Outdoor Research Equinox Shorts - Gear Review

I literally took the tags off the Equinox Shorts from Outdoor Research the day before our BWCA trip back in June. I did try them on to make sure they fit before I packed them, but I was going to give them a real evaluation in the woods.  Temps in the 80's and 90's, in and out of the water, inevitable rain showers and miles and miles of portages all make for an ultimate proving ground.  

When gathering up your clothing for a hiking or paddling trip, what factors are you most concerned with?  I look for three; light weight, quick-drying and a comfortable fit. The Equinox shorts from Outdoor Research nails all three.  I was a bit surprised at the length at first, they came to the middle of my knee when standing.  This payed dividends though when seated in the canoe, especially after the sunburn my knees got from the paddle in when I was wearing other shorts that left about 3 inches of leg exposed.  The material is incredibly quick drying.  I wore them swimming more than once and every time they were dry before the mop on my head was.

The fit and finish on these shorts is what makes them exceptional.  They are loose enough in the right places so that hiking up an incline didn't prove to be an issue, while not so loose that they would bunch up while seated paddling in the canoe.  I didn't realize at first that there were as many pockets as there were either, the concealed zipper "cargo" pockets can hold a decent amount of stuff, but they are nearly invisible.  They simply don't look like your typical outdoor shorts.

I dig these shorts to the point that I find myself digging through the "less clean" laundry looking for them. Whether I am working around the yard or heading on the town, these are my first choice.  Case in point, I pulled these out when heading to the U2 concert outside at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis back in July.  It went from a beautiful summer evening to a torrential downpour for the entire show.  I was forced to buy a t-shirt after the show because the one I was wearing was never going to dry, but my shorts were not a problem, dried out shortly after I got outta the rain.  Evening saved, thanks to my Equinox shorts.

MSRP: $55 and worth twice that!

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