Nothing literally chaps our rear ends more than a pair of shorts that won’t dry quickly. But the Kokatat Surf Trunk not only sheds water like a duck, but also feels comfortable wet or dry. Through months of paddling, on rivers and in the Gulf of Mexico, we found that this is one of the most comfy pairs of shorts we’ve tested.
The key to the Surf Trunk is its microsuede fabric, which feels extremely soft considering that it’s made of 100-percent polyester. Even when the shorts are soaked, the fabric does not become abrasive, which is a big plus when your backside is shifting on a boat seat for hours on end.
Best of all, this fabric dries very quickly. Several times we clocked how long it took the shorts to dry once we exited the water after completely soaking them. In full and intermittent sunshine, they were significantly drier after 10 to 15 minutes. And after 20 to 25 minutes, the shorts were usually completely dry, save for a slight bit of moisture in the crotch area.
The fabric is also lightweight and never felt heavy as we were wading through surf or swimming in rapids. Speaking of which, it’s also nice to know that your shorts aren’t going to become loose or, worse yet, slide off from the heavy tug of water. A hook-and-loop closure on the fly, plus laces that ties at the waistband, prevented any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions in the water.
We had just a couple of quibbles with the Surf Trunk, one being the fact that the hook-and-loop material gathered lint, which is difficult to remove. Also, the laces at the waistband became fairly frayed over time, so it might be a good idea to outfit the shorts with cords that are a bit more durable.
Another thing to note is that the Surf Trunk is designed like a traditional board short and contains no liner. While some people might prefer shorts with a liner, we’ve found that liners can cause problems in saltwater environments because they can trap salt and sand against all the places where you absolutely don’t want a rash. Sometimes, it’s best just to go commando.
One detail we really liked is the small, zippered pocket located low on the right leg of the shorts. It’s roomy enough to hold lip balm and a food bar, and has a lanyard to secure keys. Plus, the bottom of the pocket is made of mesh so that it will drain.
Aside from the lacing, there’s not much else we’d change about the Surf Trunk. The folks who designed it made sure to include all the things necessary to make a day on the water more comfortable, and we thank you from the bottom of…well, our bottom.
SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $52
For information: www.kokatat.com