August 12, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short — Built for the Outdoorsman

4 min read

5.11 Trail 9.5" Short

British military commanders Brooke-Popham and Wavell in World War II. Photo: Public Domain.

Shorts are a warm weather staple. They’re comfortable cool, and practical attire when the temps begin to rise. However, the social acceptance of shorts as attire for adult males is a relatively recent occurrence.

Shorts first appeared around the late 19th century. Although in the western world they were initially associated with pre-adolescent boys as part of school uniforms, the Nepalese Army was wearing shorts as early as the 1880s. The British Army, whose gear wasn’t well-suited for tropical weather, adopted the Gurkha shorts, which later gave rise to Bermuda shorts. Shorts begin making their way into civilian wardrobes as regular attire in the 1950s, but didn’t really become a staple until the 1970s.


Cargo Shorts

Cargo shorts are an abbreviated version of cargo pants. As with cargo cargo pants, they’re made of hard wearing, ruggedly stitched fabric for strength and durability and feature a looser cut for mobility and multiple large pockets The large utility pockets are equipped with pocket flaps or zippers to keep contents secure. They typically have oversized belt loops for wider webbing belts. Although initially marketed to the outdoorsman, cargo shorts have gone mainstream and become popular for everyday casual wear due to their practicality.

5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short

5.11® offers shorts in a wide array of colors, sizes, and styles to meet every need and taste. The 5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short was built with the outdoorsman in mind. The Trail Short features eight pockets, thoroughly reinforced construction and is device ready. It’s well constructed from premium quality materials.

The Trail Short has a body of 87% polyester/13% elastane plain-weave 4.7 oz. moisture-wicking Enduro-Flex™ fabric. Enduro-Flex is a mechanical stretch fabric that’s snag-resistant for lasting durability from wear and that moves with you.

Front view of 5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short. Shown here in Battle Brown. Photo: 5.11.

The fabric has a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish. A DWR finish is a coating added to fabrics at the factory to make them water-resistant. All DWR finishes will wear off over time and need retreatment. Washing with harsh detergents will accelerate loss.  5.11 recommends machine washing in cold water using a mild detergent (no bleach or fabric softeners). Air drying will also preserve the DWR treatment..

The Trail Short has a conservative 9.5″ inseam. It will skim the top of the kneecap on an average size guys. The short has 1.75″ reinforced belt loops with center back webbing loop, comfort waistband with zipper and logo button closure, and a running gusset. The logo closure button is attached to the waistband by a small web loop The pocketing is 1.9oz 100% polyester tricot mesh with a wicking finish Genuine YKK® zippers are used throughout.

The Trail Short was designed for comfort in hot and muggy environments. With daytime temperatures in the triple digits where I am now, keeping comfortable can be a real challenge. The Trail Short has proven up to the challenge..

5.11 went with the 4.7oz fabric to keep the Trail Short light and breathable without sacrificing durability.  The fabric does a great job of wicking away perspiration and dries quickly. There’s enough stretch in the Poly-Elastane Enduro-Flex fabric to accommodate variances in waist size and to allow a full range of unrestricted motion.

The heart of any cargo short is its pockets. The Trail Short features eight pockets designed for quick access to everyday carry items. The pockets are very well thought out and comparatively low profile in appearance.

There are two front angled hand pocket openings with Nylon 6 (N6) knife clip area reinforcement. There are two device ready back utility yoke pockets that also work great to discreetly hold hold 30-round AR mags.

There are also two back body pockets and two thigh pockets, all of which feature zipper closures. Each of the thigh pockets is divided into three separate compartments, one perfectly sized for a pistol mag. All of the pocket zippers have webbing zipper pulls.

Rear view of 5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short. Shown here in Slate. Photo: 5.11.

The zippered pockets provide better security than traditional cargo short flap pockets with button closure and are lower profile and more stylish in appearance. The two thigh pockets feature an internal embroidery eyelet for drainage. There’s a discreet 5.11 logo embordered at the back of the left cargo pocket.

In Conclusion

The 5.11 Trail 9.5″ Short is an excellent cargo short, well suited for hot weather wear. It’s a great way to add extra storage to your summer wear.

The Trail Short has a MSRP of  $69.99 and comes in your choice of Ranger Green, Black, Battle Brown and Flint. It’s available directly from 5.11 or at authorized 5.11 dealers.  


Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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