Viktøs Kadre XP Shorts: Light and Breathable

This summer promises to be a hot one for many on the range or in competition. But with the Kadre XP by Viktos, end-users will be able to focus more on the task at hand and not sweating through their clothing.  Initially introduced in 2018 as the Kadre Short, the Kadre XP was upgraded and released in early 2022 to provide improved ventilation and pocket storage.

The XP features a blended 92/8 Polyester and spandex relaxed-fit chassis with a 10” inseam. The chassis includes panels of four-way stretch material that allow for dynamic movement without restrictions.

Starting at the waist, the Kadre XP has a padded waistband and patterned stitch line, with extensive bartack at stress points to maintain durability of the materials. The seven, 2 ¾” wide belt loops (two on the front, one on each side, and three on the back) coincide with a Viktos branded button and YKK zippered fly with dual shuttle. The oversized gusseted crotch with laser-cut ventilation holes adds to the flexibility and breathability of the end-user.

On the leg is a zipper-secured thigh pocket (one each side, with rubberized pull tab) large enough to fit a full-sized AR rifle magazine. Above the thigh pocket are EDC sleeves (one of the left and two on the right) for pistol magazines or accessories. The main pockets themselves are 7” wide at the opening and include a nylon mesh lining.

On the back are two YKK zipper-secured rear pockets that are each 6” wide at the opening.

The Kadre XP come in waist sizes between 28″ to 44″ and is available in Ghost Grey (featured), Ranger, Black, and Coyote.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Fair (2/5): With an MSRP of $85.00 the Kadre XP shorts are made from a lightweight and breathable polyester blend of materials, that offer end-users EDC clothing for daily or range use that will keep them ventilated and protected. In comparison, alternatives to the Kadre XP include the Dart 10” ($56) or Apex ($76) shorts from 5.11, the Urban Tactical Short Flex 8.5 ($69.90) from Helikon-Tex, or the Men’s Ascent Short ($71.95) from Tru-Spec. This places the Kadre XP at the upper end of market costs for tactical shorts, and a fair price for the overall materials and length of the short.
  • Comfort – Excellent (5/5): From a comfort aspect, the material of the Kadre XP was above that of traditional cotton fabrics that are often heavier, whereas the XP had a very smooth and light feel. This was aided by the ventilation in the gusset that enabled good airflow and mitigated heat. The padded waistband also assisted in keeping any belt or gun belt comfortable on the hips and mitigated any potential chafing. The genuine YKK zipper moved easily and smoothly without any binding or cross-feeding.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): With its lightweight materials and breathable design, the durability of the Kadre XP was further reinforced by bartack stitching at key stress points and double line stitching along the seams, belt line, and fly. The belt loops themselves were oversized to accommodate most 2” wide tactical or range belts and their associated bulk, but the overall width of the loops themselves were still thin and consistent to civilian attire. It would be a recommendation to Viktos in future versions to widen the width of the belt loops (much like the rear loop) to provide more robust usage for use with tactical belts.
  • Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally, the Kadre XP performed appropriately (or of average use) as one would expect from tactical range shorts. They remained loose fitting with its 10” inseam and spandex segments during dynamic movement, and open enough to provide measurable air circulation when needed. The zipper-secured thigh and rear pockets were efficient and deep enough for storing smaller items, such as keys or a wallet, but when a fully loaded magazine (rifle or pistol) was added, there was no sufficient support or rigidity in the material to prevent the contents from flailing around somewhat awkwardly. While the lightweight materials made the XP good as performance wear on the range for competition—that light weight as a whole made it loose to support EDC wear or usage.
  • Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at 12.3 oz. (for the evaluated 42” waist) the lightweight materials and design of the Kadre XP translate to shorts that didn’t feel heavy or pull at the waistline after an extended time (4+ hours) – even with loaded pockets. In contrast, the Dart 10” (3.3 ounces) or Apex (6.4 ounces) shorts from 5.11, the Urban Tactical Short Flex 8.5 (14.6 ounces) from Helikon-Tex, or the Men’s Ascent Short (24.6 ounces) from Tru-Spec illustrate that the Kadre XP are of an average weight amid the market of alternatives and for the materials chosen.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

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I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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