Cabela's Women's 7-Pocket Hiker Stretch Shorts
BY LIZ STEVENS
October 20, 2008
Grand Canyon, AZ
5' 7" (1.70 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I'm an artist, illustrator and outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking in earnest 2 years ago to become more fit. I'm pretty much a day hiker, but I've also taken backpacking trips from 2 to 5 days long. I plan to take longer trips as my fitness level improves. I hike most often in steep, arid terrain where water, elevation and heat are big factors. My main concerns are comfort, fatigue reduction, and hydration on the trail. My pack weight is not usually more than 35 pounds (16 Kilograms), but I am interested in reducing that so I can carry more art supplies for sketching on the trail.
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website: Cabela'sŪ Home
MSRP: $22.95 US
Listed Weight: no weight listed
Women's even sizes 4 - 20 (US)
Other details: These shorts are made from a canvas fabric that is 96% cotton, 4% spandex. They feature 7 pockets, including button and bellows pockets in front, a knife pocket on one side, and "button-through" rear pockets. They have 2" (5.08 cm) belt loops and an 8" (20.32 cm) inseam. The front rise for size 10 is 12 1/2" (31.75 cm). They are available in the following colors: Khaki, Stone, Mineral Grey, Sagebrush, Sand Dune, Blue Haze, and some styles are also available in Denim. (sample colors from Cabela'sŪ Website)
|Mineral Grey Color|
|Sage Brush Color|
|Sand Dune Color|
|Blue Haze Color|
|Weathered Indigo Color|
I tested these shorts for eight weeks at lakeside in North Central Kentucky, on the rim and below during numerous day hikes in Grand Canyon, Arizona, as well as on a 5 day backpacking trip on the Whitney Trail in California. Weather conditions ranged from humid to arid, rainy to dry, and elevations ranged from about 700 ft (213 m) to over 10,000 ft (3048 m). Average temperatures in Kentucky and Grand Canyon were 95 F (35 C), and 65 F (18 C) on the Whitney Trail.
Cabela's Women's 7-Pocket Hiker Shorts have been around for a while. They are available in 3 styles: 'Classic', 'Stretch' and 'Modern Fit'. The 'Classic' style is made of 100% cotton canvas. The 'Stretch' style is the same as the 'Classic', but is 96% Cotton, 4% Spandex so the fabric will give a little with movement. The 'Modern Fit' shorts have a lower rise (sit lower on the hips) and a shorter inseam (5 inches/12.7 centimeters).
|Cabela'sŪ Women's 7-Pocket Hiker Stretch Shorts - Sand Dune|
|Modern Fit Shorts in Blue Haze|
(Photos from Cabela'sŪ website)
I decided to purchase the 'Stretch' style because I tend to fluctuate in weight, and thought the addition of the spandex would help with fit. I am also fairly long legged, so I liked the longer inseam length. The canvas stretch material was fairly heavy, but the addition of the spandex made it comfortable and not stiff. Small pleats in the front, below the belt loops, gave me a little extra room in the tummy area. Thus, there was no binding or bunching across the front, or at the upper thighs. With the stretch addition to the fabric, the shorts didn't seem to wrinkle as badly, even after several days' wear without washing. When they eventually were washed, they didn't seem to shrink as much as most all-cotton garments do, and came out of the dryer wrinkle-free.
Another nice feature of these shorts was the myriad pockets. There are actually 4 pockets in the front, one pocket on the side, and two pockets in the rear for a total of seven in all. The main front pockets are 'bellows' style, meaning they have a pleat at the bottom to expand outward when full. Each main pocket has a smaller flap pocket sewn onto it. There is a 'knife' pocket (long and narrow) along the right side seam, and there are two pleated, button-closed pockets in the rear. There is plenty of cargo space in these shorts, and the front pockets, which I tend to use most, are deep and roomy. The front button pockets give secure storage, and the knife pocket is handy, although the button closures are a little cumbersome to use one-handed. I don't really use the back pockets much, but they are plenty big enough for those who do, and also have a pleat in them so they can expand a bit as well.
The 8" inseam sounded a bit long to me, but the shorts actually hit me at just above mid-thigh. I don't like a real short inseam because I don't like to reveal too much thigh when I sit or bend over. These shorts fit that bill perfectly, and didn't ride-up as I walked.
I'm not sure what advantage a 2" (5.08 cm) belt loop has, except maybe to keep my belt from sliding around at the waist. I try not to wear a belt, especially when I'm wearing a pack, so the belt loops
didn't concern me much. If anything, I found the wide loops to be a disadvantage when I wanted to clip a carabiner through. The width of the belt loop made it difficult to do so.
|Khaki Shorts with Belt|
(photo courtesy Cabela'sŪ website)
As for the cotton/spandex blend fabric, it was a little heavy, and cotton tends to absorb moisture, so the shorts took a long time to dry if they got wet. This is okay under dry, hot conditions, but causes a bit of a chill in cooler temperatures, or at altitudes above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).
I have owned these shorts for two years and I can honestly say they have worn very, very well. After much use, the only wear spots are some fraying along the leg hem edges, and at the stress points of the
pockets in the rear. The material has maintained its stretch, although the color (I chose olive) has faded from repeated washings. The shorts did shrink a bit in length, but not overly so. I have lost buttons on one of the rear pockets and the knife pocket, but I don't really use those pockets much so it's not a problem for me.
The sizing of the shorts was accurate for women's sizing (US), but the web site has a size chart with measurements so it was easy to find the size closest to my actual measurements. I did find
the shorts to have a "relaxed" type fit.
Cabela's offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Purchases can be returned "no questions asked", for a full refund. Unfortunately, return shipping is at the buyer's expense, unless the mistake was Cabela's. Return instructions come with the item purchased, or can be found on the website. Purchases made online may be returned to a Cabela's retail store, as long as the item is one that can be purchased in the store. There are several store locations nationwide (see the website to locate a retail store).
These are comfortable, versatile shorts that I have enjoyed wearing. They were well made, durable and not overly expensive. While they might have a few drawbacks, I would definitely purchase them again when mine wear out.
THINGS I LIKE
-comfortable stretch fabric
-lots of roomy pockets
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
-2" belt loops
-button closure pockets
-cotton fabric retains moisture
-returns are at buyer's expense
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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