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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > MEC Terrena Pants > Owner Review by Theresa Lawrence

March 18, 2012


NAME: Theresa Lawrence
EMAIL: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.


Image courtesy of MEC
Manufacturer: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: CAD $55.00
Listed Weight: 13.5 oz (382 g) for size 8 (regular)
Regular refers to an inseam length of 81 cm (32 in)
Short is also available with an inseam of 76 cm (30 in)
Size Tested: 8 (regular)
Other sizes available: 2,4,6,10,12,14,16 (regular) and 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16 (short)
Colour Reviewed: Shady Grey
Other colours available: Chocolate Chip and Eclipse


MEC Terrena Pants are lightweight and meant for hiking and backpacking. The material is a quick-dry blend of 51% polyester and 49% nylon made with mechanical stretch and DWR (durable water repellency). Features include a snap button and zipper fly with draw cord and belt loops to fit the waist. Elastic hem cords allow for closing the pant leg bottoms and gusseted crotch and knee darts allow for increased mobility. There are two front slash pockets (the right comes with a shock cord key-loop), two rear zippered pockets and one zippered pocket on the right thigh. Washing instructions on the tag indicate these pants should be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried and ironed at low temperatures.


I have owned these pants for 2 years and in that time have used them (a guess) at least 50 times. The majority of these uses were day hikes (4-10 hours) and about a half dozen times on overnight weekend backpacking trips. I also have used them for rock climbing, Search and Rescue and walking around town. They have since been my primary hiking pants for all seasons. I purposely bought them in a size that fits a bit baggy so that I can fit a thin thermal layer underneath in the winter. They have been used in temperatures down to -10 C (14 F) in the winter and up to 35 C (95 F) in the summer and have seen all elements of wind, rain and snow.

Wearing thermal layer underneath on a winter overnight trip



Overall the MEC Terrena Pants fit me well. My legs are long and typically it's difficult to find pants long enough to cover the tops of my hiking boots. With two lengths available (short and regular), I was able to purchase the regular length, which fit me perfectly. I like the knee darts as the pants don't pull when bending the knee such as when I'm crouching, stepping up or climbing and they actually are positioned at my own knee, which isn't always the case. I find the fabric light, nonabrasive and comfortable to wear. However, the crotch is a bit low for my liking as I choose to wear the waistband just above the top of my hip bone where I wear all my pants (I dislike high waist pants). Despite this, I still have all the mobility I need to perform outdoors. What does annoy me is that the fly doesn't lie flat between the top of the zipper and the button snap, creating a bulge, which I believe draws unwanted attention to the area (maybe I'm just overly self-conscious). The snap button waist with draw cord is a great feature and prevents the pants from sliding down when hiking or bending.



The design of these pants with the knee darts makes them ideal for hiking, scrambling and climbing up mountains. They also make it useful when setting up camp with all the crouching and bending that goes along with it. In summer when temperatures were hot, they proved to be light and breathable and the elastic cord at the hem allowed me to where them at knee length to make them more airy, which also came in handy when crossing rivers. The legs are wide enough that I can roll them up above my knee for even deep river crossings. The elastic cord in the hem also provides just enough weight and structure to the hem of the pants keeping them down over the top of the boot as opposed to being hooked above the top of the boot allowing debris to get inside (of course gaiters would prevent this too, but sometimes they can be too hot to wear in the summer).
Hem of pants stays over top of boots keeping debris out.
I also found these pants to be wind-resistant, which was demonstrated on top of mountains where winds were high. In light rain, mist and dampness they proved to be water-repellant keeping me dry and warm. The pants dried quickly when wet with sweat (like the back of the waistband from carrying a backpack). They were dry within a half hour of stopping for camp on a warm day. I have not worn them in a downpour, so cannot comment on how long it would take them to dry if soaked. In the winter they continued to perform well with a thin thermal layer underneath down to about -10 C (14 F).

I find I don't use the pockets much except for the thigh pocket, which always carries some extra tissue and lip balm. Though bulky and heavy, I will sometimes place my small digital camera in this pocket for quick access. I found anything bulky in the back or front pockets makes the pants very uncomfortable. However, the back pockets with zippers worked well for flat objects like a credit card or cash that I wanted to be sure wouldn't fall out and be lost.


After 2 years they still look new. Nothing has failed; no rips or tears. All cords are intact and they continue to perform well. I have washed these pants a lot less than I have used them as the color hides the dirt and they can be used several times without odor, making them great for multiple day trips. They have stood up to 2 years of washings in cold water. I always hang them to dry since they dry fast and I have never used an iron on them because they always come out of the wash wrinkle free.


Overall, these pants have met my expectations in all conditions. They are my primary hiking pants of choice for all seasons. I wear them on every hiking trip and rely on them (one pair) for multiple day trips. With some minor dislikes I would look to buying these again if still available when these expire.


- Length
- Elastic hem cord keeps pant legs down, as well as up
- Knee darts allow for great bent knee performance
- Light and comfortable
- Easy to wash
- Durable
- Thigh pocket
- Zippers on the back pocket keep things secure


- Low crotch
- Fly doesn't lie flat

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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