Review: Public Rec’s Flex Shorts Deliver Unmatched Wearability

Forget Baggies, Public Rec's Flex Short is where it's at this summer

May 31, 2024 12:57 pm
Public Rec
Public Rec's Flex Shorts are built for summer.
Public Rec/Getty Images

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A solid pair of shorts should be able to take you anywhere. We’re not just throwing around that word — anywhere — as a hyperbole. Gym, naturally, but the beach, too. It is summer, after all. The green definitely. The couch, similarly. Even the office, if you’re so bold. 

You’d think, then, given the innumerable offerings on the market, that we’d already have a go-to pair of shorts for all our warm-weather endeavors, but the search for the elusive perfect pair is a never-ending quest. At least, that’s what we thought until we picked up a pair of Public Rec’s Flex Shorts

The Flex Short, part of PR’s core summer capsule, is branded as a do-it-all workhorse, with a water-resistant shell and special flex fabric to help you move while keeping you looking fresh. Given these claims, we had to try the shorts for ourselves. Read on for our thoughts.

Public Rec Flex Short, At a Glance

Material: 100% polyester | Sizes: 28-44 | Inseam: 5.5″—9.5″ | Liner: lined or unlined | Colors: 8


  • Water-resistant and highly breathable flex fabric is perfect for every summer pursuit
  • Totally customizable fit, including liner, inseam, colors and more
  • Optimized detailing, including drawstring waistband and zipper pockets


  • Waistband is a touch thick
  • Liner is only available in 7.5″ inseam

What We Liked

Right off the bat, Public Rec’s Flex Shorts differentiate themselves from a crowded field of competitors with their look, a blend of athliesure and classic chino shorts — the Flex Short features a fly and thicker waistband sans external drawstrings — that keeps everything exceptional comfortable and breathable without looking like a high school gym uniform. It’s a the happy medium for a pair of do-everything shorts: just formal enough to survive scrutiny but built like athletic shorts in all the ways it matters.

Beyond aesthetics, the Flex Short is just that: flexy. Made from a malleable and lightweight polyester, the shorts stretch with you without feeling overly constricting. The shell of the Flex Short is also water-resistant (and stain-resistant, to a point), and offers much as a solid pair of hybrid swim trunks, should that be your thing.

More than anything, though, the true beauty of the Public Rec Flex Short lies in the fact that it’s highly customizable. Three inseams — 5.5″ for the thigh-forward guy, along with more modest 7.5″ and 9.5″ options — offer a variety of fits for whatever summer activities lay ahead, and the expanse of waist sizing should accommodate most any guy. The 7.5″ model is even offered with a liner for max performance. Toss in a variety of neutral colors, and there’s really not much more you can ask for.

Public Rec
Public Rec’s Flex Short was built for lounging.
Public Rec

What Needs Work

As far as problems go, Public Rec’s versatile shorts offered few to point at. We had minimal gripes with the short’s waistband — a noticeably thicker piece of stretch fabric than your average short — and would gladly take the 5.5″ inseam variant, our preferred cut here at InsideHook, that offered an internal liner, but the complaints were far and few between.

One thing to point out — the Public Rec Flex Shorts will run you a pretty penny at $68, a smidge higher than your typical summer short (although comparable to the likes of their competitor, lululemon). Given it’s plethora of use cases, we feel it’s a justified price tag, but be forewarned.

The Verdict: Should You Buy the Public Rec Flex Shorts?

So, would we purchase the Public Rec Flex Shorts again? The short answer? Absolutely. If you’re looking for a short that can do it all — backyard, beach and beyond — there are few that can compete with the Flex Short. Shop our top picks below.

Shop Public Rec Flex Shorts

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