I try to stay away from cotton shorts at all cost. Not only do they seem to wear out quickly, they don’t cut it for all-around use. The new Merrell Meridian shorts offer softshell nylon fabric for versatility and comfort combined with excellent styling, but how did they fare in my tests?

Merrell Meridian Shorts Review

About the Merrell Meridian Shorts

The Merrell Meridian shorts are an all-day pair of shorts made for outdoor or urban adventures. Quick-drying fabric ensures they won’t get bogged down should you wear them hiking or trail running and the subdued styling fits in with any adventure–no matter the location. A few more features of the Meridian shorts include:

  • Merrell Opti-Wick moisture management
  • 96% nylon / 4% elastane woven fabric
  • Gusseted crotch for greater mobility
  • 11″ inseam
  • Colors: Tan, Navy
  • MSRP: $60

Merrell Meridian Shorts Review

The Meridian shorts are super-comfortable to wear and offer just the right length for both around town and trail adventures.

Above all, I appreciate the overall fit of the shorts due to the stretchy softshell fabric. Just that little bit of stretch gives just enough in a pinch to prevent any freedom of movement–essential for climbing or backcountry yoga (for those who engage in that sort of thing).

Front hand pockets are sizeable enough for good use and the zippered leg pocket is the perfect size and location for an iPhone or Blackberry–just a quick zip away.

Unfortunately, the Meridian shorts came with a big shortcoming. One of the first things that worried me were the plastic snaps on the front. They seemed flimsy and easily-broken. Well, after a couple months of wear, the top snap has broken off and the bottom one will likely follow. Looks like a trip to the dreaded fabric store for a suitable replacement.

Merrell Meridian Shorts Review

Good Meridian

  • Softshell stretchy fabric provides excellent comfort
  • Low-key design is functional and stylish
  • Dries Quickly
  • Usable zippered lower-leg pocket

Bad Meridian

  • Plastic snap closure broke
  • Iron-on reflective logo wore off

Bottom Line: Merrell Meridian Shorts

If it weren’t for the broken snaps, I’d be completely stoked on these shorts. Unfortunately, this design flaw must be corrected before I can give them the nod. Look for improvements to the button design in the future.

Buy Now: Find Hiking Shorts at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the review, and I’m glad you like the Meridian short. We definitely have addressed the snap issue for future production arriving in the Fall, and have replacement snaps being tested right now to send out for repairs.

    Bill Inman
    Merrell Apparel Business Director
    Portland, Oregon

  2. Bill

    Thanks for replying and I’m glad that replacements will be issued. It’s unfortunate to have something like that happen with an otherwise excellent pair of shorts, but (as I mentioned), I knew you would address this issue.

    What’s the process for getting replacement snaps? Should they contact Merrell Customer Support?

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