Patagonia Active Hipster Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great fit, comfortable material, inexpensive
Cons: Slower to dry, thicker material
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Active Hipster is a few bucks more expensive than our Editors' Choice Award winner, the REI Co-op Active Bikini. These are, surprisingly, less expensive than many of the products in this review. 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.
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