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The Best Men’s Shorts [For the Cool Dads]

June 8, 2020

The Best Men’s Shorts [For the Cool Dads]

June 8, 2020

Looking for the perfect adventure shorts for the men in your life?
We’ve got you covered with their reviews!

Note that this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission from purchases at no cost to you. We’ll only share products we use and love ourselves, and the opinions remain our own.

Our husbands were always searching for the perfect “adventure shorts”, as they call them – versatile shorts they can wear hiking, to the beach, and then out for dinner later or just a regular day at home. This has been an ongoing mission for the last year or two but they’ve finally honed in on their favorites. Added to the challenge is the guys’ frugality. So, while many of the shorts are pricey – they’re worth it to them and a good investment piece. The “cost per wear” usually ends up being pretty minimal over time!

If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll likely see some of these shorts making an appearance on nearly every adventure!

We’ve done a roundup of the guys’ favorite shorts with reviews below!

For sizing reference:
Travis (with orange hat) and Justin are 5′ 11′ and weigh 180 -185 lbs with athletic-build frames. Former soccer players (one a Division 1 college star…hehe), they’ve got bigger thighs and butts. Trav’s got the shorter legs between the two of them.

1. Vuori “Kore Short” for Men

(Spoiler alert: these are the winners, by a landslide!)

Vuori’s Kore Shorts are the favorite for both guys (and also my 59 year old dad), and also have gotten their friends hooked as well! The Vuori Kore Shorts are also very versatile. Sara and I both thought these had a little bit more of a casual, athletic-short appearance (especially with the fairly noticeable logo on the left front thigh) but the boys disagree.

Justin is wearing these sitting in the lawn chair in the pic at the top. These shorts are very lightweight and come with a liner (no option for without a liner) so also best worn without underwear. This brand has different styles of shorts that come unlined. Our husbands love the liner and would be perfectly happy to go sans underwear all summer :). These shorts also did great in the water but did take much longer to dry out than the Fair Harbor shorts below.

Vuori Kore Short. Size M. Color: Indigo
All three men wearing 7.5″ Kore Shorts in size M.
Colors from left to right: Saltwater Red, Indigo, Kelp

Cost: $68. Also eligible for discount of 20% when first time ordering.

Pros: These quickly became the favorite between both guys, plus the majority of their male friends. The built-in boxer brief liner is comfortable to go sans-underwear ๐Ÿ™‚ They dry fairly quickly, are comfortable for running, chilling, and chores. Basically, the ultimate comfort level. Looks nice with plain t-shirt. Also, a great selection of basic colors and can be purchased through retailers other than Vuori itself, like REI and Nordstrom. Options for length include 7.5″ (shown on our photos) and 5″ inseam

Cons: No option for linerless. More casual look.

2. Fair Harbor “The One” Short

Both guys have these Fair Harbor – The One Short. These were a sponsored post we had both seen on social media and got the guys’ approval to order. Originally, they both ordered larges but those were a little too big so they exchanged for mediums. Now they have two pairs (plus Justin owns another style called “The Anchor”). Our husbands opted for the liner, which is stretchy and functions like boxer briefs. You can choose your preference when you order – either with or without the liner.

Side note: Travis tried to wear them to golf league, and I didn’t think he could quite pull them off for golfing. However, they are versatile and not “just a swim short”.

Also, customer service was great. One pair arrived with a tiny hole inside the pocket and they sent a new pair! We love companies that fix issues easily and quickly.

Pictured: Fair Harbor – The One Short in gray . Size M

Recently, we visited Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin and Travis wore these Fair Harbor shorts. The water was still chilly and these dried incredibly fast. A quick note on the liner, seems to be most comfortable without underwear although you could wear underwear with them. Depends on the use and how often you want to wash them ๐Ÿ™‚

Cost: $68. If it is your first time ordering you are eligile for a 15% discount. Email promo codes sometimes go out for 20% off as well.

Pros: Comfortable, looks good with a t-shirt for a casual look (better than athletic shorts), dries really fast. Option for liner or without depending on your preference. These shorts are made from 90% of recycled plastic bottles. Comes with a zipper pocket. Great customer service.

Cons: Not many, these shorts feel thicker than the Vuori Kore Shorts (see below). Justin thinks these feel more like a swim short and fit a little loose for his taste – but still is a big fan.

3. Lululemon bowline short 8″

The Lululemon Bowline shorts are a great choice for comfortable, yet a finished look. My husband has had these for a year or two now and still loves them but now they have a small stain. They’re also a little too big, as he was heavier than he is now when we bought them. They are one of his go-tos in his closet when needing something a little less casual. These are perfect for dinner out, chores around the house, hiking, or just hanging out. Very breathable and comfortable. These shorts have just a drawstring waistband.

Lululemon Bowline Short – 8″. Color: tofino sand

Cost: $78

Pros: The khaki color elevates these shorts for a more polished finish while still being a comfortable casual short. (Also comes in a navy and sage color). Great overall “adventure short”

Cons: Cost. I’ve never seen these specific shorts go on sale. They seem to get wrinkly easier than some shorts. Wouldn’t be an ideal water short as the previous two work that way. However, they are also not designed for that.

4. Free Fly Men’s Utility Short.

These are a new short to the collection. Travis had been wanting to try these Free Fly Utility Shorts after seeing a few sponsored posts on social media. Initial thoughts on these are that they are very comfortable and perfect for an adventure. These shorts are flexible, water resistant, and come with a zipper and button closure and belt loops around the waistband. They have multiple pockets and one with a zipper closure that could come in handy. These look like they would be a perfect fishing short.

Travis (on right) here with Free Fly Men’s Utility Short. Size M. Color: granite
Justin (left) wearing Weatherproof Vintage Trail Short. Size 32. Color: grey

Cost: $69.95. Promo for 15% off your first order.

Pros: Very flexible, breathable, and comfortable. Water resistant. These shorts have a more structured feel than some. Versatile.

Cons: Nothing specific. They fit a little looser through the thighs and didn’t like how the pockets “floofed” out

5. WeatherProof Vintage Trail Short – from Costco

(Shown on Justin in above photo) Sara found these on sale at Costco one day and grabbed two colors – “grey” (shown) and “khaki”. Justin loved them for the price alone but did feel the inseam was a bit long and was in-between waist sizes (wearing 32). However, he decided they’re overall very comfortable and the zippered pocket is nice to have. Features a button-front waist.

Cost: $15.99! (and we grabbed them on sale for $11.99)

Pros: Cost! Very affordable.

Cons: Inseam a bit long. Currently available online, but as is the case with Costco, items vary by store and go out of stock frequently.

6. Goodfellow by Target – Rotary Hybrid Swim Shorts

Another impulse grab at Target during the never-ending search for the perfect short, these Rotary Hybrid Shorts from Goodfellow (a Target brand) have a 10.5″ inseam and come in a variety of colors. They’ve got a belt loop, button-fly and internal drawstring and are said to “easily transition from land to water”.

Goodfellow Rotary 10.5″ Hybrid Shorts from Target. Size 32. Color: blue

Cost: $24.99

Pros: a well-liked brand from Target, available online and occasionally combined with sales and coupons. Lightweight fabric with full range of sizes (odd and even waist sizes). Great price point, even at regular prices.

Cons: Justin felt that the waistband was too stiff, despite wearing the correct size. The inseam was also longer than he’d prefer and said they felt more like board shorts that he’d wear for swimming. These were returned to Target due to not meeting all his needs

7. Thousand Miles “All Day” Shorts

The guys ordered these shorts on their own after yet another sponsored post on social media. Always looking for a good deal, they opted for the “duo pack” which was slightly discounted and came with a free pair of socks. They came in solid colors like grey, black and navy and had a snap waist with a hidden drawstring. Ultimately, both guys returned these shorts – the inseam was shorter than they wanted (several inches above the knee) and didn’t feel that they compared to the other shorts listed above.

Thousand Miles All Day Shorts. Size M. Color: urban grey
(We didn’t get a photo since they were returned quickly)

Cost: $45 each, or two for $79

Pros: a decent choice if you want a shorter inseam

Cons: shipping time took forever! Almost three weeks to arrive. The shorts were too short and not as comfortable as others. Also, these were very thin and could see boxer outline in them. These were returned for a refund by both guys.

8. LL Bean Multisport Short

These LL Bean shorts are a great option too. They looked nice on and were also very comfortable. Again, these shorts are very versatile. A medium fit Travis well. These shorts have roomy legs without looking too baggy, if you prefer that type of fit. The color options are nice for a less โ€œathleticโ€ look with black and khaki colors.

Travis wearing size M. LL Bean multisport short

Cost: $49.95

Pros: Comfortable, versatile, good amount of pockets and the pockets don’t pucker out. Quick dry material.

Cons: Nothing specific. These are very comfortable. Haven’t seen these on sale.

…. and a non-short review but necessary to post per Justin — the True Classic tees he’s wearing in these photos (and basically every single day). Again, a sponsored post on social media influenced the original purchase of a 3-pack of these short-sleeved tshirts. Much like the search for the perfect short, he’s always searching for the perfect tee and swears by these. The customer service is excellent, the tees are butter-soft, fit his frame really well, wash great without shrinking or changing shape, and come in a variety of colors. He’ll basically wear theses every day for the rest of his life and has over 15 tees now.

Despite the lack of better judgement in the below photo, these guys are picky when it comes to the look, fit and feel of their shorts so you can trust the reviews and get sucked into the sponsored posts that will be bombarding your social media account shortly!

Photo from Summer 2020 in Colorado in their matching “cool guy shorts” ๐Ÿ™‚

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