Name: Fuzzy Monkey (David)
Date of Review: May, 2012
Photo Album – REI Convertible Pants
DISCLAIMER: Readers should be aware I’m currently employed by REI, however, I was not paid to write this review. The information in this review is from my own actual experience and done on my own time. Readers should also be aware I purchased these using my employee discount.
BACKGROUND: I’ve successfully thru-hiked the West Coast Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Appalachian Trail. I also have numerous other backpacking trips under my belt. The weather I’ve dealt with ranges vastly from the sun drenched deserts to snowy mountain peaks. I choose to wear these REI Convertible pants for my 2010 Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike. I purchased these pants in early 2010 or late 2009 prior to my PCT hike.
Manufacturer: REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)
Product Information: REI Convertible Pants
Model: Mens Large, Length 28
Materials: Light weight 100% Nylon
DESCRIPTION: These are light-weight convertible zip off pants. The bottoms of the pants zip off to make them into shorts. There is a built-in belt with a clip fastener. The pants have two large front pockets and two large thigh cargo pockets. Two back pockets and one small sort of hidden, what I would call “Change pocket” on the right side. In addition to removable bottoms, the pants also zip apart around the ankles.
REVIEW: I wore these pants for my 2010 Pacific Crest Trail. Whenever, I talk about this hike people end up asking what type of gear or equipment I used. I choose to wear these pants because they were cheap and available at the time. The pants worked out well for the majority of the hike. I ended up switching out pants in Bend OR. One reason was because they starting to show major wear.
One reason I choose these pants is because they were cheap and available. When I was preparing, I was thinking of wearing my North Face pants. Then while I was working one day I found these. Since they were cheap and I was able to use my discount, I ended up purchasing these to wear for the my PCT hike. They are similar in features to the North face pants I wore for my AT hike. This was great since I already knew how well this design worked for me in 2007.
Here is a re-cap of some of the features I like. I found out in 2007 that I rarely zipped off the pants to make them into shorts. Although these had the same function, I rarely found myself zipping off the bottoms. Since they are so light it was almost never a benefit to removing the bottoms. The zipper pulls on the pants legs are also small and tedious to work with, further discouraging me from taking them off.
Another benefit is because they are 100% nylon, they dried almost immediately when wet. This was a benefit in the summer heat when sweat soaked into them. Again the nylon material worked well farther north when it rained often. I’d describe the pants as light and comfortable, but at the expense of durability and longevity.
PERFORMANCE: The pants worked well, but not exceptional. After only about a month or so the cargo pockets on the front started to rip apart. While I was in town I found a needle and thread and ended up sewing them back together. This proved to be slightly difficult and did not look well because of the way the pockets are designed. The flip side is that the pockets are large and held everything I needed to carry in them at the time.
The pants also faded rapidly. I’m not sure if this was just because I wore them everyday in all types of weather but needless to say they did discolor pretty quickly from daily use. I also contribute this rapid discoloration because of the light-weight nylon material. In addition they also stained easily. There were several times I sat on tree sap and was never able to get the stain out of the bottoms of the pants. No, big deal but just an observation I made from using the pants for so long.
CONCLUSION: The pants are light-weight and work well for light travel or minor hiking trips. I would not recommend this particular model for any sort of long distance or rugged trips. The stitching comes apart easily causing small items to fall out the bottom.
Fuzzy Monkey Likes:
- Price was right at the time
- Quick Drying
Fuzzy Monkey Dislikes:
- Stitching comes apart
- Discoloration after short use
Fuzzy Monkey Approved: NO