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.
Arc'teryx Creston - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Fashionable, water resistant, lightweight
Cons: Not as breathable, not as versatile
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Constructed out of Abron, which is 90% nylon and 10% elastane, the warp-stretch-weave fabric looks and feels slick. The material is also noisier than many of the others we recently tested. The 4.5-inch inseam is at that threshold length, in our opinion; anything shorter and versatility becomes all the more limited. Built to be durable and lightweight, we applaud their streamlined and stylish design.
Sitting right in the middle of the group, the Creston earned consistently above-average scores. The most notable technical features are how water-resistant they are and how quickly they dry.
Comfort and Mobility
The leg openings have a 22.5-inch diameter for the size 2 we reviewed, which provides ample space 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 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, but they are nonetheless pleasant in and of themselves. Weighing only 4.7 ounces, they are incredibly lightweight.
Venting and Breathability
Despite manufacturer claims of high breathability, we feel they are 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. Still suitable for hot days in general, we aren't as comfortable when things get super sweaty, particularly around the waistband.
Our lead tester discovered that when carrying her phone in either of the 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 seems to absorb less of the moisture, leaving more for the phone (or whatever items you're carrying) to sit next to.
Style points are high for this competitor, one of the best. They're cute and colorful, providing a confident flow from the outdoors to indoors. Throw on a cute top, and you're ready for your summer BBQ. Cross-activity applications aren't as much of a given, but they still work well for casual cycling, lowkey gym workouts, and light scrambling. Designed for summer only, their shorter inseam won't be an optimal choice in colder temperatures. Still, they are athletic enough for even the most difficult of trails.
This is the one metric in which the Creston out-performs the majority of others. 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.
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. 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 have some grime embedded into the fabric, sadly, which might take some intentional scrubbing to remove.
We aren't surprised to find high quality and high price for a piece of Arc'teryx apparel. If you can foot the bill, you won't be disappointed. The unique combination of fit, style, and function is worthwhile. The Creston is made in Myanmar (Burma) and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
As one of the cutest pairs of athletic shorts we've had the pleasure of testing, it's easy to overlook the relatively average performance. For all intensive hiking purposes, they are durable, athletic, and comfortable.
— Sara Aranda