Rating: 5 / 5
Although, for Summer backpacking, I generally prefer a running shorts/wind pant combo, there are times in which a tougher pant for scrambling and glissading can come in handy. A pant that can also be used in the chillier shoulder portions of the Western mountain backpacking season. That is bushwacking worthy.
The Pant I have worn over the last couple of years is the (sadly discontinued) Golite Synergy. Made of Pertex Equilibrium, a softshell material with excellant abrasion resistance, some warmth (cuts wind well), great wicking properties, mechanical stretch and a good level of water repellancy and breathability, the pant is cut large enough to layer over a baselayer and made for active movement. It has gusseted, snap closed ankles to ease putting over shoes, a zip fly---often missing on really light pants, a couple of thigh level pockets that won't be in the way of a packs hip belt (along with the normal pocket deployment), a comfortable low profile attached web belt, and it is quite light for it's function (10 oz. in a men's large). It's also a quick drying pant.
Golite has not introduced a replacement that is as comfortable, light, and versatile as the Synergy. It is possible to sometimes snag a pair as a maunfacturer close-out but this is a fading option. Too bad as this was the best all-around hiking pant I've ever used.
There seem very few pants on the market that rival the Synergy's above attributes. Possibly the very expensive Arcteryx Gamma LT, the seasonally available Patagonia Ready Mix Pant (even lighter on paper), one or 2 others. Some manufacturers, such as Cloudveil, started off with light softshell pant offerings but have "improved" them, recently, with much heavier materials. The other trend, which I find unfortunate, is to combine the softshell w/ a W/B membrane in an effort to be an all things to all people garment but (IMHO) all they achieve is a good rainshell but a poor softshell---too warm, inadequately breathable.
One Final Note: If anyone has an extra pair of Synergy Pants in a men's L, PM me.