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Favorite cargo shorts no longer available

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I am so bummed out! The last two Caminos (and many other long-distance hikes), I have worn REI Sahara shorts. They were perfect; lightweight, 10 inches (about 25.5 cm) long, and had very usable side cargo pockets with velcro flaps over them. Very accessible. I kept my cell phone in one pocket and my money/passport/wallet in the other. There were also zippered flat pockets over the cargo pockets and regular top pockets, both of which were useful for other things.

As often is the case with women's outdoor clothing, the supplier apparently decided they weren't "flattering" enough. (If I was looking for fashion, I wouldn't be shopping for cargo hiking shorts). The new REI women's Sahara shorts are shorter, the cargo pockets are smaller and the flaps over them are tacked down on the sides, so it's difficult to put things in or remove them. I notice the men's version is still offered in the longer, old style.

Why does this infuriate me so? Well, I worked in the outdoor industry for many years and saw this happen again and again. "Serious" outdoor companies like Patagonia (back in the "pile jacket" climbing days, even) almost always did this with women's clothing. The men's versions were practical and usable, and the women's versions sacrificed all that for looks. The sales reps readily admitted it. The only thing that wasn't different was the price.

I am really pissed off about this. I can't find any other practical cargo shorts that work for me for hiking.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I have always thought it was somehow gender politics that differentiated male and female clothes - pockets, men are independent with pockets, women have to carry a handbag and to my mind look ridiculous. When you are in France or Spain find a Decathlon - they have good cargo pocket shorts. Go to the hunting section as they have brown cargo shorts there that aren't on display elsewhere, but without rear pockets (I guess so it isn't uncomfortable sitting down waiting to kill some poor innocent animal).
Alternatively, as female hip/back shape is different and male shorts tend to be loose at the back on a female who has wide hips and narrow waist, bunch the back a little and sew on an elastic cord there on the inside, will give a more comfortable fit.

It isn't just 'femalising' shorts and trousers - what is this pink and mauve thing with trekking footwear????
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Exactly and I would like to know why men’s gear comes in normal colours and women get fluoro!
So we can spend our energy on camino not walking and talking about serious or not so serious concerns of life. But, instead exclaiming over our color coordinated walking togs.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I have found several alternatives to REI Sahara cargo shorts. The two that are solely synthetic fabric are:

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts - The women's version has no cargo packets. So you need to try the men's. I wear a 40w x 10" inseam, and I find the fit true to size, if a tad stingy in the waist band. You could buy for the waist and inseam then tighten up the waist stretch elastic panel already there, to better taper your waist if needed.

They are available as a 10" or 12" inseam, and are made of 100% ripstop nylon, provide SPF 50 protection, and weight nothing. Actually, my web belt weights as much as the shorts. The pockets are not as generous as the Sahara, but it is better than most I found. They cost the same or less than the Sahara brand.

Here is the direct link to the product page on the Columbia.com website:

https://www.columbia.com/mens-silver-ridge-cargo-short-AM4084.html?dwvar_AM4084_variationColor=221#q=cargo+shorts&start=0

NOTE: They are available on Amazon and elsewhere. I just ordered 4 pair from Amazon, and got free shipping with my Prime account.

The other possibility I found it the Propper brand. They cater to the Law Enforcement community, but have some interesting products. Here is the link to their men's summer weight shorts. Yes, you will have to take in the waist. But this pair of shorts has a lot of features for the money. The fabric is 100 % nylon.

https://www.propper.com/proppertm-summerweight-tactical-short.html

NOTE: Watch the embedded video to earn more than the description provides.

Finally, here is a choice that is made for women. However the photos is distorted and makes the model, and the shorts look shorter than they are. But at least these are purpose-made from women and are in a 100% synthetic fabric.

https://www.galls.com/5-11-tactical-womens-taclite-shorts

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of choice out there. If anyone else finds options, please post here.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Kaleo

Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Camino(s) past & future
Planned for 2018
I am so bummed out! The last two Caminos (and many other long-distance hikes), I have worn REI Sahara shorts. They were perfect; lightweight, 10 inches (about 25.5 cm) long, and had very usable side cargo pockets with velcro flaps over them. Very accessible. I kept my cell phone in one pocket and my money/passport/wallet in the other. There were also zippered flat pockets over the cargo pockets and regular top pockets, both of which were useful for other things.

As often is the case with women's outdoor clothing, the supplier apparently decided they weren't "flattering" enough. (If I was looking for fashion, I wouldn't be shopping for cargo hiking shorts). The new REI women's Sahara shorts are shorter, the cargo pockets are smaller and the flaps over them are tacked down on the sides, so it's difficult to put things in or remove them. I notice the men's version is still offered in the longer, old style.

Why does this infuriate me so? Well, I worked in the outdoor industry for many years and saw this happen again and again. "Serious" outdoor companies like Patagonia (back in the "pile jacket" climbing days, even) almost always did this with women's clothing. The men's versions were practical and usable, and the women's versions sacrificed all that for looks. The sales reps readily admitted it. The only thing that wasn't different was the price.

I am really pissed off about this. I can't find any other practical cargo shorts that work for me for hiking.
You might find your preferred old style of REI Sahara shorts on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=REI+sahara+shorts+women's&_sacat=0
 

Tinner

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
Carhartt makes a women’s cargo short that has multiple pockets and are longer. They are 50 percent cotton, though.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I am so bummed out! The last two Caminos (and many other long-distance hikes), I have worn REI Sahara shorts. They were perfect; lightweight, 10 inches (about 25.5 cm) long, and had very usable side cargo pockets with velcro flaps over them. Very accessible. I kept my cell phone in one pocket and my money/passport/wallet in the other. There were also zippered flat pockets over the cargo pockets and regular top pockets, both of which were useful for other things.

As often is the case with women's outdoor clothing, the supplier apparently decided they weren't "flattering" enough. (If I was looking for fashion, I wouldn't be shopping for cargo hiking shorts). The new REI women's Sahara shorts are shorter, the cargo pockets are smaller and the flaps over them are tacked down on the sides, so it's difficult to put things in or remove them. I notice the men's version is still offered in the longer, old style.

Why does this infuriate me so? Well, I worked in the outdoor industry for many years and saw this happen again and again. "Serious" outdoor companies like Patagonia (back in the "pile jacket" climbing days, even) almost always did this with women's clothing. The men's versions were practical and usable, and the women's versions sacrificed all that for looks. The sales reps readily admitted it. The only thing that wasn't different was the price.

I am really pissed off about this. I can't find any other practical cargo shorts that work for me for hiking.
Jill, the Sahara zip off pants may retain some of the features you liked in the dedicated shorts. If that is the case, you could see if zipping off the legs and just wearing them as shorts will work for you.

REI does this kind of nonsense a lot, lately over the last 5 years. I don't get it. Instead of just adding a new model to the lineup, they instead choose to make "improvements" to existing products which the customers haven't asked for. More than that, from comments on their website in the product reviews sections, there are vigorous and voluminous complaints made about those changes to tried and true products.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Jill, have you tried the men’s shorts? I have only ever used them, because as you say, they are made for the task of on the move storage...
I already wear men's tee shirts and men's shoes, so might as well. It Grinches me though, to pay full retail and then have to alter them to fit. Dave, the zip off Saharas have a lousy fit, too. And most of the Sahara shorts on eBay are the new version. Clearly the only thing that's going to make me happy is if they bring my old shorts back.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I already wear men's tee shirts and men's shoes, so might as well. It Grinches me though, to pay full retail and then have to alter them to fit. Dave, the zip off Saharas have a lousy fit, too. And most of the Sahara shorts on eBay are the new version. Clearly the only thing that's going to make me happy is if they bring my old shorts back.
That is too bad. I hate it when they spoil things by 'improving' them. :mad:
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
Take a look at Craghoppers shorts. Lightweight, dual pockets and REALLY durable.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I was just commenting in another thread that the shorts I love, really old Royal Robbins are no longer made. They were awesome cargo shorts, I will have to look after the old ones more carefully.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Take a look at Craghoppers shorts. Lightweight, dual pockets and REALLY durable.
I looked at their site and did not see any women's shorts with cargo pockets.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
That is too bad. I hate it when they spoil things by 'improving' them. :mad:
Well, they made these changes to both the women's and the men's Sahara shorts, however they are also keeping the "classic" Sahara shorts available for men. At REI today, I counted no fewer than seven models of shorts with useful pockets in the men's section and none in the women's section.

I worked in a backpacking/mountaineering shop for many years, some 20 years ago. Even then, a full 50% of our customers were women. It is at least that today. These are not women wearing outdoorsy clothes to clubs, looking for dates. These are women who walk, hike, climb, kayak and otherwise are looking for practical outdoor wear. There is only one reason that women are offered a poor selection of options in stores like REI and that is misogyny. (It can't just be cluelessness, because they DO keep track of the sales, I'm sure).

Keen makes one walking sandal that has a full heel, so you can add insoles to them. It is called the Arroyo. REI carries the men's Arroyo, but not the women's. There is no other hiking sandal that fits this category. However you can, at REI find a number of Keen women's dress shoes for sale. Infuriating.
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am so bummed out! The last two Caminos (and many other long-distance hikes), I have worn REI Sahara shorts. They were perfect; lightweight, 10 inches (about 25.5 cm) long, and had very usable side cargo pockets with velcro flaps over them. Very accessible. I kept my cell phone in one pocket and my money/passport/wallet in the other. There were also zippered flat pockets over the cargo pockets and regular top pockets, both of which were useful for other things.

As often is the case with women's outdoor clothing, the supplier apparently decided they weren't "flattering" enough. (If I was looking for fashion, I wouldn't be shopping for cargo hiking shorts). The new REI women's Sahara shorts are shorter, the cargo pockets are smaller and the flaps over them are tacked down on the sides, so it's difficult to put things in or remove them. I notice the men's version is still offered in the longer, old style.

Why does this infuriate me so? Well, I worked in the outdoor industry for many years and saw this happen again and again. "Serious" outdoor companies like Patagonia (back in the "pile jacket" climbing days, even) almost always did this with women's clothing. The men's versions were practical and usable, and the women's versions sacrificed all that for looks. The sales reps readily admitted it. The only thing that wasn't different was the price.

I am really pissed off about this. I can't find any other practical cargo shorts that work for me for hiking.
Ah, Jill, maybe this is the camino gods' way of telling you that if you want big pockets, you need to get yourself a Macabi skirt. :D

I remembered that I had read about the demise of cargo shorts a while back, and sure enough, here's the article, which is entitled "Cargo Shorts are Dead."

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cargo-shorts-dead_us_579fafa0e4b0e2e15eb6d0e0
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Wow, timely article! Of course they are arguing about the function and fashion of cargo shorts for men, which are available everywhere. Women's cargo shorts are the ones that are doomed. That's because we carry designer handbags.

Macabre skirt? Hah! I don't even wear long pants on the Camino because they are too heavy.

I don’t understand why everyone suddenly has to have an opinion on cargo shorts, but I’m for them.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 2, 2016
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Wow, timely article! Of course they are arguing about the function and fashion of cargo shorts for men, which are available everywhere. Women's cargo shorts are the ones that are doomed. That's because we carry designer handbags.

Macabre skirt? Hah! I don't even wear long pants on the Camino because they are too heavy.

I don’t understand why everyone suddenly has to have an opinion on cargo shorts, but I’m for them.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 2, 2016
Me too, I guess if I cant get what what I want in the womens range, I'll have the buy the men's version and have them altered. No I wouldnt wear the convertible zip off pants either, I dislike those, and I only wear shorts anyway.
I can understand why they are not offered for sale in fashion stores, and have no trouble with that. I wouldnt buy them as a fashion item either. What frustrates me is that specialist outdoor stores sell a mens version but not a womens.
They are a utilitarian item, why should womens needs run to tight shorts in pink, whilst mens are sensibly coloured with lots of pockets.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
The first one (black, with the belt) is the new style. The second one is a size 2! Third one is a size 6, still too small.... However under that one I saw another listing for a size 10. I might get it. Thanks!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
I am so bummed out! The last two Caminos (and many other long-distance hikes), I have worn REI Sahara shorts. They were perfect; lightweight, 10 inches (about 25.5 cm) long, and had very usable side cargo pockets with velcro flaps over them. Very accessible. I kept my cell phone in one pocket and my money/passport/wallet in the other. There were also zippered flat pockets over the cargo pockets and regular top pockets, both of which were useful for other things.

As often is the case with women's outdoor clothing, the supplier apparently decided they weren't "flattering" enough. (If I was looking for fashion, I wouldn't be shopping for cargo hiking shorts). The new REI women's Sahara shorts are shorter, the cargo pockets are smaller and the flaps over them are tacked down on the sides, so it's difficult to put things in or remove them. I notice the men's version is still offered in the longer, old style.

Why does this infuriate me so? Well, I worked in the outdoor industry for many years and saw this happen again and again. "Serious" outdoor companies like Patagonia (back in the "pile jacket" climbing days, even) almost always did this with women's clothing. The men's versions were practical and usable, and the women's versions sacrificed all that for looks. The sales reps readily admitted it. The only thing that wasn't different was the price.

I am really pissed off about this. I can't find any other practical cargo shorts that work for me for hiking.
If those shorts weren't too old a style, more recently discontinued, you may find them on eBay. Sellers sometimes buy out huge supplies of discontinued items and sell new on eBay. I've had luck...worth a try :)
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
@JillGat ...My iPhone 8 fits in side zippered pocket no problem. There are two deep (11 " ) pockets one on each side, and two zippered pockets in back ( both fit cell phone ) . I kept my cell phone in a fanny pack, but used the zippered pockets for my wallet, kleenex, pole tips, etc... The waist band has a very soft, breathable, vented material and has an added hidden elastic that can be adjusted hidden under the band...and it all dries fast. Might be worth a shot. Comes in Shorts, Capris or pants...IMG_1258.jpgIMG_1259.jpgIMG_1260.jpg
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I just found some great cargo shorts! At Costco: Men's Gerry Vertical Water shorts. They cost about $13.00 US, have huge pockets, elastic on the sides of the waist (which means they fit me, too) and are super lightweight, so should dry fast.
 
Last edited:

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Congratulations. I have been spending a lot of time lately looking for a woman's long-sleeved shirt, well ventilated and with lots of pockets, to replace my previous shirt for outdoor wear, which wore out. This type of shirt is available for men at MEC, but there is nothing comparable for women. Outdoor outfitters seem to pay more attention to their ideas about stylish women's clothes than to practicality. Women's long sleeved shirts at MEC currently seem to favour no, or one, small breast pocket, with no fastener, light colours which will show the dirt, and no ventilation comparable to that in men's shirts designed for outdoor wear. Many are 100 percent cotton. I suspect that, before I leave for my next camino in the fall, I shall purchase a men's shirt in a suitable size. That is another problem with the women's shirts: too fitted to breathe well and apparently designed to show off women's breasts, rather than to help keep them cool and comfortable. I have been shopping for a men's shirt with at least some of the qualities which I want at a second-hand store, but most of the available shirts are men's size large, not practical for me. I really have no hope that the industry will change. It seems to me that things are getting worse. The question for me is why the designers, manufacturers and buyers do not want our business more than they want to stare at our bodies. I suspect that part of this has to do with the relative cheapness of made in China shirts for women, not designed for outdoor wear. Maybe I need to extend my shopping to more second-hand stores until I find something which will do at a possible price. I am getting too fussy to keep my focus on the pilgrimage and just make do.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I hear ya. Many years ago, I managed a backpacking store and worked with customers and also did the buying. I remember the Patagonia sales rep telling me the reason the women's coats were designed to be so much shorter than the men's was to show off the ass. Even back then, half or more of our customers were women and they were buying technical gear, too (packs, boots, climbing gear). I don't know why the industry is blind and deaf to this. The same is true for motorcycle shops. They completely ignore women customers and carry practically no women's practical, protective clothing. This, even though women are by far the fastest growing population of new motorcyclists. And even though women are much more likely to buy a NEW motorcycle instead of fixing up an old one, the bike salesmen ignore women who come into the shop.

Congratulations. I have been spending a lot of time lately looking for a woman's long-sleeved shirt, well ventilated and with lots of pockets, to replace my previous shirt for outdoor wear, which wore out. This type of shirt is available for men at MEC, but there is nothing comparable for women. Outdoor outfitters seem to pay more attention to their ideas about stylish women's clothes than to practicality. Women's long sleeved shirts at MEC currently seem to favour no, or one, small breast pocket, with no fastener, light colours which will show the dirt, and no ventilation comparable to that in men's shirts designed for outdoor wear. Many are 100 percent cotton. I suspect that, before I leave for my next camino in the fall, I shall purchase a men's shirt in a suitable size. That is another problem with the women's shirts: too fitted to breathe well and apparently designed to show off women's breasts, rather than to help keep them cool and comfortable. I have been shopping for a men's shirt with at least some of the qualities which I want at a second-hand store, but most of the available shirts are men's size large, not practical for me. I really have no hope that the industry will change. It seems to me that things are getting worse. The question for me is why the designers, manufacturers and buyers do not want our business more than they want to stare at our bodies. I suspect that part of this has to do with the relative cheapness of made in China shirts for women, not designed for outdoor wear. Maybe I need to extend my shopping to more second-hand stores until I find something which will do at a possible price. I am getting too fussy to keep my focus on the pilgrimage and just make do.
 

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