There’s a place for lightweight hiking pants and there’s a place for more rugged-style work pants that are great for hiking, working outdoors, and even hitting the bar when it’s all over. Both are great when you need them, and lately, I’ve required a lot of the latter.
That’s why I took my REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants on my most recent trip.
The jeans-style pants—made from durable cotton (73 percent), polyester (25 percent), and spandex (2 percent)—have the look of burly work pants. But the fabric blend allows them to wick moisture and stretch for comfortable movement, and I haven’t had problems with them on the trails.
The double-layer reinforcement at the knees and thighs are great for withstanding abrasion, especially if you’re bushwhacking or kneeling a lot. While I love lightweight hiking pants for the right reasons (keeping me cool in warm weather and my bags from being over-heavy), I’ve had plenty that developed holes quickly when encountering touch trail conditions or merely when I knelt down to lace my shoes.
Two front hand pockets (plus a coin pocket) and two back pockets are enough to fit essentials, but don’t think these are akin to cargo pants. If you need to bring a lot of items along, bring a daypack.
I’ve worn these on the trail, on a plane, walking on city sidewalks, working in the yard, and out to dinner at night. They’ve earned a spot in my wardrobe, and on my travels when I need a great pair of pants that are rugged enough to get the job done, but stylish enough to use for other excursions, as well.
The women’s Trailsmith Pants come in two colors: forest floor and walrus brown. The list for $69.95 on the REI-Co-op site.