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Patagonia Baggies 5" - Women's Review

For water sports or hiking, these classic baggies are light and casual.
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Price:  $55 List | $38.49 at REI
Pros:  Lightweight, water resistant, versatile
Cons:  Runs big, abrasive waistband
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 21, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 6
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Features - 15% 6

Our Verdict

Vintage looking and highly casual, the Patagonia Baggies have summer written all over them. The main drawbacks are the fit and unlined waistband, which can be irritating when worn for more extended periods of time. While some like the baggy look, the bagginess sometimes lends itself to an unflattering bunching of material; it seems to be a hit or miss with the fit. Regardless, being lightweight and versatile make the Baggies a popular short. Best suited for warm-weather hiking and the casual activity, we did run and cycle in them, too. Despite the old-school look, they are a relatively technical pair of shorts.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Baggies are known for their old-school style, yet as we move forward as an industry, these shorts are now made with recycled nylon and Fair Trade sewing practices. With this modern take, the material is lightweight and thin, yet still water-resistant and durable. The sizing runs large for this model, which can easily contribute to a "too baggy" and unflattering silhouette. Being unlined and having wide leg openings can also be an issue despite the five-inch inseam, particularly when stretching out or doing an activity on the floor or on a boat (if you're not wearing a swimsuit, for example.) Still, the classic and casual style is hard to ignore.

Performance Comparison


With average marks in some metrics and high marks in others, the overall ranking lands this pair well below the top competitors.

Running large  these shorts are the definition of baggy  which can be a pro or a con.
Running large, these shorts are the definition of baggy, which can be a pro or a con.

Comfort and Mobility


With ample legroom, mobility is of no concern with these shorts. We found that high-stepping, stretching, and even all-day casual wear can be done effortlessly. The nylon is light and relatively soft but wrinkles easily. The main drawback is the comfort of the waistband, which is an unlined elastic band with a drawcord. Over long periods, the stitching along the waistband becomes abrasive against the skin. The high waist itself can also be uncomfortable for those who are used to wearing mid to low-rise bottoms.

These shorts are roomy to move around in  but the material easily bunches.
These shorts are roomy to move around in, but the material easily bunches.

Venting and Breathability


The Baggies are airy and vent well. The nylon is treated with a water-resistant finish, however, which might diminish breathability a tad, particularly on sweaty hikes. Still, having a five-inch inseam and wide legs make it super easy to air out. This is one of the metrics this pair scores high.

Versatility


Write a list of all the stereotypical summer activities, and these shorts will likely apply to all of them. From water sports to a picnic in the woods, these shorts take casual to a whole new level. They have mesh pockets for activities that will benefit from the easy draining of water. We can pull them on easily, and we found that they are decent for short runs, spin class, or for rock climbing (maybe wear some spandex shorts underneath?).

Versatile from activity to activity, they also fare well in town. "Vintage" is trendy, and they fit the old-timey bill. Our lead tester wore them to the movies and happily received compliments. A potential drawback is just how ideal they are for summer, actually, meaning they aren't very practical for colder temperatures or the shoulder seasons.

Coated with DWR  these shorts also dry quickly.
Coated with DWR, these shorts also dry quickly.

Water Resistance


Coated with DWR (durable water repellent), water beads incredibly well when it's lightly raining out, or you splash across a creek. During testing, we sprinkled water, and the droplets stayed until we brushed them off five minutes later. With what little water did absorb, the nylon dried within minutes. This is a neat feature for summer shorts, and this pair earns one of the highest scores for water-resistance.

The results of our water resistance test. These shorts are one of the most resistant that we recently tested.
The results of our water resistance test. These shorts are one of the most resistant that we recently tested.

Features


Minimally designed, there are only two pockets in the front. These pockets are spacious enough for an iPhone, keys, and little knick-knacks, and we appreciate how deep they are. With no added sun protection or other accessory features, this model scores fairly average when compared to the others we recently tested.

The unlined elastic waistband became mildly irritating after long periods of time.
The unlined elastic waistband became mildly irritating after long periods of time.

Value


On the cheaper side, relative to the others, the Baggies are affordable and are made in Vietnam. Backed by Patagonia's Ironclad Guarantee, we feel that, for the brand and their growing sustainability practices, this is a great value.

With summer use and potential water encounters in mind  the pockets have a mesh bottom to allow for water to drain.
With summer use and potential water encounters in mind, the pockets have a mesh bottom to allow for water to drain.

Conclusion


Overall, these shorts are fun, airy, and comfortable enough for the casual outing or day hike. The baggy style is a turn off for some, but if the fit works for you, then these shorts will surely become a wardrobe staple.


Sara Aranda