Around 15 years ago my favourite paddling shorts were my Playboater Neoprene shorts. Absolutely bombproof, curved to fit you well when sat down etc. Unfortunately too many pies forced the sale of those shorts and I have been on the hunt for a long term replacement for years. I have owned kayak specific and non kayak specific shorts (mainly board shorts) and although all have done a great job I have always moved on to try something else.
My criteria for short choice is pretty simple –
A good fit (both standing and whilst sat in a kayak)
Bomber construction and materials
Value for money
I have therefore for the past few years settled on the Guide Shorts from Immersion Research and in particular the neoprene lined variety.
The Guide shorts are built in a similar fashion to surfing board shorts. They have a lace-up waist with just a small circle of Velcro on the fly, deep gusset crotch for a siting position.
They are constructed from quick-drying rip-stop polyester microfiber, and the signature ‘biner-sized brass grommet on the back leg- perfect for clipping the short to the rest of your gear, or for hang-drying. The shorts for are a great length, not too short and not too long and just sit on the knee.
Inside of the shorts is an attached set of neoprene shorts. These are super comfy and give that added bit of comfort and warmth.
The material used on the shorts feels substantial and from the couple of pairs that I own I can vouch that the construction is superb. They feel as if they could easily see me well into the next decade without missing a beat.
IR haven’t changed the design of the shorts since they started to manufacture them way back in 1997, and to be honest they don’t need to. They are a proven design that I find that they work extremely well. So much so that I own the neoprene lined, unlined and fleece lined shorts.