Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshorts
Performance Fit
Super Sturdy & Reliable Waistband
Comfort & Anti-chafe
Environmentally Friendly
They’re seriously dack proof. In other words, they refuse to fall down.
Absolutely zero chafe thanks to bonded seams.
Comfortable in and out of the water.
Available in 3 colours.
Quick drying with 4-way stretch.
Environmentally conscious materials and construction.
Comes with a Patagonia price tag, but you pay for what you get.

Sceptical there can be any new ‘tech’ when it comes to boardshorts? I was too, until I tried a pair of Patagonia’s latest Hydrolock Boardshorts.


Patagonia wants you to, ‘pull in, not up’.

I’ve been wearing their new Hydrolock Boardshorts this summer, and while I haven’t done much pulling in — I will blame Sydney’s typically un-hollow summer beach mush — I have not had to pull them up, or adjust them at all while surfing, unlike most other boardies I’ve burned through in the past.


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


Normally it wouldn’t be until late Jan, even Feb, that I’d be surfing in boardshorts, but ocean temps on the east coast of Aus have been unseasonably high — 3C above normal January temps according to satellite data.

While that’s great for reviewing a pair of boardies, Patagonia will be the first to point out this is no bueno and such climate change induced marine heatwaves hurt ecosystems.



But for now, what’s the deal with these boardies?


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review

What is Hydrolock?

Patagonia has a penchant for coming up with some of the cooler tech names in the business — I’m looking at you ‘H2No’.

The so-called ‘Hydrolock’ tech refers to the brand-new waistband locking system they’ve come up with.

Now, if you only ask one thing from a pair of boardshorts, it’s that they don’t fall down. I promise you, this pair won’t. 


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


In addition to the drawcord — one that’s actually textured and structured to create extra friction and grip when knotted — there are these strong recycled polyester tabs that cinch all the way around the waist. 

These spread the pressure of a tight drawcord for a full body seal and they haven’t failed me yet. 

I’ve worn both a 32 and 33 inch waist and daresay I could even get away with wearing 34’s in a pinch and still not have them around my ankles after the first duck dive.

Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


Perhaps the ultimate test, I even wore them during some heavy duty body bashing in a rather large shore dump and they stayed in place — only later on, did I find some sand where it’s not native.


As for the shorts themselves, they are crafted from a lightweight, quick dry, 4-way stretch recycled polyester. 

The website doesn’t call attention to this, but like many of Patagonia’s most popular products, they also contain recycled plastic bottles. In this case, no less than 14 of them!

We wrote a piece on the plastic recycling trend in the apparel industry if you want to know how they do it! Patagonia have always been leaders in this space and similarly started the whole ‘natural rubber’ wetsuit trend.


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


These are probably the most comfortable boardshorts I’ve worn. I know, that’s a big call.

I used to swear by what Hurley were putting out, with their flexibility and stretch, but these have since replaced those pairs. 

Not only can we thank the Hydrolock waistband for some of this comfort, as it effectively distribute the pressure of having them done up extra tight. But, the construction of the shorts themselves also make them feel silky smooth. Because the side and interior panels are bonded together and not stitched, they don’t chafe when sitting upright on a board or walking home while dripping wet.

Surfers will know how grim that particular walk can be. I’ve even longed to get back into a wetsuit just to chafe a different body part for a change…


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


They’re also comfortable while surfing because they were made for exactly that. 

Patagonia studied the movements of surfers, and the result is a pair of shorts that will work with you, not against you, as you’re throwing veritable buckets and smacking the lip.


What more can there be? 

Well, there’s a streamlined, self-draining thigh pocket with a zip and key loop. And they come with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. They’re also Fair Trade Certified™ sewn as you would expect from a brand like Patagonia. Plenty to smile about.


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


Newsflash! Dedicated performance boardshorts are invariably in the 3 digit price range these days, so expect to find pairs anywhere from $100 to $150. Patagonia’s Hydrolock Shorts will set you back the full $150.

While not cheap, one pair will have you covered for many summers to come and outlast pairs half the price, over and over again.

Final thoughts (before I go for a surf)

I tend to be of the mind that a good pair of boardies are the kind you forget about. Like wearing nothing at all, à la Ned Flanders on a ski holiday. 

These are such a pair.


Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshort — Review


Photos by @mattwisemanmedia

Matt was sent the Patagonia Hydrolock Boardshorts by Patagonia and was allowed to keep them afterward, the views are his own. Conveniently, the model (Matt’s mate Joe), was given a pair by his mum for Christmas. It was a very useful coincidence and Joe was bought an ice cream for his services!