Patagonia Baggies Review

$65.00 $31.73
Last updated: 2024-07-14 04:37:23

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 an internal drawstring, a polyester mesh lining (no underwear necessary), two deep front pockets, and one rear pocket with a snap closure.

For its everyday 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


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 a bit short-shorty 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-lightweight for quick-dry water-focused shorts. The material is substantial to the touch, which is where the 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, but there’s a snap!
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 you’re 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 the 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.


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.


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 the 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.



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 a piece of clothing that does quintuple duty as a bathing suit, board short, climbing short, hiking short, and lounging short, they are outstanding.


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 explain 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 the 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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 with 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 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.


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 paper-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 the 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.


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.

4 responses to “Patagonia Baggies Review

  1. Larasays:

    Wonderful and thorough review, thank you. I would like to point something out though- Baggies, and this review, are/is sexist. Unintentionally on your part, I’m sure! But still.

    The women’s version does not have a back pocket with a snap- yet this is listed as a feature. Note this is only an option for men. Women don’t get a back pocket. That may seem like a small detail but if so, then please sew up your back pockets in solidarity. See how you like it.

    Do women get a key ring? Reviews on the regular version seem to say yes, but judging by a review on the hemp version saying the pockets are not deep enough to hold things and she lost her keys, that would indicate no key loop.

    The women’s variants seem to come in 3″ (hemp version), 2 1/2″ (“barely” version) and 5″ version (regular baggies). While the men get 5″, 6″ (hemp version) and 7″.

    Now, I get that this is shaped by demand- ie, it’s not Patagonia who maliciously decided to not afford women the same amount of leg coverage, it’s just a larger trend, plus men are generally taller so it kind of makes sense. And I understand that the shorter ones wouldn’t have space for the same pocket depth. But I’m just itching for a comparison between the womens 5″ version pockets and the mens 5″ version pockets. I wonder if they’re the same depth.

    I read a lot of gear and clothing reviews. And they’re often written by men. Which is fine, I generally assume the men’s version is pretty much the same. However, I am just so goddamn sick and tired of going “oh cool, it has that feature” and then going to get it and lo and behold.. it doesn’t have that for me.

    So, I see this as a way to enrich your reviews. I’ve poked around and you’re already doing some of this, so, this is more of a general rant, not saying you’re not doing those things

    The common problems to look out for:

    -Pockets of course- Women get smaller and fewer pockets.

    -Naming. Ie, the mens version is just “product name”, while the women’s version is “WS product name”. A pedantic detail maybe, but irks me.

    -Men’s version pretending to be “unisex”. This is a huuuuge thing with backpacks. Many of them are sold as “unisex” but the torso length.. well, you’d practically have to be an unusually tall woman to make it work, given that women have shorter torso in relation to height. Women’s average torso length: 42cm (16.5″) to 48cm (19.0″)
    Men’s average torso length: 46cm (18″) to 52cm (20.5″)
    And yet, many “unisex” packs have a torso length that’s either not in the women’s average range, or at the very top of it. And frequently the shoulder straps are too wide and stiff- more on that later.

    Sure, there are wonderful women specific packs out there now. But if you narrow a search to only those, the search results go from dozens to single digits. And there are also truly unisex packs that work for both- but they’re hard to find when basically all men’s packs are sold as unisex.
    So please, when reviewing a pack that is sold as unisex- it’s a product also marketed at women, so put it on a woman as part of the review. Does the sternum strap go up high enough? Is the torso length even partially in the average women’s range or will it only fit very tall women? Are the shoulder straps flexible enough to curve around the sides of her, uh, chest, or does it give her red welts after a hike (been there!)? The average woman in the US is 5’4″, and I’d bet almost zero “unisex” packs work for that torso length.

    I know, first world problems, but.. it absolutely enrages me. I have a very average body type, it should be easy. I’ve literally emailed manufacturers to ask if a product is actually unisex, been told yes, so I ordered it.. and swear to god it’s like the designers forgot that boobs exist, like no woman has ever set foot in their R&D lab- and yet that product still comes up when you sort to show “women’s” packs on their own site. And I’m not even particularly well endowed in that department, especially not if wearing a sports bra. This really, really really should not be happening. I’ve found some unisex packs that, while they have straight shoulder straps, they’re flexible and the sternum strap goes up, so you can put that above the boobs and the straps curve where they need to. And that pack still works just fine for men, no weird curve in the straps. There’s no excuse for shoulder straps that don’t work for women on a unisex pack. But I’ve never ever seen a guy reviewer even think to test this, let alone deduct a point for it. How will manufacturers change if there is no pressure?

    Anyway, now I’ve strayed rather far from a pair of shorts! Thank you for your time!

    1. All valid points, Lara. We do try to be inclusive and representative of all hikers and backpackers. Where we have fallen short in the past, we hope to improve going forward.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. All of this is true—everything from the mail-dominated gear reviews to the fact that “unisex” does not always mean what it should. Every type of person, and every body type, is represented out on the trail, and gear brands (and us reviewers) need to put more effort into representing those voices and providing well-fitted gear for all people.

      1. Larasays:

        Oh no worries, I went on a bit of a rant which mostly wasn’t really related to you/this site. I am thrilled that this could be incorporated into new reviews of unisex packs, and other gear where there’s a mens and womens version (like pocket depth and number). Probably some more stuff I haven’t thought of.

        I actually have a comparison image for the “boob problem” I described:

        Sidenote, the top pack didn’t want to stay that way- after a while it wanders sideways to one side or the other, basically one strap wandering into the armpit and the other wandering more to the midline.

        The lower pack understood the assignment 😛

  2. John Linsssays:

    Have you ever worn these under a wetsuit. Headed to a hiking and rafting trip in the Grand Canyon next week and know the water is going to be cold. It would be great if that will work

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