A while back, I replaced my sturdy and dependable North Face travel shorts with the Patagonia Stretch Wavefarer Walk shorts (original review here). The original North Face shorts were fine, but they took longer to dry than I liked, and I wanted something in a simpler design without all the extraneous cargo pockets.
It’s been nearly 3 years since I got the Patagonia shorts; I always like to give updates on clothing after a period of time, because when you’re paying $60 to $70 for a single set of shorts, they better last for a good while.
So far, so good. I’ve been wearing the Stretch Wavefarers as my exclusive travel shorts on all my warm weather travels over the past 3 years, and they’ve held up really well despite being made of such a light and thin material. I also wear them several times a week on my local trail runs when it’s warm outside, and they’ve worked really well for that purpose too.
The only damage that’s occurred during this entire time was a single incident where I was hiking down from Redcloud Peak in the Colorado San Juan mountain range, slipped on some ice, and busted my ass hard on a combination of packed snow and rocks. One of the pointy rocks make an inch long abrasion in the leg fabric, but fortunately it didn’t go all the way through. Other than that one imperfection, the shorts are still tip top.
For most of the time I’ve owned them, I also have been washing and drying them like my regular clothes, so no special care. I used to hang dry my travel shorts, but I stopped doing that and just put them in the electric dryer for convenience purposes. No harmful effects as far as I can tell.
The one gripe I had about these shorts has been fixed: they finally sell them in a size 29. The two pair I own are size 30, because at the time of purchase several years ago, Patagonia went from size 28 (too small for me) to size 30 (just a tad too big). I don’t understand the reasoning for this, and most of their other shorts inexplicably also skip the 29. But at least with this popular model, this middle stepchild waist size has finally gotten some respect.
As I noted in my original review, these shorts are great for traveling because they dry really quickly, don’t weigh much, are super easy to sink wash, and are durable. I like to get at least 5 years out of a piece of travel clothing, and based on how the shorts look now at the 3 year mark, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.