User Review: Columbia Headwall II Pant
Surprised but not disappointed!
I received the Columbia Headwall pant in November 2011 and have worn them now for about four winter months here in western Montana.
I had ordered these pants looking for a technical nylon/softshell type of pant for fall and winter hiking or walking. I was expecting to wear a base layer under these pants on cold days. When I received the Columbia Headwall pant, I was surprised to find they are lined with a light micro fleece. This fleece and the softshell feature makes these pants very warm on cold days. That being said, I believe that there is a time and place for them.
Here in Montana our winter can vary from below zero to 50 degree days. I've worn these pants on most of my outings this winter. My experience and suggestion is to wear them when the temperature is at least 40 degrees and below. Any warmer and a person could easily overheat with activity.
Also, choose your color wisely, I chose the Major (brown/taupe), the black color could get warm very quickly on a sunny day even if the temperature is quite low. I've found that the ideal temperature for these pants is about 35 degrees and below. The benefit is that they're very warm and windproof. A great winter pant!
The ankle draw chord is great for cinching the pants around your boots.
There is also a hook to attach the pant to your boot lace to keep the leg from rising up over the top of your boot. (This can eliminate the use of gators in most cases.)
The pockets are very roomy. All pockets are zippered to keep gear secure.
The built in belt is very helpful. The plastic buckle is a little touchy. Not easy to undo with gloves.
This pant, in my opinion, could use a zippered vent on the thighs, just in case you're to get caught in an exerting activity and over heat. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing are a perfect example of where side vents would be very helpful.
Better quick release belt buckle.
Overall, Columbia has made a great pant! Very nice material, stretchy and comfortable for hiking and winter exploring!