Keeping it simple doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself.  Patagonia’s Quandary shorts allow you to pack and travel light, while staying well-equipped for your outdoor adventures.

Patagonia Quandary Shorts Features:

  • 10″ inseam
  • 223 g (7.9 oz)
  • Fabric: 4.5-oz 96% nylon/4% spandex
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 40-UPF sun protection
  • Regular fit
  • Flat front styling
  • Vertical on-seam side pockets
  • Left front thigh zipper pocket
  • Dual back pockets
  • Three color options
  • MSRP $69

patagonia quandary shorts

Quandary Shorts are Durable, Versatile

Despite the company’s corporate success, Patagonia has never lost sight of its dirtbag roots.  The brand that was created and built by rock climbers and surf rats who often spent weeks at a time between Laundromats still places a premium on apparel that’s durable and functional for a variety of uses, and comfortable enough to wear day after day for all of them.

Patagonia Quandary shorts hiking

The Quandary is a great example of this minimalist ethos.  It’s a very durable, highly versatile short that is perfect for long day hikes and slacklining – activities which comprised the majority of my testing – and won’t require a change of clothes for lounging around the campsite afterward.  Pack a single pair, and you’re good to go for a long weekend or an extended getaway.  Its styling is fashionable enough for everyday wear at home, but its construction is solidly designed with the outdoors in mind.

Fabric construction consists of a thin stretch-woven soft nylon material that feels soft against the skin, and is lightweight enough to stay comfortable in hot conditions.  It sheds light moisture easily and dries fairly quickly after immersion.  The 10-inch inseam provides adequate coverage against early morning chill or midday sunburn.

Thin mesh lining waistband and interior pockets

The thin material is highly abrasion-resistant for bouldering or rock climbing, and has a slight elasticity allows full range of motion without constriction. The waistband and interior pockets are lined with thin mesh that helps with moisture transfer and enhances comfort against the skin.  Overall comfort is a strong point with the Quandary, and you won’t think twice about wearing them day after day.

Patagonia quandary shorts rear view

The Good:

  • Highly comfortable fabric construction
  • Strong durability for high-demand use
  • Versatile function for multiple activities
  • Streetwise styling for everyday use

The Bad:

  • No inseam length options, but that’s typical for Patagonia.

The Bottom Line

If you’re channeling your inner dirtbag in search of a one short that can handle whatever outdoor activity comes your way, the Quandary is an outstanding choice.

Shop now: Available at

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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