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Like Patagonia Baggies? Then You’ll Love These Shorts, Too

Patagonia Baggies are a classic summer short with plenty of competitors.

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Patagonia first introduced its Baggies in 1982 as a technical beach short. Considering all the innovations the brand has produced over the decades, Baggies were a modest technical feat. But the simplicity and utilitarian approach are precisely what contributed to its success. From an interview with Gear Junkie, Patagonia rep Corey Simpson noted, “Yvon Chouinard wanted a pair of shorts that had mesh drain pockets that fit two tennis balls. They had to be quick-drying and durable enough to climb or be on the river. They needed a simple silhouette.”

The Baggies feature a durable Supplex nylon fabric which, as of 2018, comes from 100 percent recycled nylon. They dry quickly thanks to the DWR coating and mesh lining and pocket bags which easily drain water. The pockets themselves are designed to reduce drag in the water, but also feature handy details like an internal key loop and flapped pocket. What’s more, they cost just $55.

It's now nearly 40 years later and the Baggies are as popular as ever. Fans have praised them for their simplicity and durability, wearing them in a variety of activities, from grueling hikes to surfing to simply hangin’ out.

Today, there are plenty of alternatives that follow in the footsteps of Patagonia’s beloved Baggies. They come in a variety of colors with clear homages and at a variety of price points. If you’re looking to pick up some alternatives for your summer activities, whether that’s tackling the next mountaintop, waves or an afternoon with friends, these are certainly worth checking out.

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The Best Overall Baggie Alternative
Madewell 6.5-Inch (Re)sourced Everywear Shorts

Madewell's Everywear Short is not new, but the (Re)Sourced Everywear Short is. It boasts the same moisture-wicking capabilities as the classic Baggies, and this version inherited the same mesh-lined pockets and elasticated draw-cord waist as its predecessor, but it comes in a wider array of colors — black, navy blue, olive green, teal-ish blue, light mint, tan and red — and is made from 100 percent recycled nylon.

The Best Upgrade Baggie Alternative
Buck Mason Trail Roam Short

Buck Mason's water repellent nylon shorts stretch in four ways and feature a bevy of pockets: two slanted front ones, a zipper card compartment and a back bucket. Plus, these just fit better. While Patagonia's are baggy (hence the name) and a little long, these are based on vintage military issue training shorts — they're shorter, trimmer and more flattering.

Best Affordable Baggie Alternative
L.L. Bean Classic Supplex Sport Shorts

L.L. Bean’s alternative uses the same Supplex nylon that made Patagonia’s Baggies famous, featuring quick-drying and water-repellant properties. They come with a mesh liner, elastic waist and are UPF50+ rated (just make sure to sunscreen your legs not covered by the six inches of shorts). They also come in several lengths and design alternatives, for even more options.

Standard Cloth Oliver Nylon Short

Available in seven colors, Standard Cloth's Oliver Shorts are cut from nylon too, but they admittedly aren't as water-resistant. They won't ruin, but they don't dry quite as fast.

The North Face V Pull-On Shorts

From one iconic outdoors brand to another, The North Face’s option is made from lightweight recycled nylon and has an elasticated drawstring waist, scalloped seams and a zippered rear pocket.

Gap Easy Shorts

Gap is one of my go-to spots for alternatives, either when something better elsewhere has sold out or I'm simply not in the mood to spend an insane amount on something I'm not 100 percent sure I'll wear. Example? The Easy Shorts, which are also made from nylon, feature a button (instead of drawstring) waist and two simple pockets.

J.Crew Sustainable Kayak Short

These new shorts from J.Crew are a clear attempt at competing with Patagonia's uber-popular short. They come in a similar assortment of colors, have a split hem and an elasticated (and drawstring) waist. But these are made from ECONYL, a type of regenerated nylon sewn from fishing nets and other recycled materials. That makes them super lightweight but also moisture-wicking.

Outerknown Nomadic Volley

These eco-conscious shorts are made with 100 percent recycled polyester that, like many options on this list, is quick-drying. Unlike the storied original Baggies, these forgo the mesh lining which begets even more comfort.

Saturdays Theo Nylon Short

Traditional Baggies come in a 5- or 7-inch inseam. At 6 inches, Saturdays' alternative sits right in the middle. That makes these versatile as both an everyday and adventure short. They're fast to dry and come with two slant pockets and one back bucket pocket.

Gramicci Shell Packable Shorts

Gramicci’s shorts are a little more suited to scaling rock faces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into a pair just for a summer fit. Made with Japanese nylon, they come with an integrated webbed belt, on-seam pockets, zippered rear pocket and are packable.

The Best Shorts for Summer 2022

Beat the heat in style.


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