Mountain Hardwear Mesa Pant
No-nonsense trekking pants!
- Hybrid belt
The Mesa Pant by Mountain Hardwear is just what I like in trekking pants and nothing more. That is...I like my trekking pants simple and to the point. I've tried convertible pants...but have never really found a need to convert pants to shorts...and generally speaking I think most convertible pants make terrible shorts (for the added weight of convertible pants I'd prefer to bring a lightweight pair of running shorts instead...though I rarely bring shorts). So for me the straightforward design of the Mesa Pant means two less zippers to malfunction...as well as one less "whistle" to pay for.
Another big plus for the Mesa pant by Mountain Hardwear is that it is one of the lightest pair of trekking pants I've ever owned or had the privilege of wearing...and I have worn them comfortably (or as comfortably as one can expect) in some nasty humid summer days. Moreover...since I use this pair almost exclusively in the summer...it makes up an important component of my insect defense...and though the Mesa pant is made of a lighter fabric than most trekking pants...it still defends superbly against mosquitos and flies.
Finally...I've never really been a huge fan of pockets on trekking pants...so for me the Mesa pant is a design that has solved the pocket problem I find so many pants infected with. That is...most trekking pants have countless pockets which I have no clue as to their purpose...seriously...I have never used the rear pockets on a single pair of pants while in the outdoors (why are those pockets on EVERY pair of pants?)...and I particularly dislike cargo pockets that bellow out and get caught on every piece of brush I walk near or through.
Perhaps one day I will be able to stuff all my gear+food+water into the pockets on my pants and forgo a backpack altogether...but until that day the Mesa pant has everything I want and nothing I don't (except those silly rear pockets!). With one security zip pocket on the side and two cleverly designed front pockets that make getting in and out while wearing a hip-belt easier....the Mesa pant is an example of how simple can be both functional and beautiful.
As far as complaints...and this really isn't much of a complaint...the Mesa pant comes with a hybrid-belt design that is becomming commonplace on trekking pants. Personally I dislike the hybrid belt thing...and would simply prefer to have a pair of elastic pants with a full set of belt loops...if I want a belt I can wear a belt...if I am worried about the few grams that a half a belt adds (which I NEVER would)...then I can simply not wear the belt...but the half-belt thing seems like a poor compromise.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30
These are the best fitting hiking pants I have found that are truly functional for serious hiking (some women's "hiking pants" seem more suitable for walking around the mall looking cool).
I am 5' 2" with about a 31-inch inseam and am on the thinner side and the pants have a roomy enough fit for freedom of movement without being baggy like a lot of others I have tried on; the regular length is just right. The cargo pockets provide extra space to store items one wants easily accessible, and the front pockets are deep enough to not have to worry about things falling out of them.
The waistband is non-bulky so it is comfortable under a pack hipbelt, the rise is just right (a little less than an inch below belly button level), and the pant legs can be cinched at the bottom to keep bugs out or to keep them rolled up for stream crossings.
I haven't had the pants long enough to confidently comment on durability but the quality seems very good and the fabric appears to be tough despite being fairly lightweight. No signs of wear so far from my hiking and trail running.
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Historic Range: $24.83-$65.00
Reviewers Paid: $30.00
13.2 oz / 375 g
30 in, 32 in, 34 in / 76 cm, 81 cm, 86 cm
Historic Range: $25.98-$65.00