Rating: 4 / 5
I had this item paired up with the Montbell Stretch Wind Jacket on a recent long day hike in the Grand Canyon that really put these pieces through their paces. Both were very pleasing.
I'll itemize my praises:
The downhill section of my hike had temps in the 60s with intermittent wind and sun. Comfort was great the whole time. Mostly I kept the cuffs rolled up just below my knee on this part, and in spite of the heat-absorbing dark color of the pants, I stayed pleasantly cool. The uphill section of the hike had temps in the 40s with some precip and higher wind. While ascending hard for several hours in these conditions, the pants breathed brilliantly--and I hike hot! Mostly I kept the cuffs all the way down, did just fine.
2) Wind Resistance
I don't have a large basis for comparison with other pieces in my experience, but I do know they block the wind better than my old Cloudveil Inertia pants. As I said, I experienced some pretty significant wind on this hike, especially the cold uphill section. The pants kept my legs happy and protected from all that with no problem. From what a can tell, the fabric yields a great blend of breathability and windstopping power.
3) H2O Resistance
The uphill section had patchy wind-driven drizzle and some snow flurries. No problem at all for the pants. Probably nothing special in that regard either, but hey, at least they did what was expected of them!
4) Drying Time
I was impressed here. At noon on my day hike I was splashing in the Colorado river and I got these pants soaked up to about mid-thigh. I was curious to see how they'd do with drying, given the high spandex content in the fabric blend. To my surprise, the pants were completely dry within, at most, half an hour. In this time I stopped to eat and use the bathroom and hiked slowly on level ground along the river, in 70 degrees with some sun and no wind. Maybe these are not-bad conditions for drying a pair of dark-colored pants . . . but I was pleased and surprised nonetheless.
5) Other Stuff
Other things I like about the pants:
- not super technical-looking means they'll double for casual city pants
- good pocket configuration also helps their multi-utility by providing space for wallet, keys, pen, cell-phone, etc.
- very comfortable fabric against the skin
- fabric is of a weight and consistency that yields little flapping and no noise while hiking, even through wind
- rolled-up cuffs stay where you put them
- Cordura used in the fabric blend presumably means good durability
- belt loops
That's about all I can think of, I suppose. So, why not a 5? Well, I haven't used this piece long enough to know about durability, so I can't be completely sure of that. Also, I don't know how the DWR will hold up in really serious conditions. So, will hold off on a 5 . . . for now.