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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Hardwear Traverse Lite Pant > Test Report by Robb Pratt

October 20, 2021



NAME: Robb Pratt
EMAIL: unicornv007 AT
AGE: 50
LOCATION: Canton, Michigan, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I backpacked sporadically growing up and rediscovered it back in 2011. Since then, I've taken several weekend trips a year. I also car camp with my family roughly a dozen nights a year when we use tents unless I can convince them I might snore and it would be better for all for me to use my hammock rig. I prefer a light pack (weight without food or water under 20 pounds / 9 kg). My backpacking stomping ground is northern Michigan that has small hills and I typically camp late spring, summer and early fall months.



Manufacturer: Mountain Hardware
Year of Manufacture: 2021
Manufacturer's Website: Mountain Hardware
Measured Weight: 9.1 oz (257 g)
---Length of Pants: 41 inches (104 cm)
---Inseam: 32 inches (81 cm)
--- Mountain Hardware's Traverse Lite Pants are designated a super-light hiking pants that have been designed to dry quickly, provide up to SPF 50 protection and have a DWR finish to help repel water. They have four pockets in the front, two are hand pockets with a gusset /snap to make them larger or hold them flat against the body while the other two are mid-thigh pockets with zipper closures. The cuffs at the ankles have a drawstring to the grip at the ankles can be adjusted too.
--- They are made of 94% Nylon and 6% Elastane with an ultralight stretch plain weave.
---They come in two colors, Dark Storm (a dark gray) or Dunes (a lighter tan). I received the Dunes color.
--- For sizes, they come in sizes ranging from 28 to 46. I received a 34 which fits me comfortably with a little room to spare (I normally wear a size 33). For lengths, they have short, regular and long which translate to 30 , 32 and 34 inches (76, 81 and 86 cm). I received a 32 which fit me perfectly.



The Traverse Light Pants came in a simple plastic package, folded nicely. I was especially pleased to see that the labeling tab was connected to the pants with a piece of string that was fastened with a safety clip which was *not* actually clipped to the pants, only over one of the belt buckles. The last thing I want to do is start with clothing that has a small hole in it.

From a construction standpoint, the stitching is clean with no loose threads. The front zipper moves easily, with no binding and stays in place after seated. There is a button-snap at the top which also connects easily and takes what I believe is an acceptable force to undue.

The two main front pockets each have a small section of additional fabric that is snapped into position. When unsnapped, the two pockets expand, allowing me to fit more of my hand into each pocket. Below these two pockets, roughly mid-thigh, are another pair of pockets that have zipper closures to them.

There are no back pockets.


Lastly, both the legs have a small shock cord with a rubber cinch which tighten cuff at the ankle. The cords cinch up nicely and don't come loose easily afterwords.

As for the feel, the pants have a nice, smooth feel to them and feel very lightweight.


Putting on the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants is pretty easy. I've been putting on my own pants for many years now. I'm also quite skilled at taking them off, sending them through the washing machine after I inevitably sit on something I shouldn't - such as a marshmallow or something the dog attempted to eat but didn't exactly agree with him.

For me, I found the pants fit quite nicely. They have a little room at the waist for me and are not binding in the crotch area. From a length standpoint, they fit perfectly down to my ankles without me either stepping on the bottom cuff or riding tall enough to hint I may have survived a flood.

The front pockets are large enough that I can fit my hands in them easily. Unsnapping the button on each side gives my hands more room, especially if I already have something in my front pockets such as a wallet or keys.


The two zippered pockets located mid-thigh are perfectly sized that I can fit my phone (for size, it is my old Motorola Droid Turbo 2 which was what I had on hand) in without a problem and still zipper them shut. As I believe I have some chipmunk heritage in the family tree, I know I will use these heavily and squirrel away all kinds of goodies in these two spots.


Although I only wore the pants for a few hours, I did find myself struggling a bit with the lack of back pockets. Unless I'm walking in an area known for pickpockets (and in spite of general Chiropractor advice), I like keeping my wallet in my back pocket. I also have a habit when standing still of resting my hands the back pockets as well.


I like the overall feel of the Mountain Hardware Traverse Lite pants. They have a good feel to them and are not overly restricting. The color is quite nice and they are stylish enough that I could walk from the back country out into town and enjoy a nice business-casual event with only changing my shirt. I am looking forward to testing these over the next several months on multiple camping and backpacking trips.



* Backpacking Trip 6/11/2021 to 6/12/2021 - Proud Lake Recreational Area in Wixom, Michigan USA. The temperature was 60 to 85F (15.6 to 29.4C) with some rain overnight and an overall hot, muggy feeling. I camped in a tent for the night and we hiked 6 miles (9.7 km) with a backpack loaded to 38 lbs. (17.2 kg). I used the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants for the entire hike and while in camp.

* Base Camping Trip 6/19/2021 to 6/26/2021: Cole Canoe Base in Alger, Michigan USA. This is a large scout base camp filled with good tree coverage. The ground is mostly dirt and the camp is very flat with few hills. I used my hammock to camp. We had very cold weather and rain for much of the week. Temperatures ranged from 40 to 85 F (4 to 29 C). I estimate the total precipitation for the week around 2 inches (5.1 cm) but it was only heavy rain our last full day at camp. I used the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants for most of the days during the camping trip.

* Backpacking Trip 7/11/2021 to 7/22/2021 - Philmont Scout Camp in Cimarron, New Mexico, USA for 11 days / 10 nights. Temperature ranged from 50F to 85F (10 to 29C). It only rained twice during the whole trip (once while eating dinner and once while hiking) and the total rain amount was insignificant. The terrain was a combination of compacted dirt and rock. The rocks ranged in size from large enough to hop across while at higher elevation, they were smaller, fist-sized, loose slates that resulted in a lot of scrambling. My pack weight at its lowest was 35 lbs. (15.9 kg) and at its highest, over 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) depending on quantity of food and water being carried. While the whole trip was only 60 miles (96.6 km), with an average of 5.5 miles (8.9 km) per day, we had several long days that had over 10 miles (16 km) and had a lot of elevation gained / lost each day. The most elevation change in a day was 2,800 ft (853 m)and our actual elevation was between 6,500 ft and 12,441 ft (1,981 and 3,792 m). I wore the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants most days - sometimes for backpacking but most of the time after we arrived in camp.


For the last few months, I feel I really got to test the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants, so much so, that I forgot to post my Initial Report a few weeks back after we got returned from Philmont.

Anyway, the pants went with me on multiple trips including a short backpacking overnight trip, a simple base camping trip with a lot of "Michigan Weather" thrown at us and a two week trek though the mountains of New Mexico.

For the short backpacking trip, this really was an overnight shakedown for our upcoming New Mexico trip. Mileage was low and I was back to the ground with a tent. During the hike, I found the pants comfortable to wear. They didn't interfere with my stride or cause me to overheat. As for the pockets, while I missed having back pockets, I did make the most of the four pockets in the front. The lower two that zipped held my cellphone and keys - things I would be horrified if I lost. The upper pockets at the hip, I generally would put a water bottle in one of them that I was actively drinking from after we got to camp.

One interesting thing I also was able to test was the DWR on the pants. Almost as foreshadowing for my next trip, we had a rainstorm roll into camp that evening. Several times I was caught out in light rain and found that while my shirt was absorbing water, the pants were actually shedding it and staying (for the most part) dry.

A few weeks later, I went to Cole Canoe base with a few dozen boy scouts. For that week, I was thankfully back in my hammock. The weather though, was sour for most of the week. We had unusually cold weather - causing us to bundle up in all our clothing as well as lots of rain, especially on the last day. Roughly 15% of the tents in camp flooded out which is a good indicator of the amount of precipitation we had.

During this camping trip, I wore the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants for most of the week. Sometimes I was layered up with thermal underwear underneath or rain pants over the top to add extra insulation. On the few days it did get hot and sunny, I switched out into shorts for no other reason than to wear something clean. When I was wearing them, the pants did a great job of blocking the wind, preventing bugs from biting my legs and deflecting light rain. At one point, I really got to test their water deflection when someone spilled a full pan of hot water in my direction - the contents splashed onto the pants but thankfully, didn't soak in. The pants aren't fully waterproof though, as I was caught in one rainstorm away from camp. The resulting deluge soaked the pants completely and I had to hang them to dry. As a side note, I hung them underneath my hammock tarp overnight and they were dry in the morning in spite of having light rain overnight.

For the last trip, we went to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. This was a 60 mile (97 km) trip over 11 days. Generally, the weather was hot during the daytime with a lot of sun. I also had a very heavy (for me) pack. As such, I was nervous about overheating and wore shorts on most of the days during actual hiking. I did use the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite Pants for two full days though as well as every evening in camp when the weather cooled off. Furthermore, scout rules also require long pants for various activities which mean I used them for horseback riding, shotgun shooting and even a conservation project where we were moving boulders off the side of a mountain to build a trail.

Horseback Riding

For all of these activities, I found the pants worked great to store snacks, wrappers and even a cellphone in the zipper pockets. I used the pockets at my hips to hold larger items (either when sitting around or actively moving). I especially enjoyed keeping a water bottle here but I also used it to hold a small drybag with snacks in it. For that, I did snap open the pocket to expand it in size - there were about 12-14 energy bars in there.

Dayhiking up a Mountain

On the two days I wore them for hiking, one of those days was fairly warm and I found after 30 minutes of hiking, I was starting to overheat. I pulled the pants up over my knees, tightened the cords and let the material roll down past the knee, turning them into a hybrid pant / short mix that in some areas would be called "Capris".

Rolling up the Legs to Help Vent

For the other day, we hiked up to the top of Baldy Mountain which is over 12,500 ft (3,810 m) high. The pants worked great here to block the wind and I never got too hot.

Celebrating on Top of Baldy


I've greatly enjoyed using the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite pants over the last few months. The fabric feels smooth and it deflects wind and water fairly well. I also enjoy the security of the two zipper pockets and felt confident keeping things in there that I didn't want to lose.


1. Comfort - the material feels very smooth
2. Appearance - they look like nice khakis and don't wrinkle up no matter how I store them
3. Water deflection - light rain falls isn't absorbed
4. Wind deflection - high winds didn't rip through the pants
5. Zipper pockets - secure storage was really a plus for


1. Lack of back pockets - a small thing, but I tend to stand at ease with my hands in my back pockets.
2. Full coverage - I hesitate putting this as a negative especially as the weather gets colder, but in the hot temperatures of summer, I prefer wearing shorts and / or zip-off pants for added flexibility.



* Trip (8/14 to 8/22): Car Camping Trip that explored the southwestern portion of the USA. We flew into Las Vegas, Nevada with our camping gear and rented a car. From there, we drove to multiple national parks, typically hiking and sightseeing during the daytime, returning to camp in the evening to make dinner and sleep in our tent. We stayed at the Grand Canyon (Arizona) for 2 nights, Zion (Utah) for 2 nights, Mesa Verda (Colorado) for 1 night and Arches and Canyonlands (Utah) for 2 nights. For weather, it was hot with lots of sun and no rain for the first 4 days. Daytime temperatures hit close to 95F (35C) while nighttime was down around 70F (21C). The last three days, a storm front moved in which gave us a solid day of rain with so much precipitation we experienced flash flooding on the highway and had to retreat and wait for the waters to recede before continuing to our campsite. The last three days, daytime temperatures were much more comfortable around 75F (24C) and sleeping temperatures down around 45F (7C). Thankfully, the last couple of days did not have any rain.

* Trip (9/24 to 9/26) - Kensington Metro Park in Milford, Michigan, USA for 3 days, 2 nights. Temperatures ranged from 48 to 65F (9 to 18C). We had a lot of rain both before the trip and on the beginning of day 2 for several hours. This was a hike-in camp for me. My pack weight was 25 pounds (11 kg) but the distance hiked in (and out) was only 1 mile (1.6 km).


Over the last few months, I've been able to test the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite pants in a variety of situations that have shown their usefulness.

First off, I took them on a trip down to the southwestern United States on a tour of some of the nation's greatest National Parks (Grand Canyon, Zion, Mesa Verda, Arches and Canyonlands). This trip was one where we drove every day or two and camped at the parks. I found the pants to be very comfortable to wear while we sat for hours in a car as well as around evening campsites as the sun was setting. In general though, due to extremely hot temperatures the first half of the trip, I choose to wear shorts while hiking the parks. That was a personal decision based on the temperature and not being able to change clothes if I was overheating as our hiking was with small day bags only and we weren't going back to the car until the end of the day. For places like Zion (specifically, hiking upriver through the Narrows), shorts were absolutely necessary as we were hiking *through* the river.

Later in the week - after some incredibly wild storms where we were nearly washed away in a flashflood, the weather turned much more mild as well as colder. I was able to comfortably wear the pants without concerns about the heat. They worked great blocking the wind at places like Mesa Verde were we explored several of the historic cliff dwellings. I also found the large zipper pockets useful for things like my phone and a water bottle.

Exploring Mesa Verde (Water Bottle in Pocket)

I also was able to rain test them again at a local weekend walk-in scout camp. We had cold weather and quite a bit of rain before and during the trip. Everything was a muddy mess. The pants did a great job of shedding light (drizzle-level) rain. When the water was enough to saturate the fabric, the pants dried within a very short period of time. I estimate that to be less than 30 minutes but I wasn't timing it and they were never uncomfortable when wet.

Water Shedding During Drizzling Rain


They have held up to several rock scrambles along with tumbling in the woods. They also didn't tear when I caught them on a fence post which I was sure had damaged them.

I have also sent them through the general laundry at least 6 times now. They have not shrunk at all and the pants still look new (ie, no stains have remained in them after washing - which includes even a nasty mustard blotch that I sat on by accident).


Over the last few months, I've enjoyed wearing the Mountain Hardware Men's Traverse Lite pants. They are comfortable to wear, and I enjoy the feel of the fabric on my skin. They do a great job of deflecting wind and handle wet conditions better than my normal hiking pants/shorts.

I've found I enjoy the two zipper cargo pockets both for size and security. The only complaint I have is really the lack of back pockets. As for the two side pockets that expand, it is a nice feature when I have something overly large that I don't want in my hands but I didn't use it that much.

From a continued use standpoint, I will be using them through the fall, winter and spring seasons when the weather is colder, mainly due to how well they blocked wind and resisted light rain.

Thank you to Mountain Hardware and for giving me the opportunity to test the Men's Traverse Lite Pants.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

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