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Patagonia Skyline Traveler - Women's Review

A very slim-fitting pair made with technical fabric that offers versatility and modest comfort
Patagonia Skyline Traveler - Women's
Photo: Patagonia
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Price:  $65 List | $35.75 at Backcountry
Pros:  Versatile, water-resistant, flexible
Cons:  Runs small, average comfort
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 27, 2021
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 5
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Features - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Skyline Traveler is designed to perform due to its notably technical fabric, added water resistance, and longer inseam. However, the slim cut is really slim on this pair of shorts, and, therefore, means that the fit runs small. Breathability is fairly average as compared to others we've recently tested, largely due to the high water resistance. The same goes for overall comfort, which is greatly impacted by the fit, but at least the fabric itself is flexible and smooth to the touch. Best for lower intensity activity but suitable for even the most strenuous trails, the Skyline is nonetheless a tough competitor, though not a standout product.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $35.75 at Backcountry$49.73 at REI
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$40 List
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$29.99 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Versatile, water-resistant, flexibleComfortable, water-resistant, breathable, versatile for general outdoor recreationStylish, comfortable, versatileLightweight, breathable, athletic, low priceAffordable, water resistant, breathable
Cons Runs small, average comfortNot the cheapest, not the most stylishMinimal water resistance, minimal featuresBaggy looking, no hand pocketsUnnecessary belt, small cargo pockets
Bottom Line A very slim-fitting pair made with technical fabric that offers versatility and modest comfortA versatile and high-performing pair of shorts with subtle styling and deep pocketsStyle and function combine to offer greater versatility, breathability, and high comfortA seeming hybrid between hiking and running shorts, these aerobics-focused shorts offer high comfort but no hand pocketsFunctional and fun, these shorts cover all the basics
Rating Categories Skyline Traveler Dynama 2 Bermuda Prana Alana Active Pursuits 4.5" Sandy River Cargo
Comfort And Mobility (35%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Venting And Breathability (20%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Water Resistance (15%)
9.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
Features (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
2.0
5.0
Specs Skyline Traveler Dynama 2 Bermuda Prana Alana Active Pursuits 4.5" Sandy River Cargo
Weight (in oz) 5.3 oz 4.6 oz 6.7 oz 4.9 oz 5.1 oz
Material 88% nylon, 12% spandex 94% nylon, 6% elastane 95% recycled nylon, 5% spandex 86% polyester/14% spandex (liner: recycled polyester | rib: 91% polyester, 9% spandex) 100% nylon
Water Resistance DWR DWR Minimal Minimal Perfecta Plus II quick-dry
Sizing (waist, length options) 0 - 18 XS - XL 0 - 14 XS - XL XS - XL
Sun Protection UPF 40 UPF 50 UPF 50 UPF 50 Yes, UPF 30
Pockets 4 4 4 1 4
Waist Strap/Fasten Button, zip fly Elastic waistband Double metal snap, zip fly Elastic waistband Elastic waistband with plastic snap and zipper fly, optional belt

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Skyline Traveler is constructed with Bluesign approved 88% nylon and 12% spandex, with an added DWR (durable water repellant) coating. The fabric is fairly thin and lightweight but feels durable. With a mid-rise design, the waistband is more traditional with belt loops and a button and zipper fly closure. We acknowledge that they are performance-driven, but the fit and overall slim design of the shorts are our biggest points of critique.

Performance Comparison


Slim fit but stretchy materials make for a decent piece of apparel.
Slim fit but stretchy materials make for a decent piece of apparel.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Comfort and Mobility


The material is flexible despite the 8-inch inseam and slim, next-to-skin design. Mobility, therefore, is sufficient, and actions like climbing or high-stepping while hiking is easily done for us. For the size 2 reviewed, we measured the weight to be around 5.3 ounces, which lands in the middle relative to others in this apparel category. The thinner material contours with our bodies, but because of the slim cut, we feel that the sizing runs small. Our hips and thighs are perhaps bigger than we think the design is ideal for, so sizing up will mitigate that too-snug feel (even though the waist itself is the right size). Slim cuts like this certainly make things complicated for cuvier bodies. Thus, all-day wear and general comfort are somewhat limited by the fit.

The slim fit is a bit too slim for our practical tastes, but overall...
The slim fit is a bit too slim for our practical tastes, but overall comfort is still there.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Venting and Breathability


The fabric does breathe fairly well due to the nature of the synthetic materials. The snug fit, however, doesn't help the ventilation factor. Plus, having a DWR treatment for water resistance doesn't help these qualities either. We measured the leg openings to be 18.25 inches in circumference, which is one of the smallest we've recently encountered. Even though the design itself has some sewn "vent slots" at the hemline, we feel they don't do very much if the fit is off and there's no room for air to move between fabric and leg. But again, this doesn't mean they aren't a high-performing competitor. Our lead tester hiked some sand dunes in them on a fairly hot day and didn't find the shorts to trap significant amounts of heat.

Not the most breathable due to the lack of roominess around the legs...
Not the most breathable due to the lack of roominess around the legs and hips, they are nonetheless adequate.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Versatility


Sporty in design, the fashion sense can either be a hit or miss and is dependent on how well they fit you (or rather, how good the slim fit makes you feel). We do think there is some transferability between urban and non-urban settings, or from the trail to the brewery, but the longer inseam may not be appealing to everyone. They do transfer fairly well between athletic endeavors, however. Being long and stretchy means they are adequate to climb in, bike, stretch, etcetera. The low-profile waistband is comfortable beneath a pack with a hip belt. We are also more likely to wear them on colder days, utilizing the added length to help insulate, making them all the more versatile in the shoulder seasons.

We do appreciate the inseam length, mobility, and general styling of...
We do appreciate the inseam length, mobility, and general styling of this model.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Water Resistance


One of the top scorers for this metric, we find the water resistance to be exceptional. Adding to their versatility and technicality in the outdoors, water beads readily and takes some effort or more significant volume for the water to soak in. Due to this high resistance, however, they are less breathable overall, which slows drying time when the fabric is wet. Either way, this pair is notable technical in this regard. It's difficult to balance this with breathability, but we feel this competitor does a good job.

Water beads well due to the DWR treatment.
Water beads well due to the DWR treatment.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Features


The Skyline is fairly simple and streamlined with enough features to warrant an above-average mark. They offer UPF 40 and are 65% recycled. The waistband has a mesh liner to help promote airflow and also has an internal drawcord. This model has four pockets, two in front and two in back, and they are all satisfactorily deep. Since the fit is snug, however, placing items into the pockets isn't the easiest nor is it the most comfortable. The quick-drying aspect is on the higher end, though, despite the DWR treatment. Durability appears to be good as is typical with Patagonia apparel.

There are a few notable features such as sun protection and fair...
There are a few notable features such as sun protection and fair drying time, in addition to more traditional things like belt loops and a mesh-lined waistband.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Value


Characteristic of Patagonia apparel, this model seems to be of standard retail pricing. There are more affordable options out there are don't have as many fit issues of similar quality and similar length. Price aside, however, we are nonetheless fans of their functionality. So, if you're willing to play the fit game, we imagine this pair will endure countless adventures. If it's important to you to know where things are made, they are manufactured in Vietnam and are Bluesign approved.

Conclusion


We certainly applaud their technical design. From early morning hikes to hot midday ramblings by the river, they are versatile and provide fair comfort. Likely not the trendiest pair out there, they nonetheless go beyond our most basic hiking standards. We recommend trying them on in person, if possible, to mitigate the fit issues discussed.

Sara Aranda