The last time that I tested a product from Helikon I was super impressed. Their Outdoor Tactical pants were simply a dream to wear in the outdoors. So, when our friends at Military 1st got in touch to see if I’d like to run the rule over the Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts, my expectations were VERY high. Would they live up to them?


As soon as the mercury begins to nudge its way north I’m a ‘shorts on’ kind of guy. At the earliest possible opportunity I’ll expose my less than perfect legs to the elements (and my fellow outdoor enthusiasts). Shorts, for me, offer just that little bit of extra freedom compared to pants. When I’m taking on particularly arduous hikes and scrambles it feels great to have cool air hitting my tired limbs. There is also nothing surrounding or encasing your knee joint to restrict your movement. All in all, when the sun comes out, so should your shorts.

However, finding good quality outdoor shorts can sometimes prove problematic. Firstly, there are not that many top quality ones to choose from. If you want shorts for swimming, a beach holiday or leisure activities, it seems you have all of the options in the world. Many outdoor manufacturers sell lighter weight walking and trekking shorts too. However, these will just not cut the mustard of prolonged and serious outdoor abuse.


The second problem is that of cost: the manufacturers that do make hard wearing outdoor shorts tend to price them on the expensive side. With the renowned brands coming in at anywhere between £50 and £80, you’ll need deep pockets in your pants in order to invest. Don’t get me wrong there are some awesome shorts around, but any that come in under that price need to be seriously investigated. This is especially important given that our Great British summer seemingly lasts for about 9 days!  As the Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts hover around the £45 mark I was keen to see if they could compete with their more expensive rivals.

The Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts are part of Helikon’s Outback Line. This particular range of products, as the name suggests, are designed for prolonged use in harsh and isolated environments. First up, they’re lightweight and breathable. At just 405g these are ideal for long hikes when weight is at a premium. In fact, on fast-paced hikes, I barely noticed I was wearing them. This really impressed me as I have, on very hot days, previously been left with damp sweaty underwear. I can assure you that this really isn’t pleasant. Fortunately, there was none of that here.

With an articulated design and anatomic cut, the Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts are also a pleasure to move around in. This is further enhanced by the tough but elastic nature of the material, which stretches four ways. Whether it has been a simple hill walk or a graded scramble, these shorts have moved with my body rather than against it. This has been particularly pleasing when I’ve been scrambling and have had to really extend my range of movement to find footholds etc. The close fit also means there are no baggy features to catch on rocks or undergrowth.

Like the trouser version, the Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts have a wealth of low profile pockets. Whether you’re storing route cards, multi-tools or smartphones, the combination of zippered and Velcro pockets will have you covered. Furthermore, elasticated bands have been placed in the cargo pockets to help secure items such as small first aid kits.


Overall, like their bigger brother, the Helikon Outdoor Tactical Shorts are ideal for any adventure that you can throw at them. They’re tough enough to come into contact with rocks and boulders all day long, but light and breathable enough to keep you moving freely and comfortably. The price point of these shorts also makes them an attractive proposition. Shorts of this quality are invariably more expensive. Sometimes significantly more expensive. When the return of our never-ending British rain is never far away why pay more?  You’ll seriously struggle to find many better.


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