One thing that many hikers overlook is the benefit of having a good pair of utilitarian, yet comfortable pants. Clothing is the first tool any hiker uses on the trail. The Mountain Khakis Equatorial Convertible Pants are light weight, UPF 50+ pants designed to be at home on the mountain or in the city.
The pants are easily converted from pants into shorts by unzipping the knees. This makes for a wider usable temperature range, and reduces the need to carry separate pants and shorts with fluctuating temperatures. The pants are made from 100% quick drying nylon, and has a total of 6 pockets, including two security pockets that zip closed to secure valuables like keys and wallets. A clever clip system on the back of the pants allows the legs to be close up around smaller shoes, and simply un-clips to fit around large boots. The pants are available in a few colors and sizes, and retails for $89.95.
What I liked
The materials that Mountain Khakis chose for the pants is a very light weight, yet durable nylon. The credit goes to what they call a “super high-density weave” which puts more fibers in a smaller area. The pants are not only stronger for it, but they feel nicer too. It’s essentially the same concept as having a higher number thread count on sheets. They’re smooth, silky, and provide a nice clean look as well. Overall, construction quality and craftsmanship is very high. The seams are all butter smooth, and the stitching is never frayed or loose. The zippers and buttons hold well, without hanging up or getting caught on the fabrics around them. Removing and reataching the pant legs was always smooth and effortless, and straightforward thanks to color coded zippers (a slightly darker or lighter colored zipper pairs with the left or right leg).
I found the pants to be well suited for a wide range of temperatures. Hiking in the summer I always prefer shorts, but in the shoulder seasons as it transitions into winter, often it’s too hot for pants during the day but too cool for shorts at night. Being able to add the pant legs or take them off, or even just unzipping the knees, adds a lot of flexibility and comfort to the pants. I also found that I could slightly unzip the knees, using it as a makeshift vent without having to completely remove the pants. The extra bit of ventilation went a long way on long, strenuous climbs.
The pants overall are very comfortable. The waist feels nice, not having a tight nylon band like many pants do, and no seams rubbed against my knees or hips while hiking. The materials are soft, and never made me feel like I was overheating. The knees provided plenty of room to step up and over large rocks and fallen trees without being restricting. They feel great.
They’re very light weight and pack up quite small. Stuffing the pant legs into a pack just in case the mercury drops takes up practically no room at all.
The pants are also applied with a light DWR, which allows them to shed light rain and wet grass. The clips on the bottom of the legs can also be used to help avoid getting the pants wet when it’s soggy out, by clipping them above the boots.
$89 bucks is pretty solid value for such quality pants.
What I didn’t like
The pants have a very athletic cut to them, and are a bit more snug around the waist than I prefer for the size. I had to size up to have an extra room, which resulted in a baggy fit. This could also just be where fall in their sizing chart.
The Equatorial Convertible Pants are very comfortable, exceptionally flexible hiking pants. They provide an excellent range of use, from summer all the way to winter when paired with thermals. Organization is great, with enough pockets to store wallets, key, maps and more .The build quality is fantastic, using durable yet silky smooth materials that resist abrasion and scuffs quite well. Buyers may want to check the sizing before ordering, but otherwise they’re great pants at a solid price.
For more information on Mountain Khakis and their gear, check out their website. http://www.mountainkhakis.com/
for information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a big thanks to Mountain Khakis for providing such quality products for review. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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