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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Hardwear Traverse Lite Pant > Test Report by joe schaffer

Mountain Hardware Traverse Lite Pant

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - June 2,2021
FIELD REPORT - August 11,2021
LONG TERM REPORT - October 8, 2021

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 73
WEIGHT: 180 lb (81 kg)
HEIGHT: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
WAIST: 34 in (86 cm)
INSEAM: 29 in (74 cm)
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); snowshoeing a mile or so (1.6 km) towing a sled.

Product: Traverse Lite Pantfront

Manufacturer:  Mountain Hardware

    Features: from website
    Ultralight Stretch Plain Weave 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane
    Uses: Superlight Backcountry, Rock Climbing, Backpacking / Hiking, Camping
    UPF 50 filters out harsh UV rays
    PFC free DWR finish repels water
    Lightweight fabrication
    Two hand pockets with volume gusset and snap to hold flat against body
    Two secure zip thigh pockets
    Seat gusset construction for ample mobility
    Engineered back yoke improves mobility
    Adjustable cinches at leg hem
    Woven logo at back right hip
     Colors: Dunes (requested and shown in photo), Dark Storm

     Sizes: 28-46 (71-117 cm); not all sizes in stock as of 6/2/21

backMy Specs:  Men's 34 (86 cm) waist, Regular
        Weight: 8 1/2 oz (242 g)
             Length: 40 in (
102 cm)
             Inseam: 29 1/2 in (75 cm)
             Seat: 12 in (30.5 cm)
             Waist circumference: 33 in (84 cm)
             Leg circumference at knee: 18 in (46 cm)
             Leg cuff circumference: 15 in (38 cm)
             Front drop: 1 1/2 in (4 cm)
             Back pockets: none
             Thigh pockets: 4 1/2-7 1/4 in H x 6 W w/5 in zip (11.5-18.5 x 15 cm; 13 cm zip)
             Front pockets: 6-8 1/2 in H x 6 1/4 in W (15-21.5 x 16 cm)
      Inner waistband: 1 1/2 in (4 cm)
             Five belt loops: 1 3/4 in loop (4.5 cm) 1/2 in (1.3 cm) grosgrain

MSRP: US $95

Warranty: Until such time vendor deems it worn out beyond reasonable repair.

Return Policy
: Within 60 days of purchase made on company website in original condition; unworn with tags attached.

Received: June 1, 2021; photos out of the backpack after 72 hours of wearing over 8 days.

My Description:
    These gossamer light pants of thin, slight-stretch material weigh barely over half-a-pound (just under a quarter-kilo). The pants have four pockets: Two on the front hip and one on the side of each thigh. No back pockets. The front pockets have a snap-close/open pleat to increase pocket volume on demand. The thigh pockets have zip closure. Fly zipper. Waist cuff has one snap closure. Articulated knee. Leg cuff draw string and cord lock. Five belt loops.

     Care instructions are to machine wash separately, cold water on gentle; no bleach; tumble dry low heat; no fabric softener; remove promptly; low-heat iron; do not dry clean.
The fit is trim, at least for me, being neither skinny nor bulky. I measure the waist circumference at an inch (2.5 cm) less than the size. While it is certainly possible I suffer belly bloat denial from a year of truncated activity, I would not want the waist cuff any less in circumference. The leg length suits me perfectly while sitting, a little long for standing. Longer for sitting is great when the bugs are out.

    Snaps do not seem a great idea to me on such thin fabric. Even a raging type-A knows better than to yank a button, but snaps can encourage intellectually deficient behavior. I don't know that I would need more volume in the pockets. Blousing the leg cuffs is probably not something I would ever do. UV protection is a great idea for red-in-a-second skin that won't tolerate sunscreen.

     Zippered pockets are a great idea to help avoid stuff from vaporizing into the ecosphere. The thigh pockets are plenty big enough to store something like a permit, where it will be readily and conveniently accessible. The pockets will zip shut with a smart phone inside, though I tend not to like having anything that heavy banging against my leg.

My general experience with mostly-nylon material is that it can get smarmy quickly, but I didn't get that feeling while wearing the pants in a warm house. With clean material and clean skin, there was no drag over the knee caps. I found the pants so comfortable as barely to notice them on--breathable and non-bunching or binding.

    These are such nice pants I feel great reluctance to tempt the cinder gods. Until we have lurched fully into the abyss of this year's drought and campfire bans, I'll have to carry a veteran pair of pants for campfire relaxation.

Field Conditions:
1. June 4-11, 2021: Emigrant Wilderness, California, USA. 7 nights; 32-75 F (0-24 C), hot and calm to gusty and freezing with even a spit of snow and hail; 7,200-9,000 ft (2,200-2,700 m); 6 camps. 72 hours wearing.
     2. June 13-14, 2021: Urban adventure, 24 hours.
     3. June 23-28, 2021: Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA. 5 nights; 45-80 F (7-27 C), sunny; 5,900-8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m); 4 camps. 40 hours wearing.
    4. Jun 28-Jul 10, 2021: Home wearing, 166 hours including a continuous stretch of 4 days convalescing in bed.
    5. Jul 12-22, 2021: Emigrant Wilderness, California, USA. 10 nights; 40-90 F (4-32 C), mostly hot and calm with one showery day; 7,200-9,000 ft (2,200-2,700 m); 7 camps. 108 hours wearing. 
    6. Aug 4-9, 2021: Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA. 5 nights; 50-80 F (10-27 C); 5,900-8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m); 4 camps. 22 hours wearing.

I like these pants a lot for their comfort. Many camping days I spent the whole time in them between non-fire camp lounging and sleeping.

    The relatively slight angle of the opening of the upper pockets had me fishing to find the way in, though I've gotten more used to it. I did not have occasion to put anything in the pockets except my hands. On an urban outing I took advantage of the zipped pockets to stash my wallet (a rubber-banded wrap) in one and my phone in the other. Over two days I got used to the wallet hanging in there, but the phone was a chronic issue. The pocket is wide enough that the phone would slip sideways instead of up and down, making a troublesome width of protrusion. And making a supposition come true, I couldn't adapt to the weight of the phone banging around on my leg.

For me, the pocket pleat is unnecessary and I'd say dispense with it. I find the zipped pockets too wide for where they are on the leg. The design priority for these pants is light weight and I don't get the idea of cargo pockets fitting into that priority.

    The waist cuff snap has been fine so far. It hasn't ever come undone on its own, yet does not behave stubbornly on an intentional release. I don't see any stress in the anchoring material.

Leg length is perfect for sling chair lounging with bugs about. The longer leg still reaches below the top of socks while sitting; and being able to draw the cuff snug keeps bugs out. Though the material is thin, it evidently deters biting bugs. For example, mosquitoes can poke through denim weave. I haven't found any red spots to suggest bite success in getting through the Traverse pants. Perhaps I should moderate the comment with a note that most camping this year has been dry and hot enough to temper the assault ferocity of bloodthirsty insects.

    These pants remind me of the pantyhose commercial from way back that pitched 'like you ain't wearing nothin'. That's how these pants feel. Not having the weight of back pockets may be part of that feeling. I never use back pockets, and perhaps I'll adjust to not feeling them there.
Most often I have to wash a new garment or it will itch almost immediately. And yet I've still not washed them even after 432 hours of wearing. Those hours have accrued from sleeping and chair-sitting, not the campfire smoke or trail dust that would lead to intolerable muck accumulation. As I've so far actively avoided getting them in muck, I don't know how the material would react to it.

    Sitting at the campfire has proven untenable. I already have enough pants with burn holes. I simply cannot abide the cinder gods in their lust to burn such a wonderfully comfortable pair of pants equally suited to urban endeavor where burn holes are not as readily recognized as badges of camping honor. I haven't backpacked in them as I never wear long pants for that purpose.

    The pants fold up to an impressively small bundle for packing, about 1 in thick and 11 x 7 1/2 (2.5 x 28 x 19 cm) in my clothes bag.

Accumulated wearing: 242 hours camping + 190 hours home/urban = 432 hours. Machine washes or hand rinses: 0.

Field Conditions:
7. Aug 17-27, 2021: Emigrant & Yosemite, California, USA. 10 nights, 39 mi (63 km) trail + 9 mi (14 km) XC (cross country), 41 hrs hiking; leave weight 43 lb (20 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg); 40-80 F (4-27 C); 7,000-9,000 ft (2,100-2,700 m); 9 camps. 163 hours wearing.
Sep 16-26, 2021: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 10 nights, 45 mi (72 km) trail + 5 mi (8 km) XC; leave weight 42 lb (19 kg), return 30 lb (13.6 kg); 35-70 F (2-21 C); 7,000-9,300 ft (2,100-2,800 m); 9 camps. 151 hours wearing.

    I really like these pants for summer wear. Though I've not given them a rigorous activity test I think the hours I've worn them--equal to a month of continuous wear--lets me speak to their comfort and durability. I've worn them over consecutive days of camp lounging and sleeping. As I tend to eschew camp activity that courts dirt I've found little need to wash them and have only once, primarily for the purpose of seeing how well the fabric would retain its original feel. They came out great, looking good as new.

    They are 'over-pocketed' for my use. In cooler times I found my hands in the pockets but otherwise never used them. Other than to test them out, I never used the zippered pockets. Perhaps part of the reason is that I never carry a belt. After a few days in the outback it seems the middle of me shrinks a bit each day. Anything other than hands in the pockets causes the pants to slip down. My preference would be to trade out the weight of the zippered pockets for an integrated belt. I definitely don't need cargo pockets, so the pleat could go at no loss of function.

    The blousing band on the leg cuffs is probably a good idea, especially in bug times. But on a purely personal note, it reminds me of the argument I got in with a sergeant over the ridiculousness of blousing trouser cuffs and an awful lot of KP would be wasted if I started blousing now.

    No durability issues of any kind have developed. The waist snap & fly zipper still work like new. No wear holes have developed in the seat. No seams appear stressed. No threads are coming loose.

Accumulated wearing: 746 hours

SUMMATION: Very light, comfortable pants.

Quick Shots:
a) good fit
b) light and small package
c) two secure pockets
d) no back pockets

Thank you Mountain Hardware and for the opportunity to test this product. This report completes the test.

Read more reviews of Mountain Hardwear gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Hardwear Traverse Lite Pant > Test Report by joe schaffer

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