REI Switchback Pants

3 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



Okay...these are GREAT pants and I've owned a lot…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Fabric: Gore-tex like
Price Paid: $140

Okay...these are GREAT pants and I've owned a lot of waterproof pants before.

The two reviews above are screwy. First, the zippers DO come all the way off! The first reviewer needs to become better acquainted with his gear. Second, these are pants not a jacket, so you can toss out the second reviewer as well. These pants are a solid choice if you are looking for heavy Gore-tex pants.


Plenty of inseam, properly gussetted to maximize mobility,…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Fabric: 2.5 layer Element waterproof laminate. Nylon lining
Fill: None
Price Paid: $33

Plenty of inseam, properly gussetted to maximize mobility, full welded zips, welded pockets and fly, taped seams, great quality and fabric. A little heavier than some similar. But loaded with features so it's all good. Raised waist in back should keep out the cold (haven't tried it in the cold yet...still summer).

I did wear these to fix sprinklers and test the waterproofness and breathability, and these are impressive. They breathe well and are weatherproof. Good abrasion resistance and durability in the fabric so far. Follow up report after the winter season.


I really don’t care for these pants much. I bought…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $99

I really don’t care for these pants much. I bought them, and they are very warm and water resistant, however they have some problems which drop them to less than par.

First, the zipper will not completely unzip, which totally undermines the purpose. Also the same zipper when fully zipped if you’re also wearing a backpack will dig into your side and bruise the mess out of you. (Very painful)

Second, the pants don’t want to stay up since they have no belt loops. So if you decide to buy these pants, make sure to include a pair of suspender as well.

Have a happy and safe summit!

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

The waterproof, breathable REI Switchback pants are made from our two-layer REI Elements®/polyester laminate fabric. REI Elements 2-layer laminate construction offers rugged waterproof, breathable protection; mesh lining enhances air circulation. Windproof to 60 mph. Full-length, 2-way side zippers provide easy on/off and multiple venting options. Elasticized back waistband, flat front with zipper fly and side adjustment tabs dial the fit. Articulated knees offer a natural feel and ease movement. Pant legs feature interior snow/scree guards, scuff-resistant edge guards on inside ankles and tabs to adjust the fit. Features 2 zippered, mesh-lined hand pockets and a zippered thigh pocket.

- REI refers to the men's version

REI Switchback Pants


The Switchback Pants has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$39.83 - $99.83

The REI Switchback Pants is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen August 29, 2009 at REI.

If you're looking for a new hard shell pant, check out the best reviewed current models.