The best days of summer are the ones when spontaneity takes over: a brunch in the city might turn into a bike ride to the beach or a pickup game of football. No matter where the day takes you, being well-equipped for whatever comes your way is essential. With these golden days of summer in mind, we sought out the most versatile shorts for multiple activities. Simple designs with high-tech fabrics are common themes throughout, with each pair of shorts being well-suited for all kinds of adventures—whether in the water or on dry land. Also ideal for travel, these go-anywhere shorts will help you cut down on packing and open up more options at the same time.
Topo Designs: Lightweight Mountain Shorts
Colorado-based Topo Designs is known mostly for their classically styled burly bags and ripstop pants and shorts. Just in time for summer, the brand presents a lightweight quick-drying version of their beloved Mountain Shorts. Made in the USA from an agile yet tough nylon, the shorts feature a cut that’s trim enough for the city but doesn’t inhibit movement. Reinforced stress point stitching contributes to the wilderness-ready construction while a zippered internal pocket and key clip keep your essentials secure. Like all of Topo’s products, quality and functionality are at the core of the design. The Lightweight Mountain Shorts are available in four colors online for $90.
Outlier: New Way Shorts
Brooklyn-based Outlier is a pioneering brand of versatile yet ultra-stylish gear. The New Way Shorts are, in many ways, a synthesis of what the brand is all about: carefully considered details, technical fabrics and minimal, clean styling. They’re also likely the only pair of shorts you really need. A tailored look makes dressing up these shorts easy and the lightweight F Cloth (woven in Sweden) has two-way stretch for mobility and is highly breathable. A military-spec paracord waistband comes in handy for swimming and surfing but stays hidden to maintain street cred. Available in a six colors and made in the USA, the New Way Shorts will no doubt become a summer and travel favorite. Grab a pair from Outlier for $120.
Poler: Chino River Shorts
Classic chino shorts are hard to beat for a summer day—until you get to the beach. The fine folks at Portland-based Poler Stuff (and number one purveyor of #campvibes) know the outdoors can beckon at anytime. The Chino River shorts look like a classic cotton walk short, but the poly blend fabric dries and stretches like a high-tech boardshort. Simple styling with minimal branding make these street-ready and the perfect surf trip daily uniform. Pick up the Chino River Shorts (available in four colors) from Poler for $70.
Images courtesy of their respective brands