The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Patagonia Active Hipster Review

The Active Hipster is a stand-out product that excels in fit and comfort.
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Price:  $24 List | $24.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great fit, comfortable material, inexpensive
Cons:  Slower to dry, thicker material
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Lauren DeLaunay ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 3, 2019
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 8
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Fit - 30% 9
  • Drying Time - 30% 7
  • Packability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Active Hipster intrigued us the moment we pulled it out of its packaging, and after weeks of use, we only grew more and more in love with this product. The material is stretchy and breathable with a fit that is conservative and great for long days on the move. With an above-average drying time and a super low weight, we found ourselves reaching for this product time and time again.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $24.00 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great fit, comfortable material, inexpensiveSuper comfortable, breathable, inexpensiveBreathable, comfortable, inexpensiveSuper comfortable, quick to dry, lightweightInexpensive, soft, quick-drying
Cons Slower to dry, thicker materialHeavierTight fitTight waistband, more expensiveAnnoying fit
Bottom Line The Active Hipster is a stand-out product that excels in fit and comfort.As kind to your budget as it is to your body, this hipkini is an all-time staff favorite.The Barely Hipster is a super comfortable and affordable product made to stand the heat.The Merino 150 Bikini is comfortable, light, and quick to dry, making it an excellent partner lightweight adventures.The UA Pure Stretch Hipster is soft, stretchy, and quick to dry, all at an amazing price.
Rating Categories Patagonia Active Hipster Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Hipkini Patagonia Barely Hipster Smartwool Merino 150 Bikini Pure Stretch Hipster
Comfort (30%)
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9
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9
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7
Fit (30%)
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6
Drying Time (30%)
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9
Packability (10%)
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9
Specs Patagonia Active... Give-N-Go Sport... Patagonia Barely... Smartwool Merino... Pure Stretch Hipster
Material 81% Nylon, 12% Spandex 94% Nylon, 6% Lycra 89% Nylon, 11% Spandex 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon Core 68% Nylon, 32% Elastane
Weight (oz) .9 oz 1.1 oz .8 oz .7 oz .7 oz
Flat-lock Seams Yes Yes Seamless Yes Seamless

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Active Hipster from Patagonia excelled in just about every category we tested for. From its weight to its stretchy, breathable material, we found this product great for any adventure we could throw at it.

Performance Comparison


With an excellent score in every category  the Active Hipster will always make it into our pack.
With an excellent score in every category, the Active Hipster will always make it into our pack.

Comfort


While we test for comfort in a lot of our reviews here at OutdoorGearLab, nowhere is this trait as crucial as it is for your undies. Our undies make a ton of skin contact, so for this category, we critiqued each pair's material, softness, itchiness, thickness, and breathability.

The Active Hipster found a great niche in this review by taking the middle ground. The blend of nylon and spandex jersey was super soft, and even after wearing it for hours (or days) on end, we never felt the slightest itch or discomfort. While not quite as silky smooth as the Under Armour Pure Stretch Hipster, the Active Hipster is decidedly above-average, especially when compared to the itchy wool of the Smartwool Merino Seamless Bikini.

A close-up look of the Active Hipster's cozy materials.
A close-up look of the Active Hipster's cozy materials.

Breathability is a huge component of comfort. If our undies get damp, comfort is out, so the product's ability to prevent moisture build-up even when we were working up a sweat was a very important factor. We were impressed with how well the Active Hipster let airflow despite its heavier material. While it wasn't as permeable as its sister, the Patagonia Barely Hipster, it performed very well on runs, long hikes, and bike rides in warm weather.

Fit


While a significant amount of attention was placed on the fit and shape of each product in this review, we realize that this is a pretty personal question. We do our best to describe the shape, cut, and stretch of each product, yet recommend trying on each product before purchasing.

The Active Hipster stole the show in the "Fit" category for a variety of reasons. We appreciated its full-coverage design for active days in the mountains, and its thin leg openings did an incredible job at keeping these undies in place. Nothing frustrates us more on the trail or during a long run than a wedgie, and no matter what activity we did, we were always wedgie-free in the Active Hipster. This cannot be said for many of the models in this review and is one of the first things we looked for to determine winners.

The Active Hipster is wonderfully stretchy and could easily be used for yoga, exercise classes, or climbing. While there were stretchier models in this review, those tended to ride up on us. Our testers found the perfect blend of stretch and worry-free fit with this product. The Active Hipster has a wider waistband that helps keep everything in place. We found it to be comfortable and crucial to the product's overall high score in this category.

Drying Time


The ability to dry quickly is an important factor in underwear success, as a fast drying time allows us to stay more comfortable on the trail and spend less time waiting after doing a quick wash on the go. To test this metric, we soaked each pair and hung them to dry side-by-side.

Because the Active Mesh has a thicker fabric than some of its competitors, it did take a bit longer to dry and was solidly in the middle of the pack. The Smartwool Merino 150 could be a better fit for you if drying time and breathability are more important than fit, as that pair is a bit lighter and faster to air dry.

The fit of the Active Hipster is secure  comfy  and ready for any adventure.
The fit of the Active Hipster is secure, comfy, and ready for any adventure.

Packability


Because we intend to use most of these undies on travels around the globe or in the backcountry, the product's ability to pack down and weigh less is pretty important. We weighed each product and folded them up to see how they compared.

The Active Hipster weighed in at 0.9 ounces, or 24 grams. This is right in the middle of all the products we tested, with the lightest models weighing 0.7 ounces and the heaviest 1.4 ounces. Because of its thicker material, the Active Hipster is also slightly bulkier than some of its competitors, like the Patagonia Barely Hipster. That being said, we're talking about fractions of ounces in this category-- no one product that we tested was significantly lighter or heavier than its competitors.

Judging bulk: Patagonia Barely (left) and Patagonia Active (right)
Judging bulk: Patagonia Barely (left) and Patagonia Active (right)

Best Applications


We reach for the Active Hipster any time we need to ensure that we'll be wedgie-free. This is the most important factor when we're going running, attending a yoga class, or will be in the same pair for multiple days. For perspective, one of the products we tested had such a poor fit that we were forced to evacuate the undies mid-hike and spend the rest of the day commando! Because these undies were a bit heavier than some other models we tested, the Active Hipster is a better choice for milder climates or less-sweaty activities.

Value


Coming in at $24, the Active Hipster is close for value with our Editors' Choice Award winner, the ExOfficio Sport Mesh Hipkini. These are, surprisingly, less expensive than many of the products in this review (though twice as expensive as our Best Buy, the Under Armour Pure Stretch). If you're skeptical of spending so much on a single pair of underwear, we understand, but our testing team did agree that for the market, the Active Hipster was a great buy, especially if you'll be wearing it over and over again on a single trip.

Conclusion


We could talk for days about how much we love the Patagonia Active Hipster. It's got everything we were looking for: a comfortable material, a perfect fit, a low weight, and a quick drying time. While it wasn't number one in each of these, its excellent fit helped it stand out of the competition, and with a reasonable price tag, there's not much stopping us from buying more!


Lauren DeLaunay