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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Stonewear Designs Compass Capris > Test Report by Katie Montovan


Stonewear Compass Capri

Stonewear Compass Capri
Picture courtesy of manufacturer: https://www.stoneweardesigns.com

Test Series by Kathryn Montovan

INITIAL REPORT: September 3, 2015

FIELD REPORT: November 17, 2015

LONG TERM REPORT: January 22, 2015


Tester Information

Name: Kathryn Montovan

Biography:

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.

E-Mail: sull0294(at)gmail(dot)com
Age: 32
Location: Bennington, Vermont USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)

INITIAL REPORT

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer:

Great Trango Holdings Inc

Year of Manufacture:

2015
Manufacturer's Website: https://www.stoneweardesigns.com
MSRP $85
Measured Weight:
11.8 oz (356 g)
Fabric: 88% nylon, 12% spandex
Size Tested:
Medium
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

Product Description

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 thread.

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 stitching.

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."

Sizing: I 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 looked 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 for me.
Stonewear Capri
The top back of the Stonewear Capri including the sewn logo.

Stonewear Sizing chart
Sizing chart from the manufacturer's website.

Initial Impressions

The Stonewear 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 well-made.

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.

Summary

Overall 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 Designs 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.

Likes
  • Comfortable with great freedom of movement
  • Stylish design and stitching
  • Zippered pocket
Dislikes
  • None

FIELD REPORT


Field Locations and Conditions

Trip #1:
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

Trip #2:
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

Trip #3:
Location: Grout Pond, Stratton, VT
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Temperature: 60 to 80 F (10 to 21 C)
Weather: sunny

Performance in the Field

During the late summer and early fall in Vermont we typically get warm days 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 suit my 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.

Summary

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.

Likes
  • Comfortable with excellent freedom of movement
  • Sturdy and are not yet showing any signs of wear
  • Snug fit with no shifting, chaffing, or sagging
Dislikes
  • 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 still.

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.

Summary

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.



Read more reviews of Stonewear Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Katie Montovan

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Stonewear Designs Compass Capris > Test Report by Katie Montovan



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