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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Khakis Snake River Pant > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly

Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants
Reviewed By Pat McNeilly

Initial Report: September 21, 2009
Field Report: January 4, 2010
Long-Term Report: March 2, 2010

Snake River PantsName: Pat McNeilly
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Height: 5í 8Ē (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: mcne4752 at yahoo dot com
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

Backpacking Background:
I have been hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last five years.Most of my backpacking is done as overnight trips and occasional weekend and week long trips.My typical pack weight is approximately 18 to 20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.In addition to backpacking, I also fish, hunt, and enjoy orienteering.As a result, some of my backpacking equipment gets use in a number of different venues.

Product Information:

Product: Snake River Pants
Manufacturer: Mountain Khakis
Waist: 34 in (86 cm)
Inseam: 30 in (76 cm)
Tested Color: Birch
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Measured Weight:15.6 oz (442 g)
URL: http://mountainkhakis.com
MSRP: NA

Initial Report
Report Date: September 21, 2009

Front and rear pocketsProduct Description:
The Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants (i.e., the pants) are a 100% nylon hiking pant.The pants have a diamond shaped gusseted crotch for ease of movement.All the major seams are triple stitched and stress points around the pockets are bar tacked.The pants close at the waist with a 5.5 in (14 cm) zipper and an antique-brass riveted shank button at the top.There are also six 2 in (5 cm) belt loops around the waist.The inside of the waistband, as well as beneath the front zipper, is lined with 0.5 in (13 mm) grosgrain.

The pants have two front pockets which have a squared-off opening at the bottom.The insides of the pockets are constructed of a nylon mesh fabric.The front pockets are approximately 6 in (15 cm) deep.The right front pocket also has a zippered security pocket with a 6 in (15 cm) zipper with a Mountain Khakis logo hanging from the zipper pull.The pants also have a right rear zippered pocket with a 5 in (13 cm) zipper (also with the Mountain Khaki logo).This rear pocket is also lined with the same mesh fabric as the front pockets and measures approximately 6 in (15 cm) deep.

Cargo pocketOn the left leg, there is a cargo pocket 11 in (28 cm) below the waistband.This pocket measures approximately 7 x 7.5 in (18 x 19 cm) and has a flap covering it which measures approximately 3 x 7.5 in (8 x 19 cm).This pocket closes with two small squares of hook and loop fastener.In addition, this pocket has a small pleat on the rear portion of the pocket.Inside this pocket is a smaller zippered security pocket which measures approximately 5 x 5 in (13 x 13 cm).

Lastly, I also noted that the lower rear portion of each leg has a double layer of fabric which measures 3 x 10 in (8 x 25 cm).

Product Review:
The Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants appear to be very well made.The stitching looks to be just about perfect.I do not see loose threads or uneven stitches.The zippers all operate smoothly.There are some very nice features that leads me to believe quite a bit of thought went into designing these pants.The triple stitching of the main seams, bar tacking around the pockets, and double fabric on the lower leg are just a few things that make me believe this.

The fit of the pants seem just about right.I thought that the inseam might be a little long but my wife tells me they are just right.I also measured the inseam and it appears to be right at 30 in (76 cm).The fit around my waist is good.I usually can wear a 34 in (86 cm) waist and these fit just fine.The fabric is light and has a fairly smooth feel to it.

The pockets are in good locations and are large enough but not too deep.I hate pockets that are so deep that I feel like Iím bending over to grab something at the bottom.The rear hip pocket easily holds my wallet and can easily be zippered closed.The left cargo pocket is not as large as those found on military uniforms but will easily hold a cell phone and some snacks.Even the inner security portion of the cargo pocket can hold a cell phone or keys.I also like the zippered front pocket.I often use this type of pocket to ensure I donít lose my keys while day hiking.

The gusseted crotch is a main feature of the pants and I canít say that I have noticed any particular advantage but I havenít hiked in them yet.I will see how this works out over the coming months.

Iím not clear what the function of the grosgrain around the waistband and under the front zipper is.The manufacturer appears to use it on most of their other products but Iím not sure if it is comfort thing or what.

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 could be steam ironed with medium heat.Weíll see how that ironing things goes while on trail Ė not.

Field Report
Report date: January 4, 2010

Field Conditions:
On Trail Overlooking the Potomac RiverOver the past couple months, I have worn the pants on six day hikes.All these hikes were in parks in central Maryland, including the Seneca Creek State Park and the C&O Canal Historical Park.†† The hikes ranged from 4 to 8 miles (6 to 13 km) and two of the hikes were on very rocky trails while the other four were on relatively smooth tread, no off-trail hiking during this testing period.

Weather conditions have varied pretty wildly over the past two months here.The temperatures I encountered on the hikes ranged from 25 to 60 F (-4 to 16 C).I also encountered light rain and snowy conditions on a couple of hikes.No major downpours or snow, just light varieties of both.

I have also worn the pants around town running errands and as a spare pair of casual pants while attending a conference in Nashville.

Product Review:
These are a very comfortable pair of pants.I enjoy wearing them around the house as much as I do while hiking.When I am out the trail, I feel like I have a greater range of movement while wearing these pants.I believe that this is due, at least in part, to the crotch design on the pants.This is most noticeable when I have to take a large step up or over something.

The fabric has held up very well.It seems to be a more heavy duty fabric than I have found in other nylon hiking pants I own.I have not seen any tearing of the seams or signs of the fabric wearing though.All the zippers seem to be functioning properly.I typically find wear on my pants on the inside of the leg at the ankle but havenít seen that yet on the Mountain Khakis.I have been wearing low-cut trail shoes but as the weather is colder I will probably be more likely to wear boots and will keep a watch on how well the fabric holds up.I did wear the pants in a light rain and they got wet but dried pretty quickly.Not unexpected for nylon pants but it certainly confirmed my expectation.

Fron view of pantsThe arrangement of the pockets is good and I really like having the cargo pocket on the leg.The inner pocket usually holds my cell phone, and since it is zippered, I donít have to worry about it falling out and getting lost.I find that the rear hip pocket is a little hard to get into.The zippered opening on this pocket seems tight and I have a tough time reaching in to get things out.

I have washed the pants numerous times which hasnít seemed to affect them much, other than I notice some very fine pilling of the fabric.On close inspection, it is hard to tell if this is coming off the fabric or if it is small bits of lint stuck to the cloth.In any event, I have to look closely to see it, so I donít have any real problems with it.

After washing and drying the pants, I do note that they can come out with wrinkles.This is also true if they have been folded or rolled up (as in a pack).If I plan on wearing them around town, I have found that a little ironing helps.I felt this was necessary once when wearing the pants at a conference just before I was to fly home.I didnít feel that they looked good enough to take out of the suitcase and wear as is, without some ironing.As for wear on the trail, I think straight out of the drawer is fine.



Long-Term Report
Report Date: March 2, 2010

Field Conditions:
Over the last couple months I have use the Snake River Pants on four day hikes in the central Maryland area.The hikes ranged from 4 to 8 miles (6 to 13 km) in length.†† All these hikes were on well maintained but often rocky trails in Seneca Creek State Park or in the C & O Canal National Historic Park.The temperatures ranged from 20 to 45 F (-7 to 7 C) and usually clear or overcast skies.I did take one of these hikes during a light snowfall with approximately six inches of snow already on the ground.

I used these pants during one orienteering event in Greenbelt Park here in Maryland.This race was 3 miles (5 km) in length and was definitely off-trail.This park should be known as greenbrier park with all the thorns there.I also have continued to wear them on a regular basis around town.

Product Review:
These pants have continued to wear very well.I wanted to see if there were any more wear when I hiked in boots, rather than low-cut shoes.All the hikes I took during this long-term test period were done in hiking boots.I was particularly interested in the lower inside leg and I have not seen any undue wear on the pants up to this point. There are some small scuffs but nothing that has me concerned in the least.All the zippers continue to function smoothly and al the seams are holding fast.I havenít seen any worsening of the small pilling of the fabric that I mentioned in my Field Report.My overall assessment is that these pants are very well constructed.

Wearing these pants while orienteering gave me greater confirmation about the range of leg movement.During this event I was often stepping over logs and rocks and I felt that the Mountain Khakis provided good range of motion without binding.Another thing that I noticed was that I found that I didnít get as many leg cuts and scrapes as usual.Orienteering is notorious for cuts and scrapes, especially on the lower legs (orienteers usually wear padded gaiters).It seemed like the pants could withstand the briars a little better than I would have expected.

With the colder temperature we have been seeing here in the last couple months, I noticed that the pants are a little warmer than other nylon pants I have.The fabric is heavier and I guess that shouldnít be unexpected.I did hike in the coldest weather with a light baselayer underneath the pants and found that there was no problem with the layering.The pants had ample room for an additional layer.

Summary:
The Mountain Khaki Snake River Pants are nylon hiking pants with a diamond-shaped crotch area which allows for increased freedom of movement.The pants have a total of six pockets, three of them with zippers, including a cargo pocket located on the left leg.The nylon fabric is very sturdy and dries quickly.Some minor problems that I have seen are some fine pilling and wrinkling of the fabric and that I have a hard time getting my hand into the rear hip pocket.

Things I like:
1. Sturdy fabric
2. Cargo pocket
3. Good range of movement
4. Dry quickly

Things I donít like:
1. Rear pocket hard to access
2. Some pilling of fabric

This concludes my testing of the Mountain Khakis Snake River Pants.I would like to thank Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.



Read more reviews of Mountain Khakis gear
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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Mountain Khakis Snake River Pant > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly



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