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Favorite pants?
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Elijah Ziemann
(MrBlondyable) - F
Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 08:01:04 MDT Print View

What are your favorite synthetic pants for hiking? Preferably something relatively inexpensive.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 09:27:43 MDT Print View

I'm female, so your mileage may vary, but I really like Patagonia Rock Guides; if you're patient they go on sale eventually every year. A lot of folks around here like really lightweight windpants, mainly to go over shorts when it gets chilly. I usually opt for something a little heavier--more durable and less clingy. And they double better as casual wear.

Ex Officio makes some nice options, very light, the cut tends to be a bit roomier in my experience. I like the "Nomad" model. They tend to have a lot of pockets, though.

Rab makes some really nice lightweight pants--the older model is called the "Traverse" I think; this year's is called the Vertex (men) or Helix (women). They fit great but are a bit pricy and hard to try on locally unless you have a good outdoor retailer nearby.

A lot of people seem to like the Columbia Titanium models, and they can be had for pretty cheap, but personally I've never liked the cut of Columbia's clothes.

That's a start at least. Pant fit varies a lot from person to person so it's really hard to suggest what will work for someone else.

Michael Ray
Re: Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 09:34:36 MDT Print View

REI Sahara's are a popular choice as well.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 09:39:05 MDT Print View

Check out Sierra Trading Post for good deals. It can be hard to find the right size but if you keep your eyes open I'm sure you'll find something you like. I got a pair of Mountain Khaki Granite Creek pants there that I love. I had a pair of Columbia zip-off pants for a long time that I just replaced with a pair of Mountain Hardware Mesas (new version). They're very light (thin) so durability might not be the best but they should dry quickly. The odd thing about the pants is that they don't have an ankle zipper which seems like an oversight on a pair of convertible pants. I can get the legs off over my trail runners but not my Merrell waterproof hiking shoes.


Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 09:40:57 MDT Print View

Kuhl Renegades, but they're not "relatively inexpensive", but hands down my favorite pair of hiking pants ever.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Pants with a higher rise and generous fit on 04/25/2013 10:17:46 MDT Print View

While we're on the topic of pants, can anyone tell me which models / makes tend to have a higher rise? My Mountain Hardwear Convertible Pack Pants are the most comfortable pants I've ever owned. I often wear them for just hanging around town because they are that comfortable. What I like about them is that the rise actually comes up high around my waist. It seems a lot of pants have been taken over by the fashionable, but uncomfortable low-rise craze.

Sadly, MH discontinued these pants around 2009 or so. Once these wear out, I can't replace them.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Pants with a higher rise and generous fit on 04/25/2013 10:25:24 MDT Print View

The Mountain Khaki Original Mountain Pants ride higher on the waist, the button was almost at my belly button. My Granite Creeks aren't as high but I wouldn't call them "low-rise."


scree ride
fit on 04/25/2013 11:00:38 MDT Print View

It seems the fit varies wildly. Pants that received ravishing reviews from others, I hated. I returned my Kuhls, due to the fit, and am a bit disappointed with the Columbia brand I kept. My favorite pants so far were a cheap Walmart pair, albeit, after a lot of abuse, a few too many holes in the rear. If you have to order them, I suggest making sure there is a good return policy.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 11:01:58 MDT Print View

I've been hunting for new hiking pants for a few months now, because I tend to rip less forgiving fabrics. A month or so ago, on personal recommendation of some on BPL, I've went for Arcteryx Rampart. These are unfortunately pretty expensive, but they have a very nice fit and the fabric has a lot of give. Besides the price, the only downside has been they are a little warmer to hike in... which is a plus when there is some wind or temperatures drop.

As of this moment, those are my favorite pants.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
Mountain Khakis on 04/25/2013 11:40:05 MDT Print View

I tried a pair of MK Granite Creek pants (women's version) but had to pass on them; they are comfortable and look really nice but I found the snap closure to be annoying. The rise on the women's is quite low, right at my hips, so whenever I would lean or bend, the snap had this habit of popping open. Hoping they tweak the design in the future, because I love their cotton pants. In general, I find button closures work way better on pants than snap closures.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 11:51:50 MDT Print View

The REI Sahara pants I purchased used at REI for $10.00. Check out a used gear sale if there is an REI in your area. The price was right and they can take a beating. Over the years I have brushed up against sharp tree limbs that left scrapes on my legs and surprisingly did't tear the pant material.

Mark Heiser

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Exofficio on 04/25/2013 12:03:07 MDT Print View

I only have 2 pairs of pants. One is a pair of EMS pants I bought years ago. They fit well (I have large thighs from wrestling and lifting, even though I haven't done either in years), but have many useless pockets and I found that because of heavy tick population, and the fact that the heat doesn't bother my legs, that the convertible pant/shorts feature is also useless to me. Because of all this they also take on more of a hiking/tactical look and are not very versatile to other parts of life.

The other I just bought, exofficio bugsaway ziwa pants. REI was having a closeout on these online. I normally wear a 32 in jeans, but all they had available was a 30 online. They have a generous fit (perfect for me)and a 32 inch inseam, and are in fact almost too loose. No convertible feature, just basic low profile pockets, plus an extra on the side of the leg for knife, multi-tool etc, and already coated in permethrin for me!

This long-winded answer is all just to say they make a great pair of pants, light as any full pant (9oz), non-tactical in appearance, and when on sale are worth every penny.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 12:09:38 MDT Print View

+1 on the Arc'Teryx Ramparts.

These seem to go on sale at REI once a year.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 12:11:40 MDT Print View

I hike in Railriders Adventure Khaki pants. I like hiking in long pants for sun protection. These pants are light, dry quickly and have a minimum of pockets. All features I like.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 13:33:09 MDT Print View

Columbia Silver Ridge. Fit me much better than the REI Sahara. Only complaint is that the leg extensions don't open on the sides, so to switch between long and short means taking your boots off.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
LL BEAN TIMBERLEDGE on 04/25/2013 16:07:00 MDT Print View

No, really!

just Justin Whitson
Re: re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 16:46:54 MDT Print View

I recently made a pair of pants using 1.1 oz ripstop nylon 2nds. Unfortunately, they are just a bit too small. Very low weight, like around 3 oz.

My next project, using the same material, is to make convertible pants using velcro instead of a zippers. The nylon legs will go on pre-made shorts, probably one of my 100% Linen shorts. The detachable legs, should weigh no more than 2.5 oz, if that. I suspect that these will become my favorite "pants" ;) for the combo of flexibility and weight. Linen shorts are a bit heavy, but i don't count on skin weight & i would be primarily wearing just these for most of the season, most of the time. The nylon legs will come out for bugs, rain (they will be soaked in a DWR), unusually strong or cold wind, etc

I do like the ExOfficio nylon pants that i bought from Jennifer a little while ago, since they are light and fairly breathable for nylon pants. The fit is not bad (though not ideal) since they are women's pants.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 18:37:42 MDT Print View

Hiking in varied conditions at moderate temps it needs to be the semi-stretchy Patagonia old Rock Guides, which have legs that roll into shorts and stay there if need be. Think they've been reincarnated as the "Rock Craft". Surprisingly good when the day warms up but ...

Add: Not for windy winters as a cold wind in the teens will go right through the fabric.

Edited by hknewman on 04/25/2013 18:39:16 MDT.

Anton Solovyev
(solovam) - F

Locale: Colorado, Utah
Re: Favorite pants? -- pants are overrated on 04/25/2013 20:39:10 MDT Print View

Here's what I typically have on a trip: long underwear (wool or synthetic), shorts and full zip shell pants (Marmot Precip).

If it's warm, it's just shorts. Colder and I add long jones. If it's windy and cold I may put on shell pants. If it's full on nastiness I add long underwear.

There's been a few times when I would shed shell pants and hike just in long bottoms and a t-shirt (Mt.Rainier, Wind Rivers).

The beauty of of full zip pants is that it's very easy to dump heat when moving fast and overheating. It's also easy to regulate the amount of ventilation. When you stop just zip up and you are warm again. Of course, never have to take off shoes to take off pants -- zippers.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Favorite pants? -- pants are overrated on 04/25/2013 21:07:59 MDT Print View

I used to agree that shorts were preferable but anymore I wear pants more for the added tick protection. We've got tons of them here, I picked four off my pants two weeks ago and it had snowed earlier that week, and I know two people in the past year who contracted tick born illnesses. If I'm going to be outside for more than a few hours its not worth the risk to wear shorts.


Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 21:25:18 MDT Print View

Favorite pants? Locally, ones that are Permethrin treated, such as RailRiders Eco-Mesh. Other places, I am becoming a fan of Arcteryx pants, even though they have a much trimmer athletic fit than anything else I ever wear.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Favorite pants? -- pants are overrated on 04/25/2013 21:32:18 MDT Print View

I am a shorts guy as well, but for many situations pants are better. They protect from the sun, they protect your legs from getting cut up if you need to bushwack or hike on an overgrown trail (seriously, you can get lacerations on your legs from "trails" in some places), they protect your legs from poison oak, poison ivy, stinging nettles, thorny plants, ticks, mosquitoes and they are much, much more durable than long underwear. Long underwear tear super easy, running tights are much better for hiking in.

My issue with pants has been finding a pair that fit well. They are all just way too baggy (I'm skinny) on me or too tight around the waist. Maybe I will just save up and buy a pair of outlier pants.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Favorite pants? on 04/25/2013 22:00:23 MDT Print View

1. Patagonia Baggies (I know they're shorts)

2. Rail Riders Eco-Mesh

3. REI Mistral Schoeller pants (when it's cold)

4. REI Acme Schoeller pants (when it's really, really cold)

Justin McCabe

Locale: Southern California
Favorite pants? on 04/26/2013 00:04:45 MDT Print View

Marmot Rockstars!!!

Though I believe they are retired but....hunt them down. Stretchy, reinforced, slim (not too slim) fit. Amazing.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Acme pants on 04/26/2013 09:57:44 MDT Print View

REI Acme Pants. I wear them year round, unless it's really, really hot.

Then I wear Arcteryx Rampart pants or lined running shorts.

Anton Solovyev
(solovam) - F

Locale: Colorado, Utah
Re: Re: Re: Favorite pants? -- pants are overrated on 04/26/2013 11:01:13 MDT Print View

One thing to mention: shell pants do work as regular pants if you need them (bushwacking, colder conditions). Lack of breathability is compensated by side zippers.

This does not work in direct sun and heat, but nothing really does, I think.

Pete Garcia
(pgjgarcia) - MLife

Locale: SE PA
Columbia on 04/26/2013 19:45:18 MDT Print View

For the past few years I've only really been going out when it was either hot or chilly without chance of being hot. When it was summer, I would only wear an old pair of Umbro shorts and had Montbell wind pants in my pack. In the shoulder seasons, I would sub out the shorts for my Mountain Hardwear Mesa pants. A few months ago, though, I picked up a pair of Columbia Silver Ridge II convertibles because they were on sale and I figured I'd give them a shot. I'd read so much about zippers rubbing and other issues with them, but after taking them on the trail for a quick weekend hike, I LOVE them. They can be found cheap, they are comfortable, and are very light. They might not be for everybody, but they are at least worth taking a look at.

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: Columbia on 04/26/2013 19:49:12 MDT Print View

+1 on the Columbia Silver Ridge pants. I have been wearing them for about 4 years now and love them.