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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants > Owner Review by alex legg

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant
Owner Review by Alex Legg
December 13th, 2012

(Photo from

Reviewer Information:
Name:  Alex Legg
Age:  30
Gender:  Male
Height:  6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight:  195 lb (88 kg)
Email address:  alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country:  Tucson, Arizona, USA

I grew up backpacking in the Rockies.   I hike ranges throughout Arizona and Colorado year round.  I carry a light pack, mostly water.  I prefer a tarp shelter to my heavier 2-person tent.  I do many day hikes and I also spend as many as 5 days out at a time.  Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100 F (38 C), and elevations from 2,000 ft to 14,000 ft (610 m to 4,300 m).  I bag a mountain almost every weekend, and I walk my dogs 4 m (6 km) daily through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer: Columbia Sportswear Company
Year of Manufacture: 2012   
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 12.5 oz (354 g)
Materials: Omni-Shade main body (100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop; Omni-Wick Mesh Panels (57% recycled polyester/43% polyester mesh
Size Reviewed: 36 Waist / 34 Length
Color Reviewed: Tusk
MSRP: $60.00 US Dollars

Product Description:

The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are lightweight, fast wicking hiking pants that can convert into shorts with the simple pull of a zipper.  They are made from a strong feeling ripstop fabric that is slightly coarse when I touch it.  The pants come with an attached nylon belt that is very user friendly in my opinion.  The Columbia logo is stamped into the plastic buckle of the belt as well as stitched into the corner of the bottom left leg of the pants. 

These pants are equipped with two hip pockets, two cargo pockets, and to rear pockets.  Both the rear and the hip pockets are made of a lightweight mesh material that makes them very breathable and allows them to dry quickly.  The two cargo pockets are made of the ripstop material that the main body of the pants is made from.  The left cargo pocket is accessed by a small zipper.  When opened, the pocket has about a 4 in (10 cm) opening that seems adequate to me.  The right cargo pocket is accessed by a flap that closes with the aid of one hook-and-loop patch.  The opening on the right pocket is of similar size and volume to the left pocket.

The zipper that converts the pants into shorts runs fairly smoothly.  There is a tab on each leg that is clearly marked with R for right and L for left so that I don't get confused.  Once converted, the shorts are a bit shorter than I would like, but not enough to bother me while in the backcountry.  I have to sit down in order to reattach the zipper, and when the legs are whole a flap covers the zipper from sight.

Field Conditions:

I have worn these pants on many backpacking trips as well as often for daily use.  Some of the backpacking trips are listed below:

I wore them on a 2-day, 1 night trip to Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona.  The temperature ranged from 65 F to 85 F (18 C to 29 C) and no rain.   The elevation was around 8000 ft  (2,438 m) during the trip.

I also wore the pants when I ventured to the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park for a 2-day, 1 night trip to bag my favorite peak in the area, Rincon Peak.  The temperature ranged from 55 F to 75 F (13 C to 24 C) and the elevation ranged from 2,600 ft to 8,664 ft. (792 m to 2,641 m)

The pants have been worn on numerous desert hikes around Tucson, Arizona.  The temperatures have ranged from 85 F to 105 F (29 C to 41 C) and elevation has ranged from 2,500 ft to 2,700 ft (760 m to 820 m).

Performance in the Field:

The Silver Ridge Pants have performed great!  They have become my go-to warm weather pants for hiking and around town.  The heat around Tucson is intense to say the least, and the pants have proven to be very breathable and comfortable.  I generally perspire a lot when hiking, but I have not noticed any moisture sticking around on these pants.  I will often soak my clothes in water while hiking in the warm climate, and these pants don't seem to absorb much water.  This is a good thing because they don't become a heavy burden, but a bad thing because they dry too fast for the water to keep me cool for long.  I have never had any issues with the zippers failing or being too difficult to use.  I always have to sit down to reconnect the bottom portion of the pants, but that is not a negative thing for me.

In the higher elevations I have found the pants to again be very breathable and comfortable.  When they have gotten wet from quick rainstorms, I have found their fast drying abilities to be a benefit as I never got chilled while wearing them.  I definitely think that the pants are a piece of warm weather gear, so I would not wear them if I knew the temperature was going to get below 50 F (10 C). 

I really like that the cargo pockets are different.  One opens with a flap making it ideal for storing items that i will want to get to often such as a camera or a phone, and the other opens with a zipper making it ideal for items I don't want to loose.  I tend to store my wallet and matches in the zippered pocket.  I also like that there are hip pockets I can put my hands into.  I don't know why, but I sometimes put my hands in these pockets while going up steep inclines.  Maybe I think I can help my legs push to get me up the hill. 

The ripstop fabric has held up through the abuse from many thorn bushes and other plants native to the Sonoran Desert that seem to want to hurt me when I walk by.  The fabric has also held up to a few bushwhacking moments where I was literally engulfed in thorns and branches, as well as times when I had to slide down an incline on my backside. 


I really like these pants and I think they are the ideal choice for warm to hot weather hiking.  They are nice enough to wear around town as well, so they have pretty much become an everyday item for me.  I also think that the price is fair in comparison to other outdoor company's similar products.  I have and would again recommend these pants to anyone who will be living in high temperature areas in order to stay as cool as possible and enjoy life.


1.  Lightweight
2.  Great wicking
3.  Good pockets


1.  Sometimes they dry a little too quickly for my taste.

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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants > Owner Review by alex legg

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