Patagonia Baggies Review 2019

  • Car Camper
  • Day Hiker
  • Ultralight Backpacker
  • Wilderness Backpacker

Patagonia Baggies Men's

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Last updated: 2019-08-18 14:51:54

Patagonia Baggies Overview

Dubbed the “original fun-hog short”, Patagonia Baggies have been around the block, debuting in 1982 and staying a core product in the company’s line from the start. Why? They’re comfortable, they come in lots of colors, and they don’t overcomplicate a rather simple concept: shorts for outdoor activities.

The most recent update to the Baggies is a 100% recycled nylon material, called SUPPLEX, which makes this iconic short more environmentally friendly, and they’re also Fair Trade Certified sewn. They have an elasticized waistband with internal drawstring, a polyester mesh lining (no underwear necessary), two deep front pockets, and one rear pocket with a snap closure.

For it’s every-day use capabilities, we have dubbed the Patagonia Baggies our Classic Pick for lightweight, quick-dry shorts, specifically for the Car Camper

Patagonia Baggies Star Rating
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Dry Time
  • Breathability
4.5

Summary

The Patagonia Baggies thrive in the “chill” department, whether that chill is hiking hard uphill, kayaking, or literally chilling around camp. They are no-fuss, good-looking, surprisingly quick-drying shorts that you can wear for days on end.

The Baggies work well for every other Backpacker Type as well, if you don’t mind the urban style (it can be bit short-short-y for some folks), and if you don’t plan to carry items in your pockets while hiking, which is true for most backpackers.

See the full Patagonia Baggies review below, and find out where they place on our guide to the Best Hiking Shorts!

Patagonia Baggies Specifications

Feature Type Feature Specs What This Means
Weight 7.8 oz. (221 g) Medium-to-lighweight for quick-dry water-focused shorts. The material is substantial to the touch, which is where weight comes from. Doesn’t feel like anything when worn.
Type Casual Water The Baggies are definitely casual, and made with water in mind. They can be taken on technical adventures, like climbing and backpacking, but wouldn’t hold up in gnarly conditions.
Material SUPPLEX 100% recycled nylon w/ DWR The biggest change in Baggies is the new 100% recycled nylon fabric. Feels great to wear and touch.
Zippers 0 No zippers to speak of, there’s a snap though!
Pockets 3 Two very deep hand pockets, one that has a key-ring loop. The back pocket closes with a snap and can fit a wallet.
Waist Elastic with drawstring Elastic waistband with an internal drawstring. Works well but won’t stay up if you have weight in the pockets.
UPF No Rating Patagonia doesn’t list a UPF rating, but it’s unlikely to get sunburned where the Baggies cover your legs.
Fit Casual Not slim, and not overly baggy (despite the name).
Manufacturer Warranty Ironclad Guarantee Patagonia has a world-class lifetime guarantee. If the Baggies fail, or for some reason you don’t love them, get in touch.
Retail Price $55 A high price for a pair of fairly basic shorts. You’re paying for brand name, recycled material, Fair Trade sewing, and iconic design.

Gear Review of the Patagonia Baggies

I have used the Patagonia Baggies for about three months, and I did what I usually do for testing: wear them as physically often as possible. As a work-from-home editor and outdoor enthusiast, this meant every day for days on end.

I walked my dog in the Baggies, took them for surf sessions, wore them during full-day beach hangouts, at pond parties, to a wedding (not the actual wedding, just before and after), to a long boating day on a lake in Maine, and to a kayak and hike adventure in the Channel Islands National Park.

Patagonia-Baggies-review-channel-islands-santa-cruz-top-of-hike
The Baggies on a long uphill hike on Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park. Always end a hike with a swim, and in the same shorts no less!

There are a few things that impressed me about the Baggies. They are cut in such a way that you never actually feel them on your legs, yet they’re not very baggy looking. Something in Patagonia’s fit (which may be different for women) keeps the pant cuffs off the skin unless you’re quite active, which I loved, especially when going on long walks.

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The cut of the Baggies is on point. I never felt chafed, and when hiking I didn’t feel like I was wearing anything at all. Perfect for lounging (like this), and for moving around.

On the lake-day in Maine, I took three separate dips over a six hour experience. The Baggies were dry each time I was ready to go in again. They were dry on the car-rides back from beach, sparing my seats. This quick-dry ability is an often-touted feature that rarely lives up in multi-purpose shorts. I found the Baggies to be spot on, and wondered how the material could dry so quickly while still feeling pretty substantial to the touch.

1-Patagonia-Baggies-review-jump-1
“Cannonball!”

Finally, and this is a clutch touch from a surf-oriented company, the Baggies come with a key-ring in the right pocket. It’s stiff, easy to use, and allowed me to store a key in my pocket while playing in waves. This is a brand that knows what its customer does in its clothing, and all these features really showed through in the Baggies.

Comfort – 4 Stars

For nearly every activity, the Patagonia Baggies are all-stars of comfort. They fit well, they are light yet substantial to the touch, they have a mesh lining that allows you to go without underwear, and they have two extra-deep pockets for storing the basics, plus a back pocket with snap-closure for securing items.

For piece of clothing that does double duty as a bathing suit, board-short, climbing piece, hiking shorts, and lounge shorts, they are outstanding.

2-Patagonia-Baggies-review-urban-hike-1
Whether on the beach, a trail, or just cruising a city (Portland, Maine here), the Baggies are comfy.

The lack of a star is due to the sag of the elastic waistband when the pockets are full. I’ll detail below, but the pants don’t stay up if you’re carrying a heavy load in the extra deep pockets, and when you do carry that load, the items slap against your thighs.

Durability – 4.5 Stars

In the months I have tested the Baggies they have proved to be outstanding. A true multi-purpose active short, I have not had to think or worry about durability. Nothing has ripped, there are no real pieces to break (no zippers), and the fabric is much tougher than you’d think by looking at it.

That said, I have gotten the Baggies quite dirty, and that dirt has washed out about 85 percent. Even after putting it through the wash I can see some stain on the fabric, which to me is a piece of durability. Given that most people will get these dirty, it’s worth noting.

Dry Time – 5 Stars

The Patagonia Baggies dry faster than my board shorts, my swim trunks, my hiking pants, and my speedo (yeah, I use a speedo). The fabric kicks off water like it was made to, and after a short time in the sun you’ll realize everything is dry. They do stay damp for longer in overcast situations, but that’s true of most clothing, even uber quick-dry clothing.

Patagonia-Baggies-review-swimming
It’s hard to “show” dry time, so here’s a picture of the Baggies super wet. They were dry in under an hour!

They are actually comparable to my trail running shorts for how quickly they dry, and those are incredibly thin.

Breathability – 5 Stars

For shorts, Breathability and Dry Time go hand-in-hand. The Baggies were excellent on this front as well. Mostly due to the cut of the leg hole, these shorts never felt like they were even on my body as I hiked. My legs had all the room necessary to breathe, which isn’t always the case, especially with heavier fabric and cargo shorts.

Patagonia-Baggies-review-pre-jumping-dry
The material is sort of heavy-feeling to the touch, but breathes exceptionally well.

The Baggies also have mesh liners, which means you don’t need to wear underwear. This helps out with breathability quite a bit!

Fit

I loved the fit of the Patagonia Baggies. I’m 5’6” and slim, and the size Small feels like it was made for me. That said the waistband has lots of stretch. Patagonia offers the Baggies in a few different inseam lengths, so if short-shorts aren’t your thing, you can get a longer look.

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The fit was perfect for me, especially in the 5-inch inseam. Patagonia offers plenty of sizes and inseam lengths.

Grievances

As mentioned above, these rockstar shorts do have two issues.

First, the sag. With shorts that sport elastic as the main factor for staying on your waist, said elastic needs to be really strong, and the included drawstring needs to hold the point where you tie it. The Baggies aren’t great on this front.

When I was item-free on the beach and playing the waves, they were incredible. The drawstring was tied tight, I felt no slippage, and I dove through wave after oncoming wave.

But when I went hiking uphill on the Santa Cruz Island I needed to carry two extra-large smartphones, one in each pocket. The two hand-pockets on the Baggies are nice and deep, great for storing items, but when I put something heavy in them the shorts sagged, no matter how tight I tied the drawstring.

Patagonia-Baggies-review-pockets-bulging-1
On the left, you can see the imprint of a large smartphone in the super-deep pockets of the Baggies. This placement, while great for not losing items, means heavy items hit your legs when you move around. They also drag down the elastic waistband significantly.

And, with two heavy phones in two deep pockets, they kept slapping the sides of my thighs with every step.

“This is going in the review!” I thought, and here it is.

In short: don’t expect these shorts to carry the classic wallet, cellphone, keys with ease. They do carry them, and actually all the pockets work really well in terms of space to carry them, but they can’t hold these products without sag and some discomfort.

Second, the dirt. I have yet to wash out all the dirt on the Baggies despite two cycles in the wash. This is just normal trail dirt, nothing special. The fabric is very porous and papier-mâché feeling, which is great to the touch, but perhaps traps more dirt than is necessary.

Final Word

The Patagonia Baggies are indeed made for legendary fun-hogs. I hogged all sorts of fun in ‘em, from beach to lake to trail.

Where to Buy Patagonia Baggies

We tested the Men’s Patagonia Baggies Shorts, which have a 5-inch inseam. For men, Patagonia also  offers the Baggies Longs for Men, which have a 7-inch inseam, and the Baggies Lights, which have a 6.5-inch inseam and are made of a lighter material overall.

For women, Patagonia has the same Baggies Shorts with a 5-inch inseam, the Barely Baggies shorts with a 2.5-inch inseam (same fabric and design), and the Island Hemp Baggies, which are hemp instead of nylon.

While each of these variations work, we prefer the Baggies in their standard recycled nylon fabric. Length is definitely a personal preference, so pick the Shorts, Longs, or Barely Baggies that suit you best.

Compare Patagonia Baggies prices below.

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dbzweier bio pic 2018

Daniel Zweier

Daniel Zweier is Editor-in-Chief of Backpackers.com. Beyond orchestrating the daily flow of Backpackers.com, Daniel writes surrealistic short fiction and novels, adventures into the backcountry and abroad, surfs, reads, drinks tea, and obsesses over gear. A lot of gear. Visit his website if you want to learn more about his authorial pursuits.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.