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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > GoLite Paradox Pants > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

GoLite Paradox Women's Pants

Initial Report: Apr 17 2007

Field Report: Jun 16 2007

Long Term Report: Aug 27 2007

GoLite Paradox Woman's Pants
Image from GoLite website

Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Height: 1.7 m (5' 8")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA

Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lbs (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently starting getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: GoLite
MSRP: US$100.00
Material: Trinity 3-Layer stretch polyester with DWR
Weight (as stated): 11 oz (310 g) (medium)
Weight (measured): 12 oz (334 g) (large)
Colours Available: Grease
Sizes Available: XS to XL

Initial Report:
April 17th 2007

The Paradox pants come in one colour, Grease. The colour is a little lighter than I expected but is otherwise a nice colour. My sizing was at the upper edge of the large range. I opted to get the large rather then go to the extra large. The pants are a relatively good fit. They are a little snug in the hips, but are a little loose in the waist and a bit long in the leg. I feel that the elastic around the waist should be a little tighter. Due to the legs being a little long, about 2 - 3 inches longer (5 - 7.5 cm), the articulated knees don't quite line up with where my actual knees are. The pants have a zipper and snap closure at the bottom of the legs and at the fly. The snap is firm and holds well. I do not feel like I will pop the snap open simply by sitting down. The snap requires some force to get it open which is nice.

The fabric of the pants are nice and soft against the skin. They have a soft brushed texture both inside and out. All the seams are taped and the taping is brushed also. These pants are stand alone pants and not a shell. There is a zip pocket on the right side, not quite in the back but neither are they on the side. The pocket location is a little strange and I will look into how useful it is or how much it interferes with hiking or backpacking. There are four little seam tucks around the knees that make for an articulated knee. The fabric can stretch in the horizontal and vertical plane, so while the pants were a little snug around my hips, it was a snug that moved with me and didn't bind up. As the legs are a little long, I may have to roll up the bottoms to keep them from dragging.

These pants have a four way stretch. There is not a large amount of stretch but there is enough to prevent binding when I move. There is a DWR finish on the pants which gives it its waterproofness. The tag that came with the pants say these are waterproof and breathable, as well as quiet. I have tried them on and walked around a little and found that they are indeed quieter than a shell but there is some noise when I walk. I will look into how excessive the noise is.

I expect to take the Paradox Pants on day hikes in the area as well as overnights further away. I will mostly be in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. I expect to encounter rain and hopefully lots of nice weather. I will also be occasionally wearing these pants to work once the weather warms up to see how well the pants holds up to wear over the long term. Also this will increase my chances of playing in the rain.

Field Report:
June 16th 2007

Field Trips:

I have taken the Paradox Pants out on two overnight trips out on the Appalachian Trail near Front Royal, Virginia, and one very short day hike out in the Canaan Valley in West Virginia.

Day Hike:

This short day hike was about 3 miles in the Canaan Valley and the weather was cold, about 40 F (4 C). The pants kept me warm when the wind was not blowing hard, but I did notice that a hard, cold wind would eventually cut through the pants and causing some chilling. The terrain was relatively smooth with an elevation gain of about 1500 ft (457 m). While the temperature dropped a little with elevation gain there was no snow to be had.

Overnight #1:

The first overnight hike was under dry conditions with the temperatures around 65-70 F (18-21 C). Total elevation gain was 1000 ft (304 m) with a distance of 6 miles (9.6 km). While there was little leaf cover as the leaves were just barely peeking out, the weather was still quite warm. The pants kept me warm but except for my knee braces, there was little heat and sweat build up. The pants under the knee braces were soaked through. Although the pants are supposed to breath, wth the braces blocking the breathing space, the sweat did buildup and preceded to soak the pants.

Overnight #2:

The second overnight hike saw some rain fall. The pants did receive some rain, there was some water absorption into the top layer. Mostly it was drizzling and dripping from the trees. Total elevation gain was about 1500 ft (457 m) with a distance of 12 mi (19.3 km). The pants were able to shed the rain nicely. I did not notice any rain seeping through the pants and they remained comfortable during the 3-4 hour hike into the shelter site.


The pants have been mostly comfortable to wear. The elastic waist is a little too loose and the butt and thigh region is a little tight. As the pants have four way stretch, I have not had any problems with the slight tightness. I do wish the waist band was adjustable somehow. When I first wore the pants, they seemed to cling to my legs, almost like static electricity. It is an odd effect but once I get into hiking mode, I tend to not notice it. The pants do sometimes feel like they are falling down when I hike. I think this is due in part to the loose waist band and the hip belt from the pack pressing down on the waist of the pants.

As I have to hike with knee braces, I was left with a dilemma, either wear the braces on top of the pants or underneath. If I wear the braces under the pants, I have to pull the pants off in order to put the braces on and the fit is very tight. It is simply not possible to hike the legs up over my knees to put braces on. Although the pants do have a zipper opening at the bottom, it is not large enough to pull the legs up that high. So I have taken to wearing the braces on the outside of the pants for ease of use and easy removal once at camp. If I hitch up the pants a little when I put the braces on I have plenty of stretching room. I do find that the neoprene-like backing of my braces causes a large heat and sweat build up under the pants and the braces tend to slide down a little with the pants. I have taken to hitching up the pants less and working with the stretch of the pants more. This has been working better.

The length of the pants are a little longer then I need when hiking in sandals. I noticed later on that the pants have two snaps, a loose position and a tighter position. The tighter positioned snaps falls on the backside of the leg right near my heel. I noticed this after a few steps when I stepped on the snap with my heel. I am not sure how useful this second, tighter position is but the snap head is uncomfortable to hike on. I have to hitch up my pants every once in a while to keep the snap away from my heel.

detail of bottom snaps

The pants have been washed several times and hung to dry. They tend to take a while to dry when hung, at most one full day and night. When I pulled them out of the washer the first time, one of the legs had filled with water and I dripped water all over. I have not noticed any ill effects to washing the pants. They are still soft, still have good stretch and repel water. I have not seen any sign of wear or piling of the material. The material tends to repel water to a point but eventually the top layer seems to soak up some water. With the top layer soaking up water, the material darkens but it doesn't seem to cross to the inside. I will have to see how well they repel water over a period of time in a downpour.

Long Term Report:
August 27th 2007

Due to the heat and humidity of summer in the DC area, I have been unable to wear the pants during the long term testing phase. I was having a little trouble finding cool enough weather to wear the pants in near the end of the field testing phase in June. I will get more wear out of the pants over the fall and into the winter and will append any new observations to the bottom of this report. At this time the pants are in great condition and have held up nicely to several trips through the washing machine.

This concludes my long term report on the GoLite Paradox Pants. I hope you have enjoyed reading this report series.

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Read more gear reviews by Kathryn Doiron

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > GoLite Paradox Pants > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

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