Columbia Omni Dry Venture Convertible Pants
Reviewed By Pat
Initial Report: May 3, 2007
Field Report: July 2, 2007
Long Term Report: September 18, 2007
Name: Pat McNeilly
Height: 5’ 8” (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: mcne4752 at yahoo dot com .
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg,
I have been
hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last four years. Most of my backpacking is done as overnight
trips and occasional weekend and weeklong trips. My typical packweight is approximately 18 to
20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.
Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of
Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to backpacking, I also fish,
hunt, and have been involved in disaster relief. As a result, some of my backpacking equipment
gets use in a number of different venues.
Product: Omni Dry Venture Convertible Pants
Size: Waist 32 in (81 cm); Inseam 30 in (76 cm)
Manufacturer: Columbia Sportswear
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 17 oz (482 g)
MSRP: $59.99 USD
Report Date: May 3, 2007
Product Description (as described on the manufacturer’s website):
“One pant worn two ways. This summer
essential first caught on with the backpacking set and soon spread to savvy
travelers, kayakers, trekkers and more.
It’s got good, classic looks thanks to its rugged nylon canvas fabric,
and it has all the feature that make it a must-have with outdoor enthusiasts
arrived in a white shipping package along with a packing slip. Inside the packaging the pants were inside a
clear plastic bag with a barcode label (written in English and French) identifying
the product, size, and the fact that the product was manufactured in Indonesia. Attached to one belt loop of the pants are
six hang tags describing that (1) the pants belong to Columbia’s Titanium line
of products; (2) the pants provide UPF 50 UV protection; (3) the pants are made
using Omni Dry fabric; (4) the pants are convertible to shorts; (5) the pants
have an active fit that fits close to the body; and (6) the size, color, and
price of the pants.
The pants appear to be fairly well constructed,
however, I note that there are many loose threads on the seams. This is particularly evident where seams
end. I will have to pay close attention
to how well the stitching holds up during the test. All zippers appear to operate smoothly.
Working from the
top of the garment to the bottom, the pants have a 32 in (81 cm) waist which
includes two 2 in x 5 in (5 cm x 13 cm) elastic panels on the sides. The waist also has four 2 in x 2 in (5 cm x 5
cm) belt loops on the front and sides, along with a 2 in x 3 in (5 cm x 8 cm)
trapezoidal shaped belt loop in the back.
This back loop is embroidered with the word “TITANIUM” with a similar
thread color to that of the pants.
The front of the pants closes with a 6 in (15 cm) zipper and a rivet style
button at the top. The two front pockets
measure 12 in (30 cm) deep and are constructed with a mesh material on the
inside. Inside of the right pocket is a
third pocket which closes with a 5.5 in (14 cm) zipper. This zipper has a 3 in (8 cm) loop of cord
attached to it. The rear hip pockets
measure approximately 7.5 in x 8.5 in (19 cm x 22 cm) and close with a 0.5 in x
1 in (2 cm x 3 cm) patch of hook and loop fastener. These rear pockets have no flap over them and
the openings slope diagonally toward the sides of the pants. The interior of the rear pockets are also
made of a mesh nylon material. Overall,
the pockets appear to be of adequate size to hold a variety of items and do not
seem to be too deep to easily retrieve those items. The rear pockets seem to open a bit wider
than I expected (even when fastened shut) and I am interested to see if they
gather debris more than other pants I have worn.
Two side bellows style pockets measuring 6.75 in x 7 in (17 cm x 18 cm) are
positioned on the thighs approximately 2 in (5 cm) below the front
pockets. These side pockets are covered
with a 2 in (5 cm) flap which secures with a 0.5 in x 1 in (2 cm x 2.5 cm) hook
and loop fastener. Centered along the
bottom of the flap is 0.5 in x 1.25 in (2 cm x 3 cm) plastic tab with
“TITANIUM” imprinted on it. The term
“OMNI DRY” is embroidered approximately 1 in (2.5 cm) below the left side
Approximately 1.5 in (4 cm) below the bottom edge of the side pockets are the
zippers attaching the lower leg sections of the pants. These zippers are covered, both inside and
out, with a 1 in (2.5 cm) fabric flap.
When worn as shorts, the inseam measures 10 in (25 cm) and comes down to
just above my knees.
lateral side of each lower leg section is a 12.5 in (32 cm) zipper to help in
removing the leg potions when wearing shoes.
The zippers are covered on the inside and out with a 0.5 in (2 cm) flap
The lower leg sections also have small 2 in (5 cm) seams located approximately
4 in (10 cm) below the zippers which appear to provide some articulation to the
I have tried the pants on and they fit well.
The sizing does not appear to be a problem. I have somewhat short legs and I typically
look closely at inseam measurements to ensure that I won’t be dragging pants
though the mud. When worn as shorts, my
initial impression is that they seem to feel a little tight around the upper
thighs. I don’t notice this as much when
they are worn as full length pants. This
is a phenomenon I have noticed with other convertible pants I have worn and may
be a function of my particular shape. I
will be evaluating whether this factors into the comfort of the pants while
My overall plan is to give these pants a thorough test, both as pants and
shorts. I will be looking for overall
wear, as well as wear at certain places such as at the inner ankles. I will also be looking at the overall fit of
the pants and whether there are any problems with chaffing, etc. I will be evaluating the properties of the
pants such as their wicking ability and ultraviolet protection.
Report Date: July 2, 2007
I have worn the Columbia Venture pants on two day hikes in central Maryland and
a three day backpacking trip in the Monongahela National Forest of West
Virginia. The weather conditions
included temperatures 45-80 F (7-27 C) and I encountered fairly dry conditions
with only small amounts of rain. These
hikes were strictly done on trails with only moderate amounts of rock. The elevations ranged from 300-4800 ft
(90-1460 m) on these trips.
I gave the pants a workout at an orienteering event in Maryland where I actually ran through the
course in the pants. The temperature
that day reached 85 F (29 C) after starting out much cooler [approximately 60 F
(16 C)]. I have also worn the pants
around town while running errands and to other outdoor events.
When I initially received the Columbia Venture pants I was pleased with them
but after wearing the pants for a couple of months, I am finding the good and
bad points. In general, the fit is good
but I find that the pants are somewhat tight through the seat. I have found this more noticeable when I have
items in the pockets, particularly the back pockets. This hasn’t produced any problems such as
excess chaffing but is noticeable. I
don’t believe this is an overall size issue since I feel the waist and inseam
size are just about right. From now on when
I hike in these pants, I will try to keep larger items (e.g., wallet, keys) in
a pack or in the side pockets to provide as much room as possible.
I was caught at one point in a rainstorm while in town and I found that the
Omni Dry fabric does seem to dry quickly.
I noticed this as well when wearing the pants on hikes where I had
worked up a sweat and noted that the fabric dried out nicely.
The lateral leg zippers work well but I had some trouble with the right leg
zipper sticking which I attribute to dirt in the zipper from mud on the
trail. The outside leg zippers are long enough
to allow for easy removal of the legs while wearing sneakers and trail shoes,
but I have trouble removing them when wearing boots. I found removing the legs very useful,
particularly at the orienteering event I noted above where the temperatures over
the course of the day required that I go from long pants to shorts. The zippers which attach the lower leg
sections work easily. When re-attaching
the lower sections, I found that I have to pay close attention to which leg I
am working with because the zippers are aligned specifically for each leg. The problem is that if I am not paying
attention, I might try to attach the lower section of the left leg onto the
right leg and find that the zippers don’t match up.
I have found a couple of problems with some of the pockets on the Venture
Pants. I found that since the back
pockets do not have any flap over them, debris has a tendency to collect in
them. I found this to be true even
though the pocket was closed with the hook and loop closure. I also find that the small cord on the
zippered front pocket is situated in such a way that I frequently catch my
finger in the loop while reaching into the pocket which is very annoying.
I have laundered these pants a number of times and at this point I have not
noticed any problems with loosening of threads or other problems with the
Report Date: September 18, 2007
I wore these pants as the only long pants during a 12 day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. The weather conditions included temperatures
from 45-90 F (7-32 C) with the only rain being in the form of afternoon
thundershowers. The elevations on this
trip ranged from 6700-12400 ft (2040-3780 m).
I have also used the pants on a number of day hikes in central Maryland over moderate
trails from 5-7 miles (8-11 km) long.
Weather conditions on these hikes were generally clear but with
temperatures ranging from 75-95 F (24-35 C) and relative humidity up to
90%. In addition, I have worn this
product as both shorts and long pants around town while running errands, etc.
After wearing these pants for the last four months, I am quite pleased with the
overall durability and comfort of them.
My trip to New Mexico
really gave them a workout both as shorts and long pants, as both were needed
on that trip. I was frequently either
removing or attaching the lower leg sections as the weather required.
The fabric has held up well and I have not encountered any major weaknesses or
tears in the fabric. I had some concerns
early on that there may be a greater amount of wear on the inner portion of the
leg near the ankle where boots may rub the fabric. I am glad to say that I have not seen much in
the way of wear on the lower legs. I
will note that I have been testing this item in the summer months and have worn
them as shorts quite a bit which could influence wear on the lower legs.
In my Initial Report, I had concerns with the number of
loose threads on the pants. At this
point, I find that these concerns were not valid. I have not seen any separation of seams and
these loose threads appear to be simply errant strands left over after finishing
One observation which came to light during the long-term testing phase was that
I had trouble keeping the side pocket hook and loop fasteners closed. I noticed this on my New Mexico trip and found that the fasteners
on the pocket and the flap did not seem to align properly and kept
opening. I realized that on this trip I
would put a greater amount of items in the pockets and the overall weight of
the items would pull down on the pocket.
This is what appeared to have caused the hook and loop fasteners not to
line up. I found that I did not have
items falling out of the pockets because as the bottom of the pocket was pulled
down, the top edge of the pocket was pulled tighter against my leg effectively
closing the pocket.
The Columbia Omni Dry Venture Pants are a versatile garment that easily convert
from long pants to shorts using zippers on the legs. The Omni Dry fabric is soft, comfortable, and
dries quickly. The rear pockets of the
pants tend to collect debris while the side pockets may not close securely if
too many items are placed in them. In
general, the pants have a good fit with the exception of being a bit tight
through the seat.
Things I like:
1. Quick drying fabric
2. Easy on and off legs
3. Versatility of having both
shorts and long pants
Things I don’t like:
1. Tight fit through seat
2. No flaps on back pockets
3. Front zippered pocket cord
I would like to thank Columbia Sportswear and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this item.