Short-Lived Summer: Our Top Picks for Warm-Weather Bottoms

For many of us, Coronavirus has led to a new stay-at-home style made up of Zoom-worthy business attire on top and comfort-driven lounge wear on the bottom. This summer, that “mullet style” has translated to stretchy, swishy, lightweight shorts. Our favorites earn points for comfort (duh), trail-worthiness and funky, summer-inspired patterns.

Patagonia Women’s Baggies Shorts

Patagonia’s version of the surfer’s staple short would make even a Beach Boy proud. With 10 different pattern options ranging from the melodramatic melon to business-class black, the Baggies offer a lightweight, relaxed fit in an environmentally friendly, 100-percent-recycled nylon package. I dig the 5-inch inseam, but if you prefer short shorts, choose the Barely Baggies Shorts with a 2.5-inch inseam instead. $55 | patagonia.com

Icebreaker Women’s Cool-Lite Impulse Running Shorts 

Made with recycled nylon fabric for breathability and Lycra for stretch and mobility, the Impulse running shorts feature a glorious barely-there feel. Icebreaker’s patented “cool-lite” eyelet liner and waistband quickly wick sweat away for extra comfort. A sneaky interior stash pocket is ready for cash or a house key. $80 | icebreaker.com

KAVU Tepic Short

Leave it to KAVU to put the fun in functional. Made with a movement-ready polyester/spandex blend, the Tepics’ straightforward design features an elastic waistband, cuffed hem and three pockets. It’s the print that kicks these trail-to-town bottoms up a notch. Opt for pheasants, tree fronds, a Southwest palette or simple black. $50 | kavu.com

Fjällräven Women’s High Coast Lite Shorts

If you prefer a fuller-coverage short that’s still breathable, fast-drying and uber lightweight, then Fjällräven’s High Coast Lite Shorts are for you. The slightly flared legs create a silhouette that flatters any body type, while the inner drawstring ensures you get your perfect fit. High-stretch material simplifies high-stepping through a boulder field. $59.50 (on sale!) | fjallraven.com

Cotopaxi Vamos Short

The Vamos Shorts are great for everyday lounging, but they’re just as comfortable on the trail or near the water thanks to their soft and stretchy nylon/spandex composition. A wide waistband provides a flattering fit as well as a bold color hit if you go for the tucked-in aesthetic.  $52 (on sale!) | cotopaxi.com

Toad&Co Women’s Boundless Short

Toad&Co consistently melds the worlds of the playful outdoors with subtle sophistication. The Boundless Short is no different. Made primarily with organic cotton (recycled polyester and elastane add a touch of stretch), these bottoms lean more toward fashionable, everyday comfort than hardcore hammer-time, but they’re perfect for an after-dinner dog walk or casual morning stroll. $65 | toadandco.com

Prana Arch Skort

Flirty and feminine, yet lightweight and trail-ready, the Arch Skort feels at home in the city or the state park. The nylon blend and elasticized waistband allow for an easy pull-on entry. My favorite part: The soft-and-stretchy, undershort lining with its handy side pocket and port buttonhole. No peekaboo here. $34.50 (on sale!) | prana.com

Flylow Marion Short

Surfboard, paddle board, mountain bike, cruiser: The Marion’s have a ticket to ride all of the above. The Hawaiian hipster print is toned down with washed-out coloring, making these bottoms bold but not obnoxious. These quick-drying shorts feature a 6-inch inseam for fuller coverage.  $70 | flylowgear.com

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