It used to be that you’d go to the store and buy quick-drying “outdoor” shorts if you wanted something to use for hiking, fishing, or camping. Then you’d go to the mall to buy “normal” cotton shorts for the rest of the summer—a good-looking pair you’d wear to a barbecue or out to dinner.
Thankfully, times have changed. Nowadays—as a result of design and material advances—you can buy one pair of shorts that look good and perform well, so you can wear them constantly, no matter what you’re doing. My go-to is the Free Fly Bamboo-Lined Hybrid ($65).
Credit goes to the bomber polyester outer (with a touch of spandex for stretch), which makes the Hybrids comfortable for almost any activity: bike commuting, hiking, and just sitting on a flight. And if you get them wet, the fabric dries in an instant.
Yet the Hybrids don’t scream “I love the outdoors!” Instead, thanks to the smooth material, discreet front and back pockets, and more tasteful colors like olive (pictured above), they go well with a polo while you’re grilling up a favorite summer recipe or vacationing with your kids at Disneyland.
The lining is soft on your skin, so the shorts won’t chafe, even when wet. And because it’s made of airy bamboo, which doesn’t trap odors, the shorts won’t smell if you hit up the bar after a bike ride or wear them for three days straight on an international trip.
The Hybrids have a 7.5-inch inseam, which means they don’t sit so high that you’ll feel like you’re trying to fit in with the short-shorts crowd. But they’re not obscenely long, either.
At $65, these cost a chunk of change. But buy two pairs, and I promise that they’ll be all you need from June through October for the next five years.