There is almost nothing more important than the pants you choose for your outdoor adventures. Tops can be layered and changed on the fly, but if you’re packing only one pair of pants, you better love them. I put to the test a variety of pants that seemed suitable to wear for all sorts of outdoor activities, from hiking to rock climbing, but also as an option for the office. Here are the pants and how they fared:
Passenger 5 Pocket Pant (MSRP $80 – sample provided): like your favorite pair of jeans, comfortable right off the bat. Elastane adds a huge amount of stretch, so mobility in every situation is top notch. Casual enough to wear fireside, but with enough design to stand up on jeans day at the office, these are simple and versatile.
Piero Utility Pant (MSRP $90 – sample provided): definitely one of my favorite outdoors pants ever – the nylon was unimpressed with all that I threw at it (bouldering, geocaching, extended wear,), showing nary a scratch, while the cut and stretch (elastane again) made them feel as comfy as your fave sweats. While pushing the office acceptability boundary, these dress up pretty well with a nice shirt while also taking any outdoors punishment you can think of.
PFG Blood and Guts II Convertible Pants – UPF 30 (MSRP $75): I purchased these to use for Hell Hike And Raft 2015 and was glad I did. Even though they are lightweight, they are really tough and survived 3 days of tough backpacking through the Seven Devils of Idaho. Since they are a convertible pant, they offer warmth and leg protection when you need it, then shorts when it gets too hot. I put these through the ringer and they more than stood up to the challenge. Suggested for warm weather wear primarily – though you could put a base layer under and wear them year-round if needed/desired.
Ripstop Ranger Pant (MSRP $45 – sample provided): after repeated wearing and washing, the 10 oz, 100% Cotton Ripstop material is still stiff to the touch – these are pants that make you feel ready for anything. From bouldering outside to chopping firewood, these pants stood up to a variety of challenges without flinching. Casual enough to pass muster on the joist, these are polished enough for casual business attire as well. These will last forever.
FR Ripstop Carpenter Pants (MSRP $76 – sample provided): you know that friend, the one we all have who stands too close to the fire, singeing his hands, eyebrows, and maybe more? These are the pants to buy him as a gift. Fire retardant ripstop fabric will protect him and come back for more abuse when ready. Simple 5 pocket jean styling look good around the campsite while appropriate for casual Friday at work. Like the Ranger Pant, these feel like they have a while before broken in.
Ripstop Ranger Cargo Short (MSRP $37 – sample provided): just enough polish and design so these don’t look like the oversized cargo shorts favored by those who also wear loud Hawaiian shirts for all occasions. Just the right amount of pockets and durable ripstop material will make these your go-to shorts when storage is more important than mobility – comfortable but a little stiff for bouldering and other similar pursuits.