Want to know how good Chubbies really are? Here’s our unbiased review.
There’s a whole category of internet-famous brands that are reshaping the men’s fashion scene, and Chubbies is right up there with Bombas and Warby Parker. Order online, and you can get better quality clothes, in unique styles, all for a lower price than most name brands.
Chubbies are offering some of the best shorts and swim trunks around, so I got my hands on five pairs to test for this review.
In the following sections, I’ll break down the overall pros and cons, as well as dive deep into my impressions of each individual pair that I tried.
Founded in 2011 as an irreverent response to the world of high fashion, Chubbies has taken a strong stance on making clothes that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Their founding ideas are still in full effect today, and you can see this most in their variety of options. They make shorts for everyone — big and tall guys to men on the shorter side, guys who want classic colors, guys who want their pants to be an expression of their bold personalities, and everyone in between.
For reference, I’m 5’6” in shoes and about 125 lbs after dinner. I have a 35” chest and almost always order XS tops.
My off-the-rack suit jacket size would be 34S, and my ideal pant size is usually 28×28.
What I Tried
I had been interested in trying out Chubbies’ shorts for a while, so I went all in — buying five different pairs of their shorts in a range of lengths, colors, and styles. Here’s what I think of each of them, in depth.
Hunters 7 inch
The Hunters are a stretchy, pleated short with an elastic waistband.
Overall, I love the style. They’re more casual than chinos, but not quite tech shorts.
You can get the Hunters in about a dozen colors, and two lengths: Either 7 or 5.5 inches at the inseam.
If Chubbies would make these in a size XS, I’d wear them all the time. But for my build, they fit really loose and baggy, and they’re just too big all around.
Tahoes 6 inch
The Tahoes are Chubbies’ take on a lightweight, stretchy, technical short. They’re made of a polyester and spandex blend that gives four-way stretch, and come with plenty of pockets for everyday carry.
As with many of Chubbies’ shorts, the fit on the Tahoes runs large. The drawstring waistband is a particularly nice touch here, as it allows for some fine tuning of the fit.
I could see these being a great choice for a guy who is built a little bit larger, and wants a comfortable everyday pair of shorts.
When I first tried the Granolas on, I couldn’t help but immediately compare them to Patagonia’s famous baggies. They have that same retro fit and style, with a few worthwhile upgrades.
The snap waistband here is really great, and I wish more shorts had a feature like it.
The colors for the Granolas are nice too, and in a more casual/neutral selection than many of Chubbies’ usual options.
Again, these shorts are super comfy, but just too baggy for my build. An XS would fix that problem, too.
Freestyles 5.5 inch
Note: the Freestyles have been discontinued.
My choice of swim trunks from Chubbies, the Freestyles, is also my favorite of their whole lineup. It’s a shame that they’re not in stock anymore, as I think these are some of the best trunks I’ve ever worn.
Unlike many of Chubbies’ other shorts, the Freestyles fit me perfectly in size small. They were offered in a wide range of fun (but not over-the-top) prints, and the pressed vertical line is a really nice touch.
I could probably do without the logo on the back of the Freestyles, but overall they’re a really great swim trunk — and I love that they have a longer liner than most traditional trunks, which makes them a lot more comfortable to wear.
The Reefs 6 inch
The Reefs are Chubbies’ “beach to boardwalk” shorts, a boardshort style that looks good enough to wear throughout a whole beach vacation. They’re made with a four-way stretch fabric for comfort and mobility, and available in six cool prints and waist sizes from 30 to 40.
These are larger than the Freestyles I mentioned above, so they fit a little bit baggy around my waist. I’d recommend sizing down from your usual waist size.
Overall I love the style, color, and comfort here, and can definitely recommend the Reefs as a great boardshort.
Here’s my summary of the overall pros for Chubbies shorts:
- Cool branding
- Great customer service
- User experience on the website is great
- Fun, irreverent, and amusing branding and marketing language
- Friendly shipping and return policy
- Lots of colors, styles, and lengths to choose from
- Plenty of room around the hips in most of their shorts, which is good for guys who lift
And here’s my summary of the brand’s overall cons:
- Their shorts run a little large in comparison to other brands
- Slimmer than most mass market brands, but still not slim around the thighs
- They’re a little expensive for what they are
- Some styles are a little bit too out there, too bold for my tastes
Frequently Asked Questions
And before I go, I’d like to take a minute to answer the questions I’ve heard guys asking most often about Chubbies.
Why are they called Chubbies?
The founders of Chubbies have mentioned that they named their brand to be a tongue-in-cheek and memorable name; it doesn’t have any particular meaning, besides sounding cool and memorable.
Who founded Chubbies?
Chubbies was founded by Kyle Hency, Rainer Castillo, Preston Rutherford, and Tom Montgomery.
Where is Chubbies headquarters?
Chubbies is currently headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Overall, I think Chubbies is a fun brand with an excellent user experience. They have a thoughtfully curated collection of shorts styles for different needs, though I do wish they offered more shorts in size XS for guys who are built like me.
In the end, Chubbies is definitely worth trying if you’re not happy with the shorts you currently have in your wardrobe.
Have you tried Chubbies? Let me know in the comments!
I think you’ve mistaken the colors for the styles of the various shorts, for example “The Hunters” is just what Chubbies calls that olive green color version of their “Originals Stretch Twill Short”. If you click through the colors they all have different names, but they’re all the same Original Stretch Twill Short.
Same goes for The Tahoe, Granola, etc. Those are the colors for the Everywear Performance Short and the Retro Outdoor Short, respectively. In fact they have “The Granolas” in both the Retro Outdoor Short and the Summit Short, two different styles.
Just wanted to clarify, because it gets confusing when you say The Granolas or the Tahoes are offered in a bunch of different colors!
Mark J says
I have several of these shorts, I like the choice of inseams, which are great for those of us with short stubby legs. One nit getting a even a slim wallet outta the back pocket is a challenge! Not sure why but it’s a chore, maybe because it’s a deep pocket? I don’t know but it’s irritating.
Chubbies are far too baggy for me. I’m 5’4” and weigh in the mid-130s; my typical pant size is 30W and 26L, slim or skinny.
Being an athletic 5’7” 165 with a 31” waist, I have several chubbies shorts – three liner 5.5” swim trunks and four of their 5.5” chino shorts. I do prefer a very fitted look and I agree the thighs are just a smidge loose and even the material on the chino shorts are a bit rough and wrinkly for my liking. BUT, I really do like the cut and fit so I wear them regularly. They always have sales with coupon codes so I think they’re worth it.
I am still looking for the holy grail of swim trunks and if you can find them, please let me know.
They include 4-way stretch, a 5-5.5” inseam, built-in ‘boxer brief’ liner, slim fitted thigh 22-23”, a board short waist (no string tie in the outside), and a thick-ish material (most trunks are very flowy and super thin).
I was thinking Tucann but they come in perhaps a little too short inseam…
I have several pair of Chubbies. A few pair i purchased at their now defunct store in Santa Monica. For the most part I really like them and think they ar incredibly comfortable. The issue i have with a subsequent order is there doesn’t seem to be a consistency with the sizing. On my follow up order of the exact same style of shorts, they all fit completely different, specifically in the waist. They all have the elastic waist and some more tighter or looser than others. I do not like to make exchanges or returns so i kept them all but i was disappointed. i also own a swimsuit with i like and a short sleeve polyester/spandex polo which is way too long. I have not taken it to be hemmed so its literally been sitting in my closet for 3 years (at least) never worn.