Gore H5 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Pants
One pair of pants to rule them all!
If I put as much forethought into my life as the GORE design team did on these pants I’d be wealthy and wise rather than just handsome.
- Extreme flexibility
- Only 10.9 oz
- Cut close to the body
- Highly breathable
- Some users will want bigger pockets
I used to worry about which pants to wear on which activity. These pants, so far, do everything I want to do outside.
GORE designed these pants to be ridiculously light 10.9-ounce, flexible, stretchy, windproof, and tough. They are designated as “Fast Hiking” pants. Gore made these pants for maximum flexibility and wind-proofness while remaining breathable. It's a lofty goal and I also think hey nailed it.
Fit: The H5 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Pants aren’t quite legging tight, but they are definitely designed to stay close to your legs and not be billowy. My wife did use the word “leggings” once to describe them, but I didn’t see it as much as she did. If you like cargo pants with giant thigh pockets these are not your pants. The extent that these hugged my physique was evidenced by the frequent comments and caresses I received from my wife while I wore them.
Ever tire of loose pants that get hooked on your crampons? These will help relieve that too. Their snug-fit calves guarantee to reduce the times you catch your inner crampon spike on your pants, causing a dangerous and silly-looking fall.
I ordered the H5 in size large. I’m 5'10" and wear 33-inch waist and about 32-inch in length. I have thicker thighs and “popeye” calves according to my wife. I’m happy with this sizing. The online size chart was accurate for me.
Testing Conditions: I wore the H5 pants backcountry skiing in the Cascade Mountains of Washington (the state), hiking in the snow and rain, trail running, and basically every time I was outside this past winter. Temps ranged from 20-60 degrees F with a thin base layer underneath when it was below freezing.
Can I wear these around town? Um...not if you get the color I wore. They also come in other colors (including black) so that would make it more socially acceptable, but the ones I tested in “Nordic blue” look like dedicated active-wear.
Warmth: These are un-insulated. However, being so windproof and having such a good DWR finish I was able to wear them in the snow by simply adding a base layer underneath. I didn’t feel uncomfortable wearing these on the ski slopes poaching runs at the ski hill pre-opening day.
Washing: Want to know a secret? I never washed these pants once in two months! I didn’t see it listed on the product description but this material didn’t seem to pick up a stink at all after several wearings, a couple of them being overnight.
Material: The H5 pants are made from no less than three different materials, strategically placed to maximize wind resistance where you need it, ventilation where you want it, and stretch where it will do the most good. The most wind resistant fabric is right on the thighs, the seat and knees. The upper waist features extremely stretchy material to grip your waist and prevent the pants from riding down.
Air Flow: I used these as my primary trail running pants. They were great for this because they were windproof in critical areas and allowed my legs to breathe so I didn’t really sweat that much. These pants are made for “fast hiking” which is AN AWFUL LOT LIKE my trail running. In other words, I’m slow. They have no vents but I didn't find myself wishing for any.
Features: Besides stretching like no other, the H5 pants have a few really cool features. The cuffs are shock cord cinch-able and have a hook on an elastic cord that clips to your shoe/bootlaces to hold them in place and keep snow and other crap from invading your socks. While not in use they tuck away for convenience.
The waistband has no belt loops. This is good because pack waist belts and climbing harnesses always make trouble with belts and any crap you like to hang off them. “But Jeffrey, how do they stay up?’ you ask. Well, dear reader, they have a tie string like a pair of swim trunks. This seemed odd at first but I really like it now.
For those of you who like stashing tons of garbage in your pockets, dragging your pants down, I have some sad news; the front two zipper pockets only hold a cellphone or wallet. Chapstick and sunscreen would also fit nicely but they are not suitable for warming hands, that’s what gloves and jacket pockets are for. There are two elastic pockets located near your hip bones but these are unsecured and will barely hold a cellphone or protein bar. My Mentos gum fit well too.
Best Use: I’d climb, bike, run, hike, BC ski, or backpack in these any day, and I do. This summer they’ll accompany me to the Cascade volcanoes.
Water Resistance: The pants are coated with a DWR finish that repels small amounts of water. I ran in the rain in these a lot and never got soaked through but be warned, they are not waterproof, merely water RESISTANT. Waterproof pants are pretty useless most of the time anyway; too hot inside IMO.
Conclusion: Get these pants. Odds are you’ll find them as useful and well featured as I have.
UPDATE 05/2020: Used them on Mount Baker in snow, rain, and sun. Still in love.
UPDATE JUNE 2021: I still love these pants and still wish the front pocket fit my phone a little better.
I've been wearing pants for quite a few years now, lol. Seriously though, I do a lot of different activities outside in the mountains so I get a chance to ruin a lot of crappy pants. I usually wear Mountain Hardwear and Outdoor Research pants so I'm also used to quality outdoor wear.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by Gore)
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Historic Range: $99.99-$139.99
Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM garments with GORE WINDSTOPPER product technology: totally windproof, extremely breathable and durably water resistant, lightweight protection
Not skin tight, but also not excessively baggy, Form Fit garments provide a sporting silhouette without being body hugging.