Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Outdoor Research
Ferrosi Shorts
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report:
June 6, 2010
The author in the Pigeon River Country State Forest
Tester Information

Gail Staisil
Age: 57
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Gender: Female
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 19 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 14 lb (6.35 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Outdoor Research
Model  Ferrosi
Fossil (Also available in Black and Fern)
Size Women's Large (Also available in Women's XS-M, as well as Men's Sizes)
Ripstop Nylon with Spandex
Manufacturer  Weight  8.5 oz (241 g)
Tested Weight  8.6 oz (244 g)
Model Year 2010
MSRP $65.00 US

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Shorts
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts arrived with a small hangtag displaying basic information as well as their guarantee. I would classify these shorts as being utilitarian but having stylish features. They could be worn for not only trail activity but look good enough to wear casually.

The size I requested was my normal size of Women's Large. I was a bit apprehensive about trying them on as I find the sizing of women's lower body clothing varies more than any other type of clothing for me. I was delighted that the fit couldn't be more perfect.

Size Large specifications were for a waist measurement of 31 in (79 cm) and hip measurement of 41 in (104 cm). This was close enough to my actual measurements on any given day :)

The best part about the fit is the waistband. It fits loose but doesn't gap. The front of the waistband lies about an inch (2.5 cm) or more below my waist but the back sits just at the waist. This combination is very comfortable as it doesn't restrict my waist. When I sit while wearing the Ferrosi Shorts, it doesn't leave the dreaded gap like a lot of shorts. I won't have to worry about bending over and exposing part of my back end.

The length of the inseam measures about 13.25 in (33.7 cm). The shorts come down to a bit over the tops of my kneecaps. I also love the fact that the legs on the shorts are not extra wide. They measure about 19.5 in (50 cm) in circumference at the bottom edge. The overall fit is very non-restrictive, this is much to my liking for all my outdoor activities.

Tons of Features


The Ferrosi Shorts are made out of durable stretch-woven nylon (89 percent). The addition of Spandex (11 percent) makes the material stretch and not be restrictive. The rugged soft shell fabric is reportedly water repellent, wind and abrasion resistant and breathable. The fabric is very smooth and feels good next to my skin.

Waistband features tricot lining and snap closure
The waistband on the Ferrosi Shorts is inset and is about 2 in (5 cm) in width. There are six self-fabric belt loops on the waistband and a small hang loop inside the waistband. The back of the waistband is covered in soft brushed nylon tricot. The front opening of the shorts is closed by a short zipper and two snaps at the top of the waistband. The back side of the shorts features yoke styling to further enhance the fit of the shorts.


There are more pockets on these shorts than I am used to having. Two front slash pockets lie beneath the waistband on the front of the shorts. The roomy pockets are quite deep at approximately 10.5 in (26.7 cm) in length. There is also a cargo pocket on the side of the right leg that features bonded seams and a bonded stitching. This pocket lies very sleekly on one leg of the shorts. The back of the shorts also feature two pockets with snap-closure flaps (two each). Those self fabric pockets are sewn in place, one on either side of the center seam.Back side of Ferrosi Shorts

Gusseted Crotch

The Ferrosi have a gusseted crotch insert that extends from the inside edge of one leg all the way to the other. It narrows in width near the inside leg edges and no doubt will make body movement less restrictive. The seams in that area are double stitched for durability. Double-stitched seams are also found on the side seams, bottom of yoke and edges of front and back pockets (except for bonded pocket).

The shorts I requested are Fossil in color. I would describe that color as being sort of a gray tan or very earthy color. The only adornments on the shorts are an embroidered "OR" on the bottom of the left leg and an embroidered flower representing a women's garment on the back of the right leg several inches (8 cm) above the hem.


The care instructions are found in the seam between the back waistband and rest of garment. It indicates by word and product symbols that the shorts can be machine washed with cold water and tumbled dried on low. However ironing and dry cleaning are forbidden (no worries there).

During the next four months I expect to encounter many kinds of conditions while I hike. They include rain, mud, sand and rock. I have many extended backpacking trips planned so the Ferrosi will experience many good times in the outdoors.

Top of Page 
Field Report:
August 16, 2010

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period, I have worn the Ferrosi Shorts extensively for such activities as hiking, trail running, swimming and backpacking. Total days worn were approximately 38.

Early August Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - an island in Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights

Pack Weight:
24 lb (10.89 kg)

Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and rain
Precipitation: 0.32 in (0.81 cm)
Temperature Range: 64 F (18 C) to 82 F (28 C)

Trail Running and  Day Hiking:

Location: Noquemanon Trails, Harlow Lake Trails, Hogback Mt all in Marquette County, Michigan, Nature Conservancy Trails (Bare Bluff and Bald Mt) in Keweenaw County, Lake Superior Shoreline (all in Michigan).
Distance: Normally 4 to 7 mi (6 to 11 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and rain
Temperature Range: 58 F (14 C) to 90 F (32 C)

Field Work 

It's been a hot summer by our standards here in the northernmost part of the United States. I've never worn shorts that extensively throughout the summer as now. Most days have ranged from the 70 F to 90 F (21 to 32 C). I might start this field report by hinting that I really love the Ferrosi Shorts. Read further to find out why.

Lots of Activity!
Tester wearing the Ferrosi shorts while backpacking
As previously mentioned I have worn the Ferrosi Shorts for a variety of activities. I usually trail run at least a few times (4) a week as a conservative estimate. The shorts have proven to stretch with me and are so comfortable while wearing them on the rugged and steep trails that I use for running. They are mostly crazy singletrack trails that not only are steep but are very rocky and have a zillion roots and obstructions.

The shorts have never constricted my movement. The waistband is very comfortable against my skin and does not constrict me in any way. I normally wear shorts with an elastic or drawcord waist (typical running shorts) but wearing the Ferrosi Shorts has not cramped my style.

I love the bonded lower pocket as I can carry my cell phone (for emergency usage only). The flat pocket is perfect for that as it doesn't allow the phone to float around while I run like a more traditional pocket some times does. The zipper also insures that I won't lose the contents.

The fabric of the shorts does not wrinkle nor does it soak with sweat. I have been very overheated several times but the shorts have remained dry to the touch.
I love the length of these shorts. They are just perfect in length as they fall right around mid knee. I like that they are tapered and yet they do not hinder my movement.

The Ferrosi Shorts have been used for swimming a number of times whil
e I have been out hiking or backpacking. This is one of my favorite ways to cool off when I am hot and since I don't normally bring a complete change of clothes, the shorts dry right on me. It takes more time for the waistband area to dry but it is not uncomfortable. That is partly due to having a shirt hang over the outside of the shorts preventing the airflow to that area.

I have also trekked many day hikes while wearing the shorts. It normally was very hot and the humidity was moderately high (60-90 percent) and the shorts performed admirably in such conditions. I have also stuffed a partially full one liter (quart) soft side bottle in one of the side pockets and it has stayed there throughout a few miles of hiking (4 mi/6 km).

I haven't needed to use the belt loops for a belt but I have used it to tie off a lanyard to keep from losing things in my pocket.

I have also worn the shorts during a backpacking trip for the entire trip. That includes sleeping in them, swimming in them and hiking in them. They were very comfortable underneath the pack belt. Even though the waistband some times feels a little loTester wearing the Ferrosi Shortsose, I have never felt like I've had to pull the shorts upwards. The band simply just does not gap.

Durability and Care 

The Ferrosi Shorts have been incredibly durable. I have sat and scooted across all sorts of rock formations and they have not caught or ripped. All of the stitching is intact. I have washed the shorts approximately 15 to 16 times (lost count) and they have been worn multiple days in the field with no ill effects.

As earlier stated, I have slept in them, swam in them, hiked in them and they look just like when I put them on before a trip. The shorts are also good enough looking
to wear for dressy casual wear by adding a nice sweater or shirt. 

Top of Page 
Long Term Report:
October 11, 2010

USA Locations and Conditions

During the Long Term test period, I have continued to wear the Ferrosi Shorts for more activities such as hiking, trail running and backpacking. Extra days worn were 23.

Trip 6 - Late August/Early September Backpacking and Day Hiking Trip:

Location: Colorado (Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Aspen; Glacier Gorge and Bear Lake Trails, Rocky Mountain National Park)
Type of Trip: Backpacking, Day Hiking
Length of Trip: 8 days
Pack Weight:
28 lb (12.7 kg)

Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and rain
Precipitation: 0.11 in (0.28 cm) rain
Temperature Range: 86 F (30 C) to 36 F (2 C)

Trip 7 - September Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Lake Superior
Type of Trip:

Distance: 11.7mi (18.8 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night

Pack Weight:
22 lb/10 kg (includes 4 lb/1.8 kg of water)

Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 56 F (13 C) to 41 F (5 C)
Hiking through the glorious fall color at Grand Island
Trip 8 - October Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Lake Superior
Type of Trip:

Distance: 10.2 mi (16.4 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night

Pack Weight:
20 lb/9 kg (includes 4 lb/1.8 kg of water)

Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny, unseasonably warm!
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 73 F (23 C) to 44 F (7 C) 

Trail Running and Day Hiking:

Location: Noquemanon Trails, Harlow Lake Trails, Hogback Mt all in Marquette County, Michigan
Distance: Normally 4 to 7 mi (6 to 11 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and light rain
Temperature Range: 76 F (24 C) to 47 F (8 C)

Field Work 

More Activity!

In the long term period, the weather has mostly cooled considerably but I have still found plenty of opportunities to wear the Ferrosi Shorts. Since most of my activities are very aerobic in nature, I prefer to wear shorts versus pants during activity as long as I have adequate warmth on my torso. With that said, the shorts were worn plenty of times with wind pants or light down pants overneath them during cold morning or evening hours during the extended trips.

The Ferrosi Shorts have continued to be a winner. They remain comfortable to the point that I barely notice that I am wearing a nicely tailored piece of clothing. With their close fit and stretch I have never felt constricted in any way during activity. I love the waistband and the fact that it does not bind and is lined with a very soft material. The fabric of the shorts does not wrinkle or stain easily so they always appear clean. I have continued to use the pockets to secure small items and love the fact that the pockets are not bulky.

Durability and Care 

The Ferrosi Shorts have remained indestructible after 61 days of total activity during the entire test period. The fabric and stitching have all held up well and there aren't any apparent defects. I have continued to wash them with my regular laundry and usually tumble dry them for a few minutes and then I place them on a drying rack.

Final Thoughts

The Ferrosi Shorts have become an integral part of my wardrobe. They have a boatload of attributes but the comfortable, stretchable and breathable fabric are top notch features. The well-designed shorts can be worn not only for active play but they can be also be worn for casual dress if desired. I love the fact that they never appear wrinkled and that they appear as good at the end of the day as at the beginning. They have been worn for multiple days without washing while they always appear to be freshly laundered. 


  • Comfortable waistband
  • Versatile 
  • Plenty of useful pockets that are not bulky
  • None, these are a keeper!

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Outdoor Research and for this opportunity to test the Ferrosi Shorts. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.    

Top of Page

Read more reviews of Outdoor Research gear
Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Outdoor Research Ferrosi Shorts > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson