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FADER Tested: Cold Splinters’ Hiking Shorts

June 21, 2011


A few weeks ago, I told you about the fully functioning hiking shorts made by woodsman-scribe Jeff Thrope of Cold Splinters. They're tried and true, specially made for hikes down the Appalachian Trail and adventures of the rural sort. Thrope explains that function was always his top consideration: re-enforced crotches hold strong, short length gives optimum mobility and snap pockets keep valuables like knives and maps in place.

I didn't actually brave the great outdoors, but they worked for New York's touch-and-go urban environment, too. I spent my weekend crouched by a grill trying to snatch scraps of meat at a BBQ, using my hand as a napkin. When I grabbed some food, I found a place to sit on the gritty ground, my butt protected by the tough, taut shorts. I put my burger right on top of my thigh, using my leg as a plate. Ketchup spilled off the sides of the bun and all over myself, but the 65/35% poly/twill blend meant that the red Heinz wiped right off. They still look brand new!

When my friends and I pried ourselves away from the meat pit, we stumbled towards the closest bar. Too many beers meant I was floundering, legs akimbo, speeding up and slowing down, but never walking in a straight line. Shorts too tight or too baggy would've been encumbering, but I felt liberated in these, free to be my tipsiest me. Though most people at the bar were in full-length pants, almost everybody I met told me they liked my shorts. And because everybody wondered why they were there, the snaps on the pockets were great conversation starters.

When it was finally time to go home, I hiked the distance, crawled up my fifth-floor apartment and fell asleep in the comfort of my bed. When I woke up, I realized my Cold Splinters shorts were so comfortable and easy that they doubled as passed-out PJs. I slept like a baby.

For tips on how to use the Cold Splinters' Hiking Shorts for woodsier adventures, read Jeff Thrope's column for FADER Take a Hike and make sure to purchase your own pair of Cold Splinters' hiking shorts.

FADER Tested: Cold Splinters’ Hiking Shorts