The Craghoppers Basecamp are a well constructed pair of lightweight hiking/walking shorts for the budget conscious outdoor enthusiast. They feature a dwr finish, are fast drying, and have ample storage, and provided the fit is right, they provide an excellent value.
- Very lightweight
- Fast drying
- Finicky fit (try before you buy, or make sure there's free exchange if buying online)
According to Craghoppers, the basecamp are their entry level shorts which are constructed from Solar-shield (UPF 40+) Polyester cotton with a part elasticated waist for a great combination of comfort durability and protection. They feature 3 pockets, 1 with zip fastening, a part elasticated waist, and SmartDry dwr finish.
Fit and comfort: I am 5,10 1/2", size 36, and the shorts fit me well enough (most UK brands tend to be cut leaner and longer than North American styles), however not as well as the regular Craghoppers basecamp trousers, perhaps either the shorts or the trousers may be from a different production year or they are simply meant to be different.
The waist fits me perfectly (with some room to spare), but I find the shorts to be a little restricting for higher intensity activity, which is a little disappointing as I have no problems with the basecamp trousers. As such I have relegated them to less strenuous hikes and walks. Ultimately they can benefit from a looser cut. I got them online, and while not perfect, for the price they were too good to send back (going up a size would have made the waist way too big).
Adjustability: Other than an elasticated waist belt, there is no adjustability.
Water Resistance/Moisture handling: The shorts have a DWR coating which will bead water and shrug off a light shower or some coffee drips but don't expect it to do much more than that. Although this is entirely reasonable as they are very thin and light. Still, should you get caught in a storm, they will dry fairly quick.... ultimately they are shorts, so I don't anticipate getting wet in the summer will be a huge deal.
Breathability: These are very light and they are shorts, so there is plenty of breathing room available.
Warmth and Layering: They are thin and lightweight, and its quite easy to layer above them.
Abrasion: Although they appear well put together and the material is of reasonably good quality, it is thin, and I do not expect them to resist heavy abuse like scrambling or climbing. I have not yet put them through any scenarios where abrasion could arise, other than day to day wear, and so fine they look great.
Function: They work as shorts should, there is nothing particularly special about them.
Ease of use: As far as shorts go, these are no harder to use than most shorts I have owned.
Features: Water repellent quick drying fabric, very light, with decent looks
Conditions: Hiking in mild but moist English summer weather.
If the fit works for you, they are an excellent product. They sell for very little on the side of the pond, and for the 12 pounds / 20 dollars I paid, I cannot recommend them enough. I believe they can be had on amazon for around $35, and even for that they are still a good value.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 12 pounds, 20 dollars