage from the sun.
Weather Resistance and Dry Time
The Limantour are decent for their weather resistance. They do have a UPF 50+ rating, meaning that they offer solid protection from the sun. The material itself is solidly water-resistant and water beads and rolls off easily when the fabric is relaxed.
However, if you are on the move, water works its way into the gaps between the stretchy fibers, eventually making it to your legs. With that in mind, we noticed an unusual phenomenon with this pair: they are less resistant to mist than to heavier rain (we think because it is easier for the smaller water drops to pass through the fabric).
Venting and Breathability
We are pleasantly surprised by how lightweight these shorts feel given their length and how bulky they look. The side and rear pockets are lined with fine mesh for modest ventilation, and the super stretchy fabric is breathable as well.
For the same reason that they miss some points on weather resistance because of the porous fabric, they get some back because that same fabric is more breathable. Their length and bulk do need to be taken into account here, but overall, they kept us cooler than we expected.
The Limantour shorts perform best where comfort and durability are required in equal amounts. We think they are a great option for the avid day hiker. Their combination of pockets and other features increases their versatility; we could envision them as a good choice for traveling and road trips where you aren't quite sure whether the day will bring long hours in the car or a scramble to a peak.
Ringing up at $80, these are the third most expensive pair of shorts in this review. With that in mind, they have niche value, but we would opt for the Patagonia Quandary ahead of this pair, and perhaps some of our (less expensive) award winners as well, depending on your priorities. To be clear, we think that they will last a long time and do a good job while doing so, but other shorts will do just as well for less.
The Marmot Limantour are comfortable, stretchy shorts that can be used for hiking or hanging out in equal parts. The features are nice, and despite their length, they still offer decent breathability. Though they aren't quite award winners, they are a good option for day hikes, and we wouldn't be upset to have a pair on hand for our next adventure.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch