Before I start this review let me say upfront that I hate wearing shorts, been that way for as long as I can remember. I am the guy you see at the beach walking around in the middle of the day wearing slacks. And despite working in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for the past decade in a half I just never wore shorts no matter how hot it got, just not my thing. I think my distain for shorts came from my pops who is old school, I remember seeing him wearing a tie while mowing our lawn in the great Commonwealth of Virginia when I was a kid – Old School Man proper style. The memories of my pops combined with seeing how ridiculous Brit soldiers looked wearing cammo combat uniforms with shorts walking around base in Iraq, I just wrote off shorts as a negative for my personal and professional wardrobe.
But about a year ago my buddy and one of the OG’s here at DVM, Thomas Moore told me about an outdoor clothing company called Railriders that he likes. Considering how I am a bit of a connoisseur of outdoor and tactical clothing he introduced me to them thinking it would be a good fit (no pun intended).
After talking to the good folks at Railriders they sent me some samples of their outdoor clothing to check out. I was impressed with the quality of their clothing and to this day I wear their pants pretty much every week - but in the bottom of the box I saw a pair of shorts that immediately got sent to the storage room at DVM Manor (Think the storage room at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark) where they sat for a year collecting dust and stripper glitter.
Fortunately for these fine shorts when I was putting together a list of gear I would need for the Death Valley Expeditionary Corps Humanitarian Aid Mission to the Philippines, shorts ended up on the list. It would turn out I would be traveling by boat in order to reach our destination. Depending on what time our team ended up arriving at our island of destination it could be low tide - and generally operating in a marine environment I knew that I would need a pair of shorts/swimming trunks.
I was going to just pick up a pair of cheap trunks at Walmart until I remembered that I had a pair of Railriders Jammin' Shorts stuffed away in a gorilla trunk.
So after digging through stacks of gorilla trunks and containers I yanked out the Railriders Jammin' Shorts and gave them a look over to make sure it had all the features I needed for the mission:
-Quick Drying Material? Check – 100% Nylon (but feels like cotton) and double needle construction means they would dry out fast and not get all fucked up by the salt water and hard use.
-Pockets that won’t turn into balloons when I get into the water? Check – It never gets old to to press the air bubble out of swimming trunks while yelling “Check out this big ass fart bubble” to your buddies, but there is a time and place for that. And an Aid mission was probably not the place. Both of the two front pockets and the back pockets have a mesh back, and the two cargo pockets have two grommets for drainage.
-They don’t look overtly Military Ok I was hardly going to be Grey showing up for an American Humanitarian Aid Mission wearing U.S. Flag patches, but I didn’t want to look like I was raiding Omaha Beach either. The Railriders Jammin' Shorts look like. Well, shorts – nothing ominous about em’ at all.
- Gusseted Crotch so my junk does not get all bunched up? Check – nothing worse than gargling your nuts every time you sit down, the generous Gusseted crotch gives your no-no box plenty of room.
- Elasticized waist Check – While the Elasticized waist is normally the preference of old guys circling the local shopping mall, it makes sleeping while wearing your shorts way more comfortable.
-A Pocket that will fit my phone I knew that the team would not have a phone signal where we were going, but I still use my phone for everything from checking what medications I should use to taking pictures. Having a convenient pocket to shove my phone into where I won’t have to constantly fight with Velcro is a feature I wanted. These shorts have a nice slide in pocket with a small Velcro tab to secure your phone.
-Not so short that I will look like Magnum PI Yes Magnum PI is a pimp and rocks a Hawaiian shirt like no other mustached man in the 80’s ever did, but I wanted to spare people the sight of my balls every time I bent over. The Railriders Jammin' Shorts have a 9 inch seam that properly hides your nuts from the world when picking up your pack.
So with a half a dozen yes ‘Checks’ I threw my Railriders Jammin' Shorts into my pack and headed to the Philippines...
On the first day of the mission the team had to load up a pontoon boat with our Aid Supplies, but due to the rocky shoreline bottom and a low tide the boat was 40 feet off the beach so we had to walk through the water to get our supplies and kit loaded.
Much to the amusement of the 20 locals watching me I dropped my slacks and threw on my Railriders Jammin' Shorts. This would be a common theme every time we had to upload or download the boats that brought our Aid Supplies over the next 3 weeks.
A bonus plus to these shorts is when they would get soaking wet from taking a wave crashing over the bow or from constantly unloading Aid Supplies in 20 minutes later they would be dry. And even better than dry, they would not have that dried slime or salt stiff feeling that most shorts have when they get nasty sea water on them after days of not being washed.
Another clever addition to the Railriders Jammin' Shorts is a zippered semi hidden pocket on the left side to hide your cash or whatever you don’t want the local cops in Ourpresidentwearsraybansistan to find. Zippered pockets can also slow down pickpockets a bit, or at least slow them down enough for you to notice some kid is stealing yo’ shit.
The Railriders Jammin' Shorts are a great choice if you need to have a pair of Adventure or Mission shorts that double as daily wear and/or bathing trunks. And as much as I hate to admit it these puppy's have changed my mind when it comes to shorts. The next time I am forced to wear shorts, these bad boys will be the only ones I throw in my pack.
Railriders Jammin' Shorts 60 to 70 Bucks
Founder – Editor in Chief DVM
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Southeast Asia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and buying Hawaiian shirts