Hobart Extreme Technical Shorts by Camet

These lightweight sailing shorts are perfect for hot-weather sailing. "Gear Up" from our July 30, 2008, /SW eNewsletter/

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Courtesy Camet

The "How awkward would you feel wearing this item into a Thai restaurant?" test has figured prominently in my recent reviews of Sebago sailing shoes (not too awkward) and Slam salopettes (very awkward). I, for one, like to know just how dorky a given piece of sailing gear is going to make me look in the eyes of the non-sailing public.

Camet's Hobart Extreme Technical Shorts pass the Thai test with flying colors. Despite their tech-y name, these shorts have a remarkably simple look. If not for the tiny, red, "Camet" logo above the left hem, you'd never know the Hobarts were designed with "extreme" activity in mind. The absence of cargo pockets--or rear pockets for pad inserts--cuts down on the bulk, and the use of a feather-light, water-repellent, UPF 40 nylon keeps the garment's total weight at a mere 9 ounces. With an adjustable Velcro waist and a casual, 10-inch inseam, the Hobarts are comfortable enough for a long day on the water and discreet enough to wear to dinner afterwards.

They may look modest enough, but the Hobarts benefit from all of Camet's careful, race-inspired design, from the tough Cordura fabric reinforcing the seat of the garment to the large, obsessively stitched button. If it's any testament to techiness, I saw the crew of Speedboat wearing the Hobarts at the start of the 2008 Newport-Bermuda Race.

The best thing about these particular Camet shorts is their spartan design. Four pockets is plenty. I have no use for a floral stripe. Silver (or sand) is a good color-- not so dark as to absorb heat, not so bright as to reveal the stain from the spilled beer I just sat in. Did I mention these shorts are quick drying?