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Camping & Hiking

We tried it | Our favorite hiking pants

The OBJ team tested two types of hiking pants—tights and convertibles—this summer that we'd be remiss not to share.

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Amelia Arvesen wearing Fjallraven Abisko trekking tights in Telluride, Colorado
OBJ Editor Amelia Arvesen wearing the Abisko Trail Tights with thinner material coming out in spring/summer 2019.Courtesy

Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights

As I descended the loose rock of a 13,000-foot mountain in Telluride, Colorado, my foot slipped. Feet first, I took the bumpy ride on my bum down a few feet of choss until I was stopped by a grassy patch. Expecting searing pain when I stood up, I was surprised to feel, well, not great but also not as if I had just slid down a mountain on my butt. While the reinforced paneling on my Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights didn’t prevent bruising, it protected me from some serious scratches to my backside.

Every time I’ve packed for a weekend trip this summer, I’ve brought along my trekking tights. I’ve worn them on hikes, on multi-pitch climbs, to my circuit class at the gym, and to keep me warm when hanging around town. Needless to say, they have become my go-to pants. The polyamide-blend fabric that spared my butt also reinforces the knees. I also love that they have deep pockets on both legs—a zippered on the left and a map pocket on the right—and that they’re flattering on any body type.

Come spring/summer 2019, Fjällräven will release a lighter, warmer-weather model called the Abisko Trail Tights, which I’m wearing in the picture above. The Trekking Tights are pictured below.

Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pants and Fjallraven Trekking Tights
Marmot Lobo’s Convertible Pants and Fjällräven Abisko Trekking TightsMarmot and Fjällräven

Marmot Lobo’s Convertible Pants

Outside Business Journal Editor-in-chief Kristin Hostetter lived in Marmot Lobo’s Convertible Pants during her 110-mile trek of the Haute Route in the Alps. They’re made from Bluesign-approved, abrasion resistant nylon fabric, finished with DWR, and complete with front hand pockets. She said she wished the hand pockets were a bit deeper, but loved the subtle zippered security pocket on the right thigh—where she kept all her Swiss Franc coinage.

In addition to unzipping into 9-inch shorts, there’s also buttons to cuff the pants into capris. And unlike some pants that don’t fit over hiking boots, Hostetter said she could remove them without unlacing—a common annoyance with some convertibles.

“I love convertibles because of the efficiency of them, but most are incredibly dorky. These are pretty clean and ‘normal’ looking,” Hostetter said. “Plus, they’re nice and stretchy, comfy, breathable and rugged.”

Kristin Hostetter wearing Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pants on the Haute Route
OBJ Editor-in-chief Kristin Hostetter rocks Marmot Lobo’s Convertible Pants during her hike on the Haute Route in Europe.Kelly Crosby