BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Khakis Granite Convertibles > Test Report by Shane Williams

Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertible Pants
Test Series by Shane Williams
Initial Report: July 15th, 2011
Field Report: September 27th, 2011
Long Term Report: November 28th, 2011


Initial Report

Tester Information:

Name: Shane Williams
Email: sherpa[dot]colorado[at]gmail.com
Age: 37
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
Weight: 172 lb (78 kg)

Bio:

As a child I lived in the last house on a dead end street. Just beyond my house was a wilderness area. I started hiking and exploring there, and I've never stopped. I started backpacking in the South Eastern Appalachian Mountains, including portions of the Appalachian Trail. Today I primarily hike in the Colorado Rockies. My pack weight is approximately 30 lbs (13.61 kg) to 50 lbs (22.68 kg). I often carrying more gear than necessary hoping that I wonít need it. I enjoy weekend excursions into the High Country with friends and lower elevation day trips with my family.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Mountain Khakis
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.mountainkhakis.com/
MSRP: $79.95 US
Available Sizes : Waist Size: 28 to 44 inches (71-112 cm)
Inseam Size: 30 and 32 inches (76 and 81 cm) available in all waist sizes
Inseam Size: 34 (86 cm) are available in waist sizes: 34 to 44 inch (86 - 112 cm)
Inseam Size: 36 (91 cm) are available in waist sizes: 34 to 38 inch (86 - 97 cm)
Size Tested: 35 in (89 cm) W x 30 in (76 cm) L
Available Colors: Ash, Birch, Earth and Pine
Tested Colors: Birch
(Courtesy of Mountain Khakis )

Product Features:

  • 6.3oz, 100% Brushed Nylon
  • Quick Drying and Moisture Wicking
  • UVA-UVB 50+
  • Lightweight & Packable
  • Color-Coded Removable Leg Zips
  • 9 in (22.86 cm) Shorts Inseam
  • 10 in (25.40 cm) zippered cuff for easy pant leg removal
  • Reinforced Heel Cuffs
  • Scotchgardô Treatment
  • Inseam Action Gusset
  • YKKģ Zipper
  • 4 Pockets + Cargo Pocket
  • Mesh Pocket Bags
  • Triple-Stitched Seams
  • Mid-Rise, Relaxed Fit

Product Overview:

The Granite Creek Convertible pants from Mountain Khakis are designed to be a light weight versatile pant suited for just about any outdoor activity. Theyíre constructed of a durable 6.3 oz nylon fabric treated with Scotchguard to help protect against the mud and grit found in out of the way places. In addition to the Scotchguard protection the 100% nylon fabric has been treated to protect against ultra violet light and has a 50+ UPF rating. Out of the box itís clear that the Granite Creek Convertible's have been designed with quality and attention to detail.

A primary example of the premium features found in the Granite Creek Convertibles is the netted pocket liners. This design reduces fabric weight, heat retention, and helps the pants to dry quickly should they be totally submerged in water. This becomes an important feature with these pants due to the amount of storage space available. There are two open front pockets with a pocket depth of 11 in (27.94 cm) from the bottom hem of the waistband to the bottom of the pocket. The right front pocket also has an additional zippered pocket contiguously placed along the right hem and 1.5 in (3.81 cm) from the open pocket. This zippered pocket can be used to store things that could easily slip from an open pocket such as a point and shoot camera, car keys, or other valuable items.

(Right Pocket)

Thereís also a zippered pocket positioned on the back right 2.25 in (5.72 cm) from the waistband hem. the zippered pocket is 6 in (15.24 cm) wide and 7 in (17.78 cm) deep. It also has a netted liner. A cargo pocket is positioned on the left leg that has a hook-and-loop fastened closure. Within this cargo pocket an additional zippered pocket. It is slightly smaller than the cargo pocket with a depth of 4.5 in (11.43 cm). The cargo pocket isnít comprised of the same netted pocket liner because it uses the exterior material of the pant leg as its liner. The cargo pocket also has a drain hole to prevent water from pooling up.

(Cargo Pocket and Convertible Zippers)

Another great feature of the Granite Creek Convertible pant is the fact that they have been designed as convertibles. This means the lower portion of the leg can be zipped off, thus converting the pants into shorts. The left leg has a gray zipper, this is so that the left leg can be distinguished from the right once they have been removed. Thereís also a 1 in (2.54 cm) horizontal flap to cover the zippers from plain sight.

(Hem zipper and double cuff)

The bottom portion of the pant leg has a 10 in (25.40 cm) vertical zipper that unzips from the bottom hem upwards. This is to allow the pants legs to be removed without the need to take off a pair of boots. The rear bottom hem has been reinforced so that it wonít wear thin from continuous rubbing on the back or bottom of the boot.

Care and Maintenance:

Machine Wash Cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low remove promply best when still damp. Steam iron with medium heat.

Sizing:

While trying to determine the proper fit for this, I went with a standard size that I typically wear, but it turned out to be a bit larger than pants of similar style. I consulted the sizing chart on the Mountain Khakis website and realized my error. The sizing charts run 0.25 in (0.64 cm) larger than standard sizing. I usually like my pants slightly larger than needed, but in this case, it was significantly larger. I contacted Customer Service and was able to make an exchange without any issues. The only stipulations for return were that the item hadnít been worn or washed and the hang tags had to still be intact.

Initial Impressions:

Upon receiving the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertible pants I found them to be in premium new condition with hang tags intact. There were not any rips, tears, stains, loose seams or markings of any kind. They come with a very impressive set of features that reflect quality and workmanship. I especially like the netted pockets and versatility found in convertible attire. Iím also impressed with the storage space provided by the pockets as well as the ability to secure valuables in zippered areas.I look forward to getting out and spending some time in the back country with the Granite Creek Convertibles.

Field Report: September 27th, 2011

Field Conditions:

During this series of testing Iíve worn the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertibles pants 14 times. These uses have varied but have been comprised of 1 overnight camping trip, 1 day hike, 3 trail runs, and 9 ďaround townĒ sessions. Iíve worn these both as pants and shorts but have slightly favored, at least in frequency, the longer pants. Selection of this configuration was primarily based on temperatures.

During the overnight camping trip around Divide Colorado the temperatures ranged from 40 F (4.44 C) - 75 F (23.89 C) and was primarily sunny but did encounter late afternoon thunder storms. For the day hike the temperatures were between 70 F (21.11 C) Ė 80 F (26.67 C). It was also perfectly sunny without a hint of moisture. The 3 trail runs varied in distance but ranged from 3 to 5 miles (4.83Ė 8.05 km) in mostly sunny conditions.

Field Report:

While Iíve had a fair amount of usage this series I have to admit that I was hoping for more back country time. As I mentioned in my Initial Report, I was surprised that the sizing was dramatically different than my typical sizing. I assumed this was due to the ľ inch (0.64 cm) margin given in the sizing; however, when I measured the waist band these measured 38 in (97 cm). The odd thing was that the sewn tag had them marked as 36 in (91 cm). When I contacted customer support I was routed to a customer service representative without a length hold time. I described tag markings and the measurements that I had taken and they confirmed that the sizing seemed to be mislabeled. Mountain Khakis sent a Return Authorization Form and a prepaid printable shipping label via email. Mountain Khakis also noted that the estimated time for returns and exchanges is a standard 30 days. I received a new pair in just under the estimated time. During the time that I sent off the pants and the time I received them Mountain Khakis sent regular emails to follow up and kept me posted on all status changes. When they determined that the wrong size was sent they followed up just to verify that the correct size was being sent back. All in all the return process was fairly painless, Customer Service communicated well and I received a proper fitting item. The only down side was the long turnaround time which may have been compounded by the QA/QC process.

Once I was finally able to try a proper fitting pair they were impressive. Several of the hiking pants that Iíve worn have a portion of the waist band constructed of elastic. While this certainly helps with fitting, it also doesnít allow for a precise fit. That was one of the things that stood out when I was on my first outing. The non-elastic waistband, when properly sized, gives a comfortable fit and feel. This also allows the rest of the pants to fit more true to form rather than being bulky.

The second thing that really stood out about the Granite Creek Convertibles is the thin and light weight fabric. These are perfect for warmer seasons or climates where heat and moisture could be an issue. On one occasion I had the majority of the pants wet and they dried fairly quickly. Several times itís been warm enough to warrant the removal of the lower leg but I didnít want to be that exposed to the sun. They were still very cool and provided a nice covering without being excessively hot. The thinner material is also nice when you need to wick away moisture from the body. I typically wear running shorts while trail running just because theyíre usually more comfortable and better equipped to wick moisture. However, one afternoon as I was heading out for a run I selected the Granite Creek Convertibles, removed the legs and hit the trail. At the end of the run I had worked up enough of a sweat to fully wet the front and back of my cotton shirt, but the shorts were minutely wet around the waistband. While the lite fabric and moisture wicking features are nice, for this same reason I probably wouldnít select these for a winter hike.

Pockets, pockets and more pockets, I love the storage. The deep front pockets are a perfect size and width. I especially like the right hand zipper pocket. I typically carry my point and shoot camera unprotected (without a case) in my front pocket. Iím often a little nervous that while doing something active, like swinging on a swing or jumping over a creek that my camera is going to fly out. With the right zipper pocket I can keep that from happening. In addition to the roomy front pockets the cargo pockets have enough storage space to carry several Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, a small first aid kit or other bulky items.

Field Image: Mount Herman

Summary:

Iíve think I can safely say that the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertible pants are among the most comfortable pants that Iíve worn. They are light weight, versatile, quick drying and have additional SPF protection from the sun. They also have plenty spaces to tuck away all the essentials. The only possible precautions that are worth highlighting would be that these pants may not hold heat very well in colder seasons and that exact measurements should be taken when sizing

Long Term Report: November 28th, 2011

Field Conditions:

During this series of testing Iíve continued to wear the Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertibles on overnight trips and day hiking ventures in and around the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This entails 1 overnight trip to the Sawatch Mountains and various day hikes around the Colorado Springs area. During my overnight trip to the Sawatch Mountains in central Colorado, I had a chance to test the Granite Creek Convertibles in wintery conditions as I ascended the 14ers Mount Belford and Mount Oxford. Above 13,000 ft (3900 m) temperatures dropped to 18 F (-7 C) and wind speeds increased to a sustained 30 MPH (48). This yielded a wind-chill between -5 F (-20 C) and 5(-15 C). Duration above 13,000 ft (3900 m) was 5 hours. During this hike I wore these exclusively in the long pant configuration.

The remaining hikes around Colorado Springs and in the Pikes Peak National Forest around Woodland Park. These outings were all casual hikes ranging from 2 to 4 hours. Conditions were sunny with temperatures between 40 F (4.44 C) and 70 F (21.11 C). There wasnít a drop of moisture in the region.

In addition I also continued to wear the Granite Creek Convertible pants around the house and around town. Iíve worn them primarily as pants, but have occasionally worn them in there zip-off short configuration.

Field Report:

Whether in there pant or short configuration, the Granite Creek Convertibles continue to prove themselves to be rugged, stylish, and comfortable. In my Field Report I mentioned that these pants were thin and would probably not be a good candidate for winter hiking. During my ascent of Mount Belford and Mount Oxford, I had an opportunity to really test that theory. For this hike I wore them exclusively in the long pant configuration and had a polypropelene base layer underneath. With the base layer in place these provided adequate warmth even in the colder conditions. That being said, I think itís important to note that this was a very dry climate. While I did encounter snow, I had gaiters that prevented moisture from saturating the pants. One thing that Iíve noticed about the Granite Creek Convertibles, is that when they become saturated, they feel very thin. If in wetter wintery conditions, or a more humid winter environment, they may perform differently. With the testing climate being dry and the inclusion of a base layer, they provided adequate protection from the elements.

One of the things that I love about the Granite Creek Convertibles is the fact that they are stylish enough to be worn around town and rugged enough to endure lengthy hikes in the back country. During this test series I havenít had the first instance of binding zippers, pulling seams, or any other issues related to product malfunction. They also sustained significant abrasion from scree, branches and boulders without showing premature wear.

Field Image: Mount Belford

Summary:

Mountain Khakis has delivered one of the most comfortable fitting pants that Iíve worn. Their multi use functionality, durability and style all culminate into an enjoyable experience. Should something go wrong, such as improper sizing, Customer Support provides a hassle free exchange.

This concludes my Long Term Report. A special thanks to BackPackGearTest.org and Mountain Khakis for the opportunity to be a part of this test series.



Read more reviews of Mountain Khakis gear
Read more gear reviews by Shane Williams

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Khakis Granite Convertibles > Test Report by Shane Williams



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson