photo: Kari Traa Rose Pant base layer bottom

Specs

Price Current Retail: $70.99-$100.00
Historic Range: $58.90-$100.00

Reviews

The Kari Traa Rose Pant is a 100 percent merino base layer that is comfortable, warm, and durable. It's thin enough to layer without restricting movement, and incorporates a range of colors and sizes to appeal to a variety of adventurous ladies! Just be prepared to size up as this base layer runs SMALL!

Pros

  • Soft (for merino wool)
  • Warm
  • Breathable
  • Fit is snug without restricting movement
  • Thin enough to layer easily
  • Stays in place
  • Variety of color and size options (up to 4XL)

Cons

  • Runs small—plan to order one size up

Testing Conditions: I tested the Kari Traa Rose Pant from December 2018 to December 2019 as a member of the Trailspace Review Corps. Testing conditions ranged from -25 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the following activities: hiking, fat biking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, alpine (resort) skiing, and nordic skiing. 

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                                                                     Rose Pant, side view

Fit & Comfort: For those who aren't familiar with Kari Traa, the Norwegian brand was developed by its namesake, a female Olympian freestyle skier. The Rose Pant is a base layer made of 100 percent merino wool. Regardless of how soft, I find any merino layer to have a tiny bit of wooly scratchiness to it. The Rose Pant is no exception—it's soft for merino wool, but not as soft against the skin as a polypropylene base layer. I don't see this as a negative, it's simply the nature of merino wool, which makes up for any hint of scratch with other aspects of its performance. 

I'm 5'4" and wear a size small bottom (25" waist, 35" hip). I initially ordered a small and had to exchange it for a medium—boy does this pant run small! Even after sizing up the pant fits well but is (appropriately) snug. So, certainly plan to order one size up. The sizing issue may be due to the fact that Kari Traa is a Norwegian brand. Sizes range from small to extra large, with the option of a plus size version of the pant ranging from 2XL to 4XL. It's fantastic to see such variety in available sizes, especially as the pant runs small. There is also a capri option. Sorry guys, Kari Traa is a women's-only brand. 

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                                     Rose Pant and Longsleeve shirt front (above) and back (below)

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Breathability & Moisture: I love how breathable this pant is! It provides warmth while wicking moisture away from the skin. Of course, the functionality of any base layer depends in part upon the other layers, so I like to wear it with a shell that is also breathable. My go-to's are the Outdoor Research Skyward Pant and the Outdoor Research Hyak Pant. Yes, apparently I'm brand loyal :)

Warmth & Layering: When I'm looking for a warm base layer that is thin enough to fit easily under other layers, I turn to merino. The Rose Pant is incredibly warm, especially for how relatively thin the material is. I'd consider it a medium weight base layer. It fits easily under my outer layers without adding bulk or causing restriction in movement.

I also tested the Rose Longsleeve shirt and found the combination kept me warm and toasty even in below zero temperatures. If doing a high-energy activity such as nordic skiing, hiking, or fat biking, the Rose Pant kept me warm enough in temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. On cold days like this, I'd wear it under the OR Skyward Pant and pair it with the Rose Longsleeve shirt. Wearing both base layers together really makes a big difference in terms of warmth. 

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                                                         Rose Pant and Longsleeve shirt side view

I find myself gravitating to less warm base layers when temperatures are above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I enjoy fairly high energy outdoor winter activities, and find merino can get a bit too toasty for me in warmer temperatures. That being said, if doing something where my activity level was inconsistent or less intense, such as skiing in the front country, I wore the Rose Pant in warmer temperatures (as high as 35 degrees) and paired it with a lighter base layer on top. 

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                                                                               Front view

Ease of Use: The Rose Pant incorporates an elastic waistband and aside from that is pure merino wool. The waistband is comfortable against my skin and provides enough shape to stay in place without being restrictive. The merino itself incorporates four-way stretch, providing enough give so I can move and shake freely, yet is fitted enough to remain in place without any bunching or sagging. 

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                                                     Waistband front (above) and back (below)

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Construction & Durability: The Rose Pant is sewn using flatlock seams, which are durable yet comfortable against bare skin. In the months I spent testing the pant, no seams have split or frayed. I have fairly sensitive skin and haven't encountered any abrasion or hot spots. 

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                                                     Flatlock seams front (above) and side (below)

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I launder the Rose Pant in cold water and either let it air dry or throw it in the dryer on low temperature. I haven't had any issues drying it in the dryer, although the laundering instructions indicate it should be line dried. I haven't noticed any odors associated with laundering. 

Features: The only features I haven't mentioned yet are the color options. While yes, there is no obvious benefit to wearing a cute color or pattern in a base layer, black base layers are just plain boring. And, being the owner of two lovely yet furry dogs, I hate the way my black base layers attract dog hair like nothing else! The Rose Pant comes in eight different colors, each incorporating Scandinavian snowflake design. I love the color options (it's fantastic to see colors beyond pink and black!), and equally enjoy being able to snuggle with my pups after an outdoor adventure. The color and pattern really disguises pet fur. 

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                                                               Closeup view of color/pattern

In sum, I'd highly suggest the Rose Pant. It's a durable, warm base layer that looks great, is comfortable against bare skin, and layers easily under outer shells. Just plan to order up a size. So often, female-specific outdoor gear may look good but lacks the performance features of comparable products made for men. I'm appreciative of the fact that Kari Traa has created base layers that deliver in both design and performance. Thanks to Kari Traa and Trailspace for the opportunity to test the Rose Pant!

IMG_2381.jpg                             Nordic skiing (above) and fat biking (below) wearing the Rose base layers

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Experience

Growing up in northern New England, I've worn base layers as a necessity for outdoor adventuring since I was a child. I tested the Rose base layers for a full winter season.

About: Kelly lives with her husband and two dogs in a little cabin nestled in the mountains of northern New England. Her outdoor adventures range from stacking firewood to disappearing into the backcountry for days at a time to snowshoe, backcountry ski, mountain bike, hike, kayak, and more.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Kari Tara)

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