Tested and reviewed by Trek Scotland through the summer in local areas.

Having been big fans of Rab’s Torque pants and jacket we were very keen to see if the shorts lived up to the same dependable reputation that has made this range so successful. What makes them instantly noticeable as part of the Torque range is the use of the Matrix double weave stretch material. Rab say that “although primarily designed for summer ascents in warm climates, their value as a general-purpose warm weather garment is plain to see.” Coming in at 214 grams for a size medium, the Torque Light shorts can be considered a mid-weight short tough enough to handle a wide range of activities, including hiking, scrambling, climbing, and mountain biking.

The shorts use a lighter weight version of the Matrix fabric that offers a similar level of stretch, strength, and resilience, with the benefit of enhanced breathability. The lighter material became a perfect option for warm summer days with the Torque shorts never overheating and feeling heavy. Although the DWR finish has almost no protection against showers, its ability to prevent a build-up of dirt is impressive. Long days out on the bike along muddy trails with river crossings meant that, even when soaked with water, the Torque would dry out quickly making them a great choice for our multi-day activities.

The leg length at 32cm comes to around knee height. We found this to be a very workable length with a good balance between protection, and full movement. The part elasticated waist with snap fasteners make the Torque shorts very streamlined and an extremely comfortable wear. We would however recommend choosing a size smaller than usual. The stretch of the material makes for a supportive fit but without further adjustments when wearing a large backpack, they can easily be pushed or pulled out of place. Choosing a size down we believe would offer a better hold whilst still being very comfortable to wear.

Pocket space is very generous with two large front open pockets, and two zippered thigh and rear pocket. This can easily fit a map, compass, mobile phone, and all the usual bits you would like to have quick access to for summer activities.

Our Verdict

The Rab Torque Light Shorts offer the same high levels of comfort, resilience, and freedom of movement that we liked so much with the jacket and pants. Throughout the summer the lighter weight Matrix double weave stretch material offered a fantastic balance between breathability and protection. Resistance to a build-up of dirt or moisture meant that days out on the bike along muddy trails with numerous river crossings made the Torque a great option and became our go-to option for multi-day bike packing adventures. The overall build is impressive, and we had confidence that when brushed against coarse rock or snagged on a branch that no damage would come of it. Even after extended use, signs of wear are minimal which is testament to Rab’s attention to detail in including extra stitching in high abrasion areas. The Torque shorts do have a habit of being pulled or pushed out of place which can become annoying over the course of a long day. We really liked the low bulk shock cord adjustment on the Torque pants and would have found this same system to have been a great addition to the shorts.

Trek Scotland is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...