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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > White Sierra Simpson Womens Capri > Test Report by Jennifer Estrella

White Sierra Simpson Capri Pants

Test Series by Jennifer Estrella

September 26, 2008

Skip to my Initial Report- May 16, 2008
Skip to my Field Report- July 23, 2008
Skip to my Long Term Report-
September 26, 2008

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Estrella
Age:  33
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: 
Orange County, California, United States

Backpacking Background

After getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in both duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. (I also married a sherpa to help.) I backpack year round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.

Initial Report

May 16, 2008

Product Information

Manufacturer: White Sierra
Web site:
Product: Simpson Women's Capri
Year manufactured: 2008
MSRP: $40.00 USD

Weight listed:
None listed on website.
Actual Weight: 9 oz (255 g)
Size Tested: 8
The manufacturer's sizing for a size 8 are a 28 in (71 cm) waist and 38 in (97 cm) hip measurement.
Available Sizes: 4-18
Listed Inseam: 22 in (56 cm)
Actual Inseam: 22 in (56 cm)
Color Tested: Deep Brown
Colors Available: Deep Brown, Stone, Faded Denim, Dark Aegean.

Guarantee: Guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship.

Fabric Content: 100% nylon ottoman faille Trail Cloth; UPF 30 sun protection.


Simpson Capri Pants

Photo obtained from the manufacturer's website.

Product Description

The White Sierra Simpson Capri Pants arrived with a hang tag attached with the manufacturer's contact, guarantee, and general company mission information. There was also a sticker placed on the pant leg stating "UPF 30 Sun Protection". There was no information provided on the hang tag in regards to the fabric content or the features of the pants. The hang tag was general in nature and I believe could be used on any article of clothing that White Sierra produces.

The manufacturer's website does list the features of the pants:

A durable hiking Capri with built in UPF sun protection and quick drying fabric.

  • 100% nylon ottoman faille Trail Cloth™
  • UPF 30 sun protection
  • Quick dry
  • Contrast color stitching
  • Back patch pockets
  • Secure zip pocket in right back pocket

The 100% nylon Trail Cloth fabric of the pants has a cloth type feel and not a silky nylon feel that I would expect from a quick- drying pant. The material is not heavy; it feels light like my other quick-drying pants that I own. I like the looks of the material; it has a look of quality. The pants would be appropriate to wear out on the town and not look like a hiker. With a pair of beaded flip flops or a type of sandal these pants can have a casual dressed up look. The pants are stitched in the same color as the pant. There is contrast tan stitching reinforcing the pocket openings.

Front of pants


Toggle and pull cord on bottom of pant leg.

The pants are comfortable and they fit me very well, actually perfect. They seem to be true to size. The pants are a mid-rise type of pant with a semi straight leg cut with articulated knees and and a wide 23 in (58 cm) (square) leg bottom. They have a regular pant crotch design. The bottom of the pant legs can be modified with a more fitted appearance by cinching a plastic toggle on the elastic pull cord at the bottom of the pant leg. When I cinched the toggle and pulled the bottom of the pant leg to simulate knickers type pants they looked really odd with the fabric bunched up at my knees. I like the look better when the toggle is cinched instead of un-cinched and the pants are at their normal capri length. This adds more style to the pants than a wide lower leg design. Cinching the pants and pulling them up to my knees may come in handy for river crossings or walking in water found in slot canyons and trails inside riverbeds.

There is a care tag inside the pants located on the waist band. It lists the fabric material as 100% nylon. The care instructions are as follows: Machine wash cold, with like colors. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low. Do not iron. Do not dry clean. The universal garment care symbols are located on the tag.


The capri pants have a button type of fastener with a zipper. There is no elastic in the waist band. The inner waist band has a light blue green pattern with a stitched piece of white double stitched ribbed ribbon with silver treading stitched along the length of the ribbon in the center. The zipper is short measuring 4 in (10 cm) in length. There are three belt loops on the back of the pants and two in the front. The belt loops are wide measuring 2 cm (0.79 in) across.

The front of the capri pants have two side pockets. These pockets are 10 in (25 cm) deep and 6.75 in (17 cm) wide at the widest point. When viewing the inside of the pants the pockets are constructed of two different types of materials. The pocket piece that rests against the leg is a thin light blue patterned cloth material. The pocket piece that rests against the pants is a white mesh type of material.

The rear of the pants have two patch type pockets. These are 5 in (13 cm) wide and 5 in (13 cm) deep (measured at the inside seams). The right pocket has the White Sierra logo embroidered in the same thread color as the pants. There is also a tan zipper inside the right pocket that has an opening of 3.5 in (9 cm). This inner pocket has functional space of 4.25 in (11 cm) wide and 5.75 in (15 cm) deep. This inner pocket is constructed of two types of materials. The material that rests against my skin is made of the Trail Cloth fabric. The pocket has a white mesh material that rests against the pant material.

Insideof side pocket

Inside of front pocket.

Rear pockets


Field Report

July 23, 2008

Testing Locations

During the past two months the White Sierra Simpson Capri pants were worn on two backpacking trips (for a total of four days), three day hikes, one rock climbing trip, and around town.

San Jacinto State Park, California: This was a two day solo trip. Camp was set up in at approximately 9,000 ft (2,743 m). The high temperature for both days was around 58 F (14 C) and the low was recorded at 39 F (4 C).

San Bernardino National Forest, California: This was a two day backpacking trip. Camp was located at Limber Pine Bench at 9,300 ft (2,835 m).The temperatures ranged from 67 F (19 C) to 40 F (4 C) with enough wind to keep the mosquitoes away. The trip had an elevation gain of 3,680 ft (1,122 m) in 6 mi (7 km) for a total of 12 mi (19 km) for the trip.

Millcreek Canyon, Utah: The pants were worn on a sunny 5 mi (8 km) day hike. The temperature was around 67 F (19 C). The starting elevation was recorded at 5,600 ft (1,707 m).

Neffs Canyon, Utah: This was a 3 mi (5 km) day hike with lots of rattlesnakes on the trail. We had to turn around because we did not want the dogs to get bitten by the snakes. The temperature was recorded at 78 F (25 C).

Maple Canyon Utah: This was a rock climbing trip involving 3.5 mi (6 km) of hiking. The elevation was 6,800 ft (2,073 m) and the temperature was 57 F (14 C) in the a.m. shade and rose to 78 F (26 C). I wore the pants for a portion of the trip and I removed them after finding that they do not give me enough movement for rock climbing.

Nine Mile Forest Recreation Area, Wisconsin: This was a 3 mi (5 km) day hike in the early evening. The park elevation is 1,279 ft (390 m). I had no means of recording the temperature at the park. I would estimate that the temperature was in the mid 70 F (21 C) range.

Performance in the Field

For the past two months the Simpson Capri pants have been a nice addition to my hiking wardrobe. They have been worn backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, and around town running errands and shopping.

The pants fit well with a low rise waist and they are not snug in the thigh area and are loose throughout the rest of the legs. I am torn as to whether or not I like the low rise waist style. Sometimes it made carrying a pack uncomfortable. There are also times I find my shirt riding up and my skin showing because the pants are cut low.

The rear of the pants is semi-fitted (not too tight, not too loose). The waist area is not tight but just fits perfectly. I did not have a need to wear a belt with the pants during the past two months. However, I did confirm that my 3 cm (1.18 in) wide webbing type belt fits through the loops.


Taking it easy

Relaxing at camp

I like the option of the cinch cords at the base of the pant legs to tighten the bottom of the pant legs. For one reason this prevents bugs and bees from flying into the bottom of the pants. Secondly I think it makes the pants appear more stylish. And I like to have the option to pull up the pant legs and keep them in place for water crossings.

I attempted rock climbing in these pants and I found that the pants did not offer me as much freedom of movement as I like to have to have while participating in this type of activity. The fabric of the pants handled abrasions from the rock wall well. I could not even tell that I rubbed against the wall except for the red area on my knee. I do have enough mobility in these pants to manage scrambling over rocks and high stepping while hiking.

The fabric is heavier than some of my other nylon hiking pants. But, it is not heavy enough for me to mind it. The fabric dries fast and appears to transfer moisture away from my skin. I have not noticed the pants to be wet or soggy from sweat.

I have only used the front pockets and the rear pocket with the zipper. I found the front pockets to be deep which worked out well for me because it kept all my articles close at hand and I had no worries about losing items on the trail. The small rear zipper pocket is handy to keep a key inside or a small item such as a knife that needs to be secure. I never have found rear patch style pockets to be handy I hardly ever user them when I wear my jeans. I prefer to use front pockets. I will attempt to use the rear patch pockets during the long term reporting phase.

On one of my trips I had a lazy day and my lower legs got sunburned. I even got sunburned through my T-Shirt. I think the sun protection is working in these pants since there was no evidence of sunburned skin on the areas the pants covered.

The pants have been washed approximately six times. The pants were never placed in the dryer, but the care instructions state that they can be dried in a dryer on low heat. I just prefer to air dry some of my clothing. The pants are holding up well. There are no loose threads or pulls in the fabric.

Long Term Report

September 26, 2008

Testing Locations

During the past two months the White Sierra Simpson Capri pants were worn on two backpacking trips (for a total of five days), two day hikes, day walks, rollerblading, and around town.

Mt. San Jacinto State Wilderness, California: This was a two night trip on the Marion Mountain Trail. The daytime temperature was around 80 F (27 C) with a night temperature around 55 F (13 C). There were storm clouds and thunderstorms in the area. Lucky for us the we missed the rain showers. The camp elevation was at 9,850 ft (3,000 m).

Another two night trip was taken in this same area at Buckthorn Camp. We stayed there for two nights as we climbed the peak on Saturday. The weather was great, with highs of 75 F (25 C) with a slight cooling breeze.

Nine Mile Forest Recreation Area, Wisconsin: The pants were worn on a 3 mi (5 km) day hike in the late afternoon. The park elevation is 1,279 ft (390 m). I would estimate that the temperature was in the mid 70 F (21 C) range.

Whiting Ranch Regional Park, Southern California: This was a day hike of about 6 mi (10 km). There was approximately 1,200 ft (366 m) of elevation gain and loss. The trail was mostly dirt and some small rocks. This park suffered from a fire late last year and has only been open since July of 2008.

The pants were also worn in Nashville, Tennessee for two evening walks to Centennial Park and multiple times on the beach path (for walks and rollerblading) in Huntington Beach, California. The walks were between 3-5 mi (5-8 km).

with boots

Performance in the Field

For the last two months of testing the Simpson Capri pants have been worn backpacking, hiking, rollerblading, walking on the beach path or in town, and around town running errands and shopping.

The pants are holding up pretty well. There are some areas on the fabric that are showing wear and abrasion from being in contact with rocks. The seat of the pants are showing the most wear. The fabric in this area is now fuzzy from sitting and sliding down rocks. The inner leg area is also fuzzy in the thigh area, I presume from rubbing when I walk. I have not encountered any issues with the main zipper of the pants sticking or the cinch cords/toggles breaking.

I still find the rear zipper pocket to be handy to carry keys and small items especially when I am rollerblading. I feel more secure knowing that my keys are secure in a zipper pocket. I can easily open and close the pockets while I am rollerblading. I found the pocket to be a perfect size (not too deep or shallow) to hold small items. I used the rear patch pockets to carry a map and some folded tissues. I could actually live without the rear patch pockets.

I have mixed thoughts on the length of these pants. They look odd in my opinion when I wear boots. They look too long. I have cinched them up and they did appear more fashionable. I wish there was a shorter version of these pants available or a petite size since I am on the borderline of petite sizing. I also wish that these pants had a longer rise just for more comfort while hiking and backpacking. I like a higher waist on my pants for such activities.

During my walks in Nashville and the day hikes in Wisconsin it was very humid and I found the pants to be sticking to me and not wicking away moisture as quickly as I had hoped. But, when the pants are wet after washing they tend to dry quickly but not as quickly as my nylon blend pants.

The button above the zipper has popped off the pants while they were being washed. I repaired the button by hand sewing it back on. I think a snap would be more durable instead of a button. It seems like I am always losing buttons off my clothes.

I have placed the pants in the dryer and from what I can tell they did not shrink. Generally I hang them to dry but on a few occasions I accidentally placed them in the dryer. They have also kept their shape well and pretty much fit the same as the day I got them even after losing a few pounds. Even after several washings the sun protection factor is present in the fabric. At no time during the testing of these pants did I get sunburned where the fabric was covering my body.

These pants are not my favorite partially because of the low rise, the length, and the heavier fabric. However, I will still wear them mostly on day hiking trips. I do like the sun protection factor that the material offers in these pants. I just think the styling is for more urban walking/hiking.

Things That Rock:

  • Elastic pant leg draw cords
  • Quick drying
  • Sun protection factor

Things That Are So So:

  • Not enough freedom of movement for rock climbing
  • Low rise
  • Heavy fabric
  • Material shows wear from rock abrasion



This concludes my reporting on the White Sierra Simpson Women's Capri Pants. Thank you White Sierra and for providing me with the opportunity to test the Simpson Women's Capri Pants.


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