REI Co-op Active Pursuits Shorts Review
Cons: No rear pockets, no fly
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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REI Co-op Active Pursuits Shorts
$44.95 at REI
|$31.83 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$59.95 at REI
$50.00 at Amazon
$37.96 at Amazon
|Pros||Lightweight, elastic waist, dry quickly||Lightweight, odor resistant, zippered pockets||Good water resistance, many pockets, inexpensive||Good water resistance, inexpensive||Comfortable, elastic waist, inexpensive|
|Cons||No rear pockets, no fly||Not super stylish, liner limits versatility||Utilitarian appearance, pocket openings a little small||Materials feel cheaper, no waist adjuster, fabric not stretchy||Limiting pocket configuration, no belt loops|
|Bottom Line||These athletic, lightweight shorts come with an interior liner and ventilation holes that help you stay cool||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 simple shorts are inexpensive and practical||A fast and light pair of shorts with just a couple of features keeping it from the top|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Patagonia Nine Trai...||REI Co-op Sahara Ca...||Columbia Silver Rid...||The North Face Para...|
|Comfort and Mobility (35%)|
|Versatility and Style (20%)|
|Venting and Breathability (10%)|
|Weather Resistance and Dry Time (10%)|
|Specs||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Patagonia Nine Trai...||REI Co-op Sahara Ca...||Columbia Silver Rid...||The North Face Para...|
|Weight||5.8 oz||6.6 oz||5.9 oz||6.9 oz||6.8 oz|
|Material||86% polyester/14% spandex||100% recycled polyester||Nylon||95% nylon, 5% elastane||90% polyester, 10% elastane|
|Water Resistance||Not specified||DWR coating||DWR finish||Omni-Shield coating||DWR finish|
|Sizing (waist, length options)||S-XL||XS - XXL||30 - 40||28 - 42; 8", 10"||S - XL; 10", 12"|
|Sun Protection||UPF 50||Not specified||UPF 50||UPF 50||UPF 50|
|Convertible, or option available?||Pants, shorts||No||Pants, convertible available||Pants available||No|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 embedded zip||3||5||5||4|
|Waist Strap/Fasten||Elastic, drawstring||Elastic/Draw string||Button and zip fly||Button and zip fly||Button and zip fly|
|Other Features||Ventilation holes, interior liner||Odor control liner, waist drawcord, reflective logo||Relaxed fit, integrated belt, gusseted crotch||Regular fit, stain repellancy||Relaxed fit, included belt|
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a 7-inch inseam and lightweight fabric, these shorter shorts will keep you cool. The 86/14% polyester/spandex blend also makes them comfortable.
Comfort & Mobility
These shorts have a lot going for them on the comfort front. Their high proportion of spandex makes them extra stretchy. The elastic waist can also adjust to different sizes, which makes them useful if you are planning to use them on a longer trip where your waist size might fluctuate.
The interior liner is somewhat sheer and even stretchier than the main body of the shorts which helps to maintain both support and mobility. It has a briefs-style design (as opposed to something more like compression shorts) which feels more restrictive to some people, but we ultimately didn't find it distracting.
This model is highlighted by a simple feature set. It has two traditional front handwarmer pockets. In addition, the righthand side has an embedded zippered pocket for keys or other small items that you can't afford to escape mid-activity. We found this pocket to be the best inclusion of all. The elastic waist stays up on its own, but the inclusion of a drawstring as well adds some additional security.
Notably, this pair does not have any rear pockets. In most cases, when all we needed was our keys, this wasn't an issue. However, we did occasionally find ourselves reaching back for a pocket that wasn't there and wishing that it was.
Versatility & Style
As far as style goes, these are most definitely a pair of outdoor activewear shorts. There's just no way around it. That's not a bad thing if that's what you are going for, but the straight-from-the-workout look is what this pair is bringing to the table. They are great for trail running, day hikes as well as longer backpacking adventures.
Because of the tight cut of the liner, they aren't ideal for activities like yoga or fitness classes that require a lot of stretching. However, their design essentially makes them a bathing suit, so they are a great stand-in for swimming, paddling, or other watersports.
Venting & Breathability
There are a few features we really appreciate that are focused specifically on venting and breathability. The inseam is shorter to begin with, meaning that there is less fabric overall. The interior liner is sheer and very breathable.
The pockets are mesh-lined and there are even sets of holes at each hip to facilitate ventilation. On top of that, these are among the lightest shorts that we have tested. Taken together, there are a lot of elements that are geared toward good ventilation and increased breathability.
Weather Resistance & Dry Time
Water resistance is not a strength of this pair. In fact, they absorb precipitation immediately. In a heavy storm, they also get rather heavy. However, on the plus side, their thin fabric also dries very quickly.
These shorts thrive in warmer, dry weather and allow for really nice air flow on breezy days.
These shorts offer strong value. As one of the least expensive models in this review, they earn a performance mark that exceeds what we would have expected. Though you might need to wash them more frequently (as a consequence of the interior liner), if you prefer more athletic hiking shorts over traditional hiking shorts (with more pockets, features, and thicker fabric), this pair works and keeps costs low.
The REI Co-op Active Pursuits stands up to its name by offering high performance and comfort for trail running and hiking. The shorter length and ventilation points help you stay cool in the heat, and the basic features have enough of what we needed to find a lot of utility with this pair.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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