White Sierra Trail Convertible Pant
Historic Range: $16.73-$59.95
Reviewers Paid: $22.00-$37.00
Historic Range: $21.73-$25.99
Comfortable, fast drying nylon pants which can be converted to shorts by zipping off the legs. Reasonably priced, but fully functional. Great for all season trail use.
- Wash well
- Dry fast
- Some stitching issues
I have one pair of these which I've used for four years and another pair purchased a few months ago. The original pants are still in fantastic condition despite a lot of hard use. I only purchased the new pair because I've gotten smaller over the years and the old ones are getting hard to keep up. The recently purchased pants have had a few issues which is why I haven't given these a five star rating.
Being 100% nylon these pants are light and very easy to move around in. I buy them in a slightly larger size than needed to make sure to have plenty of room for getting a leg up when climbing on a steep trail or clambering over a downed tree. They really are pretty comfortable in all weather conditions and the only friction issue I've ever had came from carrying a lighter in the front thigh pocket. I keep only soft items in those pockets now.
The pants come with a belt with a quick release buckle as well as lots of belt loops. The waist also has some elastic sections on either hip. The older pants still have functioning elastic in those areas after four years of use. The bottom of each leg has a velcro strap which is great for tightening around the ankle of my boot. This is great for keeping out rocks, mud and bugs.
The thin nylon doesn't really provide much water resistance and soaks through pretty quickly. They do dry very well, especially when in use. I often leave the legs on for bug protection even in really hot weather and get very little swampy feeling as the material lets moisture and heat transfer out well.
I have used these pants as an outer layer in winter snow with one or more layers of insulation. They shed snow well and dry fast if any melts on them. Again, I buy mine a bit large so there is plenty of room for layering inside. I don't use them for this purpose in wet snow though due to their lack of waterproofing.
I have had a problem with the waist button on both pants coming loose. Not sure if that is an issue with the pants or my belly, but once sewn back on I've had no further issue there. The legs are clearly labeled with L and R to make it easier to get them zipped back on right after a water crossing. Besides the velcro cuff at the bottom of each leg there is also a vertical zipper which makes it easier to take the pants, or just the legs off without taking off your boots. That comes in really handy for water crossings.
The original pants have been used without issue for years, but I have had a few issues with the new pair. I'm not sure if this is just bad luck or if the quality has fallen off.
This is an example of one of the places where the stitching isn't up to snuff. I've found a few spots like this on the new pants, but so far none have impacted function.
This issue concerns me a bit more. A small plastic comb poked right through the back pocket material. Considering how many rocks I've slid down on my butt in the first pair without getting any holes this came as quite a surprise. Again, maybe just bad luck, but it keeps me from giving these pants a higher rating.
Over all I am still a fan of the White Sierra Convertible Trail Pants. The construction issues on the new pair concern me, but considering the price, features and functionality I'm still comfortable recommending them for pretty much any trail use. They are easy to wash clean and odor free no matter if I drag them through a muddy swamp or get them sweat soaked hitting summits. Even if I don't get four years of use from the new pair I'm pretty certain I'll get my money's worth out of them.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $37
These pants are bombproof. I've worn them in Hells Canyon, Isle Royale National Park, Porcupine Mountains, North Shore and twice in Glacier National Park. Not a single thread has frayed.They are surprisingly stain-resistant too considering the muck I've subjected them to.
You might be skeptical because of the low price, but these are the best convertible pants money can buy. They might be the last convertible pants you buy too. Although I'm brutal on my backpacking gear, I have no intention of replacing these pants.
Price Paid: $25
Very good convertible trail pants for the price. The fit is better than some other more expensive convertible pants I've tried.
Features I like are the numerous pockets, extra belt loops, gathered side waistband and the zippered/adjustable cuffs.
The only things I don't like is that the fabric is not as breathable as some other pants I have, and I prefer buttons to velcro on back pockets.
They are not the lightest weight, but they are still one tough pair of pants.
Price Paid: $22