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
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
|What This Means
|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.
|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.
|SUPPLEX 100% recycled nylon w/ DWR
|The biggest change in Baggies is the new 100% recycled nylon fabric. Feels great to wear and touch.
|No zippers to speak of, but there’s a snap!
|Two very deep hand pockets, one that has a key-ring loop. The back pocket closes with a snap and can fit a wallet.
|Elastic with drawstring
|Elastic waistband with an internal drawstring. Works well but won’t stay up if you have weight in the pockets.
|Patagonia doesn’t list a UPF rating, but you’re unlikely to get sunburned where the Baggies cover your legs.
|Not slim, and not overly baggy (despite the name).
|Patagonia has a world-class lifetime guarantee. If the Baggies fail, or for some reason you don’t love them, get in touch.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.