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Patagonia Nomader Shorts – Ultimate Travel Shorts Group Test Part 4

Product: Nomader Short
Company: Patagonia
Price: RRP £55

Where: Patagonia and other outlets
Sex: Men/Women
Sizes: Men 28″ – 38″   Women 2 – 14
Colours: Retro Khaki, Raven, Forge Grey, Amaranth, Earthenware
Pockets: Men- 7    Women- 4        Weight: Men 273g  Women 161g

Drip Dry Time(Sunlight): 1 Hour 10 min


Patagonia - Nomader Short (Raven)

  • Water Repellent
  • 40 UPF
  • Stretch Fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Quick Drying
  • Zipped Pockets
  • High Wicking


Company Info

Originally producing tools for climbers, over the last 30 years Patagonia have grown into one of the leading outdoor clothing manufactures. They have a strong environmental policy using recycled materials in all their clothing and donating at least 1% of sales to environmental projects.

Our Opinion

Patagonia claim to of designed these shorts specifically for the backpacker/travellers needs and they are packed full of useful features specifically for this market.

We received the Raven version (see above) of these shorts and they look really good with a great contrasting colour scheme, which adds a bit of style without looking to fashion obsessed. The women’s derivative even has pink as a colour choice which went down well with our female testers.

These shorts are not cheap and as such we had very high expectations for them, at £55 they are not for the light of wallet. So do they perform up to that price? Well the specifications are good with some very useful features, a particular highlight being the stretch fabric which is very accommodating and comfortable. There is also an elasticated waist which Patagonia claim is to keep the shorts in place when wearing a backpack. This does actually work, I wore these shorts on a 4 hour hike with a 65 litre pack whilst performing our recent Well Hung Travel Hammock Review and I had no slippage problems. They also stayed cool and sweat free due to the mesh pockets and roomy fit. One the subject of pockets which you may know by now is a particular fascination of mine, the men’s have plenty most zipped and all of a good size and easily accessible. The women miss out again though with their version boasting 3 pockets less than the men’s. I really can’t work this out! In my experience women always carry more than men (complaints to the normal email address!). I can only guess the reason for this variation is the length of the women’ short which comes mid-thigh whilst the men’s is just below the knee.

Although I’m not particularly a green soldier, I do like the environmental touches with this product all the nylon used which is 95% of these shorts is from recycled sources and the company as a whole seem to take the green issue very seriously.

The Good and the Bad of Nomader Shorts


Patagonia - Nomader Short

  • Comfort
  • Technical Performance
  • Pockets
  • Looks
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Part Elasticated Waist


  • Price
  • Women’s Lack of Pockets


You can tell with these shorts that a lot of thought has gone into the design to make them a great pair of pack packer shorts. There is ample pockets for storage and they do not become uncomfortable when you actually fill them up, the mesh also prevents discomfort from sweaty pockets. The comfort of the stretch fabric and gusseted crotch makes these a dream to wear and coupled with the generous sizing means that you could wear these almost constantly with no ill effects. I have found myself on several occasions actually digging through the pile of shorts I have from this group test just to find these for a day out. Although Patagonia do not claim to have treated these shorts with any anti-microbial chemical, they do perform as if they have been, they remain odour free even in very hot conditions and over long periods. The water resistant coating also works well and would be useful in sudden shower or water fight!.

Women seem to have been short changed again, which I just don’t understand. Most of the women I have talked to on this subject would prefer a longer short and say the more pockets the better. Patagonia are by no means the only manufacturer to do this, it just seems a little unfair to me. Also the biggest female size is 14 which is a shade to small seeing as the average women’s size in the UK is 16.

The real question mark with these shorts is the price, £55 is a lot of money. If you normally spend this kind of money or you can find them on special then I would definitely recommend these shorts. If however you have more of a budget there are cheaper alternatives but none have performed as well as these impressive shorts.


For details of where to buy please visit Patagonia

*Shorts provided for review by the manufacturer. To have your Travel Gear reviewed on Vagabond Journey Travel contact us.


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Filed under: Clothing, Travel Gear

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