Exofficio Sol Cool Nomad Short - Women's Review
Cons: Expensive, runs large, not ideal for incline
Our Analysis and Test Results
Comfort and Mobility
We like the tricot-lined waistband and how the Sol Cool Jade nylon is feels lightweight yet soft. Yet, when it comes to mobility, they aren't nearly as flexible as the other shorts we recently tested. The fit is awkward for us: baggy around the hips but tight around the hemline. The legs taper, which isn't convenient for our curvier, athletic bodies, and becomes a true annoyance when we try to high-step or hike up a significant incline (like stairs, even). We had to continually pull up the shorts to move. Over time, the nylon stretches out a bit, as well; which is seen as both a pro and con. A benefit for mobility, but a detriment to style and fit.
Venting and Breathability
Weighing in at 4.9 ounces for the size we tested, the material is moisture-wicking and lightweight. The tricot lining on the waistband helps prevent sweat build-up around the lower abdomen. Lastly, they vent well enough to stay cool despite their extended length, which is key during the summer. They certainly aren't as breezy as some of the other, shorter options, however.
Style-wise, the Sol Cool Nomad is what we would call conservative. Our testers feel they have the distinct look of travel clothing. Activity-wise, these shorts fare well as a hiking short, as long as things stay relatively flat. Unfortunately, they aren't highly transferable to other activities such as rock climbing, cycling, or running.
These shorts don't boast water resistance in their product description, yet they perform just as well as the DWR coated shorts. During our test, the water beaded nicely and barely absorbed into the fabric at all. After five minutes, the majority of the water easily rolled off. These shorts dry out quickly, too. Being able to brush off a spill so effortlessly is a true highlight.
Much of the accessory features on a pair of tourist-oriented shorts are tailored to fit and protect items like passports. These shorts have five pockets, two of which have zippers. With a secure double snap closure and zip fly, tricot-lined waistband, anti-odor technology, UPF 50, and belt loops, these are the most featured shorts of the group we recently tested. Well-thought-out in this aspect, we wish the nylon had a lot more stretch.
We weren't blown away with the value this pair presents. Certainly not the most expensive pair in the group, they are a bit steep for our practical hiking purposes. Bottom line, if you can afford them and do travel via airplane often, they are a quality item.
These modest shorts are certainly functional, and we hiked plenty of successful days in them. We think there are better options at and below the price point of the ExOfficio Sol Cool Nomad Shorts. Still, if the longer length and travel-forward design appeals to you, we think you'll be happy with your purchase.
— Sara Aranda