Roughly one year ago we released a review on the GORUCK Simple Shorts after taking them through a few events and a ton of workouts. The one major gripe that people had with the GORUCK Simple Shorts was that they did not seem to fit right based on the size ordered. Every pair of shorts felt as if it were one size too small. GORUCK went as far as to issue a warning on the product page suggesting that people size up.
Our original pair of Simple Shorts came in at a size 34 so we figured why not order another pair of simple shorts (because they are awesome) in size 34 and see how they measure out. In this post the pair of coyote shorts are the original version and the grey shorts are the newer (2018) run.
One thing to note is that when I started taking the pictures Watson got a little jealous and tried to steal the show.
When I told him to move he thought I meant share the love and move onto both pairs of shorts… so if you see dog hair in this post it’s because of this old guy.
The first difference I found happened right when I compared the shorts at the waist. You can see that the newer shorts have a slightly taller waist which leads to a slightly taller piece of fabric between the waist and where the shorts start.
Next up I checked the length and the newer shorts are definitely a little bit longer than the first run. This is good news for most because there were a few complaints about the sizing of the original run before GORUCK said to size up.
Heading back to the top of the shorts it was interesting to look at how the belt loops are sewn in. The newer version uses significantly more thread and a much tighter pattern than the previous version. It should be noted that I took those coyote shorts through a number of events so having an even more secure stitch is wild to see.
Looking at the buttons you can see the ones on the coyote shorts have a bit of wear. That’s most likely because I wash and dry them in a normal washer and dryer like a normal person. If I hang dried them like the tag recommends they might look a little different. That’s fine though… a belt or my shirt usually covers that button anyways.
Pulling back a little bit you can see that the fly areas are nearly identical. The coyote shorts show a little bit of wear around the button but that’s about it. Both have the same reinforced stitching points along the thread lines.
The zippers are identical which is great because I absolutely loved the original zippers.
Checking the back out you can see that both shorts have the same pocket placement, branding placement, and belt loop placement.
The stitching on the newer shorts near the top of the pockets seems a bit more reinforced than the original design. I had no issues with my previous pockets but the amount of thread poured into securing these is pretty cool.
Again, the pocket sizes are pretty much the same and they’re both cut into the same shape.
Here’s a better view of the branding on the back of the shorts. If you wear a belt then this will be covered up for the most part.
Checking the belt loops you can see that GORUCK used a more reinforced stitch on the newer pair of shorts. I used my old pair at GORUCK events with no issues but again, it’s always nice to see improvements even if I don’t think they’re necessary.
The width of the first run of GORUCK Simple Shorts was a major point of contention between purchasers. GORUCK had gone so far as to warn people to size up because the shorts might fit a little small.
This picture pretty much proves what we all thought… the original Simple Shorts were a little on the skinny side. You can see there’s roughly 3/4 of an inch of extra width there which, due to how the shorts are laid, we need to roughly double to figure out how much wider they actually were. The funny part here is that the original Simple Shorts fit me well and the newer 34s are a little loose.
Some more proof that we’re looking at the same size of shorts. I will say that the new branding is a lot better than the original. It looks much more professional and doesn’t fade or come off in the wash.
Checking out the inside of the shorts we can see, again, some of the tighter stitching that GORUCK has used.
The seems of the shorts appear to be the same between both versions.
The way everything is stitched at the bottom of the shorts appears to be identical between versions as well.
Flipping the shorts completely inside out we can see a purchase order tag on the older shorts that isn’t found in the same spot of the newer ones.
Continuing with the shorts inside-out it appears that the fly area on the newer version is slightly longer than on the older version.
Finally, besides some tighter stitching on the belt area, the inside pocket doesn’t look too different.
What did we learn from looking through dozens of pictures comparing the original and the new GORUCK Simple Shorts? It looks like GORUCK tightened up their stitch on some of the reinforcement areas and they fixed the original sizing issue. Two changes we can definitely get behind. Do you own either the older or newer Simple Shorts and have any thoughts on them? We’d love to hear them in the comments here or on our Simple Shorts Review!
When I purchased the originals, size 36, I quickly realized that something was VERY wrong, my voice went up an octave when I buttoned and zipped the fly. My wife made some remark about never wearing them out in public! After extricating myself from the shorts and a quick visit to the website another pair was making its way to my door, this time one size larger. Fast forward a week and a new pair of 38s hit my door step. Out of the bag they fit just right however I found that they tend to stretch with wear and become way too loose after a few hours. I solved the problem with a belt but noticed the waist bunched up a bit. Other than the size issue the shorts are extremely comfortable and show virtually no wear after more than a year of abuse. Jump ahead to this year and the arrival of the new simple shorts, in size 36. These are much improved in fit. The sizing is spot on and they don’t seem to stretch as much with wear. These are my favorite shorts by far, super comfortable, durable and a classy look.
Brian Lohr says
Very similar boat over here! Bought the 32 and they were way too tight. Bought the 34 and they were good but needed a belt maybe half way through an event. GORUCK re-releases the shorts and I pick up a 34 and they’re too loose! Then I grab a 32 and those fit great… similar to the old 34 but a better fit. Very happy with the newer version and I’m happy to see GORUCK making some positive changes here. Plus… now that they all have lifetime warranties I’m not worried about ruining them (if that’s even possible) at events!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with them as well!!