So far this Alaskan summer has been warm enough to wear shorts and tee shirts on multiple occasions! Being a southern girl, that hasn’t happened for me since I moved up here all those many three years ago. As such, my shorts collection is minimal (mostly consisting of running shorts), providing me with plenty of opportunities to don the Mountain Hardwear Overlook short.

I wasn’t horribly thrilled with the fit of the Overlook shorts. I went up a size from my usual and I still found the fit to be a bit snug in the waist. The shorts wear just below my belly button, which I like in active-wear bottoms, but I did wish for a few more inches in the rise since they sit so high (the crotch was a bit snug for my liking). They don’t relax after being worn for a while either. I’m not sure what would happen if I went up another size though (why can’t we just have sizing in inches like dudes? But that’s a whole other issue).

What did work for me was the length of the shorts. They hit about mid thigh without being too clingy throughout the legs. I find a lot of “fashion” shorts to be way too short for my comfort these days. The Overlooks are nice because they’re cute enough to be worn every day but still function well as active shorts for light hiking.

It’s the small features that make these shorts. I love the fabric that they’re made out of. It dries quickly and doesn’t hold wrinkles too horribly. It’s also really comfortable although it’s not extremely stretchy, which is another reason I’d like the fit to be a little looser. The bummer about the fabric is that it doesn’t breathe incredibly well. There’s also a fleecy-type liner along the waist band that’s really comfortable. It does not breathe well either but it does absorb sweat pretty well. For normal, non-active wear, it’s really nice.

Other features include a hidden drawstring in the waist for making adjustments which I never had to use but I suspect would be useful if you don’t have much in the way of hips. There are several little accents with the stitching and such that just add a bit of style to the shorts as well. The nice, deep pockets are a definite plus, especially for people like me who wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a purse. One of them has a little lanyard sewn in with a clasp for attaching your car keys. No more tying my car key to my shoe laces!

If the cut of this short works for your body type, I definitely recommend them as a good pair for light hiking and every day wear. They are easy to pair with a nicer shirt to make a cute outfit but also a decent pair for hitting the trails. I probably wouldn’t wear them on anything too steep or technical though. The lack of stretchiness limits movement somewhat.