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Arc'teryx Creston - Women's Review

Cute, lightweight, and practical for both trail and town
Arc'teryx Creston - Women's
Photo: Arc'teryx
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $89 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Fashionable, water resistant, lightweight
Cons:  Not as breathable, not as versatile
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 7, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 7
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Features - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Creston is fun, cute, and lightweight. Functional on the trail as well as in town, the wardrobe versatility is a huge bonus. Having such a short inseam, however, limits our desire to use them for anything other than hiking, walking, or the casual bike ride. Scoring above average across the board (except for the near-perfect mark in water-resistance), means the Creston is of notable quality, but the competition is fierce. Best suited for the summer months and for casual to moderate use, we highly recommend these shorts for their added fashion, which is why they've earned a Top Pick Award for combining Style and Function.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The blue color we tested is fun and the material moves well with the...
The blue color we tested is fun and the material moves well with the body.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Comfort and Mobility


The 22.5-inch diameter of the leg openings for the size 2 we reviewed gave us enough room for our thighs. We've had issues in the past with Arc'teryx shorts not being flexible enough, and we are delighted to report that these have exceeded previous expectations. When climbing stairs or hiking steeper trails, we have nothing to gripe about.


True to size, the material is fluid and comfortable. Scoring above average for this metric, the all-day wear aspect just isn't as superb as some of the others, as the material isn't particularly soft. But, they are nonetheless pleasant in and of themselves. Weighing only 4.7 ounces, they are incredibly lightweight, easy to pack, and overall, are a functional joy to wear.

While the shorter inseam allows for more venting, the material...
While the shorter inseam allows for more venting, the material itself didn't breathe as well for us, as compared to others in our group.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Venting and Breathability


Despite manufacturer claims of high breathability, we feel they are actually fairly average for a pair of hiking shorts. The material is stiffer than many of the others, and we found our skin to pool sweat much more than the top performers in this category.


Our lead tester discovered that when carrying her phone in either of the back pockets, her sweat would eventually drench the phone. To mitigate this from happening, she had to continually switch pockets on longer hikes if it was hot out. This is somewhat normal for other shorts, too, but the Creston's material doesn't seem to ventilate or absorb much of the moisture, leaving more for the phone (or whatever items you're carrying) to sit next to over time. This could be due to the excellent nature of the pair's water resistance, which does affect the material's ability to breathe.

Trendy enough for the city, these athletic shorts provide great...
Trendy enough for the city, these athletic shorts provide great versatility.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Versatility


The Creston is cute and colorful (though make sure to refer to the manufacturer's website for the latest color options). Our testers and friends agreed that these shorts work well in the outdoors and in casual urban settings.


The length of these shorts relegate them to summer hikes on trail, as bushwhacking in shorts isn't appropriate. Trail difficulty, though, is no match for the Creston, including steep paths. Our lead tester wore them to summit a few peaks in Boulder, CO with well over 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

One of the best for water-resistance, the water beads and rolls.
One of the best for water-resistance, the water beads and rolls.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Water Resistance


This is the one metric in which the Creston out-performs the majority of others in the group. When splashed, water beads beautifully and very little absorbs, even if we leave the water there for nearly half-an-hour. The beads roll-off and the amount that did soak in dries within minutes. This makes the pair all the more appealing as a reliable backwoods companion, which is why this feature gets its own weighted score. We believe the technical advantage of water resistance is worth noting, even if it detracts from breathability (but hopefully not too much).


We appreciate the thoughtful design accents in the stitching and...
We appreciate the thoughtful design accents in the stitching and belt loops, which help the shorts sit flatter against our silhouette.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Features


This Arc'teryx model comes with five pockets: two in front and two in back with a mini stash pocket embedded into one of the front pockets. Just large enough to comfortably fit our hands and phones, the front two pockets are little tight to get our hands into since the material lacks a bit of stretch. Other features for this model include the quick drying time, a gusseted crotch, and belt loops. The metal snap for the waistband is sturdy and easy to operate.


The material, while very water-resistant, seems to stain easily, however. Even after washing, we still often find some grime embedded into the fabric, sadly, which might take some intentional scrubbing to remove. Too, there doesn't seem to be any added sun protection beyond what is inherent with wearing nylon-based clothing. Overall, this model is fairly minimal when it comes to extra add-ons, but that doesn't mean they aren't technical and well-suited for adventure.

Certainly reliable on the trail, we can't get over how bright and...
Certainly reliable on the trail, we can't get over how bright and cute they are.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Value


These shorts are pricey, though the attractive fit and style might make them more valuable to some folks. The Creston is made in Myanmar (Burma) and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Conclusion


For a good looking pair of capable hiking shorts, the Creston is tough to beat.

Sara Aranda