Women's Shorts & Dresses

No matter the adventure, your outfit should provide comfort and protection. Our range of women’s dresses and shorts is designed with fit-for-purpose choice, so if you need women’s cargo shorts, hiking shorts, travel shorts, shorts for everyday outdoor wear, or even women’s dresses for travel or outdoor wear, Mountain Designs has you covered.

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What are the best women’s shorts for outdoors?

The best shorts for women adventuring in the outdoors combine comfort with protection and functionality. Some features to look for include:

Breathability – When damp clothing rubs against your skin, it can cause chaffing or rashes. The best women’s shorts for hot weather are moisture wicking, which helps remove water or perspiration from the skin and off the fabric surface.

Quick Drying – Shorts for women that are quick drying will be more comfortable if you’ve been exposed to wet weather or spills, as they will obviously dry quicker. A Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish may also help by preventing water, blood or food/drink spills from penetrating the outer fabric.

Lightweight – The less weight you carry while on the move, the easier your travels will be. Durability – When you’re outdoors, your shorts will no doubt come into contact with rocks, underbrush and twigs, so they should be constructed with hard-wearing fabrics that are durable enough to handle this without ripping or tearing. Ladies cotton shorts are comfy, but they probably won’t tick the box here for hard-wearing use.

Ease of Movement – Quality ladies stretch shorts work with the body’s natural range of motion, allowing you to bend, stretch and squat easily.

Functional Design Components – The best shorts for women will have pockets, adjustable waist bands and belts for functional comfort. Women’s cargo shorts are a great option for outdoor adventure.

How should women’s shorts fit?

Like all of your outdoor clothing, the fit of your shorts is very important when it comes to overall comfort. If they are too loose, you will spend half your time on the trail keeping them from falling down; conversely if they are too tight they will be restrictive when it comes to movement. So as a general rule, the fit should be firm without being tight. This also makes sense for layering. It’s unlikely you’ll be wearing thermals if you have shorts on so a firmer fit against the skin is fine. In addition, you may want to layer some rain pants or softshell pants over the top if it gets cold or rainy, so you don’t want a baggy fit as they will be too bulky underneath.

How long should women’s shorts be?

For style, this is a personal preference. For functional use in the outdoors, the answer is typically knee length shorts or higher up to mid-thigh. If the cut length goes too far down past the kneecap, you will begin losing some mobility so long female shorts aren’t ideal if you’re moving about a lot. At the other length, a short cut could potentially get uncomfortable if it rides too high, chafes or fails to protect you from the elements. Some women’s sports shorts (or women’s shorts for swimming) will be a shorter length and these are well suited to adventure racing, trail running or climbing, but when it comes to hiking, travelling or everyday outdoor wear, knee length shorts (or thereabouts) are your best bet.

Where can I buy knee length shorts?

Most styles in the Mountain Designs range of shorts for women have a length around the knee. This allows for maximum coverage without starting to inhibit mobility (long female shorts can actually make moving about difficult). This also stops them from ‘riding’ too high, which can also be uncomfortable when you’re traversing trails, travelling or trying to relax around the campsite. If you’re looking for ladies’ dress shorts online, our range of ladies’ shorts has you covered for the outdoors.

What are midi shorts?

Midi shorts are a mid-length style (about 7 inches) that covers the fleshy upper and inner part of the thigh, but stop just short above the knee (so slightly shorter than knee length shorts or tailored shorts for women). Women’s denim shorts are typically this style, while travel shorts, hiking shorts or everyday outdoor shorts will either be a midi length or knee length.

Where can I find high waisted shorts?

High waisted shorts are more about fashion than function, so most outdoor adventure shorts for women are designed to sit just above the waist, but not too high. This allows for ease of movement, with the shorts resting comfortably in place above the hips even if you move quickly or stretch in different directions. It also allows you to wear a backpack without too much material getting in the way of the harness or hip belt.

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