The 7 Best Hiking Pants For Women Reviewed – [2018]

Best Hiking Pants For Women

Hiking pants are often overlooked when adventure seekers head into the woods for an afternoon or even a week of backpacking. While once it was hard to find quality hiking pants, today there are more choices than ever.

Particularly for women’s hiking pants more manufacturers are addressing the unique fit and sizing needs ladies need.

Wearing any old pants for a hiking trip can quickly become a big mistake. Jeans are much too restrictive. Certain types of fabric are just bad choices for spending time in the woods where weather and situations can change rapidly.

That’s why I’m going to help you learn what to look for in hiking pants.

I’ve spend hundreds of nights on the trail guiding backpacking groups in all sorts of conditions. When you get done with this article you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in your next set of women’s hiking pants.

I’ll help you avoid a few common mistakes and get you started by recommending several top rated women’s hiking pants.

Let’s get to it!

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Hiking Pants for Women

  1. prAna Women’s Regular Inseam Halle Pant
  2. Outdoor Research Women’s Cirque Pants
  3. Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Convertible Pant
  4. Exofficio Women’s Bugs Away Ziwa Convertible Pant
  5. White Sierra Women’s Sierra Point Convertible Pant
  6. Columbia Sportswear Women’s Saturday Trail Pant
  7. Mountain Hardwear Mirada Convertible Pant

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Women’s Hiking Shoes, Women’s Hiking Boots, Hiking Shirts.

Best Women’s Hiking Pants

  prAna Women’s Regular Inseam Halle Pant Outdoor Research Women’s Cirque Pants Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Convertible Pants
Material: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex 50% nylon/43% polyester/7% spandex 86% Nylon/ 14% Spandex
Features: Stretch Zion fabric with articulated knees Gusseted crotch, articulated knees and reinforced scuff guards Zip off Legs, water and wind Resistant
Best For: Casual Hiking / Daily Wear Technical Hiking Casual Hiking / Daily Wear

Women’s Hiking Pants Reviews

#1 prAna Women’s Regular Inseam Halle Pant


prAna Women’s Regular Inseam Halle Pants at a Glance:

  • Roll-up legs with articulated knees
  • Hidden zip stash pocket at upper right leg
  • Offered in 3 inseams-short, regular, tall
  • Comfortable stretch fabric

prAna is a brand that’s always come from a place of modern accessories for hikers and climbers. These nylon and spandex pants are going to be durable and flexible. Perfect for approach hikes or rugged trails.

I like that they included an articulated knee. The extra fabric and careful design of the pants around the knee allows for more motion and flexibility.

That’s a great feature to pair with the stretchy spandex and nylon. These pants are at home for scrambling tough boulder fields or navigating a rugged trail.

There’s a single side pocket but it’s relatively form fitted, so don’t expect to store much there. The front pockets are also slim and fitted. Overall the pants are stylish and sleek.

They’re a good choice for daily pants that might take you to the grocery store or the local trail.

They may not, however, be the absolute best pants for technical hiking or backpacking. Design and aesthetics seem to take a front seat to hiking efficiency on these women’s hiking pants from prAna.

Best For: Fall afternoons on the deck or scrambling an approach trail.

#2 Outdoor Research Women’s Cirque Pants


Outdoor Research Women’s Cirque Pants at a Glance:

  • Articulated Knees
  • Reinforced Boot Lace Hook
  • Gusseted Crotch
  • Nylon-reinforced abrasion patches

Outdoor Research has always been one of my favorites when it comes to outdoor clothing. These women’s hiking pants are definitely a technical take on the subject.

Let’s look at what they’re bringing to the table.

These pants blend nylon, polyester, and spandex with a stretch-woven fabric. That makes them both durable, comfortable, forgiving, and moisture wicking.

I personally prefer the feel of polyester but like the durability of nylon so it’s nice to see the best of both worlds.

Around the waist is an adjustable elastic and velcro integrated “belt”. The belt loops are flat sewn and would pair well with the hip pads of any backpack.

Again, the pockets seem a little too tight with the fitted stretchy nature of the pants to be practical for carrying items while hiking but that’s a small negative.

The Cirque women’s lightweight hiking pants have articulated knees and boot zippers that are both excellent high end features that round out these technical pants.

I will say that I love the reinforced nylon scuff pads on the inside of both ankles. These are helpful for protecting the pants from crampons, snowshoes, and skis.

Best For: Technical hiking and mountain sports.

#3 Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Convertible Pant


Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Convertible Pants at a Glance:

  • Water and wind resistant
  • Zip-off lower legs
  • Breathable and quick drying
  • Abrasion-resistance material

OR take a little more relaxed approach to hiking pants with Ferrosi convertibles. These pants aren’t quite as technical as the Cirque pants which are more at home high in the mountains. Instead the Ferrosi pants bring tons of stretch and comfort.

With an impressive 14% spandex content they’ll wear more like yoga pants than a technical hike. I love that the zip off legs have different color zippers on each side.

If you’ve never tried taking apart and putting back together convertible pants, let me tell you how handy it is to easily know which side is which!

There are only three pockets on these pants – two front and one back right. Because the pants are relatively fitted like most women’s pants, don’t expect to be able to comfortably pack a ton of goodies.

One thing I would have liked to see on these convertible pants is a boot zipper. Because they’re fitted pants without a boot zipper, you’ll have to actually take your shoes off to remove the lower leg portions.

Best For: Women’s who want convertible hiking pants for casual hiking and daily wear.

#4 Exofficio Women’s Bugs Away Ziwa Convertible Pant


Exofficio Women’s Bugs Away Ziwa Convertible Pant at a Glance:

  • Convertible cargo pants
  • Insect shield technology
  • UPF 30+ Protection
  • Moisture wicking fabric

Exofficio makes some solid gear for outdoor sports. They usually bring some of the best gear to the table and these pants are solid choices for any women’s hiking pants.

I like that they kept the waistline slim and trim with minimalist belt loops and elastic. When elastic gets into hiking pants, though, it can be hard to get it just right.

Because those pesky backpack hip belts sit right where the elastic pleats are on the sides of the pants, they can be uncomfortable. If you’re wearing these pants with a backpack, make sure you’ve got comfy undies on!

I do like that they added side cargo pockets on these pants. There are no rear pockets which is usually fine for most ladies, and the front pockets are slim.

Luckily they are convertible pants that feature bug-proof nylon material. Now that the ticks that cause Lyme Disease seem to be found in more areas of the country, having some extra protection may not be a bad idea.

The pants are zippered above the knees and feature boot zippers to help you get the lowers on and off while wearing shoes.

Best For: Women who want a lightweight, bug-proof convertible pant option when not carrying a pack.

#5 White Sierra Women’s Sierra Point Convertible Pant


White Sierra Women’s Sierra Point Convertible Pant at a Glance:

  • Zip off legs
  • Teflon fabric waterproofing
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • UPF sun protection fabric

These affordable convertible pants sound pretty good when you consider the amazing user reviews. With tons of great feedback and solid nylon construction they make a serious contender for the title “best women’s hiking pants”.

While they’re not reinventing the wheel, these pants do bring everything to the table that a hiker needs. Flat waistbands and slim belt loops are a must have and the Sierra Point pants deliver on that.

There is some pleating around the sides of the hips where elastic is used to fit the pants. However, I think most women won’t find it too much to cause discomfort.

I like that they skipped the rear pockets on these pants – they’re just not necessary. I would have liked to see some boot zippers though because as I mentioned before it’s a pain to take off shoes when you want to zip off to the shorts.

If you’re willing to go without things like different color zippers for the pants and boot zippers these make a great choice for budget hiking pants for women!

Best For: Women who want a pair of durable nylon hiking pants at a great value.

#6 Columbia Sportswear Women’s Saturday Trail Pant


Columbia Sportswear Women’s Saturday Trail Pant at a Glance:

  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
  • Zip-closed security pocket
  • Roll-up legs
  • Gusseted crotch

Columbia has always been my personal favorite brand for value to price ratio. I think you get more for your money with Columbia than just about any other outdoor clothing maker.

That’s just one reason I really like these slim women’s hiking pants. They’re also mostly nylon with a dose of elastane for stretch. That makes them both durable and comfortable.

They’ll hold up against brush, rocks, and thorns and they won’t keep you from moving when you need to scramble over a downed tree.

I like that the pants have articulated knees. Because they’re a little more slim fit than some on our list, the articulated knees are important to avoid restricting movement.

The pants don’t totally convert in the same way that zip off pants do, but you can roll them up. They can be changed to capri style pants with a simple roll of the cuff.

Best For: Women looking for hiking pants that are fashionable with plenty of movement on weekend hikes.

#7 Mountain Hardwear Mirada Convertible Pant


Mountain Hardwear Mirada Convertible Pant at a Glance:

  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • DWR finish
  • Velcro side pocket
  • Extra-wide soft waistband

Last but certainly not least is a solid pair of women’s hiking pants from Mountain Hardwear. This company knows how to make great hiking pants. I’ve turned to them for years for my own personal favorite zip off hiking pants.

Unlike the other pants on our list, the Miranda pants are the only ones available in so many colors. There are 5 separate colors for you to choose from, all earthy tones that make great hiking pants.

Never underestimate the power of choices!

I like the straight leg style but I would have liked to see a boot zipper for all the above mentioned reasons. They probably didn’t include a boot zipper though because the pants also roll up into capris with the included strap and button.

I love that the waistband is perfectly smooth but there is no adjustable belt and users say the pants run small. Fitment might be tricky and getting it wrong means having to potentially wear a belt under your backpack straps. Ouch.

If your looking for women’s waterproof hiking pants, these are probably your best bet with the DWR finish over nylon.

Best For: Women looking for color choices and slim fitment with a zip off and capri option!

Women’s Hiking Pants Comparison

Hiking Pants   Material Convertible Features Best For
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex No Stretch Zion fabric with articulated knees Casual Hiking / Daily Wear
50% nylon/43% polyester/7% spandex No Gusseted crotch, articulated knees and reinforced scuff guard Technical Hiking
86% Nylon/ 14% Spandex Yes Water and wind resistant with Zip-off lower legs Casual Hiking / Daily Wear
100% Nylon Yes Insect shield technology cargo pants with UPF 30+ protection Casual Hiking
100% Nylon Yes Teflon fabric waterproofing with UPF sun protection fabric Casual Hiking
96% Nylon/4% Elastane No – Roll up UPF 50 Protection with articulated knees Casual Hiking / Daily Wear
Mountain Hardwear Mirada Convertible Pant 100% Nylon Yes UPF 50 fabric with DWR finish to repel water Casual Hiking

How to Choose the Best Women’s Hiking Pants

What makes great hiking pants and sets women’s hiking pants apart from the rest? There are several important factors, lets take a look at them now.

Women’s Hiking Pants Fabric

In everyday life we usually wear just one or two fabrics. Cotton and polyester may be the most common fabrics for day to day wear. In hiking and backpacking the fabrics that we want are a little different.

While polyester remains an important hiking fabric, nylon becomes a second favorite fabric.

NYLON

Well loved for several reasons. One of this fabric’s greatest qualities is its extreme durability and abrasion resistance.

That’s why it’s often picked as a primary material for hiking pants.

Along with nylon you’ll also often find lycra, elastane, or spandex added. That’s because nylon by itself is extremely inflexible and stiff. Without adding lycra, nylon hiking pants would become much too restrictive.

Particularly in women’s hiking pants, a healthy dose of lycra is not only often added for fashion, but for function.

POLYESTER

The second common choice we mentioned above. It can be blended with nylon and lycra or sometimes found on its own.

While it’s more flexible than nylon, it’s still usually blended for comfort and stretch. Polyester is usually more breathable than nylon and does a better job of wicking moisture away from the skin.

Polyester makes a good choice for high output hiking where heat and sweat buildup are a concern. Nylon, thanks to its wind resistance, is a good choice for poorer weather or rougher trails such as off-trail hiking.

Convertible Women’s Hiking Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Women’s Hiking Pants

Thought zip-off pants died with the 90’s? Think again.

Convertible pants, as they’re called now, are alive and well inside the hiking community. So why should you be considering a pair of convertible hiking pants?

Many hikers prefer convertible pants because it allows you to adjust to changing weather on the fly without having to always pack an extra pair of pants.

Besides, it can be difficult or impossible on crowded hiking trails to find a private place to change pants mid-hike.

While convertible hiking pants aren’t necessarily lighter than carrying a lightweight pair of pants and running shorts, they are often more convenient.

When buying convertible hiking pants make sure to thoroughly check reviews for any negative feedback. Cheap convertible pants are all too common and usually result in zipper problems around the knees.

When the convertible zippers begin to act up or fail, the entire pants are usually trash. You’ll have to then fully replace or repair the zipper or simply use them as shorts forever.

Because of the extreme versatility and convenience of convertible hiking pants, I highly encourage you to consider trying a pair for yourself!

Hiking Pants With Zip Off Legs

Boot Zippers

While not all hiking pants feature boot zippers, they can be critical on some. Particularly for convertible pants, an expandable zipper near the ankle is key.

Without these it’s impossible to get your pants to go on or off over a pair of hiking shoes or trail runners.

Even for regular hiking pants, a boot zipper is handy. If it’s rainy, dirty, or muddy in the parking lot or campsite you won’t want to have to take off your shoes.

In this situation the only way to conveniently change pants is to pull them over your footwear. Boot zippers make this possible.

Consider boot zippers if this sounds helpful to you.

Belts and Belt Buckles

Many hiking pants come with built in belts and belt buckles. Surprisingly this can often be the most crucial factor that makes or breaks a great pair of hiking pants.

When hiking we often wear backpacks. Whether it’s a lightweight day pack or a heavy week long backpack full of supplies they often have hip belts.

These hip belts sit directly over the same area where most people wear the belt band of their pants. That’s why a poorly designed belt can chafe, rub, and even leave open sores after hours of backpacking or hiking.

When choosing a pair of women’s hiking pants consider whether or not you need a belt. When you can avoid a belt altogether through the use of elastic or fitted pants, do so!

Otherwise here are a couple tips to keep your belt comfy and prevent soreness or blisters:

  1. Choose a pair of hiking pants with minimalist belt loops. Feel the thickness of the fabric and be sure that the belt loops or internal belt don’t add much bulk to the pants in that area.
  2. Look for flat belts such as thin webbing belts. Textured or thick belts will bit into your flesh and cause pain or additional rubbing.
  3. Make sure the belt buckle or adjustment mechanism is minimalist or flat. Most hiking pants do a good job of keeping the included belt buckle slim. However, some poorly designed pants can have oddly shaped or sized buckles. Avoid these!
  4. Look for fleece or microfiber lines waistlines. These add a bit of extra abrasion protection from the nylon or polyester of your pants. Because hiking pants are made to be durable they’re usually not too soft to the touch. Microfiber lined waistlines help with this.

Pockets and Storage

In hiking pants there are two schools of thought. Lots of pockets, or minimal pockets. I’m a fan of the no pockets or minimal pockets category but not everyone is so let’s find out why.

Hiking pants are made for just that – hiking. Hikers spend most of their time walking, often at a decent pace. When you’re walking around with junk in your pockets it rapidly becomes uncomfortable.

Don’t believe me?

Toss a load of bulky keys, a large phone, a pocket knife, and a few other hiking items in your pockets. Now go for a fast walk around the block on a nice humid 90+ degree day.

Those keys and goodies in your pockets will quickly start to chafe and bother your legs.

Personally I only carry flat, lightweight items in my pockets when hiking. Over years of hiking in tons of different conditions, I’ve defaulted to actually not carrying anything at all in my pockets.

It’s easier to store it all in the backpack.

If you want pockets, though you might consider cargo pockets or other pockets located on the side of the leg. Unlike front pockets, side pockets tend to create less pressure against the leg and are usually more comfortable for carrying goodies on a hike.

A great and comfortable alternative to bulky pockets and items on hiking pants is hip belt pockets on your hiking backpack.

Waterproof and DWR Pants

Mountain Hardware Waterproof Women’s Hiking Pants

Waterproofing concerns on hiking gear is always worth considering. When it comes to hiking pants, however, waterproof is usually not an option.

Of course waterproof pants for hiking are a totally different story. We’re talking about hiking pants – not rain pants.

Nylon hiking pants are often inherently quite water resistant. Some nylon pants can be made to nearly waterproof specifications while still allowing some breathability.

But make no mistake, if water can’t get in, water can’t get out.

Trust me, you don’t want that sweat and heat from a day of hiking getting stuck in your pants – it creates jungle-like problems rapidly.

Nylon hiking pants are durable, usually windproof, water resistant and can be improved with something called DWR. Durable Water Repellent is a coating that usually used to keep waterproof shells from soaking through.

It can be and often is applied to hiking pants to create a “beading up” effect that causes water to bounce right off.

While DWR isn’t truly waterproof, it’s heavily resistant when combined with nylon pants. You’ll stay dry in all but the most soaking rains.

But, when it rains enough in the woods everything gets wet anyways, there’s not much to be done about it.

Weight

White Sierra Lightweight Womens’ Hiking Pants

For daily hiking pants, weight probably isn’t an issue. For most hiking pants factors such as durability, fit, and features are more important than weight anyways.

Only when extreme activities demand the lightest fabrics do we really need to worry about weight. If you’re trail running or attempting to set a speed record then consider prioritizing weight, perhaps.

If weight truly is a concern then an extremely lightweight pair of nylon windproof pants can be added to a layering system. Using a layering system such as this for ultralight backpacking is more versatile and effective than pinching ounces on hiking pants by far.

All things being equal, try to go for the lighter pants. For women’s daily hiking pants, however, weight should usually be a last concern and will rarely if ever be a tie breaking decision factor.

Gussets and Articulated Knees

Articulated Knee

On better Women’s hiking pants you will hear the term “articulated knee” and wonder that the heck that means.

Simply put, it means the cut of the knee is at an angle so they are not straight. You’re probably wondering why that matters but I can assure you it matters a lot!

With the knee “pre-bent” they are significantly more comfortable to knee down with and when hiking for long periods of time they don’t rub or chafe as much. If you can get a pair with an articulated knee, do so, you will thank me.

Women’s Hiking Pants With Articulated Knees

Gussets

Hiking pants with a gusset is usually diamond shaped patch of fabric that is seen in the inner thigh of the pants. Similar in function to articulated knees, they improve the comfort of the pants by giving them an increased range of motion.

This is especially important over long hikes. You will only find this feature in higher end pants like the prAna Zion or the OR Cirque pants because of the extra stitching involved in creating the gusset.

Women’s Hiking Pants With a Gusset

While over shorter hikes neither of these features is critical, but for anything over a day hike, getting a pair of Women’s hiking pants with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch is well worth it!

Conclusion

Finding the best pair of hiking pants is mostly a matter of opinion. Everyone prefers slightly different features and styles so be sure to go with your instinct.

It always helps to be able to try on the pants so look around for a local outfitter where you can find a favorite pair and then order them online if it’s cheaper.

By now you should have some idea of what features to look for and which to avoid. Now all you need to do is find the pants on our review list that sound like your favorite new pair and go get yourself a great new pair of women’s hiking pants for the coming season!

I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best Women’s hiking pants to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of pants I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and be safe out there!

The post The 7 Best Hiking Pants For Women Reviewed – [2018] appeared first on Outside Pursuits.

Have you tried?: The Cateran Yomp

My recent Sunday Mail column featured The Cateran Yomp. There is a discount on the full price if you enter now for the long-distance charity hike. Read the pdf or see the full article below.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity: The Cateran Yomp 2018

What is it: The Cateran Yomp is a long-distance hike over the weekend of June 9 to 10.

There is a choice of three routes for teams of three to six people, including the 54-mile gold, the 36-mile silver and the 22-mile bronze.

All routes start in the town of Blairgowrie and follow the waymarked Cateran Trail through Perthshire and Angus,

Teams have up to 24 hours to finish their chosen distance.

The event raises funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which supports soldiers, veterans and their families.

Tell me more: The event finds its roots in the military, where “yomp” is the term for a long-distance march.

Whether you choose to walk, speed-hike or yomp, it’s a serious physical undertaking to sign up for the full 54 miles.

However, if you train properly and build up the mileage over the next few months, you’ll discover the satisfaction of crossing the finish line.

Leslie Binns is an ex-serviceman who was blinded in one eye during a military operation.

He has completed many tough races, including The Cateran Yomp in 2017 just days after returning from an Everest summit attempt.

He said: “It’s surprising what you can do if you are properly prepared both physically and mentally.

“I have seen it happen so many times that people rise to a challenge and really go for it on the day.

“I know, too, from personal experience the huge sense of elation you get on the finish line of a tough race.

“You might say you will never do the same again, but 10 minutes later you have changed your mind and you’ve signed up to the next big event.”

Anything else to know?: Many people report that they like the motivation of raising funds for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity.

The Yomp exists to raise money to support soldiers, veterans and their families.

Each participant is asked to commit to raising £400 in sponsorship.

There are various incentives to help people achieve fund-raising targets:

  • Raise £500 and you will receive a Cateran Yomp water bottle.
  • Raise £800 for an exclusive Cateran Yomp satchel.
  • In addition, the first 20 yompers to raise £800 will secure a VIP start and a special Yomp hoody.

Over seven years, the Cateran Yomp has raised almost £3million.

Training tips

You should plan ahead by around three month or more for the Cateran Yomp.

  • Get into the habit of walking everywhere that you can, such as to work, to go to the shops of to see friends.
  • Aim to exercise at least four times a week and add in other sports to provide variety to your training, while still building up your fitness
  • Aim to complete increasingly longer walks at weekends on varied terrain
  • Find a training partner so that you have someone to motivate you and make plans with.
  • Become familiar with your kit, including walking bots, backpack, poles and waterproof clothing.
  • Make sure you have completed your maximum training distance by the end of May to allow two weeks of lighter training for the event.
  • As you train, think about how you will fundraise.

Cost: Standard registration is £99 per person (£80pp military or ex-military).

There is an early bird offer of £80 and £60, respectively before February 28, 2018. 

The fee covers the whole weekend experience, including camping, food, drink, a few surprises and activities along the route.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a team, any individuals or pairs will be grouped together with individuals of similar abilities

Contact: www.soldierscharity.org/events/the-cateran-yomp/#the-yomp

The post Have you tried?: The Cateran Yomp appeared first on FionaOutdoors.

Why You Should Buy Next Year’s Season Pass Right Now

Details on the new collective Ikon Pass have just been released. 

Avid skiers know that late season is an especially prime time to head to the slopes—long days, deep snow, sparse crowds. It’s also time to start thinking about next season, especially if you’re looking for a good deal on a season pass. As resorts hustle to lock down revenue while their customers are still in ski mode, many offer their best deals on passes for the following year.

That was underscored this week when details of the new Ikon Pass were announced. Starting on March 6, you can buy the full Ikon Pass ($899), with unrestricted skiing and riding at 12 resorts, plus up to seven free days at another seven destinations. Or you can choose the Ikon Base Pass ($599), which is restricted during the busy holiday weeks, but otherwise offers full pass privileges at nine resorts plus five days each at another 18.

The Ikon is a compelling answer to industry-heavyweight Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which grants access to all 15 Vail-owned destinations, which includes resorts around Colorado, Tahoe, Utah and Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb, and also offers free skiing at Epic Pass partner resorts. The 2017-18 Epic Pass sold for $859. Vail has yet to announce pricing and details for next year’s Epic Pass, but spokesperson Liz Biebl says that information will be available in early March, and next year’s Epic Pass will likely go on sale sometime in March. In January, Vail announced that Telluride, Colorado, had signed on as an Epic Pass partner resort.

Mammoth Mountain will be on the new Ikon Pass.

At the core of the Ikon Pass are the resorts of the newly formed Alterra Mountain Company. Alterra was formed over the past year when the owners of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (KSL) and the owners of Aspen (Crown Partners) joined forces and went on a buying spree, acquiring Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley and the former Intrawest resorts (Steamboat, Stratton, Mont Tremblant) and others—a total of 11 resorts plus early booking deals at CMH heliskiing. (The Aspen Skiing Company resorts remain separate from the Alterra group.)

Denver-based Alterra says it’s taking care not to homogenize its resorts. “Our goal is to embrace and bolster the individual spirit and personality of each destination,” says Alterra spokesperson Kristin Rust. “We want to listen to the local leadership and the community in each case and embrace each place for what it is.”

As with the Epic Pass, which has been hugely popular, the Ikon allows skiers a mix of unlimited skiing at their home resort as well as the opportunity to travel and try out other destinations.

“It’s like a fantastic bucket list where you’ve got great backyard resorts and then you can get on a plane and go to places you’ve always wanted to ski,” says Rust.

Eastern skiers, in particular, might find the Ikon Pass attractive. Where the Epic Pass includes Vail-owned Stowe, the Ikon offers full or partial access to an impressive list of popular eastern resorts, including Killington, Loon, Sunday River, Stratton, Sugarbush, Mont Tremblant and Sugarloaf.

The post Why You Should Buy Next Year’s Season Pass Right Now appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before

Cover Photo From Getty Images

Crushing on Burton’s 2018 NASA Uniforms

Remember when we were young, when the world was brand spanking new? Everything was exciting and adventures hid around every corner. Your imagination flourished on fresh air and endless opportunity. Days were spent exploring forbidden caves and backyard jungles, filled with man eating tigers and anacondas lurking among trees. Heck, you probably went to the moon. I know I did. I spent hours on hours building my space shuttle, testing my regulation NASA suit and preparing for launch day. 3…2…1…Blastoff! I was an astronaut breaking through the atmosphere at a record speed, the moon as my target. You see, Earth was in a desperate need for a new cheese source and I was the only qualified astronaut who could survive such a mission.

 

Back down on Earth and in present day, Red Gerard won the US our first gold medal of the Olympic games in South Korea. At 17 years old, he flew past his competition and stood on the awards podium, over the moon with emotion. He really fit the character too with the spaceman getup he was sporting. As soon as we saw them, we were in love. Burton, the official uniform designer for the US snowboarding team designed the collection to be reminiscent of old school NASA space suits. And it may just be me, the retired moon explorer, but I want one.

 

First of all, their iridescent outerwear is made with an aluminum coated fabric. How spacey is that? Both Burton’s and the USA logo are written out in the classic NASA fonts. The traditional blue meatball logo even makes an appearance on at least one of the jackets. I could seriously go on for days, but you get the picture. The collection incredibly mimics old school astronauts and we couldn’t have hoped for a better way to dress our Olympians.

 

burtonburton

Gear Junkie

 

Space has such a specific feeling to it. When you look up to the stars, emotion immediately floods your mind. It could be the terrifying vastness of what could or couldn’t be. Maybe it’s knowing that we’ve been up there, that we have successfully broken barriers of atmospheres and seen beyond our world. The Olympics are such a wonderful way to bring these values and emotions back into our lives. We are watching the most incredible humans alive excel and blow past their own goals. Anything can happen, the opportunities are endless. The Olympics are about pushing a body to its limits and then trying to go further.

 

And as we watch our athletes, we will feel that inspiration. We will feel the drive, we will find our mountains. Our quest for more, for new, for farther is ever reaching – like the boundaries of space. As skiers and boarders and climbers we can appreciate this reaching in such personal ways. We will never turn down an adventure. We will always continue towards our goals. There ain’t no mountain high enough baby. And that’s the whole of it. It’s why we wake up before dawn, we tear apart our fingers and rip through our muscles. It’s why we never say die and go one more time even after the light is long gone.

 

Most of all, what I love about the Burton uniforms is not that they represent our astronauts, but this delicate memory of playing spaceman as a child. They represent the feeling of potential that we ca go to the moon, or win an Olympic gold medal. If anything, these uniforms represent what we can do, to the furthest reaches of our imaginations. We will watch our snowboarders get higher and go faster than they may have thought possible. But, we thought we’d never make it to the moon at some point too.

 

Possibilities will always be endless. It is our imaginations and our wildness that will continue pushing us forward. You will harness that wildness to wake your ass up at 3am to get out in the snow. You will find yourself daydreaming about the next climb on your bucket list. Cubicles won’t hold us, they won’t stifle that incredible imagination that will push us towards our next adventure.

 

burtonburton

Getty Images

 

As I sit here at my computer, I can’t help but stare starry-eyed at Burton’s uniforms and daydream about what’s next. That part of me that still wishes for days of bare feet in long grass, dreaming of the moon. I think about where I’ll go, what I’ll find, what tomorrow will look like. We live in a world where a Tesla orbits the Earth and an underdog teenager can win an Olympic medal. Opportunities are without end here and we should feel the push, the urge to get out there and grab them. Go where no man has gone before, find something new, explore this great world of ours. I implore you to find that wildness inside you and get out for an adventure. Do as our amazing Red Gerard has done and reach for those stars. Take one small step, you’ll feel how far a leap it actually is.

 

Needless to say, we are giving Burton a solid 7/7 on their uniform design this year. They captured our sense of wonder, our imaginations and our strive to go further. Dang Burton, you did good. Ten year old me is kicking myself that I am not already geared up in a full mock space suit heading to Mammoth right now. As sad as it is, the collection is slightly impractical to purchase. So as soon as you’ve wiped away the tears, here are a couple options that are NASA inspired.

See ya out there!

Photo Sources: Nbcolympics.com, Wfla.com

#ThriveOutside

The post Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before appeared first on Gear Coop Blog.

Top Running Gear To Be On The Lookout For In 2018

Even as puffy coats were the outfit du jour and you couldn’t swing a string of prayer flags without hitting a set of powder skis, there was running gear galore at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show winter trade show. And what fun to see winter-month icons like mohawk-sporting Glen Plake strolling the same aisles as running luminaries like Anton Krupicka!

Here were some of the stand-out running products we spotted at the show – mostly new bells and whistles, but also a few goodies that have managed to avoid the spotlight … up until now.

Night Trek Shoe Lights Lights on your Feet

While today’s headlamps are lighter, longer-lasting and more powerful than ever, they can still be awkward in fit or tough to focus exactly right. Night Trek aims to do a better job lighting the runner’s way during those nighttime jaunts by putting the beams down at your feet. Their signature running product, the Night Trek 270, consists of two ultra-light (1.5 oz each) LED light units protected by weatherproof, high-impact casing that secure snugly via shoelace clips. The LEDs glow with a robust 100 lumens and will last up to five hours. There’s even flashing signal lights on the backside of the curved units to make you more visible from behind. The 270 takes a little getting used to, but Night Trek is onto something with this innovation (Sidenote: Even Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank thinks so – he bought in!).

Altra’s Lone Peak Line

Keeping the Elements Out, Performance In

Any shoulder season runner knows that mud, snow and rain can add several ounces to every stride. Some materials absorb moisture and in other cases shoes lack an escape route for “undesirables” (some membranes may breathe well, but they don’t shed moisture quickly enough). Altra’s Lone Peak line features RSM construction (“RSM” stands for “Rain, Snow, Mud”). Altra turned to eVent® to waterproof their shoes – while also identifying opportunities to let it breathe better. “We placed waterproof fabric on the exterior, so water beads on the outside,” explains Altra founder Golden Harper. They also welded (instead of stitched) the material to guarantee waterproof-ness.” The result is what Altra claims is a running shoe that protects the foot, eliminates the old-fashioned booty construction that puts waterproof material inside the shoe (making it hotter and heavier on runs) and gains no water weight.

Wrightsock Socks

Double-Layered Construction for Better Performance

When two guys are in a booth chatting about the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run, you know that things must be serious. So I stopped in my tracks to learn about Wrightsock, a 60-year-old company that makes one thing. You guessed it: socks. Priced affordably, Wrightsock socks are double-layered, which reduces friction between your feet and the inside of the shoe. Over the long haul, that means fewer blisters. The innermost layer effectively wicked moisture on an unseasonably warm run the next day, too. Finally, two layers are better than one when it comes to durability. Everybody who has paid $20 for a trail-running sock that barely lasted two months of training repeat after me: “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”

The Boa System Dial-Based Closures 

Innovations Help the Dial-based Closure Crack the Running Category

The Boa System, which is commonplace in snowsports, golf and cycling, is now making headway in running, with UnderArmour, New Balance and Merrell Boa-powered shoes. UnderArmour featured multiple shoes with the Boa system, which consists of a dial, specially-formulated low-friction guides and a new soft cloth lace to replace its traditional stainless steel interwoven laces in some cases. UA worked in close collaboration with Boa Technology designers to land on the best position for the Boa dial and identify the optimal sequencing of lace for fit and performance. The Boa System will appear in spring on the UnderArmour Fat Tire 3 (pictured), a burly go-anywhere shoe that makes the most of a Michelin outsole. With the Boa System’s runner-friendly changes, look for more Boa-powered shoes in the future, too.

Runners will also appreciate the ease of the Boa System on icy terrain with the Korkers Ice Runner, a quick-on/quick-off TPU frame that fits easily over the shoe, tightens quickly and provides traction with underside carbide tips. This is the perfect, micro-adjustable solution to traditional ice-traction devices that have relied on stretching rubber uncomfortable over a shoe or boot.

Salomon Ultra Pro 

Technical Performance for the EveryMan

Many of the world’s greatest trail runners have been turning to Salomon for their running shoe and gear needs as they tackle grueling mountain runs that would make mortals curl up and suck their thumbs. But here’s the hushed truth: many of those top-tier runners are professional, feather-boned mutants with flawless running form who could probably run in cardboard outsoles if push came to shove. That’s definitely not taking anything from Salomon – they are at the forefront of technical design. But the regular Joe’s and Jennifer’s in the middle and back of the pack have different needs. The new Salomon Ultra Pro is touted as a “race shoe for a guy who’s not Killian” (Killian Jornet is the gold standard for elite mountain runners. The Spaniard has won the toughest races in the world and made it up Mount Everest in a record 26 hours). The UltraPro features a highly compression-resistant EVA midsole, which makes it friendlier for runners who are not waif-like. The fit is generous as well, to accommodate a broader galaxy of striders. The shoe is also waterproof, with a Gore-Tex® bootie that is welded to the inside, a process that eliminates a lot of stitching and makes it less bulky. The technology, called “Invisible Fit” claims to be 50 percent more breathable. Look for the shoe in the Fall of ’18 – on the feet of elites, sandbaggers and first-timers all at once.

The post Top Running Gear To Be On The Lookout For In 2018 appeared first on Elevation Outdoors Magazine.

Hydro Flask Expands Unbound Soft Cooler Series

hydroflasksoftcoolertote

Aiming to nab a larger slice of the billion dollar cooler market, Hydro Flask gets set to expand its Unbound Series Soft Cooler line for Fall 2018 with two new designs — the 15 Liter Soft Cooler Pack and 18 Liter Soft Cooler Tote. The two new designs are basically smaller capacity versions of the company’s first foray into the product category with their 22 Liter Soft Cooler Pack and 24 Liter Soft Cooler Tote, both launching now.

The 15 L Soft Cooler Pack and 18 L Soft Cooler Tote feature Hydro Flask’s TempShield Soft insulation and Advanced Thermal Mapping that distributes insulation where you need it most: at the base where cold is susceptible to loss. The technology helps eliminate temperature transfer to keep food and drinks chilled for up to 48 hours, while also resulting in less bulk and more comfort to create the lightest soft coolers in their class.

The full-zippered top opening keeps the interior of the pack easy to access for quick packing and easy cleaning, while welded seams and an Aquaseal zipper ensure leakproof transport and no water in, and no water out. Both products also boast mildew-resistant, anti-microbial FDA food grade BPA-free liners.

The 15 L Soft Cooler Pack features a soft, durable waterproof shell with EVA micro airmesh padded straps and contoured back panel. The puncture, tear and abrasion-resistant compression molded base provides unsupported self-standing when not being worn. The 15 L Soft Cooler Pack also has a dry storage pocket, external cinching straps, a hidden side-slip pocket and two lash strap mounts.

The 18 L Soft Cooler Tote features a comfortable stretch woven shoulder strap, hand carry straps, multiple gear pockets, welded nylon attach mounts and a puncture, tear and abrasion-resistant compression molded base for free-standing capabilities.

The new Unbound Series Soft Cooler Pack and Tote will retail for $224.95, and come in five colors: Black, Goldenrod, Mist, Lagoon and Brick.

hiking Tronador to Otto Meiling – day 2

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles 

day 1 | 2 | video | info page

Happily, the rain quit sometime during the night. It dawned clear though clouds swirled around the high peak.

Beautiful.

I went wandering up towards the glacier as high as I could.

There was no rush getting back down for the 5pm bus. It was a leisurely day in every respect.

On the descent I took a long break overlooking the gorgeous waterfalls.

I also took the side trip to see the bottom of the falls on the Glaciar Castano Overo trail. Beautiful.

Climbing down 1200m was much easier than ascending.

Originally I’d considered doing a second night camped up the other trail out of Pampa Linda. Lake Lion.

But the weather was too uncertain.

I got back to the trailhead at Pampa Linda with about 90 minutes to spare. After dropping my registration confirming my return, I washed up in the river. Then ate the rest of my camping food.

These colourful birds came by seemingly looking for a handout. There are many big, beautiful birds in Argentina.

The shuttle buses left promptly at 5pm. It seemed nobody who had booked was missing.

I couldn’t keep my eyes open for much of the 2 hour ride back to Bariloche.

Click PLAY or watch the video on YouTube.

day 1 | 2 | video | info page

___

A much better trip report than my own was posted last year by another old Canadian, Ramblin’ Boy:

The Hike To Refugio Otto Meiling – Getting Close To Cerro Tronador

 

 

 

How to Prevent Tent Condensation

How to Prevent Tent Condensation

Tent condensation happens to everyone. It’s one of the unavoidable consequences of camping or backpacking with a tent, but it’s usually just a nuisance and not the end of the world.

Still, there are a lot of misconceptions about tent condensation and whether you can buy a tent that completely prevents condensation. Unfortunately, the laws of physics are hard to avoid. Condensation is a natural process that occurs with all tents, both single-wall and double-wall tents, no matter what fabric or materials they’re made of.

What causes tent condensation?

Condensation forms when humid air encounters a colder surface like the interior walls or roof of your tent. It’s the same process that occurs when you take a hot shower and the steam makes your bathroom mirror wet. Steam, which is simply water vapor in a gaseous form, is cooled when it hits the mirror, converting it to liquid water droplets that cover the mirror with moisture.

How to reduce tent condensation

The amount of condensation you experience is a tent is a function the humidity in the air around you and the moist air you expel from your lungs when you exhale. In order to reduce the amount of condensation that forms in your tent at night, you should:

  1. Ventilate your tent by rolling back the rain fly or leaving the vestibule door open so humid air and moist exhalations from your breath can escape.
  2. Remove wet clothes or shoes from your tent at night. Dry them outside or put them inside a stuff sack to reduce nighttime humidity.
  3. Cook and boil water outside your tent to avoid increasing the interior humidity level.
  4. Avoid camping near streams, lakes, ponds, or in wet or marshy areas where the humidity is higher. Yes, it’s nice to camp next to a water source, but you’re asking for tent condensation when you do it.
  5.  Avoid setting up your tent at a low point in the landscape where cold air pools at night. If your tent’s walls and fly are warmer, you’ll have less condensation.

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What is the best tent for avoiding condensation?

There really is no best tent for all climates, seasons, and locations. Good campsite selection is always going to be the most important factor in preventing tent condensation. But different styles of tents have different pros and cons that are worth considering.

Single-wall Tents: Ultralight-style tents, tarp tents, and tarps are usually quite easy to ventilate, although they can also be quite drafty in cooler weather. You might even have to bulk up on your sleep insulation to stay warm at night. However, if you only camp in warmer weather, they can be a good choice.

Double-wall Tents: Double-wall tents tend to have less air-flow, but can be used across a wider range of temperatures because they retain more body heat at night. While they don’t eliminate internal condensation, they keep it away from you and your gear. Any water vapor inside your tent, from your breath for instance, will pass through the mesh inner tent and collect on the inside of the rain fly instead.

What if it’s raining?

If it’s raining, your chance of experiencing tent condensation will increase because there’s more humidity in the air. It’s a lot like camping next to a stream or a pond, but many times worse. If you have a single-wall tent or shelter, your best bet is to carry a small camp towel or bandana that you can use to wipe away any tent condensation before it drips onto your gear. If you’re in a double-wall tent, make sure that the rain fly is stretched as far away from the inner tent as possible, particularly along the sides and corners of the tent. If your fly clips onto the base of your inner tent, consider staking it out separately to promote more airflow between the layers.

How significant is moisture in your breath?

When you sleep at night, you exhale about 1 liter of moisture. You’re not aware of it, but its one of the reasons why you wake up thirsty at night or in the morning. If there are 2 people in the tent, then you have to deal with 2 liters of tent condensation, and so on, as you add more people. If you’ve ever camped in a tent in winter, the inside of the rain fly will usually be covered in frost in the morning, mainly from occupants’ breath.

What if your sleeping bag gets wet from tent condensation?

Most sleeping bags and quilts have a water-resistant exterior shell fabric or one that has a DWR coating to repel water. If however, the shell gets wet or damp, your best bet is to dry it in the sun the next morning while you’re having breakfast or during a rest break during the day. Stopping to dry wet gear, tent flies, and clothing is a normal everyday activity when backpacking and it’s good to get in a habit of doing it when necessary.

What if your tent or tent fly is soaking wet in the morning?

If you’re not in a rush, you can let it dry in the morning sun, but that might take a while. If you have to get going, another option is to wipe down the rain fly using a clean camping towel, which will remove a significant amount of that water. After that pack the fly away in an outer pack pocket or in a separate plastic bag and dry it later in the day during a rest break.

Can you set up a wet tent fly at night?

Absolutely, although you might want to pitch camp a little early that evening so that your tent has a chance to dry out before you want to get into it. I’ve set up damp tents in summer and had them dry within an hour, but your mileage may vary.

Written 2018.

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The post How to Prevent Tent Condensation appeared first on Section Hikers Backpacking Blog.