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Páramo Maui Cargo Shorts – Ultimate Travel Shorts Group Test Part 1

Product: Men’s Maui Cargo Shorts Company: Páramo Price: RRP £47 Where: Approved Páramo Outlets and Online Sex: Men (Women’s equivalent available here) Sizes: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40 inch Colours: Pebble, Moss Pockets: 8       Weight: 310g Drip Dry Time(Sunlight): 56 minutes Highlights Generous cut. Belt included. Hanging loop to aid drying. Mesh [...]

Product: Men’s Maui Cargo Shorts
Company: Páramo
Price: RRP £47
Where: Approved Páramo Outlets and Online
Sex: Men (Women’s equivalent available here)

Sizes: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40 inch
Colours: Pebble, Moss
Pockets: 8       Weight: 310g
Drip Dry Time(Sunlight): 56 minutes


Maui Cargo Shorts

  • Generous cut.
  • Belt included.
  • Hanging loop to aid drying.
  • Mesh lined pockets for breath-ability and quick drying.
  • 2 rear zipped pockets.
  • 2 front “jeans style” pockets.
  • 2 large “button down” cargo pockets.
  • Secure zipped secret passport pocket .
  • Mobile phone pocket.
  • Protection against UV rays.
  • Very quick and easy to wash and dry.
  • Parameta® & Nikwax Fabric (explained later)
  • Lifetime Guarantee

Company Info

Páramo (named after a region of the Andes) was set up by the founder and owner of Nikwax, Nick Brown in 1984 after he saw a need for a new high performing fabric. After large manufacturers rejected the idea he instead choose to manufacture his own clothing and in 1992 production began in a socially responsible factory in Bogotá, Colombia. Páramo now manufacture high performing garments covering the full range of outdoor activities. For a full list of products click here.

Our Opinion

Please note for the purposes of this review that the women’s version of these shorts is exactly the same but with a slightly different cut.

When these shorts arrived my first thought was that they were a really good looking pair, my second thought was that the material they were made from was so thin (they only weigh 310grams!) that they wouldn’t last 5 minutes. This assumption was proved wrong when I went for a hike in a local forest and found myself negotiating an ever narrowing path which eventually became an animal track. Being a a testosterone fuelled man it is impossible for me to consider admitting defeat and turning round and so battled on through the undergrowth until I found myself completely tangled in thorn bushes. 10 minutes later after a painful and cautious thorn removing session I admitted defeat and turned round. I expected these shorts to be in tatters after my miss-adventure but was amazed to find not a mark on them, even where I had pulled thorns out there were no holes!

Whilst on this hike I also had the chance to feel the other benefits of this remarkable fabric patented by Paramo. You just do not sweat in these shorts. It was 24 degrees so not exactly chilly and the walking was hard but I stayed consistently cool and sweet smelling! The Parameta A fabric uses a clever system whereby it distributes moisture (sweat, rain) throughout the fabric allowing it to evaporate quicker and it really works, due to this clever design these shorts keep you cool and when it rains they dry very quickly. The pockets are also made of mesh which facilitates quick drying and aeration.

I really have been impressed with the technical performance of the fabric. I was amazed by how clean these shorts stay! I got them covered in mud and dog prints and half an hour later they were clean again. I believe this is due to the fabric surface being very smooth and so the dirt just doesn’t stick. I’m slightly ashamed to say that I wore these shorts on the hike and then put them back on unwashed on to go to a BBQ that night and they still looked like they were brand new. The only fault with this fabric which is easily forgiven is that it can crease if left to dry in a pile but if you look after them and hang to dry then you’ll have no problems. I would be very interested in trying the other versions of this fabric as this is the warm weather fabric but there is also a cold climate version Paramo use in their coats etc. to see how they perform.

On the subject of pockets these shorts have plenty. 8 in total including a really useful hidden zipped passport pocket within the left cargo pocket. There are however a couple of issues with the pockets. The first is the phone pocket. A couple of years ago it would of been perfect but since the introduction of smart phones, these devices have grown in size and are now too big to fit in this dedicated pocket, not a major issue but it did mean that I kept my phone in one of the “jeans” style pockets and my headphones in the phone pocket. The second issue is that the 2 back zipped pockets are too small to fit my hands in. This may be due to my genetic code giving me freakishly large hands but I haven’t had this problem before and due to the extensive testing we complete my wife had a go and could just squeeze her hand in.  If you just keep a wallet in these pockets then you can get it out no problem but I wouldn’t put anything small such as keys in them unless I fancied performing a little wriggle dance for bemused onlookers while I retrieved them.

The Good and the Bad of Maui Cargo Shorts

Paramo - Maui Shorts


  • Looks; Style
  • Well designed and thought out
  • Comfortable fit
  • Weight
  • Impressive fabric performance
  • Lots of pockets
  • Lifetime Guarantee!


  • Phone pocket too small for smart phones
  • Zipped rear pocket openings too small
  • Will crease if not hung to dry


I have been and continue to be impressed with these shorts. I’m new to the Paramo brand and despite my initial reservation of the cost at £47 I have seen them cheaper online and actually I would pay full price if I had to. The lifetime guarantee means that the company are confident in their product so these £47 shorts could outlast four pairs of £20 shorts.

Considering what you can do with these shorts and the way they look I believe they make an excellent travel short. You could just as easily wear these around Africa as you could to work on a Monday morning . The small complaints that I have made are not major issues and with a little redesign by Paramo I would honestly not have been able to find fault with these shorts. Paramo has a growing customer base and I really believe this is a brand you should invest in and keep an eye out for on the hangers.

For details of where to buy go to Men’s Maui Cargo Shorts.

*Maui Cargo Shorts provided for review by the manufacturer. To have your travel gear reviewed on Vagabond Journey Travel contact us.


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Filed under: Clothing, Travel Gear

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6 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Wade | VagabondJourney.com April 25, 2011, 1:27 pm

    These shorts look great, Rich. What do you feel separates them from a standard pair of military fatigues?

    Link Reply
    • Rich Poulter April 27, 2011, 7:29 pm

      The main difference between the old faithful cargo shorts is the leap in fabric technology that these companies are making, as you’ll see as the rest of the reviews come up the new breed of shorts are packed full of fancy features that really do make a difference. The quick drying on these shorts is impressive, they drip dry from soaking wet in less than an hour! Really useful if your packing light and moving quick!

      Link Reply
      • Wade | VagabondJourney.com April 30, 2011, 10:12 pm

        Yes, these new synthetic fiber clothes seem to be really coming to maturity. They also revolutionize doing laundry by hand when traveling, these synthetic fiber shorts air dry almost as fast as a drying machine can dry a pair of standard cotton shorts.

      • Rich Poulter May 1, 2011, 12:32 pm

        The really impressive part is that these aren’t the quickest drying shorts on test!

  • Nathan May 6, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Looks like they’ve reduced the price on these shorts to 23.50 since the review. Looks like all the more reason to pick them up.

    Link Reply
    • Rich Poulter May 8, 2011, 6:46 pm

      At that price your laughing! I was really impressed with these, if your looking to buy keep an eye out for the rest of the tests as we have some great pairs from Gelert, Berghaus, Patagonia still to be written up.

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