Tired of Patagonia Baggies? Try These (Possibly Better) Alternatives Instead.

Hot take: there are better styles than Patagonia's iconic short

Updated May 1, 2024 10:58 am
a collage of shorts on a green background
Patagonia Baggies are pretty great. Some of their competitors might be even better.
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Temps are rising, and the promise of hot dogs, pool parties and, of course, shorts weather are tantalizingly near. InsideHook is formally manifesting that this summer will be the season of thighs: we’re talking high hemlines and crispy 3″ joints à la Paul Mescal and Chris Pine, with the emphasis on some great materials and a whole lot of leg. If this sounds agreeable, strap in and take mental stock of your warm-weather wardrobe, white sneakers included, and read on.

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The Best Patagonia Baggie Alternatives

Conventional menswear wisdom would dictate that you cop a few pairs of the iconic and highly sought after (damn you, Tik Tok, damn you) Patagonia Baggies, preferably in a 5″ inseam, and be done with it. After all, the iconic nylon shorts remain a fashion force when the weather turns warm and a perennial sell-out between May and August.

But here’s the thing — as undeniably good-looking and versatile (you know the whole backyard to beach thing) as they are, we believe Baggies to be overrated. The pockets are too shallow, the internal mesh can be annoying, and the rise feels a tad wonky no matter what model you pick up. They’re beloved for a reason, but, in 2024 there are — we’ll say it — tons of superior nylon Patagonia Baggie alternatives.

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In summary: yes, the summer of shorts is still firmly on, and no, you don’t have to just wear Baggies, as evidenced by the 15 Patagonia Baggies alternatives we’ve listed below. Who knows — you might even find a new favorite, dare we say better, pair of shorts.

Material: 100% nylon | Inseam: 6″ | Sizes: S-3XL | Colors: 11 | Lined: yes

Who are these for? Dads, grads and every guy in between.

We’ll just say it — L.L. Bean’s supplex shorts beat out Patagonia in virtually every category. Like the Baggies, they’re made from a stretch nylon favored for its water-repellant, quick-drying properties, and feature a similar pull-on silhouette…but, we’ll admit that we prefer the lax fit more than Baggie’s sometimes odd proportions. Unlike Baggies, the hybrid shorts’ UPF 50+ fabric is capable of blocking 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays, ideal for (safely) spending your day soaking up some rays. Plus, they’re cheaper!

Material: 85% recycled nylon, 15% elastane | Inseam: 5″ | Sizes: S-XXL | Colors: 6 | Lined: no

Who are these for? Downtown Brooklyn Equinox members and crunchy soccer captains.

Lululemon’s version of the nylon short offers a sleeker look than most (their pair, like L.L. Beans, are made from water-resistant, ripstop fabric) thanks to the flat-front pockets and subtle graphic colorway, meaning you can just as easily pair them with a vintage foot kit as you can a workout tee.

Material: 100% recycled polyester | Inseam: 6″ | Sizes: S-XXL | Colors: 3 | Lined: no

Who are these for? Surfers, surfer wannabees, professional beer pong players.

A part of CA-based Outerknown’s growing line-up of outdoor gear, the Nomadic Volley Shorts are more of a trunk than your average pair of Baggies, but for those who appreciate responsible construction, a relaxed fit and tons of pockets, they may just do the trick.

Material: 59% recycled nylon, 35% nylon, 6% elastane | Inseam: 7″ | Sizes: S-XXL | Colors: 3 | Lined: no

Who are these for? GORP gods and Bushwick TikTokers.

Made from reinforced ripstop nylon, the shorts are more than equipped to handle their fair share of wear and tear while still remaining suitable enough for less strenuous activities like brunch with friends. The mesh cargo pockets just add to the overall appeal.

Material: 88% nylon, 12% spandex | Inseam: 6″ | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 4 | Lined: no

Who are these for? Baggie apologists.

For those who love their Baggies but are off Patagucci, Wellen’s 6″ Everyday Short is about the closest you’ll get. They exude the same vibe, thanks in large part to a slightly stretchy and rather shiny nylon shell and fully-elastic drawcord.

Material: 100% tencel | Inseam: 5″ | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 1 | Lined: no

Who are these for? Grown-up guys looking for quality, print junkies.

On flip side, Todd’s Weekend Short is probably the furthest pair from a classic Baggie you’ll find on this list. That is not inherantly a bad thing — they dress up much nicer with a breezy linen or oxford button-down, and hit better on the thigh. $158 is a hefty price tag for a pair of shorts, but we swear by the ultra-soft, Tencel blend.

Material: 100% nylon | Inseam: 8″ | Sizes: 30-36″ | Colors: 1 | Liner? no

Who are these for? Fashion fiends and the evolved man who tuck in his tees.

Not like other guys? Lean into the Japanese military chic of Kaptain Sunshine for your nylon short fix. Clocking in at an exorbitant $350, these Americana-inspired straight-leg shorts are meant only for the Rickiest among us but will look objectively awesome with a tucked-in wheelspun tee and your finest leather loafers.

More Patagonia Baggie Alternatives We Love

Get a load of those pockets. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore, do they? Sure, the elastic waist with built-in webbing belt and back phone pocket is nice, but seriously — we can’t stop staring at those cargo bays.

At just $50, REI’s in-house Baggies take is on of the most affordable on this list, and packed with just as much nylon charm as its competitors.

Howler Brother’s edge the functionality-style-modest line to perfection with their Pedernales Packable shorts.

Japanese brands make some of the finest multi-purpose hiking gear on the planet, and Gramicci’s Shell Shorts are no exception. The eye-catching bottoms can pack down into the tightest of balls, and weather most any conditions with a DWR-treated outer.

MFPEN’s recycled shell shorts are a bit more elevated than most Patagonia Baggie alternatives on this list, a intentional product of minimalist design from red-hot Scandi label MFPEN.

If you desire a bit more…luxe than the classic crunchy old Baggies afford, then ACG, Nike’s outdoor-focused specialty line, makes some seriously GORP-y shorts, with premium cotton-nylon blending and tons of utility pockets that should be right up your fancy-schmancy alley.

Topo Designs draws inspiration directly from outdoor pursuits, and it shows with the River Short. The lightweight model — a newish addition to the warm weather lineup — DWR-treated nylon bottoms clock in at a generous 2-way stretch 6″ inseam, making them perfect for hiking, camping or otherwise hanging out, especially in the blazing heat of summer.

If you’re familiar with J.Crew’s Dock Short silhouette, then you’ll certainly appreciate their Tech version of the short, which keeps the same cut and updates it with a recycled nylon and spandex fabric. The result is a short slightly inspired by the athletic styles of the ’60s yet updated to handle today’s wealth of activities and your busy, active lifestyle.

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