Robbins Alpine Road Convertible Pants
Series by Bob Sanders
Report: June 7, 2017
Report: August 27, 2017
Long Term Report: October 22, 2017
Background: I went on my first backpacking trip as a
Boy Scout at the age of 16. Over the years I have hiked the
Wonderland Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the
Florida Trail, Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail and 740 mi
(1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. I continue to backpack and
hike year round in the Colorado mountains. I have evolved from a
heavyweight backpacker to a lightweight backpacker and sometimes
reach ultralight weights. My three-day Spring/Summer solo
adventures (using a tent) have me hovering around a 12 lb (5.4
kg) base weight.
ft 1 in (1.85 m)
lb (91 kg)
Springs, Colorado USA
INFORMATION (Image from website)
of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: www.royalrobbins.com
MSRP: $89.00 US
Listed Weight: None listed
Measured Weight: 1 lb 4 oz (567 g)
Tested: Charcoal, also available in Khaki
Size Tested: 38 in (97 cm) waist, 32 in (81 cm)
Fabric: Alpine Melange Stretch - 6.5 oz (184 g) 66%
Nylon, 31% Polyester, 3% Spandex
Image from Royal Robbins website
These pants are described as contemporary-looking with a slimming
silhouette (I need that), with an active fit featuring 4-way stretch.
They have articulated knees and are zip-off convertibles. Meaning they
convert from long pants to shorts simply by zipping off the lower
portion of the pant legs. I personally love convertibles because of
the versatility. Especially when I am hiking. I start off in the
morning and it is chilly and a few hours later I am sweating. They are
a great way to regulate my body heat without having to carry both
pants and shorts. A zippered side utility pocket is sized for a cell
phone. Also included is an adjustable cord lock at each leg opening.
This is a great feature to keep dirt and debris out of my boots. These
pants are marketed for trekking and travel.
When I first thought about the size I wanted to test I read the only
review on their website and the reviewer indicated "Definitely on the
slim side - I sized up which was necessary." I followed that advice
and ordered a size up - 38 in (97 cm) waist. When they arrived I tried
them on and they were too big for me. The inseam 32 in (81) was
perfect. These pants are only available in a 32 in (81 cm) inseam. I
thought that was a little strange because it limits the number of
people that can wear these pants.
I contacted Royal Robbins customer service and they were great. She
emailed me a return label and ordered me a new pair of pants in a
smaller size. When they arrive I will update how they fit.
These pants are very well
constructed. The fabric is really nice and robust without being heavy.
Hang tag says they are made with eco-conscious bluesign approved
fabrics (Not sure what bluesign approved means". I pulled on the
fabric and I only detected stretch in one direction (horizontally).
Website indicates 4-way stretch. The
fabric is also UPF 50+ protection, quick dry, wrinkle and water
pockets are nice and long (mesh lined) and the rear pockets are
standard. The zippered side utility pocket (right thigh) holds my
phone just fine and there is room for other items. I kind of wish
there was an identical pocket on the other thigh. The lower legs
zipped off smoothly and were easy to re-attach. The length of the
shorts - 9 in (23 cm) comes to just above my knees which is perfect
When I tried them on and looked in
the mirror, other than the waist being too large, they fit me pretty
well. I also feel like they look more like jeans than hiking pants. It
is a nice change from hiking pants especially for travel use.
- Well made and solid
- Wonderful fabric
me first start out by mentioning how wonderful the customer
service department was with Royal Robbins. When I first received
the pants they were too large in the waist. I contacted customer
service by phone and explained the situation. The rep was super
nice, sent me a return postage label by email which I printed out,
taped it to the box and delivered it to the shipper. A week later
I had a perfectly fitting pair of new pants. Bing, bang, boom it
was as simple as that.
The new pants have a 32 in (81 cm) inseam with a 36 in (91 cm)
waist and they fit me great.
A quick hike up to Engineer Mountain with friends
These pants have gotten a lot of use. I have worn them for my
almost daily walks in the morning, on five day hikes and on one
quick overnight backpack. All of this activity has taken place in
the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. Mostly on local
trails in and around Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Temperatures have
been between 85 and 50 F (30 and 10 C) and the weather has been
sunny to partly cloudy with mild afternoon rain showers.
Elevations have ranged between 7500 to 12,000 ft (2300 to 3700 m).
The terrain has been quite varied including gravel roads, dirt
trails, scree, boulder fields and wet slippery downed trees. These
pants have been a great addition to my hiking wardrobe.
These pants have been great. These are my go-to pants for
anything from hiking, backpacking to a trip to the grocery store
or local pub. I have even gotten compliments on how stylish they
look on me. I have to agree, they are not the typical-looking
hiking pants. They really don't look like convertible pants. They
kind of look like jeans that just happen to convert to shorts.
I am probably going to get another pair in the Khaki
color. I actually wish they came in other colors I like them so
The pants are comfortable with out being tight or loose. There is
not a lot of stretch but the pants are cut well enough that they
move with me. I have had no trouble climbing over downed logs or
jumping over small creeks. I do wear them with a small nylon belt.
Whenever I wear a pack the waist-belt has a tendency over time to
push my pants down.
Durability and wear have been excellent. No snags or holes and the
zippers are working great. I have washed them probably 5 or 6
times and I have not noticed any fading or shrinkage. I have
gotten these pretty muddy and they have come out nice and clean
with no stains. I have simply washed them with other darker
clothes in cold water and a mild detergent. Later they are tumble
dried with those same clothes on medium heat.
The best feature of these pants is the versatility. I start out in
the morning as pants because it is usually a bit nippy. After
hiking for an hour or so it is time to cool off and off come the
legs. If I'm wearing the trail runners I usually wear I can pull
the legs off without removing my shoes. If I'm wearing the boots
I'm currently testing I have to take the boots off before I remove
the legs. I don't really mind it, it gives me an opportunity to
sit down and take a break.
Later if it cools off, the wind picks up or if my legs get wet the
leg sections get zipped back on. The first couple of times it took
me a short while to figure out which leg was which and where the
zipper started. Now it is easier as I can just look at the top,
see where the zipper pull starts and decide which leg it is for.
Like I said before, I like these pants and they are keepers. I
will continue to wear them over the next 2 months and report back
on how they are holding up. At this point I don't really have any
complaints other than wanting additional colors.
I have continued to give these pants a lot of use. I put
them on every morning before my daily walks. I have also used
them on three additional day hikes. During this test period
all of this activity has taken place in the San Juan Mountains
in southwest Colorado. All on local trails in and around
Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Temperatures have been between 65
and 40 F (18 and 4 C) and the weather has been sunny to partly
cloudy. Elevations have ranged between 7500 to 12,000 ft (2300
to 3700 m). The terrain has been quite varied including gravel
roads, dirt trails, scree, boulder fields and rare stream
crossings. These pants continue to be my go-to hiking pants.
These pants have continued to be comfortable, durable,
they dry quickly and are versatile. Every time I head out for
a hike or a backpack I grab these pants. In the past I have
used convertible pants and liked them because of their
versatility. But there has always been something that I didn't
like about them. The fit, the fabric or slow to dry come to
mind as reasons why I don't use them anymore. These pants on
the other hand have everything dialed in. They fit me really
well, are very durable, seem to move with me so there is no
binding and the bonus is they are convertible and stylish.
I have washed these pants numerous times and they come out of
the dryer looking nearly brand new. I always follow the
directions on a tag stitched on the inside of the pants.
Basically, cold water, gentle cycle, similar colors and then
tumble dry on low. I could easily wear these pants to go meet
What more can I say. There is not a lot of hiking/backpacking
equipment that I can endorse as highly as these pants. They
just simply work for me. They get a 10 out of 10.
All pluses and no minuses.
I would like to thank
BackpackGearTest.org and Royal Robbins for the opportunity to test these
Read more reviews of Royal Robbins gear
Read more gear reviews by Bob Sanders