If you are reading this blog, you’re probably curious about how Stio’s Terral and Second Light women’s shorts perform for outdoor activities including running, trail running, hiking, and backpacking.
I am all about finding durable, high-quality gear that I can wear for multiple activities. Not only am I trying to cut back on excess shopping and waste, but am trying to invest in clothes made by companies that care about the planet. I am a hiker and long-distance backpacker and after I finished thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in November 2022, also picked up road and trail running. Finding shorts that I can wear for all these activities has been one of my primary goals over the last few months.
Until now, I’ve worn the REI active pursuit shorts. They’ve been utilitarian and have gotten the job done. I will always have a pair in my wardrobe. But, it felt like time to find something a little lighter, shorter, more stylish, and more breathable.
This spring, I’ve tried both Stio’s Women’s Terral Run Short and the Women’s Second Light Short. Stio makes high-quality shorts that are admittedly expensive, but seem like they will be staples in my outdoor activity wardrobe for years. I really like both pairs for slightly different uses.
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Cost: $89; Weight: 4.2 oz.; Inseam: 3”; Materials: 86% Polyester, 14% Spandex, 115g/m2 with Water Resistant Finish; Features: Brief liner and small zip pocket, reflective Pinecone logo
Notes: Durable, high-quality, flattering
Summary: I love these shorts. I would absolutely recommend them for running and shorter day hiking.
For running, trail running, and day hiking: The Terral Run Shorts are great for running. They are light, breathable, bright, have a small zipper pocket for my keys, and make me feel like I am floating. They are just short enough (3” inseam) to be cute but long enough to feel like I am not showing everything off. In fact, they are the first pair of running shorts I’ve tried that don’t feel too short. I am about 5’1″ and have a petite frame overall, but have thighs and a butt that don’t always fit comfortably in XS running shorts. The leg openings for these shorts are wide enough for me, providing a nice range of motion, but do not look baggy. The cut of the shorts actually elongates my legs. I’m usually concerned about the waist band, but it isn’t too tight or constricting and sits nicely around my stomach. The Terral Run Shorts have become my go to for both running and less intense day hiking. The colors are bright and they seem really durable. I’ve worn them 2-3 times per week for the last two months and they have held up great to washes. So far, my longest run in them has been a 10K trail run and they held up great.
For long-distance backpacking and big hikes: Personally, I am not going to use this for long-distance backpacking or thru-hiking because I get some massive between-the-thigh chafing issues when I hike long distances. For that reason, a 3” inseam is a little too short for me. But, if that isn’t an issue for you, these shorts may be great.
Cost: $79 Weight: 2.5 oz.; Inseam: 4″; Materials: Meridian™️ Stretch Mini-Ripstop, 100% Nylon, 20 denier, 49 g/m2 PU coating and 80/20 DWR; Features: Brief liner, Stio and Pinecone logos, small interior key pocket
Notes: Lightweight, quick drying, breathable, fuller coverage
Summary: These shorts are very lightweight and versatile. After trying the Terral Run Shorts, I decided to buy the Second Light Shorts because they are a little longer (4” inseam), a little lighter (only 2.5oz!), and provide fuller coverage. I would specifically recommend them for hiking, trail running, and backpacking. The only thing I have noticed is that they crease and wrinkle more quickly than other shorts, but that’s not a concern for me.
For running, trail running, day hiking: These are completely fine to use as running shorts, but I just like the Terral Run Shorts so much that I prefer them for my daily running routine in the city. The Second Light Shorts have a small pocket, but not a zippered one like the Terral Run Shorts, which is difference when stepping out your front door for a run. This is not a concern for me when hiking and backpacking, though. In fact, I’d rather sacrifice that feature for a lighter short. These shorts are fantastic for trail running: light, moisture-wicking, airy, and breathable. I will use these interchangeably with the Terral Run Shorts for trail running and shorter day hiking,
For long-distance backpacking and big hikes: After wearing these shorts on a 26 mile, 5,000+ feet of elevation gain run/hike in the White Mountains of NH, I feel confident in their ability to hold up for big miles. In fact, I plan to wear this pair of shorts this summer to hike about 1,200 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. They are super light, airy, quick drying, and breathable. They also offer a really nice range of motion. It almost feels like I am not wearing shorts when they’re on, which is pretty remarkable.
The length of the shorts helped protect my inner thighs from chafing. Also, the bright pink color is super cute. For you thru-hikers out there: when I washed the shorts in a sink with some Dr. Bronners and laid them outside, they dried quickly…a big plus! I imagine they’d be super quick to dry after swimming. As a lightweight backpacker, I can’t ask for much more in these shorts.
In terms of durability, I cannot speak to how they will stand up for months of use. They are thin, but the material feel strong so I have high hopes.
In summary: I love the women’s Terral Run Shorts for shorter day hikes, running, and trail running. I like the Second Light Shorts for trail running, longer hikes, and think they will be great for backpacking. But, stay tuned. I will be testing them more over the next couple of months.
Disclosure: I am a Stio Affiliate Influencer and they sent me a pair of the Terral Run Shorts to try out. I then purchased the Second Light Shorts on my own. Some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you buy your gear using our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust!