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Patagonia Stand Up Shorts 7"

photo: Patagonia Stand Up Shorts 7" hiking short

Sturdy 7-ounce organic cotton shorts build a nice bridge between casual wear and hiking/outdoorsy pursuits. They have a double fabric seat and generously-sized pockets front and back, metal zipper, belt loops. Highly abrasion-resistant, they last for years. On the downside, the fabric is heavy for people who want a lighter-weight pair of shorts, and they take a long time to dry.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Durability

Cons

  • Dry time
  • Weight

INTRODUCTION

Patagonia’s Stand Up Shorts have been around for a long time. I bought my first pair in the mid-1980s and have since worn out three pair; I currently have two other pair of these, both several years old. I’m reviewing the most recent pair, which are about a year old, so the specifications are current. 

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Front view. Note the wide leg openings—if you don’t like that, these aren’t your shorts. 
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Rear view shows belt loops, double fabric seat, and rear pockets. 

BASIC DETAILS

The men’s shorts come in waist sizes 28-40 (step up every 2 inches) and have a 7-inch hem; they’re made of organic 7-ounce cotton that is relatively heavy but fairly soft, even after repeated washing. That’s worth a mention because earlier versions were made of cotton that was a lot more stiff. The available half-dozen colors are all pretty subdued; in the past, I have had them in forest green and blue, and I currently have an older pair in teal. 

I believe Patagonia has sold women’s Stand Up Shorts in the past, but currently, the only option is women’s stand-up overall shorts with a 5-inch hem and full-length stand up overalls.

Front pockets have a good amount of room; back pockets, formed by the double fabric seat, are quite a bit larger. Hook and loop tabs keep them from flapping. The right hand rear pocket has a smaller pocket right above it, a good place to stash cash or keys but not much more. Front closure via a heavy duty metal rivet and buttonhole. 

If you’re all-in on heavy grade durability, it’s worth checking out Patagonia’s Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Cargo Shorts. They’re more than I would want for hiking, too long and heavy for me, but I wear the work wear pants, and the hemp/polyester/cotton blend is tremendously comfortable and durable—12.9-oz fabric.  

COMFORT/DURABILITY

These shorts work fairly well for hiking, despite being 100% cotton, because the leg openings are so wide. Even when they’re damp, there's lots of room to avoid chafing. For casual wear, they feel great. There is nothing elastic in these, so I often wear them with a belt.

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The fabric can absorb a pretty terrific beating. I wear these a lot. They’re a go-to short not only for hiking, but also for repairs and home improvement (those big rear pockets are great for stowing tools, screws, nails).

My oldest pair is over ten years old; the hems are just starting to fray. That’s the place they tend to start wearing out first, and they can eventually get some small holes. I have never managed to tear them or had a belt loop get loose, but after several years (8-10), the cotton fabric starts wearing out.

My first pair spent summers in and out of the water when I was guiding canoe trips and doing instruction; the metal rivet on those rusted through. Hasn’t happened to any of my other pair. 

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Cotton has some natural limits for hiking and being outdoors, namely its propensity to absorb moisture and stay damp. These shorts take a long time to dry. They’re also quite a bit heavier than more modern nylon outdoor shorts. As a result, I’m more apt to wear the Stand Up Shorts in cooler weather and day hikes. 

HOW I HAVE WORN THEM

For a few decades, these were my all-day, all-summer shorts. I hiked and canoed in them constantly. I have worn versions of these shorts for hundreds of miles of hiking. These days, I opt more for synthetic nylon shorts in our steamy DC metro summers and wear the Stand Up Shorts more in the spring and fall, and for yard work and casual situations. 

TAKEAWAYS

There are better pure hiking shorts out there. Nylon materials handle moisture better and are still fairly abrasion-resistant, and a little spandex can make nylon really comfortable to wear. It depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want something that doesn’t look super-technical, will last a really long time, and are just as capable on the trails and at a barbecue or a summer ballgame, check out the Stand Up Shorts.  Look for sales—$69 full retail isn’t cheap, but I have found them for a lot less.  

Experience

The current pair is about a year old; I have been wearing versions of these shorts for over thirty-five years on hikes, in canoes, traveling, house painting, landscaping……the works.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35

About the Author

Andrew Friedman is a New Hampshire native who loves the Presidentials and spent his college summers guiding trips in the Adirondack High Peaks. He loved introducing his children to hiking and the outdoors. In addition to New England and the Adirondacks, he has hiked the shores of the Great Lakes, the Tetons, a number of California's state and national parks, the Albanian Alps, and trails in India, Asia, and the Middle East. Andrew logged his first review on Trailspace in 2007 and joined the Trailspace Review Corps in 2011. Andrew lives and works in the DC metro area.

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Specs

Price MSRP: $69.00
Current Retail: $48.73-$51.75
Historic Range: $31.05-$69.00
Reviewers Paid: $35.00
Weight 434 g / 15.3 oz
Material 9.5-oz 100% organic cotton canvas / Fair Trade Certified sewn
Product Details from Patagonia »

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