Stonewear Compass Capri
Test Series by Kathryn Montovan
I have been backpacking, climbing,
kayaking, canoeing and winter camping for over 15 years. My excursions
are mostly weekend and occasionally weeklong backpacking and canoeing
trips in the wooded and often wet, mountainous terrain of western Vermont and eastern New York.
I usually tent camp with my family and love to cook fun
and delicious foods on my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and
light pack and value well-made and durable gear.
||Bennington, Vermont USA
||5' 5" (1.65 m)
||150 lb (68 kg)
Product Information and Specifications:
|Great Trango Holdings Inc
|11.8 oz (356 g)
||88% nylon, 12% spandex
|Listed and Measured Inseam length:
|24.5" (62.25 cm)
|Measured Waist Circumference:
|31" (78.75 cm) at narrowest point (at top of waistband) - not stretched
The Stonewear Compass Capri pants are constructed from a stretchy
nylon/spandex fabric. I am usually pretty picky about the fabrics in my
clothes with a preference for the feel of cotton and natural fibers and
was surprised after feeling this fabric to find that it was not a
cotton blend. The fabric is very soft, stretchy, and looks nice. The
seams are all serged and double stitched. Most seams are stitched
somewhat decoratively with gray thread with inner seams using black
There are many pockets on the Stonewear Compass Capri. There are two
front pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered cargo pocket.
These pants have one small logo sewn in gray thread into the middle of
the back waistband. It is a tasteful design and an inoffensive placement and
is almost unrecognizable as a logo. It looks more like decorative
On the inside of the waistband there is information printed, which includes,
company name, product size, and "made in the USA of imported fabrics." The rest of the information
about these pants is on a tag near the bottom of the left pant leg.
This is the only tag on the pants. The care instructions on this tag
are: "Machine wash cold with like colors. Line dry only. No Bleach."
was not sure which size to get. I typically wear a size 9 pants but my
waist measures 31.75" (81 cm) and hip measurement is 41.5" (105 cm). I
at the sizing chart and saw that I was on the line between M and L and
decided to get a size medium because it lined up with my typical
pants size, even though the
measurements were a bit off. Because of the stretchy fabric, the fit is
forgiving and the size medium fits me very well. A note on the
length: I have short legs so these pants hit just a few inches above
my ankles and are much closer to pants length than capris usually are
The top back of the Stonewear Capri including the sewn logo.
Sizing chart from the manufacturer's website.
Compass Capri is made out of a nice, soft fabric and is well-made and stylish. When I tried them on I was impressed by how
well they fit and how comfortable and stylish they are. I was also happy to see the
zippered pocket as I often have trouble with my cell phone falling out
of the front
pockets of stretchy pants and really like the zippered option to keep
me from accidentally loosing things. I can see no flaws in the construction and they appear to be
I wore them for a little while outside on a fairly warm summer day (80
F/27 C and humid) and found them to be pretty hot, so I am interested
to see how they will perform in a range of temperatures when I am
actively hiking or somewhat less actively camping.
these seem like well-made and very
comfortable pants and I look forward to testing them in the field.
Specifically I will pay attention to how they perform in a range of
temperatures and activities. The manufacturer claims that the Stonewear
Compass Capri is "constructed of bombproof stretch knit fabric, it can
be stuffed, dragged, and kicked around the globe and still come back
looking great and eager for more." I will be testing these claims with
all the regular abuses of hiking and
camping and will see how well these hold up.
- Comfortable with great freedom of movement
- Stylish design and stitching
- Zippered pocket
Field Locations and Conditions
Location: Western Adirondack Park, Lowville, NY
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Temperature: 60 to 85 F (15 to 30 C)
Weather: sunny with cool nights
Location: Western Adirondack Park, Lowville, NY
Trip Duration: 1 day hike with rock climbing
Temperature: 80 to 90 F (26 to 32 C)
Weather: clear and sunny
Location: Grout Pond, Stratton, VT
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Temperature: 60 to 80 F (10 to 21 C)
Performance in the Field
During the late summer and early fall in Vermont we typically get warm
and cooler nights. I have mixed feelings about these pants after
testing them in a variety of temperatures and for a variety of
activities. I found them to be exceptional for outdoor climbing. The
range of motion was superb and I could not find any damage to the
fabric after climbing through a raspberry bush and kneeling and
scraping them on the rough rock face. They also protected my legs from
being scraped up and were comfortable under my climbing harness.
However, I was not as comfortable in these pants on the hiking or
camping portions of my trips. I tend to overheat easily and found the
fabric on these pants to feel quite hot when I'm inactive or in the
sun. They were wonderful during breaks in the shade but once I got back
on the trail I would start to overheat again and my legs would get
sweaty. They might have been perfect for use in camp in the evening but
the Capri length
made it so that my ankles were cold and exposed to the bugs. For
backpacking and camping I wonder whether the longer pants version would
needs better as my camp pants on trips.
Part way through this test the weather in Vermont turned cold and it
was no longer feasible to wear these pants outdoors, so I moved them to
my gym bag. I love these pants for indoor exercise. I can run, bike,
stretch, and do hard, sweaty workouts and they stay snug, comfortable,
and haven't caused any problems for me. The controlled temperature of
the gym (about 70 F/21 C) combined with the lack of direct sunlight
seems to have eliminated the problems I had outdoors with overheating.
I imagine that they would have been similarly wonderful for me outdoors
if we had had a longer season with temperatures near 70 F (21 C).
On all of my adventures these capris kept their shape and
did not sag or stretch noticeably. I did not find myself worrying about
pulling them up and have never noticed them shifting around. I have
washed them several times in
cold water and then hung them to dry and they look great and have no
noticeable signs of wear.
Overall these are well-made pants which have stood up well to field
use. They are extremely comfortable under the right conditions but the
fabric is a little heavy and makes me overheat in warmer weather.
- Comfortable with excellent freedom of movement
- Sturdy and are not yet showing any signs of wear
- Snug fit with no shifting, chaffing, or sagging
- Fabric is too heavy for active use in the warmer parts of summer.
- Length is too short to protect from bugs during evening use around camp
LONG TERM REPORT
Long-term test locations and conditions
The weather in Vermont was too cold to wear these pants outdoors much
during this phase of testing. There was one unseasonably warm day when
I wore them hiking in 70 F (21 C) and partly sunny weather on a slightly
overgrown trail near Bennington, VT. I also wore them indoors
frequently for working out, yoga, and wall climbing.
Performance in the Field
These pants continue to be my favorite workout pants in the gym, at
home, and while climbing. But I found the length to be awkward in less
climate-controlled conditions. I have really short legs and these
capris came down to the top of my hiking boots, but left a gap when
moving that left my ankles cold and exposed to being scratched
by bramble while hiking.
The pants have been washed at least 8 times with no problems. I use a
top-loading washer set to "cold" with normal Tide detergent and line
dry. They have not changed size or fit and still look just like new
The pockets are nicely sized for holding my cell phone or keys while
hiking, but I typically avoid putting too much weight in them out of
fear that the extra weight will cause the pants to sag off my waist.
What I like
- The feel: these pants are very comfortable for active use and don't limit range of motion at all.
- The pockets are very useful for holding small things
- Sturdy fabric and design did not show any signs of wear during the testing period.
What I didn't like
- The fabric was too warm for outdoor
summer camping and the length was too short for cooler fall and spring
hiking or bug protection in camp during the summer.
After almost 5 months of wear I am pleased with the performance of the
Stonewear Compass Capri for indoor (climate-controlled and bug-free)
uses. I have several lightweight capris
that I love to wear while hiking in the summer and was really hopeful
that these would add to those favorites, but unfortunately I found the
fabric to be uncomfortably hot when active outside. When it is cooler
outside that was not
such a problem, but in cooler weather I tend to like to wear long pants
for protection from scratches, bugs, and to keep my legs warm. If
these had been about 3 inches (7.5 cm) longer I think that they likely
would have become a favorite for fall hiking or evenings around the
campsite in the summer. Unfortunately the shorter length was not ideal
for hiking and camping with my current climate, insect density and my
personal tendency to overheat.
A fall hike in the Stonewear Compass Capri.
A view of the Stonewear Compass Capri from the front.
|This concludes my Long Term Report. I
would like to thank Great Tango Holdings Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test the Stonewear Compass Capri.