The Patagonia Hydroflow boardshort is the brands first foray into a top tier performance short. With 4-way stretch, a fused waistband, Patagonia’s environmental and social considerations, and a reasonable price point, they’re a solid option for a tech short.

Patagonia say of the short that:

“Fully redesigned with fused waistbands and 4-way stretch, our all-new Strech Hydroflow Boardshorts are made with recycled polyester blends, Fair Trade Certified TM sewn and backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee.”

patagonia hydroflow boardshorts

Fused Waistband

A curved design that follows the natural shape of the hips to keep boardshorts in place during movement

4-Way Stretch

Effortless movement in the water, made from fast-drying 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex blend

Fair Trade Certified

A premium is paid for every item that carries the Fair Trade Certified™ label, going directly to the workers at the factory


The Patagonia Hydroflow shorts are great to do big ass cutdowns in after you've just come out of a piss-weak ear wash. Jokes aside, these are a great option for those who want a performance short but with environmental considerations.

One of the main draws of this short is the material - an easy four-way stretch in a weight that feels like you’re wearing a feather duster around your loins, plus the fact that a turtle is a little less likely to choke on plastic because it’s made from recycled fabric.

Patagonia Hyrdroflow Boardshorts



The Patagonia Hyrdoflow runs on a 19inch slim fit block, but they’re not so slim fit that you look like your little brother at Beyond The Valley in his cut-off denim jorts. If you need a comparison on fit, the light and variables we tested late last year are a regular fit. 

Overall, these are comfortable enough to surf in and the fit is pretty good enough that we’re throwing them an 8.5 out of 10. If anything bothered me it was the glad wrap vibe, these things are stage five clingers. While shredding you don’t notice the cling, it’s when your paddling back out, sitting on your board or clambering back up the beach that you gotta pull them back down, re-adjust a little. 


This short is readily available on the Patagonia Website for $120 AUD.

Considering Patagonia is often a brand that gets called out for being expensive, that price is on level with competing styles at the same price. The fabric is recycled, has great stretch and is Fair Trade Sewn and it’s STILL competing with any other surf brand’s similarly-level options.

Buy from Patagonia’s Online Store
Check Patagonia’s Stockist list


Glad wrap issues aside, these are amazing shorts to surf in. While on the wave you really don’t notice them at all. For their first drop at a performance short, Patagonia has pushed out an impressive product. The Hydroflow is light with a solid amount of stretch (especially through the gooch area) and is extremely amazing to surf in. I haven’t surfed in anything else for the last three weeks, and can easily give these a 9/10 


Patagonia pays a premium for every item that carries the Fair Trade Certified™ label. That extra money goes directly to the workers at the factory, and they decide how to spend it.

This is not a top-down program. In each factory, a democratically elected Fair Trade worker committee decides how the funds will be used. Workers have chosen to use the premiums to fund community projects, like health care programs or a child care centre; to purchase products they could otherwise not afford, like a TV or a stove; or to take a cash bonus.

You can read more about Patagonia and their Fair Trade program here.


The Patagonia Hydroflow is a super well thought out short. Amazing fabric, great cut, environmental considerations. The only let down I found for me was the shoelace style drawstring. Surely they could have gotten a little more tech, considering the elevated stature of the rest of the short. Combined with the tailored fit, my paunch burst open the waistband mid surf a few times - like a manatee escaping a discarded fishing net. Ironically, recycled fishing nets probably make up some of the fabric in the short. The rest is carelessly disposed of Glad Wrap. Not really, but they're doing an amazing thing environmentally and consider the high performance of these things, they should be up there with your first thought when wanting to buy a new pair of shred shorts.

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Patagonia Hydroflow Boardshorts

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including a recent run of Winter Wetsuits. More Boardshorts reviews coming soon.

Again, if you’re interested in buying the Patagonia Hydroflow Boardshorts hit the links below:

Buy from Patagonia’s Online Store
Check Patagonia’s Stockist list

Alternatively, if you’re going to be driving, give the Lipped Surfers Podcast a listen. Below is their Boardshorts 2019 episode where they deep dive into the creation and performance of the Patagonia Hydroflow boardshorts and the Rip Curl 3/2/One Ultimate boardshorts.

Featuring interviews with the creators and designers and a full review against all of last years best performing shorts.