Joined: 30 Dec 2003
| Posted: 7/5/2004, 5:19 pm
The North Face Paramount Cargo Shorts
Materials: 100% Nylon
Suggested Retail: $42.00
Specifications: (All measurements are for size medium)
Inseam: 10" (254 mm)
Waist: 32"-34" (813mm-864mm)
Color(s): New Taupe, Fossil Ivory, Asphalt Gray, Classic Khaki
There are a total of 6 pockets; two in the rear with Velcro closure, two in the front, and two side cargo pockets. They have an elastic waist along with a built-in belt.
Locale(s): The Sonoran Desert (elev. 2,000- 4,000ft.) and the Grand Canyon. Temperatures have varied from 40F all the way to the 115F; both used in sun and light desert sprinkles.
I purchased these shorts over two years ago from REI. Before these my experience with hiking shorts was limited only to blue jean shorts. I originally bought these shorts for use in day hikes, but they have proved equally as worthy for backpacking. The North Face also has a pant model of this version, and a pant/short convertible version.
After two years of pretty average use, these shorts are still in great condition. There are no signs of wear on the seat, or rips and tears of any sort. These shorts have been on numerous day hikes in difficult, rocky terrain where clothes can be easily ripped by many different factors. They have brushed against every kind of cactus available (unfortunately) and have faired very well (all of the blood has washed out). They've also been down the Grand Canyon twice and on other minor backpacking trips. I've washed them under normal care among other clothes such as jeans, etc. and show no signs of abuse.
Fitting: On a recent backpacking trip I wore them for over 72 hours strait, from start to finish (including several trips into a creek) and I never experienced any kind of irritation or chaffing. The elastic waistband keeps allows for a range of sizes, and the built in belt keeps them securely at your hips. The 10" inseam is short enough for a free range of motion for steep inclines, yet is long enough to be seen in the city without screaming outdoors geek. They also fit comfortably under any larger waist belt without any rubbing or chafing.
They prove to have reasonable water-resistant during a few desert showers, and are also quick to dry after a use as swimming suit, or any other sort of complete soaking. The pockets are lined with mesh to drain easily after any river/creek crossing.
My only problem with these shorts was their price tag; at over $40 they are quite pricey, yet over the years they have proven well worth it.
Overall, these shorts are great for the outdoors. They have proved durable and comfortable, everything good hiking shorts should be. After being coated in red rock dust from along the Bright Angel Trail they required no washing, after being soaked in water and with a little bit of rubbing with my thumb the dirt disappeared. The shorts ventilate well, which is a necessity for hot weather hiking. I plan on buying another pair of these shorts when (if?) they wear out.