When I travel in the summer – or, for that matter, at any time of the year to more tropical climates — I gravitate to clothing that is super lightweight, breathable, packable, durable, and quick dry. A bit of style doesn’t hurt either since shirts and pants frequently need to do double-duty as both trail and street wear.

Mountain Khakis Equatorial Shorts

Mountain Khakis Equatorial Shorts

Plus, they sometimes must be a respectable alternative when heading to classier establishments, such as museums or restaurants. You know, where they may not look too favorably on customers appearing to be vagabonds.

I wore the Mountain Khakis Equatorial Shorts in New Zealand, Fiji, California and during a month gallivanting around Europe. They have quickly become a favorite of mine. OK, so there was a minor pocket zipper hiccup (more on that later), but faves they remain.

The 3.7-ounce nylon fabric the shorts are made with are super quick to dry, very packable (meaning they resist wrinkling and creasing) and have a DWR finish to help them stay cleaner longer. The manufacturer proudly claims the fabric is UVA-UVB rated to 50+, but who are we kidding here? They are street-length shorts, so sun protection of my bum just ain’t a highlight I’m giving much thought to.

The Mountain Khakis Equatorial Shorts ($70) have six pockets made of mesh which helps with ventilation and comfort. I love the zippered security pockets (there are two), one on the back for your wallet and a zippered side seam pocket on the right. However, that side seam pocket did fail on me several times: The slider managed to pop off the top of the zipper coils, requiring me to engage in creative gyrations and twisting maneuvers to reseat the slider – all that while wearing the shorts. I mean, it was either that or remove the shorts on the train platform, which I didn’t think either the Germans or Brits would see much humor in.  I solved the issue by sewing in a zipper stop to prevent further … um … unsecured zipper adventures.

Subsequent testing of a new pair of Mountain Khakis Equatorial Shorts that the company provided has not had any further zipper issues, so with that, the Equatorial Shorts have officially been bestowed the HITT Seal of Approval.

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