I own three of these and I've been using them for…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40
I own three of these and I've been using them for over a year at least four days a week. In summary, the Columbia Silver Ridge II Pant does an outstanding job solving the broad set of needs when seeking pants for the outdoors. It is especially nice that they happen to be attractive as well as being just the right sizing to support various applications including the addition of a base layer as needed. Top marks!
- Attractive colors don't seem to fade.
- Ripstop material is just that ... my three pair don't have any tears.
- Great pocket options
- Nicely fitted in the butt — there's no ass-sag.
- These are light and tough. I've done some limited trail running and have not felt restricted.
- These clean up very well.
- I'd like more color options.
- Material is thin enough that you'll feel thorns.
- These are getting hard to find.
- Can only use built-in belt. I'd really like to see this fixed.
- Belt does not allow things like knife sheaths to be added. I'd really like to see this fixed.
A few stats to start with:
Waist: men's 38"
Weight: 12.64 ounces, which I think of as heavy. However, I have not found other pants in this category to be lightweight, so I can't count that against it. In fact, the only other pants I've weighed have been at least a few ounces heavier. Perhaps these are lighter weight than I realize.
Omni-Wick advanced evaporation: Here in the Pacific NW we not only get wet, but we have a tendency to stay wet due to the high humidity levels. So, water-wicking is darn helpful since I've been wet in these many times. To their credit, Columbia's water wicking tech works great! I'm very happy with how these dry out.
Omni-Shade UPF 30 sun protection: My legs have had outstanding sun protection every time I've gone out. Seems like it's working.
There are two standard front pockets, a zip back pocket, a velcro back pocket, a velcro side-of-leg pocket, and a zipper side-of-leg pocket. In other words: plenty and of the right kind. I have had zero issues with pockets and have really enjoyed how usable they are.
One thing I will point out is that when a manufacturer gets side-of-leg pockets wrong and places the pockets where the contents will bang your knees, it's really fouled up and unusable in my book. Columbia did not make that mistake.
A webbed belt is included. This is good and bad news. The good news is, there's a free belt from Columbia. Thanks! However, I don't care for the buckle on the included belt. Mind you, after over a year of use the buckles are still working fine with no issues. However, they do require readjustment from time to time if you've been moving for a bit.
Where this is a real issue is that the belt really can't be replaced easily. That's because there are no traditional belt loops from the sides all the way around to the back of the pant (the belt is fully enclosed in that area — see my second photo and you'll get what I mean as you just can't see the belt... since it's enclosed). Sure you can thread a different belt in there, but at best it's dang inconvenient.
Personally I've opted to keep the included belts and suffer through it. There is one more pretty significant downside to the belt system. Because the belt is enclosed around most of the waist, there's no way to affix anything to the belt (such as a knife sheath). It hasn't been a big deal, but there have been times I would have preferred to attach things to my belt and couldn't. I think the newest design of this pant has this fixed.
Here's a pic of the included belt and buckle:
Material and Color:
When I bought mine, I think there were three different colors available. I have the Fossil (light khaki color) and Tusk colors (Tusk is really more of a green color — if you're looking for Boy Scout pants, these would fit right in). I have to say, I very much like both.
First of all, the sizing seems true to size. Second and compared to other hiking pant options, Columbia chooses to use almost a low-rise design. I personally have a disdain for any pants that have a low crotch, so this is particularly wonderful to me. I've read some interesting reviews stating that the crotch is uncomfortable... hmmm, I've had to shift while seated from time to time, but given how comfortable they are while standing / hiking... I'll gladly put up with it.
Range of Motion, or "What activities can these be used in?"
I think the question really is, what can't these do? For day-to-day use, hiking and backpacking I have not found any limits. However, I'm not a climber and I've heard that climbers don't care for these. They say the pants are too restrictive. That said and as a non-climber, I disagree. Personally I don't think you'll have issues with them. According to some climbers, YMMV.
You can trust these pants. I like them so much, I own three pair. I've used them much more than I should have (as almost a daily wear: 3+ times per week). The material has held up to all my abuses. All stains have come out including blood, chocolate and grass. I've walked through lots of thorns and brush with no rips, snags or tears. You can, however, feel thorns through the pants.
Usable Temperature Range:
I have not experienced an upper comfort limit for these pants. I've had them in 92°F heat and was fine. On the other hand, without an appropriate base layer (SmartWool is my choice) these will fail to protect against the cold. With these pants it seems like the need for a base layer starts at about 28°F. If there's wind or freezing rain, I'm sure the base layer would be needed earlier.
I hope that helps. Happy adventuring and get out there!