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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts > Test Report by Derek Hansen

Outdoor Research - Ferrosi Shorts

Test Series by Derek Hansen

Ferrosi Shorts

Inset photo courtesy Outdoor Research.


NameDerek Hansen
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg)
Email Address derek·daught·hansen·at·mac (without cheese)·dot·kahm
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA


I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical weekend pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


Manufacturer Outdoor Research, (Seattle, Washington, USA)
Year of Manufacture 2010, made in China
Manufacturer’s Website
Size Mens Large
Color "Fossil" (also available in "Black")
Listed Weight 8.5 oz (241 g)
Measured Weight 8.5 oz (241 g)
Listed Features "Rugged and wind-resistant, these breathable, soft shell stretch shorts are at home on a long, multi-pitch climb in the warm, summer sunshine. Abrasion resistance and a water-repellent finish offer the protection that's needed during the scramble up the early morning approach through dew-covered brush."
Warranty OR products feature an "Infinite Guarantee" and can be returned or exchanged by calling 888-467-4327 (Mon–Fri, 8 am–5 pm PST) or by filling out their online return authorization form.


5 Jun 2010


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts, hereafter just "Ferrosi" shorts, are listed as abrasion and wind-resistant, stretch-woven ripstop nylon/Spandex fabric shorts, featuring a generous 12 inch (30 cm) inseam. The shorts have a zipper fly and a snap waist closure, two front pockets, two rear pockets, a small zippered cargo pocket on the right leg, belt loops, and a gusseted crotch.

Inside the shorts, on the back near the hang tags, is a small hang loop.

The material is light and smooth and has a slight 4-way stretch. The front pockets are made of mesh and are highly-breathable.


My waist is about 34 inches (86 cm) and the large size fits me well, but there is some extra room around my hips and waist — nothing a belt can’t fix. The 12 in (30 cm) inseam is great and brings the edge of the shorts down past the tip of my knees. I like the smooth feel of the shorts and the lightweight material.

I’ve worn the shorts for a few days around the house and on two day hikes. The shorts fit well and really move great with my body.

The website gives the impression that these shorts were intended for climbing and bouldering, but I think they are also about perfect for hiking and backpacking.

Initial Hike

June 3, 5 ~ Old Caves Crater, Coconino National Forest. I took all my kids (ages 3 to 8) out on the cinder mountain near our home for some hiking and geocaching. The round-trip hike is about 3 miles (5 km) and we hiked a little more than that as we hunted for caches. Trailhead elevation is 6754 ft (2059 m) and the summit is 7183 ft (2189 m). The first hike was a sunrise hike with temperature around 40 F (4 C). The next hike was a sunset hike and the temperature lowered from around 70 to 65 F (21 to 18 C).

I think the mark of good gear, including clothing, is that it doesn’t bring attention to itself — it just works and makes the trip enjoyable — this is one thing I noticed with the Ferrosi shorts. The only time I actually worried about the shorts was when we reached the summit of Old Caves Crater and started to explore the old volcanic caves. The lava rocks all over the site were jagged and rough, and as we scrambled around, I began to worry about tearing a hole in my new shorts. The fabric feels light enough that they could easily tear. Thankfully, the short brushes I had with the rocks didn’t create any tears.

I really hope I don’t make any tears in these shorts — I’m already liking them and I want them to last.

During the hike, I often carried my three-year-old and the shorts performed well to provide a little stretch as I bent down and moved around to accommodate his small stature.

The side cargo pocket isn’t all that large. I tried stuffing in my miniscule, featherweight wind jacket — which is about the size of an overstuffed wallet — but it wouldn’t fit. It easily holds smaller items, but it isn’t gusseted, so packing anything large in this pocket isn’t going to work.

PRO—Great overall fit; a little loose around the hips. Smooth feel. Deep front pockets. Lightweight fabric.

CON—None at this stage.


24 Aug 2010


During this phase, I went on an additional 6 day hikes and 3 overnight backpacking trips totalling 36 extra miles (58 km).

Here are some highlighted trips:

July 1-3 ~ Fremont Indian State Park, central Utah. This was a car-camping family reunion in an amazing location. Most of us used hammocks to camp. During the day, I participated on a few day hikes with the pack. Elevation roughly 6000 ft (1829 m) and daytime temperatures in the high 80s F (27 C) with lots of wind.

July 16-17 ~ West Fork of Oak Creek, Coconino National Forest, Arizona. I convinced a co-worker to do an S24O trip (less than 24-hour trip) into the Oak Creek Wilderness area. Immediately after work, we drove down to the canyon and hiked up the creek about 4 miles (6 km) and hammocked in the canyon. The elevation was level at 5400 ft (1646 m) and the overnight low was in the mid-60s F (16 C). We were up by 4 AM and back on the trail and back to our car, passing folks just rising for the day.

Aug 7 ~ Cedar Breaks, Utah. A few day hikes with my wife. The elevation was over 10,000 ft (3000 m). We encountered a few sprinkles of rain (the tail end of a thunderstorm) and temperature of about 40 F (4 C).

Aug 13-14 ~ Fisher Point, Coconino National Forest, Arizona. Another S24O trip just outside Flagstaff. The 9-mile (14.5 km) trip took us through skunk canyon (6600 ft/2011 m) and up to the top of Fisher Point (7000 ft/2134 km). We pitched our hammocks on the edge of a cliff. Overnight low was 48 F (9 C).


Fremont Indian State Park

These shorts have really done well. I have worn them almost daily at home and for all my outdoor trips, including backpacking, hiking, and trail running. Besides being a little bit big around my waist, these are my favorite shorts to wear right now. They have a nice feel, they glide easily against my skin, and they breathe well.

During my family trip to Fremont, we went on a few day hikes in some very hot, arid areas. The shorts felt cool and I was so grateful to have them on this trip. On one hike, we went down into the valley and crossed a major river. You wouldn’t know it was there except for this patch of lush, willow-chocked are in an otherwise desert terrain. Water that splashed on the shorts beaded up and shed easily.

Oak Creek

I had a similar experience of shedding light water during my hike down the West Fork of Oak Creek, just south of Flagstaff, Arizona. The trail was oddly humid for Arizona and I felt like I was back in Virginia as we trekked through leafy vegetation and ferns. We had to cross the creek multiple times and every-so-often I would stop and dunk my head for a quick cool-down. The shorts breathed well and kept the light splashing off with no soak-through.

Fisher Point

A photo of me sporting my Ferrosi shorts while backpacking to Fisher Point near Flagstaff, Arizona.

Cedar Breaks

My wife and I went on a “honeymoon” trip to Cedar Breaks with our 3-month-old and went on a few day hikes. The elevation was over 10,000 ft (3000 m) and a storm front had moved through before we arrived, bringing a lot of rain and cooler temperatures. It was cold enough that my wife and I had to layer up. I slipped over some thermals I brought, but we decided it would look better if I put them on under the shorts instead of over them. The shorts were roomy enough for layering and worked perfectly for the hike.


These shorts have been wonderful. They shed light water easily, breathe well, and feel great. The shorts are roomy, and besides the size being a little large for my waist, they fit great. For a make-shift belt, I’ve used a webbing strap from my hammock while I hike, and remove it when I sleep in the shorts.

PRO—I still love the fit and feel and the water repellency.

CON—None, really.


30 Mar 2010


I have worn the Ferrosi shorts on numerous day hikes and a 3 additional backpacking trips. I have also enjoyed wearing the shorts around town and in the house. My highlighted trips include three canyons:

Sep 3-4 ~ Sycamore Rim Trail, Kiabab National Forest, Arizona. This 6-mile (9.6 km) trip skirted Sycamore Canyon (6600 ft/2011 m). Overnight low was 48 F (9 C).

Sep 6 ~ South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. We took relatives to the Big Ditch and took a few day hikes around the rim and down into the canyon. We hiked about 4 miles (6.4 km) that day. The daytime high was in the 70s F (20s C).

Oct 15-16 ~ Snow Canyon State Park, St. George, Utah. We had an opportunity to visit family and took a few trips into Snow Canyon and went on a few day hikes, including Johnson's Arch. Elevation was around 3200 ft (975 m) and daytime temperatures around 75 F (24 C). We experienced some light rain this weekend.


Grand Canyon

I really can’t believe this test series is over. I have so enjoyed these shorts and I can honestly say that they are on my shopping list if they ever wear out. I have been so pleased, however, with the durability and performance of these shorts that I believe they will last a very long time.

Sycamore Canyon

One feature I’ve really come to appreciate in the fabric is how water is repelled on the surface. I can brush off most of the standing water and the shorts are very slow to absorb water. The material is smooth and slightly stretchy and has performed very well. I’ve snagged the sides a few times on brush but I’ve not seen any torn fabric or threads coming loose.

Snow Canyon

On my trip to Snow Canyon, I carried a new iPod Touch in the side zipper pocket and used this as my primary camera device. The iPod fit perfectly and I appreciated the security the zipper provided.

The shorts are thin enough that during cold evenings I would slip a pair of thermal bottoms over the shorts and take them off as the temperatures rose by mid-morning.


I don’t have anything really negative to say about these shorts. I know the fit isn’t perfect, but that is something I can fix with proper measuring in the future. Overall, these shorts are keepers.

PRO—Comfortable, durable, sheds water, and breathes well.


I would like to thank Outdoor Research and for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.

Read more reviews of Outdoor Research gear
Read more gear reviews by Derek Hansen

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts > Test Report by Derek Hansen

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