The ExOfficio Sol Cool Nomad is a lightweight hiking short with a whole gamut of features. Casual, travel-inspired, and more conservative in style, the main setback resides with the fit. When compared to others we tested, comfort and mobility are simply outranked in our tests. In the end, sticking to the flats and partaking in casual travel is best for this model. Designed with the jet-setter in mind, hiking is certainly an aspect. Still, these shorts are best for those low-key endeavors that don't involve intense inclines. From spring to fall, they'll keep you cool and smelling fresh, thanks to their odor-resistant properties.
Exofficio Sol Cool Nomad Short - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Anti-odor, moisture wicking, quick drying
Cons: Expensive, runs large, not ideal for incline
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Exofficio Sol Cool Nomad Short - Women's
|Price||$30.98 at Backcountry|
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|$39.95 at Backcountry|
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|$70 List||$19.98 at Amazon||$21.59 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Anti-odor, moisture wicking, quick drying||Trendy, comfortable, lightweight||Comfortable, breathable, versatile||Comfortable, stretchy, long||Affordable, water resistant, breathable|
|Cons||Expensive, runs large, not ideal for incline||Shorter inseam, no water resistance||Stretches out, wrinkles easily||Only one pocket, not the most flattering||Unnecessary belt, small cargo pockets|
|Bottom Line||A more conservative pair of shorts that are ideal for flat trails and tourism.||A highly comfortable, performance-based hiking short.||Pure comfort and high function with subtle style.||Boldly athletic, these shorts are lengthy and comfortable.||Functional and fun, these shorts cover all the basics.|
|Rating Categories||Sol Cool Nomad Short||Aphrodite 2.0 Short||Prana Revenna||Back Beauty Long Sport||Sandy River Cargo|
|Comfort And Mobility (35%)|
|Venting And Breathability (20%)|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Sol Cool Nomad Short||Aphrodite 2.0 Short||Prana Revenna||Back Beauty Long...||Sandy River Cargo|
|Weight (in oz)||4.9 oz||4.4 oz||5.2 oz||5.4 oz||5.1 oz|
|Material||100% nylon||95% nylon, 5% elastane||95% Nylon, 5% Spandex||OMNI-SHADE and OMNI-SHIELD 89% polyester, 11% elastane Max Lite double weave||OMNI SHADE 100% nylon Perfecta Plus II|
|Water Resistance||Sol Cool Jade quick-dry||None (Flashdry-XD quick-dry)||DWR treatment||Omni-Shield repellency||Perfecta Plus II quick-dry|
|Sizing (waist, length options)||2 - 16||XS - XXL, 4" or 6" inseam||0 - 14, 5" or 7" inseam||XS - XL||XS - XL|
|Sun Protection||Yes, UPF 50||No||Yes, UPF 50||Yes, UPF 50||Yes, UPF 30|
|Convertible, or option available?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Waist Strap/Fasten||Two metal snaps and zipper fly||Elastic waistband with drawstring||Two metal snaps, zipper fly, internal drawstring||Elastic waistband||Elastic waistband with plastic snap and zipper fly, optional belt|
|Other Features||SILVADUR coating in fabric activates silver ions to reduce odor, zip stash pockets, tricot-lined waistband, belt loops||Flashdry-XD quick-dry fabric, triple needle stitch for durability, zip stash pocket||Ripstop fabric, one pocket with zipper, belt loops||Elastic, athetic, contoured fit, one stash pocket||Zip cargo stash-pocket, quick-dry nylon fabric|
|Warranty||One Year Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty||One Year Warranty||One Year Good Faith Guarantee||One Year Good Faith Guarantee|
Our Analysis and Test Results
At first glance, these shorts have hiking written all over them. When it comes to pocket space and material perks, this piece of apparel shines. The fit runs large and sits baggy on the hips for us, which drastically impacts how this model ranks among the others tested.
Marking relatively low in the two most important metrics, the perks become more apparent as you dive into the technical aspects and features of the Sol Cool Nomad.
Comfort and Mobility
We appreciate the tricot-lined waistband on these shorts and how the Sol Cool Jade nylon is light and relatively soft to the touch. 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. Having moisture-wicking qualities help regulate body temperature as you sweat. 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. They have a traditional traveler look, which isn't as appealing to wear around town or to dress up for dinner in. 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. Their length does allow for more versatility across colder temperatures, which can be a huge plus.
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. The nylon dried quickly thanks to its thin and technical nature. 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.
Made in China, these ExOfficio shorts retail for a hefty price, but have a one year warranty. While this is typical of the brand, you are definitely paying for all the neat features provided. 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.
We found that the basal function of these shorts is to provide a casual option for easy to moderate trails, notably for those wanting more leg coverage. They rank below the middle of the bunch, but depending on what you prioritize, these will nonetheless be a dependable choice.
— Sara Aranda