Arc'teryx Creston - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Fashionable, water resistant, lightweight
Cons: Not as breathable, not as versatile
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
For a good looking pair of capable hiking shorts, the Creston is tough to beat.
— Sara Aranda