MOUNTAIN KHAKIS SNAKE RIVER PANTS
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN
INITIAL REPORT - October 08, 2009
FIELD REPORT - January 04, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - February 27, 2010
5' 9" (1.75 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I have been hiking and camping for over 20 years and enjoy backpacking solo and with my kids in Scouting. I especially enjoy fall and winter backpacking and camping. My backpack and gear are older and weigh 40+ lbs (18 kg). This has limited the distances I have been able to cover while hiking. My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.
Manufacturer: Mountain Khakis
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://mountainkhakis.com
MSRP: US $79.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 16 oz (454 g)
100% Nylon construction
UVA / UVB UPF 50+
Available in sizes: Waist: 32-42 (even)
Inseams: 30, 32, 34
9 in (23 cm) inseam on shorts
Colors: Ash, Birch
The Mountain Khakis (MK) Snake River Convertibles are full length hiking pants with zip off legs which allow them to convert into shorts. The pants are made out of 100% nylon. MK notes that they are quick-drying, wicking, and UV resistant to UPF 50.
The front of the pants closes with a 5.5 in (14 cm) zipper and an antique-brass riveted shank button at the top. The pants have six belt loops which are each 2 in (5 cm) tall and a total of six pockets, three of which are zippered. The front two pockets measure 6 in (15 cm) deep and are constructed with mesh material on the inside. The third pocket resides at the entrance to the right front pocket and closes with a 6 in (15 cm) zipper. The fourth pocket is on the right rear hip of the pants. It also closes with a zipper and is lined with mesh fabric. This pocket measures 5 in x 6 in (13 cm x 15 cm). The last two pockets (5 and 6) are positioned on the left thigh. The fifth pocket measures 7 x 7.5 in (18 cm x 19 cm) and closes with a fold over flap of nylon fabric that is held shut by hook and loop fasteners. The final pocket is zippered and is located by opening the flap which covers the fifth pocket. It measures 5 in x 5 in (13 cm x 13 cm).
As these are convertible pants, zippers connect the upper and lower leg sections. These zippers are covered, both inside and out, with a 0.75 in (2.5 cm) nylon flap. In addition, along the lateral side of each lower pant leg is a 14 in (35 cm) zipper that zips upward to allow removal of the lower pant legs while wearing shoes. The zippers are covered on the inside and out with a 0.75 in (2 cm) flap of fabric. When worn as shorts, the Snake River pants have a 9 in (23 cm) inseam.
The washing instructions indicate that the pants are to be machine washed in warm water and tumble dried on low. The instructions also indicate that the pants can be steam ironed with medium heat.
The Snake River Convertible Pants are a great looking pair of pants. Upon receiving them, I was immediately impressed with their styling and solid feel. They have no loose seams or dangling threads. The fabric is soft with a tight weave that should hold up very well to abrasion. The seams are triple stitched and stress points around the pockets are bar tacked. Quite simply, they exude quality.
TRYING THEM OUT
The pants are very comfortable and roomy. They allow a great range of motion as I move and walk around. The waist seems just right, neither too snug nor too loose. The pants have a gusseted crotch. This design allows for more freedom of movement than a traditional crotch seam.
|Convertible to shorts|
The pockets are good-sized to hold a variety of items and do not seem to be too deep, so as to easily retrieve those items. The zippers, hook-and-loop closures, and waist button all function very well.
One of the key features of these pants is the ability to zip off the lower part of the leg, converting the pants into shorts. The attaching and removal of the pant legs is very simple. Underneath a small flap of cloth is a zipper that encircles the entire leg. The zipper works smoothly and is easy to start. At the ankle is a vertical zipper that allows the lower pant leg to be removed over shoes or boots. I am very happy with the removal of the pant legs over all. The zipper is very small and conceals well. I could hardly tell that they were zip-off pant legs when attached. The inseam on the shorts is noted to be 9 inches (23 cm), which is long enough to cover most of the upper part of my leg.
The attention to detail is seen in the bar-tacked reinforced stress areas and triple-stiched seams, the high-grade threads, unbreakable buttons, and solid brass YKK zippers.
I am impressed with the Mountain Khakis Snake River Convertibles and am anxious to do some backpacking in these pants. They are comfortable and well constructed with quality materials, triple stitching, and sturdy flat-felled seams. The nylon fabric is soft to the touch and supple. The zippers for removing the lower portion of the legs operate smoothly and do not seem prone to catching.
Over the next few months I will be evaluating these pants in regards to quality of construction, comfort and performance.
This concludes my Initial Report for the Snake River Pants. I will post a Field Report in approximately two months. Please check back then for further information. I would like to thank Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test these pants.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the past two months I have worn the Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants on three backpacking trips for a total of nine days. In addition, I have worn them on two day hikes as well as around town on weekends. I have encountered a few warm days with weather in the mid 80's F (28 C) and two cold days with temperatures in the upper 20's (-2 C), but typically I have been hiking in temperatures ranging from the mid 50's F (13 C) to low 70's (22 C). Night time temperatures have dropped into the 40's F (7 C) on several occasions. The terrain has varied greatly and has included well established trails, off trail bushwhacking and even navigating creek beds. Weather has included everything from sunny skies to sleet and rain.
1. Hoosier National Forest, Bloomington, Indiana: This was a three day backpacking trip of approximately 12 miles (24 km). The weather was warm and sunny with highs in the upper 60's F (20 C) and lows in the mid 40's F (7 C). The terrain was heavily forested and quite rugged. I spent the majority of this backpacking trip off-trail.
2. North Chagrin Park, Willoughby Hills, Ohio: While visiting family in Cleveland, Ohio we went on two day hikes. The first was a 3 mi (5 km) hike while the second was a 6 mi (9 km) geocaching adventure. The park elevation is 669 ft (204 m). The temperature both days was in the upper 20's F (-2 C).
3. St Cloud, Florida: Daytime temperatures during this four day backpacking trip ranged from 60 F (15 C) to 82 F (28 C), with night temperatures around 50 F (10 C). The first day and early night were rainy and windy, but after that weather conditions were dry with light breezes. During the following three days the sky was clear and sunny. The trails were well maintained with minimal elevation changes.
4. Oldenburg, Indiana: The weather during this weekend hiking and camping trip was partly sunny with temperatures in the mid 60's (18 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Mountain Khakis Snake River pants have performed exceptionally well during my past two months of field testing. As noted in my initial review, they fit great in the waist, are a good length, and are very comfortable to wear. After many miles on the trail, the fabric still feels smooth against my legs and slides readily without binding or pulling. The nylon fabric appears to be very high quality and there are no loose threads or snags. The pants look basically the same as the day they arrived with no signs of wear despite a great deal use and being washed several times. So far there is no fading or sweat discoloration. The pants provide adequate room for scrambling over rocks and downed trees. The gusseted crotch enhances the overall comfort of these pants. The pants are comfortable in hot weather and still provide warmth in cooler temperatures. While backpacking in the Hoosier National Forest, the weather was cool at the outset, but the pants kept me plenty warm. As the day warmed up, I continued to hike and never felt too warm. While backpacking off-trail, the pants protected my legs from the larger sticks and scratchy brush. Despite climbing up steep embankments and over fallen trees, the pants weathered the trail nicely with no visible problems.
The pants legs are easy to take off and reattach in the field. Several times while hiking in Florida, I unzipped the pant legs and was able to quickly convert them to shorts. At the beginning of my trip to Florida, while the weather was cool and windy, I was impressed with the warmth and good wind protection that the Snake River pants provided.
One of the excellent qualities of these pants is that the material dries rapidly and appears to wick away moisture from my skin. I have never noticed the pants becoming wet from sweat. These pants dry much faster than any other pants I own. While hiking in Florida, the pants became completely saturated while trekking through wet brush and when I got back to camp, the pants were dry within an hour. If the weather is warm enough that I don't need raingear for protection, or if I'm planning any stream crossings, these are the first pants I will reach for because they dry so quickly.
While day hiking at North Chagrin Park in Cleveland, Ohio, the pockets in these pants were adequate for carrying my wallet, keys, pocket knife, and Garmin GPS. The front pockets are deep and worked well to keep my GPS close at hand with no worries about dropping it on the trail. The pockets also came in handy for stashing items such as trail snacks and treats for my dog. The front zippered pocket kept my pocket knife secure while the rear zipper pocket was perfect for my wallet. All of the zippers on these pants have operated smoothly without a single catch.
So far, I really like the Mountain Khakis Snake River pants. They are lightweight and comfortable. They have kept me warm in the cool weather and prevent sunburns when the sun is shining brightly. There is plenty of pocket room for small gear or a bag of trail mix. The pants are so comfortable that they have also become my preferred travel pants. I am looking forward to taking these on other outings. This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in about two months for more test results.
Thanks to Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Snake River Pants.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the past two months I have worn the Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants on two backpacking trips and two day hikes for a total of seven days. I have also enjoyed wearing these pants around town and while clearing the snow off our driveway. Since the temperature has been mostly below freezing, I have been wearing thermals underneath these pants for extra warmth. The areas I have been hiking lately include snow covered park trails, wilderness forested areas and even frozen creek beds.
Franklin County, Indiana (IN): This was a two day backpacking trip that covered 6 mi (9.6 km). I hiked 2 mi (3.2 km) on the first day and 4 mi (6.4 km) on the second day. The weather during this trip was partly sunny with temperatures in the mid 20's (-3 C).
Brown County State Park, IN: Daytime temperatures during this three day backpacking trip ranged from 28 F (-2 C) to 34 F (-7 C), with nighttime temperatures around 22 F (-5 C). The weather was cloudy with light winds and intermittent snow showers. The terrain was hilly and slippery and consequently I only hiked 6 mi (9.6 km) over the course of this trip.
Cool Creek Park, Westfield, IN: During the past two months I have gone on two day hikes in this park averaging 2 mi (3.2 km) on each trip. My son and I also like to geocache here in winter when the trails are less crowded.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I was very pleased with the performance of the Snake River pants during the long term report period. My first trip of the New Year was to Franklin County, Indiana. I spent most of this trip backpacking off trail thru forested areas. This hike was a good test of the toughness of these pants and they were up to the challenge. Despite hiking thru briars and catching the pants on numerous tree limbs, they held up wonderfully. After making camp, I spent a fair amount of time gathering firewood for the long, cold night ahead. While dragging limbs and branches thru the woods and breaking them into smaller pieces, the Snake River pants once again were subjected to rough treatment. They held up great and there were no signs of tears, rips or snags anywhere upon inspection after returning home.
My second overnight trip of this test period was to Brown County State Park in Southern Indiana. When I arrived, weather conditions were less than stellar and there was 4-6 inches (12 cm) of snow coming the next day. The trails were already slippery and hard to navigate due to 12 inches (28 cm) of wet snow which had fallen a few days prior. Needless to say, I found myself on the ground several times, after tripping over tree roots and rocks which were buried in the snow. Once again the Snake River pants received quite a workout. Although the snow wetted my pants legs, the nylon fabric seemed to dry fairly quickly. My pants were quite dirty after this trip but upon sending them through the washer, there were no permanent stains on the knees or seat.
My son accompanied me on my two separate trips to Cool Creek Park. Before heading out, we downloaded several geocaches and put our sleds in the car. Once we arrived at the park, I placed my car keys in the front zippered pants pocket while I used the left thigh pocket to hold our GPS. The zippered pocket worked great and I hardly noticed my keys were there while the thigh pocket provided a convenient place to hold the GPS. At the end of the day we went sled riding.
I really like the Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants. They have held up well to trail abuse and are comfortable, and quick drying. They easily convert from pants to shorts using the leg zippers. After a trip thru the washer, this is one piece of trail gear that I have no problem wearing around town.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Mountain Khakis gear
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman