Outdoor Research Ferrosi Short Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stretchy and comfortable, soft waist liner, drawstring
Cons: Waist gets loose, only one zippered pocket
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Compare to Similar Products
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Short
|Price||$41.22 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$65.00 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
$44.95 at REI
|Pros||Stretchy and comfortable, soft waist liner, drawstring||Comfortable, stylish, water resistant||Lightweight, odor resistant, zippered pockets||Good water resistance, many pockets, inexpensive||Lightweight, elastic waist, dry quickly|
|Cons||Waist gets loose, only one zippered pocket||A little tight when sitting down, no integrated belt||Not super stylish, liner limits versatility||Utilitarian appearance, pocket openings a little small||No rear pockets, no fly|
|Bottom Line||Lightweight and breathable shorts that have a lot of stretch for high mobility||These comfortable, functional shorts really impressed us on our adventures||A lightweight, breathable pair of shorts that are equally comfortable on a run as they are on a backpacking trip||These thin yet water resistant shorts are a great option for the practical, budget-minded hiker||These athletic, lightweight shorts come with an interior liner and ventilation holes that help you stay cool|
|Rating Categories||Outdoor Research Fe...||Patagonia Quandary...||Patagonia Nine Trai...||REI Co-op Sahara Ca...||REI Co-op Active Pu...|
|Comfort and Mobility (35%)|
|Versatility and Style (20%)|
|Venting and Breathability (10%)|
|Weather Resistance and Dry Time (10%)|
|Specs||Outdoor Research Fe...||Patagonia Quandary...||Patagonia Nine Trai...||REI Co-op Sahara Ca...||REI Co-op Active Pu...|
|Weight||6.7 oz||7.1 oz||6.6 oz||5.9 oz||5.8 oz|
|Material||86% nylon, 14% spandex||95% nylon 5% spandex||100% recycled polyester||Nylon||86% polyester/14% spandex|
|Water Resistance||DWR treated||DWR coating||DWR coating||DWR finish||Not specified|
|Sizing (waist, length options)||28-38; 8", 10"||28 - 41; 8", 10", 12" inseams||XS - XXL||30 - 40||S-XL|
|Sun Protection||50+||UPF 50+||Not specified||UPF 50||UPF 50|
|Convertible, or option available?||No||Pants available||No||Pants, convertible available||Pants, shorts|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 zip thigh, 2 back||5 (plus right coin)||3||5||2 hand, 1 embedded zip|
|Waist Strap/Fasten||Button and zip fly||Button and zip fly||Elastic/Draw string||Button and zip fly||Elastic, drawstring|
|Other Features||Drawstring, waistliner||Classic fit, curved waistband, gusseted crotch||Odor control liner, waist drawcord, reflective logo||Relaxed fit, integrated belt, gusseted crotch||Ventilation holes, interior liner|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The 86%/14% nylon/spandex blend creates a high-mobility, comfortable short. They are lightweight while including enough pockets and features to keep them practical.
Comfort & Mobility
In terms of comfort and mobility, we found that these shorts try to balance this metric against style. The fabric has a lot of stretch and the crotch is gusseted to increase space. However, the legs feel like they have a comparatively narrow diameter and they ride up a bit when sitting down.
The interior waist liner is an excellent addition that reduces abrasion from a backpack hip belt. These shorts sit below the waist. We also found that they stretch out in the waist faster than the average pair when worn multiple days in a row on trail, which just makes us extra grateful for the included drawstring. A surprisingly rare feature, we are also pleased with the length of the fly, which comes down low enough to actually be practical, unlike other slim-fitting shorts.
With a full complement of five pockets, these shorts are equipped to hold the essentials. They come with two front, two rear, and one right side zippered cargo pocket. This last one feels shallow at first but the fabric is so stretchy that it can actually accommodate a large smartphone or multiple protein bars. We did, however, find that the opening is somewhat small and difficult to reach a hand into.
These shorts also have traditional belt loops as well as a drawstring to tighten them down if you find yourself without a belt. The front metal button is super easy to secure.
Versatility & Style
This is a pair of shorts meant for hot summer weather. We wish that more of the pockets had zippers for increased security and practicality. However, we found that they are an excellent choice for hiking, mobile enough for climbing, and thin and quick-drying enough for paddling.
Their style leaves them somewhere in the middle of the bunch with a somewhat unusual combination of qualities. They sit low, but also have a slim fit in the legs. The drawstring is hidden on the inside so they might just look like a nice pair of casual shorts for going out, but the cargo pocket is also somewhat prominent, which gives them a more utilitarian look.
Venting & Breathability
The thinness of the fabric means that they may not be the most durable pair but it does make them highly breathable. Coming in at just 6.7 ounces, these are among the lightest shorts in the category.
The front and cargo pockets are all partially mesh-lined, though, in our experience with them, the airiness of the fabric makes much more of a difference for keeping cool.
Weather Resistance & Dry Time
Given their thinness as discussed above, we are pleasantly surprised by their water resistance. The DWR coating keeps water beading nicely even in moderate rain. Taken together, their water resistance and their thinness mean that they dry especially quickly as well. They are also rated to UPF 50+ meaning that they have been tested for (and protect against) sun exposure to a high degree.
One compromise that these shorts make is with the waistband. Though the waist in general of most pairs of shorts is the thickest part that takes the longest to dry, the addition of the abrasion-resistant liner adds another layer that takes noticeably longer to dry (from both sweat and rain) than the rest of this garment.
Their initial performance is strong but in terms of value, we would look elsewhere first. Because the material is thin, we have concerns about its long-term durability when it comes up against abrasion and snags from rocks and thorns. Also, these shorts aren't specialized for a particular activity, which can definitely be an asset, but depending on what you are hoping to do, your money could be better invested in a pair that is tailored to your specific needs.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi is a comfortable, breathable, and lightweight short that functions well for many summer trail adventures. Though our testers had some issues with the fit, we think the right person will really love these shorts.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More