RRP: £80 (available for less in many outlets)
Weight: 115g (size XXS)
The long hot summer of 2018 saw skorts enter the mainstream of Scottish hillwalking kit. A skirt with a shorts liner, skorts have actually been around for a while. They are beloved of female mountain runners and cyclists in the Alps, so I thought I’d test out the latest version from Vaude – from a walker’s perspective.
The skort consists of a kilt-style wrap-around, above the knee skirt with two side pockets, both large enough for small phones, one of them with a zip. Two tiny fabric loops with plastic press studs secure it to detachable black form-fitting shorts. Either item can be worn alone, although the shorts are very close fitting and short – I’d wear them for a quick swim on their own but not as regular shorts. Longer than most running skorts, the skort is extremely comfortable with a very soft feel to the 100% polyamide material. They is treated with a water repellent finish made without fluorocarbons – it works, rain and spillages just bead up on the surface making it useful in light rain. The wide waistband is secured with a button and press stud and is designed to sit higher than the waist of the shorts, so there is no rubbing between the two. The only issue I found was the press studs on the loops attaching the shorts can get uncomfortable under some rucksack hipbelts – I’d choose my pack carefully to avoid this on longer days. The other minor quibble is that because the shorts are attached you can’t just pull them down on their own for a quick wee – it doesn’t seem to make much difference if these loops are kept undone for walking, so apart from running use, I’d keep the two items separate.
The shorts are stretchy due to the addition of 15% elastane in the fabric. A side zip keeps the shorts done up and there’s a small mesh key pocket on the inside. These are really designed to be worn as underwear – the ones I tested (XXS – equivalent I would say to a UK size 8 whilst the XXS skirt seemed more generous, equivalent to a UK 10) were so tight that nothing else could fit anyway.
Vaude is a brand which takes sustainability very seriously and this item is part of its Green Shape range. This means it has been made in accordance with strict environmental criteria, with fair pay and conditions for workers. Both items seem very well made and the material robust – I would expect them to last a long time.
Both shorts and skirt move really well with your body – ideal for fast moving or scrambling. The shorts provide adequate modesty but the skirt is also really good worn without the shorts on lower level walks and for general travel. The shorts are good for swimming and very quick drying. The only addition that might be good would be polygeine treatment, although I haven’t found them particularly smelly after long wears and they do rinse and dry very quickly. Altogether a versatile and comfortable bit of kit if you fancy a change from regular shorts, just need a long hot summer to justify the high price tag.
Available in 3 colours and 7 sizes from XXS to XXL.