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Top 10 high waisted hiking shorts you must have in 2021

Come spring and summer you’ll need a functional and comfortable pair of high-waisted hiking shorts.

The perfect pair has enough pockets, protects you from the environment, and is a flattering style.

No worries, we’ve done the searching for you and share all the pros and cons below.

Wondering how to choose the best high waist hiking shorts? Here is everything you need to know to pick the best high waisted hiking shorts.

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Read all the info you need to pick the best high-waisted hiking shorts
Here’s all the info you need to pick a comfortable pair of high-waisted hiking shorts

In a hurry? Our picks for the best high waisted hiking shorts for 2021

Comparison table

Overview of the best high waisted hiking shorts

Material Pockets Length Sizes Price
BALEAF Women’s 4 Inches High Waisted Athletic Lined Running Shorts Back

95% Polyester/5% Spandex

Zippered back pocket and internal drop-in pocket 4-inch inseam XS-2XL $
Willit Women’s Yoga Lounge Shorts

80% Nylon, 20% Spandex

2 big hand pockets 2.5 inches XS-3XL $
VAYAGER Women’s Lightweight Cargo Short for Hiking, Camping and Travel

90% Nylon, 10% Spandex

2 hand pockets, 2 side pockets, and 2 back pockets 7-inch inseam XS-2XL $$
CRZ YOGA Women’s Stretch Lounge Travel Shorts

75% Polyamide, 25% Spandex

2 side pockets and 2 interior mesh pockets 2.5 inches 2XS-XL $
BALEAF Women’s Quick Dry Stretch Hiking Camping Shorts

88% Nylon, 12% Spandex

2 front pockets, 2 back Velcro pockets, 1 zipper pocket Knee-length XS-2XL $$
AFITNE Women’s High Waist Yoga Shorts with Pockets

75% Polyester, 25% Spandex

2 outside pockets 5.5 inches XS-2XL $
ODODOS Women’s Dual Pockets High Waisted Workout Shorts

87% Polyester, 13% Spandex

2 side pockets, 2 small zipper pockets 4 and 8-inch inseam XS-3XL $
Sunzel Yoga Shorts for Women with Pockets

75% Polyester, 25% Spandex

2 large side pockets 5-inch inseam XS-XL $
PIQIDIG Womens Shorts

84% polyester, 16% Spandex

2 large side pockets + 1 hidden waistband pocket 10-12-inch inseam XS-2XL $
Columbia Women’s Plus-Size Sandy River Cargo Short

100% Nylon

2 cargo pockets 6-inch inseam XS-3XL $$

Best high waisted hiking shorts in black

You never get wrong with a pair of black hiking shorts.

These are our recommendations.

BALEAF Women’s 4 Inches High Waisted Athletic Lined Running Shorts

Key Features

  • Material: 95% Polyester/5% Spandex
  • Pockets: Zippered back pocket and internal drop-in pocket
  • Length: 4-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Built-in briefs have sweat-wicking coverage
  • Sizes: XS-2XL
  • Quick dry fabric
  • Inner mesh liner allows for great range of motion
  • Back zipper pocket perfect for holding your phone
  • Reflective elements for safety
  • Briefs inside are tighter than average
  • Elastic, non-adjustable waistband

Conclusion

This is a classic pair of elastic high waisted hiking shorts that besides in black, come in plenty of other colors. Black and grey are customers’ favorites by the way.

The lightweight 4-way-stretch fabric won’t weigh you down. The curved hems on each side provide a range of motion for activities including hiking, running, the gym, tennis, etc.

The zippered pocket in the back allows you to be both phone and key-free while active.

They’re true to size and customers exclaim the sides never rise up while being active. For women working out or hiking in them, this is an important factor to consider.

The material is buttery soft and comfortable for hot weather.

Customers don’t have any issue washing them. They suggest leaving them out to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer.

These elastic high waisted hiking shorts are the perfect combination of modest and feminine. The high waistband smooths out the tummy area and provides a great fit.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Willit Women’s Yoga Lounge Shorts Hiking Active Running Sweat Shorts Comfy Casual Shorts with Pockets 2.5″

Key Features

  • Material: 80% Nylon, 20% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 big hand pockets
  • Length: 2.5 inches inseam
  • Water resistance: Quick-dry, moisture-wicking material
  • Sizes: XS-3XL
  • Quick dry fabric
  • Adjustable waistband
  • 4-way-stretch fabric
  • No fade, anti-wrinkle
  • Besides black they come in 14 colors
  • Pants are a bit more tapered than pictured
  • Run slightly small
  • Don’t have an inner panty

Conclusion

These are quality high-waisted hiking shorts that won’t cause chafing and won’t fade in the wash. The shorts come in 15 colors for any style your heart desires. Customers love the black and olive green.

The adjustable drawstring waistband is perfect for those who love comfort.

The stretch, moisture-wicking material keeps cool in any environment.

The wrinkle-free material is great to be thrown in a suitcase, purse, or gym bag for easy use. These shorts can be folded down if you desire.

Some customers compare this pair to the Lululemon brand. No need to spend so much!

Note that a few customers have noted different sizing in different colors, so be aware of this and look to the reviews for guidance.

These cute and comfy shorts come in many other colors besides black . They are great for lounging, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

VAYAGER Women’s Lightweight Cargo Short for Hiking, Camping, and Travel

Key Features

  • Material: 90% Nylon, 10% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 2 side pockets, and 2 back pockets
  • Length: 7-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Quick-dry material
  • Sizes: XS-2XL
  • Lots of storage for phone, keys, wallet, etc
  • UV Protective material
  • Water resistant
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Breathable for outdoor activity
  • Legs fit snug on curvier customers

Conclusion

These are the perfect pair if you’re looking for long high-waisted hiking shorts.

The durable and sun-protective fabric makes them great for hiking, traveling, fishing, rock climbing, casual wear, or any other outdoor activity.

They have a ton of storage including several size pockets. The adjustable waistband and metal button closure is there to keep them up on your waist no matter the weight of your belongings.

Customers note they do not scrunch up when hiking and are comfortable to sweat in on a long, adventurous hike.

Curvier girls should be wary of the shorts being tighter on the thighs.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

CRZ YOGA Women’s Stretch Lounge Travel Shorts Elastic Waist Comfy Workout Shorts with Pockets -2.5 Inches

Key Features

  • Material: 75% Polyamide, 25% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 side pockets and 2 interior mesh pockets
  • Length: 2.5 inches inseam
  • Water resistance: Sweat-wicking material
  • Sizes: 2XS-XL
  • Ultra-stretchy, lightweight fabric
  • Relaxed fit
  • Thick elastic waistband for insurance
  • Breathable for outdoor activity
  • Wrinkle-free material
  • Pockets in smaller size shorts tend to puff out
  • Shorts ride up on curvier customers

Conclusion

These elastic high-waisted hiking shorts are buttery soft while also providing coverage for any activity you’re purchasing for.

The internal flatlock waistband smooths over the tummy for a fit and contoured look.

The hidden pocket on the inside is perfect to hold your belongings while on a hike or run. You can fit an iPhone and keys with extra room. Some customers note this internal pocket sticks out when sitting down.

Besides black, the lunar rock color is a customer favorite and perfect to pair with a white or black top. With 15 other colors you will always find a pair in a color you love.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Best high waisted hiking shorts for curvy figures

If you are blessed with a more curvy figure, have a look at our recommendations for hiking shorts.

BALEAF Women’s Quick Dry Stretch Hiking Camping Shorts Lightweight Water Resistant Summer Cargo Pants Travel

Key Features

  • Material: 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 front pockets, 2 back Velcro pockets, 1 zipper pocket
  • Length: knee-length
  • Water resistance: Durable water repellent
  • Sizes: XS-2XL
  • Quick dry, breathable nylon fabric
  • 4-way-stretch material
  • Crotch gusset provides good mobility
  • 5 pockets for lots of storage
  • A durable water repellent finish to fend off light rain
  • UPF 50+ fabric to protect you from the sun
  • Legs are not as slim fit as pictured
  • No belt loop in the back
  • May not fit in the crotch

Conclusion

These are a great pair of knee-length high-waisted hiking shorts for long hikes. The long coverage and durable water-repellent material protect you from the rain and sun.

Customers recommend the darker colors as some of the lighter colors are transparent. Most say it holds up through several washes.

The waist and bottom ratios are great for those with curvier figures.

The adjustable waistband in the back prevents gaps and the lay-flat waistband in the front helps smooth over the tummy for a piece of mind when being active.

Be sure to measure the inseam compared to your thigh. Avoid knee-length shorts that rub against your knee.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

AFITNE Women’s High Waist Yoga Shorts with Pockets, Tummy Control Non-See -Through Athletic Workout Running Shorts

Key Features

  • Material: 75% Polyester, 25% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 outside pockets
  • Length: 5.5 inches inseam
  • Water resistance: Moisture-wicking material
  • Sizes: XS-2XL
  • Tummy control waistband
  • Unique color and printed designs
  • Compression helps muscle fatigue
  • 4-way stretch & non see through material
  • Slim pockets
  • Some think the stitches aren’t flattering
  • You might want to order a size up

Conclusion

This trendy pair of high-waisted shorts is perfect to hug your curves and flatten your tummy.

The material is tight and stretchy without being see-through.

They don’t roll up or ride up the waist during activities like Pilates, yoga, or the gym.

The pockets fit up to an iPhone plus and provide the perfect storage. The range of motion is limited, so take this into consideration when purchasing.

Customers love the dark green and camo colors.

They’re also great for casual wear.

Throw on an over-sized t-shirt for style.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

ODODOS Women’s Out Pockets High Waisted Workout Shorts, Yoga Athletic Cycling Hiking Sports Shorts

Key features

  • Material: 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 side pockets, 2 small zipper pockets
  • Length: 4-inch or 8-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Moisture-wicking material
  • Sizes: XS-3XL
  • Comfy and breathable material
  • Flattering style
  • No thigh chafing
  • Shorts don’t slide down
  • Pockets big enough for big phone
  • 30-day money-back warranty
  • Require line dry
  • Some think they are too tight in the legs
  • Horizontal seam is connected to the legs to the waistband. Seam is low compared to other biker shorts

Conclusion

These tight-fitting women’s high-waisted hiking shorts contour your body for a flattering look and feel.

Customers love the zipper pocket for convenience.

They’re great for outdoor and water activities including hiking, paddle boarding, working out, and more.

The thigh-length is accurate and doesn’t ride up during activity.

These are a great option if you’re looking for plus size high waisted hiking shorts.

They’re true to size and complement workout tops of all types.

However, some claim the crotch area to be baggy and big on the thighs.

Customers rave the colors don’t fade in the wash or sun.

This brand also offers a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Sunzel Yoga Shorts for Women with Pockets

Key Features

  • Material: 75% Polyester, 25% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 large side pockets
  • Length: 5-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Tummy control waistband
  • Unique color and printed designs
  • Compression helps muscle fatigue
  • Slim pockets
  • Some customers mention that they roll up
  • You might want to size up
  • Watch out for camel toe

Conclusion

These are a great pair of highwaisted hiking shorts for women looking for a comfy and cute option.

They shape to your body and contour the trouble areas.

Customers love the buttery-like fabric. Multiple customers gave them a “squat test,” checking to see if they’re see-through, bunch up, or lose shape in the wash. Good news, they passed!

Many love these for hiking, yoga, working out at the gym, and more.

They come in several different colors and patterns. The leopard and camo are customer favorites. 

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

High waisted hiking shorts knee length

PIQIDIG Women’s Shorts Athletic Mid High Waisted Running Yoga Lounge Bermuda Shorts Workout with Pockets

Key Features

  • Material: 84% polyester, 16% Spandex
  • Pockets: 2 large side pockets + 1 hidden waistband pocket
  • Length: 10-12-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Moisture-wicking material
  • Sizes: XS-2XL
  • Material has a lot of stretch
  • Comfortable inseams
  • Available in 6 different colors
  • Requires line dry
  • Different quality in colors

Conclusion

These knee-length high-waisted hiking shorts are convenient and comfortable for those looking for a more relaxed, boxier look.

The shorts come in a multitude of colors, but you’ll want to scan the advice on which color to go with. The quality differs.

They’re true to size and the perfect length for Bermuda exercise shorts.

Customers recommend you air-dry these shorts to keep their color and shape.

They provide extra coverage to keep you feeling comfortable while hiking, practicing yoga, running, cycling, and more.

The large pockets also help you have a hands-free workout.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

This is another pair of knee-length high waisted hiking shorts:

High waisted hiking shorts plus size

Columbia Women’s Plus-Size Sandy River Cargo Short

Key Features

  • Material: 100% Nylon
  • Pockets: 2 cargo pockets
  • Length: 6-inch inseam
  • Water resistance: Quick-dry fabric
  • Sizes: XS-3XL
  • Very comfy shorts
  • UPF fabric for UVA and UVB ray protection
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Machine wash
  • Dry quickly
  • Come in several colors
  • Small, mesh pockets don’t provide much storage

Conclusion

These high-waisted hiking shorts provide coverage and protect from harsh environments and the sun.

They come in several colors, but the black is a customer favorite.

The quick-dry material is convenient for those hiking, fishing, or exercising. The shorts don’t cling and have a comfortable straight-leg fit.

The adjustable waistband is preferred over the Columbia drawstring short. They’re also great for everyday shorts.

The 6-inch inseam prevents any riding up of the legs or uncomfortableness when sitting down.

Be aware the 2 side pockets are small and not meant to carry large items. Storing an iPhone or wallet will weigh the shorts down.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Leggings can be worn for all kinds of outdoor activities
Good leggings or shorts are both comfortable and flattering at the same time

How to choose the best high waist hiking shorts

Material

Overheating can be a dangerous consequence while hiking in the summer.

Choose high waisted hiking shorts with material that provides ventilation, is durable, and comfortable.

Keeping cool and dry will prevent any chance of feeling nauseous or dizzy due to the heat and elevated heights.

Nylon and Polyester are both popular materials for hiking shorts. Both are durable, lightweight, and easy to take care of.

Nylon is a bit softer and has more stretch.

Polyester is better known for its moisture-wicking capabilities.

Fit- Length

Choosing the length of your shorts is personal preference, but there are a few things to consider.

A 4-5-inch inseam has little coverage, but it will keep you cool and provide lots of range of motion.

A 7-10-inch inseam has moderate coverage and is more likely to protect your legs from a fall.

A 12-15-inch inseam generally comes to the knee. If you’re taller, this may be a good option for you for enough coverage.

Do your measuring beforehand and avoid any tall high waisted hiking shorts that rub against the knee.

You’ll thank us later!

Good hiking shorts have pockets that carry your valuables without making your pants feel bulky.

Pockets

Pockets may not be your first thought when shopping for hiking shorts, but they make a difference.

Decide what you may want to store for easy access.

For example, to store an iPhone for quick shots of the beautiful landscape you’ll likely want a deeper side or back pocket.

The new trend of a small horizontal back pocket is also a great option for storage of your phone, I.D., or keys.

Well-made and well-placed pockets will prevent your belongings from falling out.

Weight

Weight is important to avoid any unnecessary effort during a long hike. It’s recommended wearing a pair weighing 10-ounces or less.

Nylon, Polyester, and Spandex are all breathable and lightweight.

We suggest avoiding cotton hiking shorts.

Watching the sunset in a comfortable pair of hiking shorts
A gusseted crotch is key for comfortable movements on challenging hikes

Comfort

A no brainer, right? Each of the attributes above play into this decision.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the gusset crotch, waistband, and fit of the high-waisted hiking short.

A gusset crotch includes an extra piece of material to protect rubbing in between your legs. Look for this feature if you’ll be doing rock climbing on your hike. Otherwise, the shorts can be uncomfortable.

Some shorts don’t allow you to comfortably roll down the waistband. Look for a pair with an adjustable waistband if this sounds like you.

On the other hand, the flatlock waistbands generally hide trouble areas.

The choice between a tighter fit or straighter fit depends on the style you’re looking for.

Be cautious of shorts that tend to roll up if you’ll be wearing them during intense workouts or for climbing.

Weather Resistance

Moisture-wicking and quick-dry material is heavily suggested.

Look for shorts with DWR (Durable Water Repellent).

Depending on the location of your hike, the summer months can be unpredictable.

Look for shorts with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) as well. These will protect you from harmful rays.

Windproof high-waisted hiking shorts are also recommended.

You’ll want to choose a pair that keeps you comfortable no matter the conditions.

Conclusion

Preparation is key when it comes to embarking on any hike.

Your clothing needs to withstand the environments, but also make you feel good.

This list provides a variety of options to help advise your personal preference and style.

We know you’re already researching the weather ahead of time, so we hope this helps you shop accordingly.

Enjoy your hike!

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