Listen, we all know 5″ inseam shorts are the absolute shit. They’re breezy, very flattering with low cut shoes and casual slides, and they’re a savior during quarantine heatwaves. And as far as all shorts are concerned, the kings of breezy and 5″ inseams are no doubt Patagonia Baggies.
But with the continual rise of outdoor and GORPcore aesthetics, and the plethora of hiking-focused brands on the market right now, Patagonia should no longer be the sole go-to for comfort and style. Rather than add to the echo chamber and shout off the rooftops about baggies and their attractive colorways, we’ve decided to round-up some alternatives to the iconic outdoorsy shorts. From “frugal” to moderately priced, nylon to seersucker, here are five of the best shorts to wear this summer.
Columbia’s water shorts are the most budget-friendly option on this list, as well as the most comparable to Patagonia’s offerings. Not only are these available in 5″ and 7″ inseams respectively –– Columbia’s water shorts are offered in over 15 different colors, from “Gemstone” to “Night Tide,” and my personal favorite, “Emerald City”. There’s several different color options and lengths to choose from, and in typical Amazon-ordering fashion, prices range according to those varieties. Take some time to browse listings and see what you’re most into with these.
Japanese-based clothing brand UNIQLO is everyone’s favorite spot to find basics, and for good reason: they’re solid quality (for being fast fashion). UNIQLO’s chino shorts are available in a variety of colors and are easy to work with, to be frank. They’re casual enough to wear with most canvas sneakers, and they’re affordable enough to wear on a breezy hot day with some loafers. These are a better alternative to what you may find in a J. Crew or Target.
The legacy brand that is L.L. Bean offers a with a 6″ inseam in (sadly only) three colors that make your outfit pop. These are a much cheaper alternative to Patagonia baggies at $35 and they’re perfect for beach days or while hiking. These straight leg shorts are made of 100% nylon, which means they’re quick-drying, perfect for swimming, and they’re UPF 50+ rated, which means they’re terrific for blocking the sun. They also offer an anti-odor polyester mesh liner, so don’t worry about wearing underwear with these.
Colorado-based outdoor company Topo Designs have these beautiful shorts inspired by military styling with a 7″ inseam that’s both classic and durable. Available in black, olive and khaki, these shorts sport some deep pockets that are perfect for carrying way too many things at once, but look aesthetically pleasing completely empty. A definite cop for those inspired by Japanese Casual/Americana fashion.
A personal favorite from the coolest outdoor brand Gramicci, these shell gear shorts are the perfect length and material. Available in unisex sizing (which means most men are easily squeezing into a small), these shell gear shorts are made from a very lightweight nylon that gives off a nice smooth palette for comfort. They’ve also got a few incredibly deep pockets on the side of the shorts, and are available in multiple colors, including the ever-so-hard to find (at a reasonable price) leopard print.