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Ibex Milo pants

in Clothing - Baselayer & Fleece - WOOL

Average Rating
4.00 / 5 (1 reviews)


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Art Sandt
( artsandt )
Ibex Milo pants on 04/07/2008 10:06:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

In short: These are excellent lightweight polyester-like hiking pants that provide some warmth, but they are not softshell pants by my standards and shouldn't be marketed as such. Also, some features need to be revised by Ibex, like the ankle zips.

Introduction: The Milo pants feature a dual-faced fabric. On the outer face is a stretch woven nylon, which, despite being nylon, is actually soft like polyester, and does not make a swish swish noise as you walk in them. It is also stretchy enough to yield a pant that is unwilling to be uncomfortable, no matter what I'm doing. The inner face is a ribbed weave of Ibex's 320g/m^2 merino wool which tends to add some warmth, but, even in warm weather it doesn't ever seem hot like I'd expect it to be. In my opinion, however, this is the pant's greatest downfall, that they are wool softshell pants which are not very warm.

The good: The outer face fabric is a wonderfully stretchy and soft type of nylon that makes these pants a joy to wear. The side pockets zip up, as does the single rear pocket. The wool inner fabric makes these warmer than a simple hiking pant made of a single-component fabric like Shoeller Dynamic. With these pants, it's possible to have a wool next to skin layer for your legs. These pants are also quite lightweight: my size medium weighs 15.4 ounces.

Disclaimer: One row of the stitching was coming loose in a couple places when I got these. Since I was able to buy these at a significant discount ($150 from REI), and since the place I bought them from was out of stock of all sizes with no immediate plans to re-stock when I received these pants, I decided not to return them and instead just run the loose stitching under my sewing machine myself. I was able to easily re-inforce the bad stitches and I think I stopped anything more from working its way loose. I've used the pants for four months now with no further problems. I'm not sure what to say besides that. It might have been an unusual defect, it might not have been. This doesn't shake my view of Ibex as a good company, but I will not buy any more Ibex products that I can't either exchange for in stock replacements or at least thoroughly inspect the item myself before buying.

The bad: An unfortunate complaint is that the wool inner face is about the most abrasive weave of merino wool I've ever felt. This doesn't change the merino's inherent softness and I'm certainly not saying that this is an itchy fabric: it's not. What they've done is taken a soft fiber and woven it so it is no longer soft, and I do not understand why. If you are a person who has disdain for decadence (i.e. a spartan-type of backpacker), then you probably won't have a problem with this. I, however, really like softness! Another problem I have is the ankle zips, which add unnecessary added weight to the bottom of the pant. Moreover, Ibex doesn't use a locking zipper slider so I have no idea how someone would keep the zips tight if they used them over ski boots. The side pockets are too small. If I have something in them, I feel like I have to zip them up just to be sure that whatever is in there doesn't fall out when I sit down. It might very well be that Ibex intentionally made the side pockets small to minimize any chafing from swinging weighs at the thighs, but I still would prefer a few more inches of depth. My biggest complaint is that Ibex bills these as softshell pants but they are not very water resistant, not very wind resistant, and are not very warm. I think of a softshell pant as something warm enough to replace a fleece pant and a windpant at least in my sleep system. The Milos are neither warm enough nor wind resistant enough--granted they are *reltively* wind resistant, moreso than a pair of cotton pants anyway. I bought these thinking they'd be able to replace my Mountain Hardwear Alchemy pants for winter hiking, but the Milos definitely aren't up to the task.

In conclusion, the Milo pants are increadibly comfortable, stretchy, quiet, relatively warm and relatively windproof, but don't buy them thinking "wow a wool-based softshell pant, that must be warm" because you will be disappointed in that regard.

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