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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Flannel Lined Original Mountain Pants > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs

Mountain Khaki Flannel-Lined Original Mountain Pants

Test Series by Andy Henrichs

March 5, 2010

Initial Report - 10-21-09

Field Report - 1-17-10

Long Term Report - 3-5-10

 

 

Biographical Information

Name:  Andy Henrichs
Age:  28
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in(1.88 m)
Weight:  185 lb (83.9 kg)
Waist: 34 in (86 cm)
Inseam: 34 in (86 cm)
Email address:  andyhenrichs(at)gmail(dot)com
City, State, Country:  Golden, Colorado, USA

Backpacking Background

   Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts in the southwestern US.  Iíve gone winter camping several times, but I still prefer backpacking in the warmer months.  Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6 days.  In the summer of 2004, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked the 476 mile Colorado Trail over 35 days.  Recently, I have been leaning towards the lightweight side of the spectrum. 

 

MK Flannel-Lined OMP
The Mountain Khaki Flannel Lined Original Mountain Pants

 

Initial Report

 

Product Information

Manufacturer:  Mountain Khakis (www.mountainkhakis.com)

Year of Manufacture: 2009

Manufacturers Stated Weight: not specified
Testers Measured Weight: 2 lb 3 oz (990 g)
Colors Available: Yellowstone, Freestone
Waist Sizes Available (in inches): 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42
Inseam Sizes Available (in inches): 30, 32, 34
MSRP: $89.95 US

 

Product Description


The Mountain Khakis Flannel-Lined Original Mountain Pant takes the Original Mountain Pant and, like the name says, adds a layer of flannel to the interior. The exterior is made from 10.4 oz (294.8 g) cotton duck canvas. According to the Mountain Khaki website, this material is "extremely abrasion resistant due to the double ply weave on both the warp and weft." This pant features 5 pockets; one seat pocket on each side, one hand pocket on the left, and two hand pockets on the right. One of the right hand pockets is much more subtle than the other. The back of the ankle cuffs is reinforced with extra material. According to the hang tag attached to the pants, they also feature an "action gusset." This is designed to avoid all seams coming together at one point and reduces stress on the seams. According to the Mountain Khaki website, the pants are designed with a "relaxed fit" and "11 in (28 cm) rise." The front fly secures with a metal button and a brass-looking YKK zipper. There is an embroidered MK logo just above the top right corner of the right seat pocket.

 

reinforced cuff

A view of the reinforced cuff


A view of the two hand pockets on the right side

A view of the two hand pockets on the right side


Initial Impressions

We were told that these pants run slightly small and that we should size accordingly. As a result, I requested and received a 36x34 pant. Typically, I wear a 34x34 pant. I assumed the addition of the flannel added some bulk to the pant and this was the cause of the sizing discrepancy. When the arrived, I tried them on and found them to be very large. I had a significant amount of excess material around the waist and the legs felt huge. As a result, I will be contacting customer service to exchange them for a smaller size. Other than the fit, these pants look great. The seams appear to be well-stitched, with only a few stray threads poking out. The face material of the pants does look extremely durable, but isn't as stiff as I was expecting. Other small touches, such as reinforced panels around pockets increases my confidence that these pants will be durable. The flannel lining looks very warm. The button hole at the fly is sized well; I don't have to struggle to get it buttoned and it seems secure when fastened.

I am excited to begin testing these pants, especially since it's snowing outside right now. Hopefully the smaller I size I exchange them for will fit better.

Field Report

Field Conditions

I have worn these pants on an overnight backpacking trip that included some side hikes as well as twice around my house and three times at work. The backpacking trip was at a local county open space with several semi-developed campsites. They are about 1 mi (1.6 km) from the trailhead at an elevation of approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m). The hike in travels over rolling hills and the trail just past the campsites get significantly rougher with more elevation gain and loss. The temperature on my hike in was about 40 F (4 C). This had dropped to around 30 F (-1 C) by the time I crawled into my sleeping bag. When I finally emerged from my tent, temperatures were a chilly 25 F (-4 C). By the time I left camp, the sun was high in the sky and the temperature was back above 40 F (4 C). I work in the basement at my job and it's typically fairly cool there. The temperature on the days I wore these pants to work ranged from 55 F (13 C) to 65 F (18 C).

Field Observations

As mentioned in my Initial Report, the pants I originally received were much too big for me. I contacted Mountain Khaki customer service and received a Return Authorization number. I shipped the pants back and received a phone call the following week to confirm the new size. Several weeks later I still had not received my replacement pants so I contacted them again. The customer service representative I spoke with apologized for the delay and promised to look into it. Later that day I received an exchange confirmation email and a tracking number. The pants showed up several days later.

The fit of the new pair (34Wx34L) was much better. The waist fit the same as most of my other pants and the legs didn't seem nearly as baggy. These pants are far from form-fitting, though. They seem to have a slightly boxy cut to the legs. They are comfortable and have never felt restricting when I'm walking, scrambling up rocks, bending down, or running up stairs. I have found these pants to be quite warm, especially when I'm active. The flannel lining adds a good deal of warmth and feels wonderful on cold days. I'm not sure if the extra warmth they provide skews my perception, but wind gusts that sneak up my pant legs feel even colder when I'm wearing these pants. When wearing the pants on my recent backpacking trip, I found them to be comfortable when I was walking in the shade or at a moderate pace. When I spent some time hiking in the sun or increased my hiking intensity, I found the pants to be too warm. Most of my hike to my camp was shaded, but there were a couple of south-facing meadows I crossed. During each of these my legs started to get uncomfortably warm.

Once I got to my semi-shaded camp, I appreciated the flannel lining quite a bit. It was very nice having extra insulation when setting up my tent, organizing camp, and relaxing outside. Once I got everything in order, I spent a couple hours on an exploration of the area. I explored the other campsites and made my way through some shallow snow towards a rock outcropping. After savoring the view, I headed back to the trail and hiked another .5 mi (.8 km) to the next trail junction. This bushwacking and section of trail was slightly more strenuous than the hike from the trailhead to the camp. Because I had to work harder, I found that my legs got uncomfortably warm again, even when I was in the shade. Once in camp, the pants kept me comfortable as the temperatures dropped to 30 F (-1 C).

relaxing around camp

Relaxing and staying warm in camp

 

The next morning was a little colder than when I went to bed, and it was enough to keep me a little chilled. I stayed a little chilled until I started moving around more. After breaking camp I headed back to the car, dropped most of my gear, and headed out on a 4.5 mi (7.2 km) loop hike. A significant portion of this trail was shaded and most of it was over gently rolling hills. The pants were comfortable for the first half of the hike. The second half was less shaded and had a couple of steeper climbs that made me work harder. Like the previous day, this increased effort caused my legs to get uncomfortably warm. I was happy to get back to the car and change into a lighter pair of pants.

It may just be the light color of the pants, but they seem to get dirty quickly. Most of the dirt came out with a simple wash, but there is a trace of dirt still on the material. That doesn't present an issue to me as I would never plan on wearing these pants in a setting where I'm concerned about spotless clothes. They definitely seem to be more of a "work pant" and it only seems natural that they be subjected to dirt while being worn.

Likes (so far):

Quite warm for relaxing around camp
Durable
Comfortable

Dislikes (so far):

Slightly boxy cut
Too warm when I'm active

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

During the Long Term Report phase, I have worn the Mountain Khakis Flannel-Lined Original Mountain Pant on one overnight car-camping trip, two dayhikes, and many times around town. The car camping trip was at a campsite in the high desert just northeast of Grand Junction, Colorado. Elevation at the campground was approximately 4,700 ft (1,400 m). Days were very nice and warm, with highs near 60 F (16 C), but nights got quite chilly. Lows were around 20 F (-7 C). Both of my dayhikes were at a local open space a short walk from my house. The elevation is approximately 5,800 ft (1,800 m) and the trail winds up a large mesa. The round-trip hike is about 5.5 mi (8.9 km) and involves a gently rolling trail along the base and top of the mesa interrupted with steep sections ascending and descending the mesa. I took a slightly longer route during the second hike by taking a spur on the top of the mesa. This added 1.5 mi (2.4 km) to the hike. Temperatures were approximately 30 F (-1 C) with mostly cloudy skies and very little wind during the first hike and 35 F (2 C) with a steady light wind during the second hike.

Field Observations and Summary

I still found the pants less than ideal for hiking or any strenuous activity. The flannel lining insulates very well, but this tended to limit their usable comfort range for me. When on my first day hike, they were relatively comfortable when crossing the top of the mesa and hiking along the base. When ascending the steep and loose trail, the pants were just too hot. My legs started sweating despite the cool temperatures and plentiful clouds. Once I reached the top, the sweat evaporated, I became slightly chilled. I had to pick up my pace to warm up again. Other than the excessive warmth, these pants have been comfortable to hike in. The flannel lining feels great against my legs and the pants didn't restrict any motions, even when making big steps over large rocks on the trail. During the second day hike, I became a bit overheated even on the rolling sections along the base of the mesa. I attribute this to the warmer temperature and my slightly increased hiking speed. This overheating was a little lessened when I was on portions of the trail that were exposed to the wind. My legs again became significantly overheated when ascending to the top of the mesa. Once on top, the wind evaporated my sweat rather quickly and I became chilled again until I increased my pace.

I've found the pants to be more ideally suited for car camping. It felt great to thrown these pants on as temperatures started to dip. I always knew that my legs would be nice and toasty, even as the sun set and the temperatures dropped. Crawling out of my sleeping bag with these pants on helped to eliminate most of the trepidation that I normally experience on cold mornings. Sitting around the fire while wearing these pants was a fantastic feeling. It felt a bit like having my lower body wrapped in a toasty blanket.

While I have used these pants on one backpacking trip in my Field Report test period, I feel that is a less than ideal use for these pants since they are heavy and made of cotton. I prefer more technical apparel to ensure that my pack isn't overloaded and I don't risk hypothermia. These two factors also contribute to my feeling that these pants aren't really ideal for active endeavors. As mentioned previously, the cotton flannel lining is very warm and almost always resulted in my legs overheating and sweating while active in them. This is an inconvenience until I decrease my activity level, sweat evaporates, and I become chilled.

Throughout the testing period, I have found these pants to be very durable. While wearing these pants they have been scraped by branches, tree trunks, rocks, and ice. They still look great with no signs of abrasion. They are a little dirty and I haven't been able to get all of the dirt out with normal washing, but I feel these pants are more of a "work pant." I feel they are designed to be used and abused while being worn outside. As such, I'm not too concerned with a little dirt on them. I still feel that the cut is a little boxy, but I'm not one to be too fashion conscious.

I will continue to wear these pants while car camping in the fall, winter, and spring. I have been very happy with their performance in that situation. I don't plan on using them for hikes or backpacking trips. I feel that the fact that they are cotton and relatively insulated precludes them from this type of use on a regular basis.

Likes:
Durable
Comfortable
Very warm - great for sitting around camp

Dislikes:
Too warm for use while active
Slightly boxy cut

Thank you to Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test these pants.

 



Read more reviews of Mountain Khakis gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrew Henrichs

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Flannel Lined Original Mountain Pants > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs



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