Patagonia Barely Baggies Women’s Shorts Review

I recently had a chance to test out Patagonia’s newest addition to their women’s shorts line, the Barely Baggies. I’m sure most people in the hiking world have heard of their predecessor, the Baggies, Patagonia’s quintessential hiking shorts line. But Barely Baggies… what could this be? Are they barely there? Are they the misfit baggies that they can’t sell and therefore can’t have the almighty Baggie title? The world may never know! But actually, they will… ’cause I’ll tell ya!

Patagonia Barely Baggies Specs

MSRP: $59
Weight: 4.5 oz.
Materials: NetPlus® 100% postconsumer recycled nylon
Inseam: 2.5 inches

Circumstances of Review

I had a chance to try the Barely Baggies out for a couple of months on long hikes, sweaty runs, swimming in alpine lakes, and also just in overall lounge mode, and they proved to be quite versatile and comfortable in all the activities. Even going commando-mode was quite enjoyable as long as you don’t mind a little breeze in your undercarriage.

patagonia barely baggies

Who are the Patagonia Barely Baggies best for?

First of all, Barely Baggies are basically for anyone who wants to wear comfy shorts. Their intentional audience is, like most things that Patagonia makes, for those who enjoy outdoor activities, as these shorts are meant to be moveable, comfy, light, and quick-drying. They’re perfect for climbing mountains and subsequently jumping in a lake afterwards (for non-skinny-dippers, at least). But also with most things Patagonia makes, they are trendy enough to be worn around town, for a game of golf, or to a first Tinder date.

Barely Baggies vs. Original Baggies

The main difference between the Patagonia Barely Baggies and the original Baggies is the shorter inseam length of 2.5″ for women’s sizing compared to 5″ for the Baggies. As a person who constantly struggles with feeling like practically every pair of “outdoor” shorts I try on goes down to my knees, making my quads feel quite claustrophobic, I can definitely appreciate a short inseam when I find one.

Another difference between the Barely Baggies and the originals is the removal of the mesh lining in the Barely. When I first ordered these shorts, I honestly had done zero research on them and (no joke) was perplexed as to how the pair they had sent me made it through production without the inner liner. Then my brain started working, and I realized not all shorts contain liners.

Fit and Style

Now, as a person who aims to wear underwear as little as possible (blaming this on the UL backpacking cult), I usually only buy workout/hiking shorts sans inner liners if they aren’t skin-tight. I might look like a lady, but after a long day on the trail or a killer run, I am all about flopping spread-eagle on the ground, and I expect my shorts to make up for my societal shortcomings. So let’s just say I was a bit apprehensive about trying these puppies out.

But as I have learned after many years of using Patagonia gear, they kinda know what they’re doing. When I finally decided to give the Barely Baggies a chance at the trail life, I honestly forgot they were even there… which is exactly what you want your shorts to do. No chafing, no riding up my buttcrack, no annoying swishing sounds. I felt free and mobile. They didn’t stick to me, despite the hot conditions I wore them in. They didn’t even really get wet, despite sweating profusely.

As a 5’5″, 125 lb. female with long legs, a short torso, small waist, and wide hips, I am always struggling with whether to order smalls (for my wide hips) or x-smalls (for my tiny waist and runner’s butt). I went with the small but probably would have been better off with an x-small. The smalls fit very comfortably. I can cinch the waistband up around my waist, and there is no cutting into my hips nor up and down movement when I am active. I guess I am just used to wearing short shorts, and the smalls are definitely baggy on my runner legs. But hey, the comfort factor is 100%, even if they feel a bit big.


Pockets: I’m one of those people who likes to talk with their hands. Or have my hands do awkward things while I talk because they need something to do. So pockets are great! Just shove those awkward handsies into these two Barely Baggies pockets, and not only will you look less crazy as you’re recounting your highly believable story of seeing Bigfoot on your morning run, but your hands will stay warm too! Plus, we always need a place for snacks, am I right?

On the other hand, don’t put anything too important in these things as they are pretty loose. One missed pin on a lead-climb and you might just be buying a new iPhone. The pockets are mesh-lined, which is super helpful for not packing out pounds of sand on those beach days. There is also a little hidden mesh pocket on the front inside part of the shorts, which is great for keeping your keys, credit card, loose cash, or any other small things you don’t want to chance losing.

Key loop: But my fave feature is the handy little loop inside the right pocket. Every time I go for a run, I am left with the age-old question of do I carry my car key or bury it in the dirt in some random place I will somehow mysteriously forget the placement of in the next hour. Well, the Barely Baggies’ pocket loop makes it easy to thread that key through, shove it in your pocket, and not worry about being stranded when you come back panting from your next outing.

patagonia barely baggies

The Barely Baggies have an elastic waistband and two shoelace pull strings inside the front part of the shorts to tighten and loosen them. The elastic waistband seems to stay secured at whatever desired cinchness you leave it at without even having to tie the strings.

Sustainability: Barely Baggies are made out of NetPlus® 100% postconsumer recycled nylon made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean plastic pollution. The nylon contributes to both the lightness of the shorts and their ability to dry very quickly.

Light and packable: The shorts weigh around 4.5 ounces, so they are an easy addition to throw in a pack or suitcase without adding much weight.

Patagonia Barely Bagges Pros

  • Lightweight (4.5 oz) and packable
  • Quick-drying
  • Comfortable
  • Stay in place when I’m moving
  • Pockets! (Including keyholder loop)

Patagonia Barely Baggies Cons

  • No mesh liner
  • Price tag: $59 a bit steep for a pair of shorts
  • Fit was a little baggy for my taste


Overall, the Barely Baggies proved to be a great pair of shorts for both outdoor and leisure activities. The comfort, lack of movement, and quick-dry attributes were huge positives for me. They also come in a variety of colors and designs.

The price tag of $59 is a little steep for me for a pair of shorts, but then again, the durability, weight, and quick-dry ability will probably outweigh the cost. The only other negatives I can highlight are that I would have enjoyed a mesh liner and also wish the shorts were a little less baggy. I’m assuming with the use I have already got out of these shorts, they will probably be a go-to component of my outdoor wardrobe for quite a few years.

Shop the Patagonia Barely Baggies

Comparable Shorts

The Patagonia Barely Baggies shorts were donated for purpose of review.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • CaptainCoyote : Jul 15th

    At the risk of sounding like a lech, so if so, I’ll apologize up front, they look a helluva lot nicer on you, than they do on me. And I’ve been wearing Baggies for close to 20 years now! However, that said, I did get a few pairs for both my daughters—who are extremely active. My oldest loves paddle boarding, and she reports that her Baggies are her “go to” shorts to wear over her swimsuit bottom. My younger daughter hikes in the deserts and mountains in New Mexico. She loves them for being so “cool”. Hmmm….and a father’s next question might be “Cool as in temperature comfort? Or cool in as “neato, jazzed, etc”? Nice to see younger generations enjoying some of the same things the older ones do!


What Do You Think?