Rise of an Icon: Baggies Shorts From Patagonia

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Patagonia makes all kinds of super high-tech products. But one of its most iconic is also one of its simplest.

Patagonia Baggies Shorts surfing
Interspecies surf action in Hawaii; photo by John Russell

Let’s take a journey way back in time. We’re talking the era of Michael Jackson and big hair and … Baggies Shorts.

It was a previous century, a previous millennium. Cell phones only existed as car accessories. And Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, wanted a pair of do-it-all shorts.

Patagonia Baggies Shorts
River rats at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers; photo by Chris Brown

The Patagonia “Baggies” was born. And with it came a surprising icon and one of the most beloved products from the brand. It would stay in production longer than nearly every other item from the brand’s lineup.

Fast forward 36 years and Patagonia is revisiting this simple piece of gear that has withstood the test of time. And new for 2018, the Baggies Shorts are, for the first year, made of recycled nylon.

Patagonia Baggies: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

“The history of Baggies Shorts is great,” said Patagonia spokesman Corey Simpson. “It’s a celebration of a 36-year-old product that has rarely changed over the course of the product lifespan.”

As Simpson explained, the Baggies Shorts have been there for basically every kind of warm-weather adventure one could imagine. They’ve been worn by thru-hikers and by river guides during a summer of work. They’ve kayaked and climbed and run on adventures around the world.

And customers have inundated Patagonia with photos of these adventures.

“We’ve had so many customer interactions around these Baggies,” Simpson said. “They are kind of an end-all-be-all short. We wanted to celebrate it.”

Have a photo of your Patagonia Baggies Shorts in action? Share it here!

Patagonia Baggies: Recycled Nylon

The big change for 2018 is the introduction of recycled nylon in the Baggies Shorts line. But a lot will stay the same.

Patagonia Baggies Shorts
Carl Zoch takes the plunge. Owens River, California; Photo by Ken Etzel

The original goal for the Baggies Shorts was to produce a simple but useful pair of shorts.

“Yvon Chouinard wanted a pair of shorts that had mesh drain pockets that fit two tennis balls,” Simpson said. ” They had to be quick drying and durable enough to climb or be on the river. They needed a simple silhouette. They were designed before modern board shorts but very much were used in that same sense.”

With the new recycled fabric, users get the same product while helping keep trash out of landfills. They feel the same as the classic and have the same durability. As Simpson put it, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

These use 52 percent less water and release 18 percent less carbon in production than previous iterations. So while you won’t feel the difference in the product, your conscience will know.

Patagonia Baggies: Designs

Baggies Shorts come in myriad colors and designs. Patagonia makes them for womenmen, and kids with optional sun protection, water resistance, slim, regular, and relaxed fits.

Inseam lengths are as follows: 5–7 inches for men and 2.5–5 inches for women. There are even hemp models for those wanting a natural fiber.

So if you’re gearing up for summer, check out this reborn classic and hit the trail, mountain, river, or anywhere else adventure may take you.


This post is sponsored by Patagonia. We’ve partnered with them to showcase adventures in Baggies Shorts. Share yours here.

tagged: Patagonia
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