REI ENDEAVOR PANTS
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
October 28, 2012
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and trekking poles.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Recreational Equipment, Inc.
|Photo courtesy of REI|
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.rei.com
MSRP: $79.50 US
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 12.2 oz (346 g)
Sizes Available: 0 to 16
Size tested: 8
Inseam: 31.5 in (80 cm)
Colors Available: Black, Buckwheat, Coal
Color Tested: Coal (Buckwheat was on backorder)
Made in China
The REI Endeavor Women's pants are technical hiking pants designed specifically for women. The fabric is 89% polyester and 11% spandex providing a stretch for better range-of-motion when scrambling. The fabric is claimed to be wind resistant to 30 mph (48 kph) and to resist abrasion. It has a DWR (durable water repellent) coating for water resistance but also claims to be moisture wicking and to dry quickly. The fabric claims to have a sun protection factor of UPF 50+ offering protection from ultra-violet rays.
The waistband is tricot-lined with a zippered fly and a snap closure. There is a drawstring inside the waistband to allow for finer adjustment and a cleat to hold it where I set it. There are belt loops but no built-in belt. The crotch area and extending down each leg is gusseted for easier movement and the knees are reinforced for durability.
The pants have two zippered front pockets and one zippered thigh pocket on my right side. The legs flare out slightly at the bottom and have a drawstring at each cuff for tightening the fit to keep out debris. The cuffs have a double layer of fabric at the inside of the ankles which act as a scuff guard.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My first impression was that these pants look really nice. When I tried them on my husband even suggested that I could wear them to work. Due to their construction, they give me the impression of a heavy-weight durable expedition type of pant but when I weighed them I was surprised to find that they weigh almost exactly the same as my very light fabric convertible pants. Wow!
The fit is very good for me. I have problems finding pants that are long enough but these are just right barely hitting the floor in bare feet. I wear a size 8 and find these to be exactly right. It has been difficult to select sizes in the past 5 years since manufacturers have up-sized everything such that I can even wear a size 4 in some clothing (which I DEFINITELY am not). This trend bothers me so much that I won't buy those brands.
The pants are mid-rise so they ride closer to my hips than my waist. I like the way they sit lower and the drawstring seems like a great idea. My pants often get looser as a trip progresses due both to the fabric stretching and to my lower consumption of calories to expenditure. So that by a trip's end my pants can be uncomfortably loose. It doesn't help that I won't carry the extra weight of a belt.
I like that the pants don't have rear pockets which I never use anyway. The slightly flared legs are nice for covering my shoes and with the drawstring cuffs I can get the best of both worlds. The pockets are low-profile so they look better and don't interfere with my backpack hip belt.
The fabric appears to be very wrinkle-resistant which I always appreciate even for trail clothing.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Washing instructions are to machine wash cold with like colors. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners. Tumble dry low. Use cool iron with a cloth. Do not dry clean. Do not iron decoration.
Then it also states that washing at a low temperature and line drying reduces the environmental impact of this garment.
The REI Endeavor Women's pants are a high-quality and stylish pair of hiking pants with some great technical features.
Drawstring waist and cuffs
Reasonable weight for the durable construction
Would have liked a lighter color for summer
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Field Test period, I wore the REI Endeavor pants on three multi-day backpacking trips, three day hikes and two days of car camping. I also wore them twice to work, once around town and for three trips to cut firewood in the forest. In total I wore them on 24 days.
Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 5 days; 37 mi (60 km); 4,200 to 9,400 ft (1,280 to 2,865 m); 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C) with clear conditions.
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 days; 13 mi (21 km); 6,327 to 6,500 (1,928 to 1,981 m); 40 to75 F (4 to 24 C) with clear, cloudy and thunderstorm conditions. This trip was a backpack into a base camp followed by day hiking, swimming, kayaking and fishing.
Glacier National Park, Montana: 4 days; 33 mi (53km); 4,010 to 5,000 ft (1,222 to 1,524 m); 38 to 80 F (3 to 27 C) with clear, cloudy and thunderstorm conditions.
Forni Lake, Desolation Wilderness, California: 10 mi (16 km); 6,600 to 7,100 ft (2,012 to 2,164 m) elevation; 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C).
Two hikes in the Auburn Recreation Area, California; 3.8 mi (6.1 km) and 4 mi (6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
On most of my trips, I wore the pants in camp and in the morning until it got too hot and I had to change to shorts. The pants either stretched out a bit or I shrunk a bit because the pants now seem baggy and the waist is large. I could easily wear my shorts underneath to make for an easy change of clothing mid-day. I used the drawstring at the waist and had it pulled fairly tight to get the waistband to fit better. Even after washings the pants didn't seem to shrink back to the original fit.
The pants are very comfortable and the stretch in the fabric is welcome. There are many occasions when I have been scrambling, bending or otherwise stretching and the pants moved with me. The fabric is definitely wrinkle-resistant also. When I changed into shorts, the pants were rolled up and jammed into whatever crevice I could find in my pack but always came out looking smooth and crisp.
The reinforced knees and inner cuffs are nice and seem to be a good idea except that the knee reinforcement is a little high on me when my legs are bent. So, if I'm kneeling, the reinforcement extends from my upper thigh to the middle of my knee.
The length is just exactly right for me and couldn't be any shorter. Since there isn't any extra length, the use of the drawstring in the cuffs doesn't work right for me. If I tighten them then the pants are really short and thus above my socks thereby eliminating any benefit of the drawstring for keeping out debris.
I used the thigh pocket for holding my thin wallet or for a small item or two like lip balm. The front pockets were normally left open and just for placing my hands when it was cool but occasionally I used one for holding a bandana. The zippers on the front pockets didn't seem to interfere with my pack hipbelt.
The front zipper is the shortest length that I've seen on pants. It extends about halfway from the waistband to the crotch. While this didn't cause any major problem, it did make it a little harder to get the pants on and off. At times it was awkward when trying to make a quick pit stop on the trail.
On the last day of our Glacier trip the morning dew was heavy and the trail quite overgrown. So after a short time my pants were wet up to my thighs. However, I never felt any moisture on my legs. We stopped for a stream crossing and just changing out socks and standing in the sun the pants dried quickly. I really appreciated having long pants on this stretch of trail since there were bushes and stickers to get through.
I wore the pants several times for cutting firewood in our national forest. This involves a lot of scouting for appropriate downed trees, tramping through forest, cutting wood with a chainsaw, loading and hauling the cut rounds out either by carrying them, pushing them in a wheelbarrow or by rolling them. It is quite a tough job and does a number on my clothing. The pants really held up great for this work. They are much more comfortable than jeans which are the only pants tough enough for the job. Each time there was some chainsaw bar oil that got slung onto the pants. The first time it came out easily with some stain pre-treatment but the last time I got much more on them and after two consecutive washings with various treatments, it still didn't come out. It has gotten slightly better with an additional washing and treatment but is surprisingly stubborn.
The durability of the pants has been great. I have washed them eight times so far. There are no noticeable areas of wear despite scraping against rocks, logs, bushes and stickers. Except for the stains they still look pretty nice. The seams are holding up well; the zippers work great.
The REI Endeavor Women's pants are a comfortable, durable and stylish pair of hiking pants.
Difficulty getting out stains
Fabric seems to have stretched in the waist/hips
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Long-Term Test period, I wore the REI Endeavor pants on three multi-day backpacking trips and one multi-day car camping trip. I also wore them to work and for cutting firewood in the forest. In total I wore them on 15 days.
Pacific Crest Trail, California: 4 days; 31 mi (50 km); 8,160 to 10,536 ft (2,487 to 3,211 m) elevation; 37 to 75 F (3 to 24 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions.
Desolation Wilderness, California: 3 days; 20 mi (32 km); 6,700 to 9,983 ft (2,042 to 3,042 m) elevation; 25 to 65 F (-4 to 18 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions. This trip included a talus scramble to the top of Pyramid Peak.
Desolation Wilderness, California: 3 days; 17 mi (27 km); 6,560 to 8,220 ft (2,000 to 2,505 m) elevation; 25 to 60 F (-4 to 15 C) with clear to cloudy and windy conditions.
Bear River Reservoir, California: 5,849 ft (1,783 m) elevation; 3 days of boating, fishing, hiking and car camping.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
On the first trip on the PCT I wore the pants in camp and in the morning until it got too hot and I had to change to shorts. I like that I am able to remove the pants while leaving my shoes on. They easily stretch over the shoes which makes for a quick change when I need to get into shorts. On subsequent trips it was cool enough to leave the pants on for the entire trip. On the last night of the final Desolation trip, a big winter storm moved in making it very windy and cold. The hike out was all downhill so I left my thermal pants on under these pants and was really comfortable. The pants blocked the wind and helped to keep me warm.
The stains from the chainsaw bar oil eventually came out but it took a lot of stain treatment and effort to do so. There is no permanent damage to fabric from all of the rubbing and treatment.
The durability of the pants continues to be fantastic. I washed them twelve times in total. There are no wear areas despite a lot of abuse. The reinforced knees and inside cuff are great ideas but I now can't imagine even needing them with the fabulous durability of this fabric.
Overall I really like these pants especially for cooler weather. I see that they now offer a khaki color which would be better for summer but the fabric weight is still too warm for hot days. The fit is the only place where I've had minor issues. The length is perfect for me while standing but I still would like them to be slightly longer since they are so short when I sit down. Offering them in a long would be nice. They have also gotten slightly saggy in the rear and I have the waist drawstring pulled fairly tight to keep them a better fit.
The REI Endeavor Women's pants are a well-made and durable pair of hiking pants while being feminine and stylish at the same time.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Difficulty getting out stains
Fabric seems to have stretched in the waist/hips
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to REI and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
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Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith