11 (Possibly Better) Alternatives to the Iconic Patagonia Baggies

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

Updated April 28, 2023 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 with them, the promise of hot dogs, pool parties and, of course, a trusty pair of shorts. To be clear, we’re talking high hemlines à la handsome Harry or Milo, with the emphasis on some great materials and a whole lot of leg. InsideHook is formally manifesting that this will be the season of thighs, so strap in and take stock of your warm-weather wardrobe, white sneakers included. Chances are, you’re staring at a pair of the famed Patagonia Baggies, hopefully in a 5″ inseam.

Alas, if you are not, you may be out of luck. As fate would have it, Patagonia Baggies are perennial sell-outs (damn you, Tik Tok, damn you). It happens at the start of every summer as enthusiasts and those eager to see what all the hype is about stock up in preparation for the season ahead, leaving the rest of us with slim pickings or left to scout out pairs on resale sites for exorbitant prices.

But before you resign yourself to chino shorts that linger around your knee (yikes) we recommend broadening your shorts horizons and considering styles and brands beyond Patagonia Baggies. After all, we aren’t going to deny the allure of their icon status, but we can recognize that there are plenty of other worthy nylon options on the market — options that often offer things the Baggies don’t, whether it be a shorter length (we’re talking 3″) or no mesh lining. In fact, we’ll go so far as to suggest that some other shorts — cough, L.L. Bean, cough — have usurped the Baggies as the pair we’re reaching for most.

So yes, the summer of shorts is still firmly on, as evidenced by the 11 alternatives to the Patagonia Baggies we’ve listed below. Who knows — you might even find a new favorite, dare we say better, pair of shorts.

The Best Patagonia Baggie Alternatives:

We’ll just say it — L.L. Bean’s Supplex shorts might just beat out Patagonia’s seminal shorts. Like the Baggies, L.L.Bean’s are made from the same Supplex nylon favored for its water-repellant, quick-drying properties and features a similar pull-on silhouette…but we’ll admit, we prefer the lax fit more than Baggie’s sometimes odd proportions. What were originally designed to be swim trunks are now appropriate for both aquatic and non-aquatic activities alike, the 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!

With a particularly solid lineup of shorts as part of their recently released S/S23 collection, it’s difficult to pick just one, but Adsum’s Site Short takes the cake if you’re looking to ball out on an elevated look and premium materials. Yes, they’re expensive, but with a fit reminiscent of Laura Dern in Jurrasic Park (trust, us, that’s a good thing) abrasion-resistant Taslan outer, they’re worth every cent.

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.

Lululemon’s version of the nylon short offers a sleeker look than most (their pair, like The North Face, 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 button-down as t-shirt.

While we love a good Baggie, the shortest length they offer is 5″, which by today’s short standards is long. So if you’re really looking to go in on the short shorts craze, we recommend these 3″ nylon shorts from Standard Cloth. Sure, two inches might not seem like a lot but you know what they say — every inch counts.

A new addition to CA-based Outerknown’s growing line-up of outdoor gear, the Adventure Shorts are more technical than you’re average pair of Baggies, but for those who appreciate responsible construction and tons of pockets, they may just do the trick.

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 new 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.

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. Unlike their built-in belted cousins, the Class V Pull-On is beachy by nature, making it the preferred short for a beach-to-boardwalk type of day.

One of our spring short picks, the Abercrombie Saturday Short are primed for a hot boy summer, still comfortable enough to remind you of your favorite athleisure yet offering a look that’s a little more put together than those well-worn sweatpants. Take them from brunch to the beach and everywhere in between.

We’d be lying if we didn’t say that part of the reason we’re so attracted to these shorts is the fun turquoise drawstring which contrasts nicely against the plum fabric. But hey, it’s the little things. right?

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