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WHITE SIERRA TETON WOMAN'S TRAIL PANT
TEST SERIES BY SHELLEY LACLAIR
 

INITIAL REPORT
June 22, 2007

FIELD REPORT
August 26, 2007

LONG-TERM REPORT
October 29, 2007

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Shelley LaClair
EMAIL: adkhiker (at) gmail.com
AGE: 44
LOCATION: Albany, New York
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
WEIGHT: 158 lb (71.70 kg)

I have been backpacking since 2000 mostly in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State and have my New York State Guide License. I have completed several long distance thru-hikes including the Northville-Placid Trail, New York; Long Trail, Vermont; Cohos Trail, New Hampshire. Most of my backpacking is on the weekends during spring through fall. I carry a medium to lightweight pack trying to stay under 25 lb (11 kg) for gear, food and water. In cold weather, my pack increases in weight and bulk. I have experienced many weather conditions; usually finding shelter in a lean-to or tent.


INITIAL REPORT

June 22, 2007

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: White Sierra
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: WhiteSierra
MSRP: US $45.00
Listed Weight: Not available
Measured Weight: 12.7 oz (360 g)
Color: Wild Dove
Style #: X9702W

Wild Dove
Woman's Teton Trail Pant -Wild Dove

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

When I first felt the material of the Teton Women's Trail Pants, I immediately liked the feel of the material. Attached to the waist were 4 tags. One stating the size, Women's Large, style-X9702W, Teton W's Trail Pant, Color: WLV - Wild Dove. The second was a pink tag stating this is a woman's pant, and the third was a DuPont Teflon fabric protector tag indicating that the material "Outsmarts Stains". The fabric protector says the material "repels water and oil based spills; Breathable, durable, safe & gentle. Fabrics look new longer easy care". The fourth and largest illustrates the "Travel Pack System" for stowing the pant legs. There is also an orange round sticker on this indicating the material is UPF30 sun protection.
Tag 1
Travel Pack Tag
Tag 2
Travel Pack - Directions


As I mentioned, the material has a nice feel to it. The 100% nylon pants are mid-weight with care instructions at the back of the waist. The construction seems to be sound although I noted small threads around the bottom of the short portion near the leg zippers. I will be clipping these off so they will not get caught in the zippers as I reattach the legs.

There are two pockets at the waist with a net lining as well as two cargo pockets at the hips. These have flaps to close them and held closed by heavy duty hook & loop tape. Additionally, there is a rear internal pocket that also has a flap that is closed by hook & loop. A black web belt with a plastic closure is a nice contrast to the color of the material. A black snap to close the waist is also a nice touch in style. All zippers are color coordinated with the material.

The pant's legs are removable. There are several features that are really interesting. At each ankle, there is a zipper to allow me to take the pant legs off without removing my boots. That is always handy on the trail. There is a flap with hook on it and a length of loop sewn onto the cuff allowing me to fit the cuff fit more closely around the ankle. The left leg has an additional feature of having a pocket. This is for the "Travel Pack System."

The "Travel Pack System" : "Unpredictable weather conditions require adaptable clothing. White Sierra's convertible pants give you the ability to maintain comfort in changeable climates. Pant legs zip off, stow into their own pocket pouch and attach conveniently to the belt loops. (See above picture of tag for diagram on use.)

Washing INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions for washing are as follows:

Machine wash dark colors separately. Do not Bleach. Tumble Dry low, Do not Iron, Do not Dry clean. The are also the international symbols to correspond to the written instructions.

TRYING IT OUT

When I first put on the pants I noticed how roomy the legs are. I love that! Room for my thighs is always an important consideration for me because if the pant legs are too tight, especially around the zippers, then I have to work much harder when hiking and climbing. Being only 5' 4" (162 cm) tall, I found the pant legs just a bit long when in my stocking feet but the length is fine when wearing my boots.

The odd thing about these pants is that while they are roomy in the front and around the waist the seat is tight. Now granted, I may have gained a couple of pounds, but that usually means that the entire pant including the stomach area is tight. This isn't the case. The stomach area is actually baggy while the rear center seam is, well, giving me a bit of discomfort in the derričre. Initially the pants felt good, but as I walked around the middle seam starts to "ride up". I almost feel that I'm wearing men's pants. I know if I went up a size, they would be huge and too baggy. I will have to see if the fit will be an issue while hiking. I would hate to have to keep pulling on the seat of my pants.

The pant's legs zip on and off easily. I've cut the miscellaneous threads to ensure they won't jam the fine tooth zippers. The material feels nice against the skin and with the exception of the rear center seam (I will have to see how it feels after a couple of washes), the rest of the seams all feel just fine. The waist is very comfortable. It is not tight at all and the elastic gives me good ease of movement. The belt is adjustable and seems comfortable and easy to use.

TESTING STRATEGY

I will be testing White Sierra pants during backpacking trips overnight every weekend in July and August with a 5 day backpack trip during the July 4th holiday (USA). To determine comfort and usability, I will be observing the fit, comfort, and durability. The following are questions I will be answering and I'm sure I'll come up with more thoughts as I wear them.

Fit & Comfort
•Will the center rear seam be comfortable enough or will it "ride up" and be too tight causing me to constantly pull on the seat of my pants?
• As I mentioned above, the pant legs need to be full enough in the thigh area so movement is not impeded. Are they actually as roomy as I need to give me a full range of motion?
• Will the gusset allow for full range of motion in the knee area?
• How does the material feel? Do the seams cause chafing?
• How easy are they converted to shorts and back to long pants again?
• Can I keep my boots on during this process?
• Is it difficult to tell which leg goes on which side?
• Are the zippers durable and easy to use? Will the zippers be uncomfortable and rub when I convert the pants to shorts?
• Does the belt buckle hinder the comfort of the waistband of my backpack? Is the buckle durable?
• Do they wick and breathe? How quickly do they dry when they get wet?
• Are they comfortable to hike in during a rain storm or do they stick to my legs?
• How well does the Dupont TeflonŽ DWR (durable water repellent) coating resist mud, grass and camp stains? (The Adirondack Mountain Range is notorious for muddy trails.)
• I like the idea of a stow pocket for leg panels. Will they be comfortable stowed away while I'm wearing them? Is it convenient?
• With the SPF 30, will the material really stop my legs from sun burn? I have fair skin and burn easily in spring.
• Does the material allow mosquitoes and black flies to bite through it? (Very important feature that they don't since the Adirondack Mountains are home to many biting insects.)

Durability

• How long will the Dupont TeflonŽ DWR last with regular wear?
• Will the coating wash away after several washings?
• How will the 100% nylon Sierra™ DWR hold up to abrasion from rocks and tree branches? Will it tear easily?
• After numerous washings, how is the color? Do they look the same or does the material fade quickly?
• Are they easy to wash on the trail if needed? How long will they take to dry especially around the waist band and zipper areas?
• Do the pants start to smell easily? Does the odor wash out or does it stay with the material even after washing?
• Will they shrink after washing?
• Will they stretch out of shape after washing or wearing?
• Will DEET bug repellent damage the material or coating?
• Will the material "pill", especially on the inside of my thighs?

SUMMARY

Over all I like the design and the quality of the workmanship. The seams are straight and appear secure. I look forward to putting them through the test of multiple hikes in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.


FIELD REPORT

August 26, 2007

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have had the opportunity to hike just about every weekend this summer with a few 4-5 day trips. My husband and I have hiked exclusively in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. The trails we hike are typically well defined although there is considerable tree blow-down and overgrowth in some of the more remote areas we visit. I have also bushwhacked in remote wilderness areas. The terrain is usually challenging due to the thick growth of trees, blow-down and other thorny bushes.

The weather has been unpredictable this summer in the mountains. I have encountered a few really warm days of weather in the low 90's F (32 C) but typically we have been hiking in moderate temperatures in the mid 70's F (21 C) to 60 F (15.5 C). Nights have gone down into the mid 50's F (10 C) on more than one occasion.

We have seen our share of rain as it has stormed and sprinkled just about every weekend we were out. I have worn these pants every weekend out on the trail for several days at a time. I also wear them around the house and while out playing with my dogs.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The White Sierra Teton Woman's Trail Pants have held up very well. The quality of materials is very good. One of the things I was looking for was wear of the material on the inner thighs. I have not noticed any pilling of the material. The color of the material is still like new. I have washed these pants at least a dozen times since I received them and they look fantastic.

I tend to get pretty dirty when on the trail. I sit on logs and get dirt, mud and pine sap on my pants all the time. After a particularly dirty weekend I wasn't sure if the pants would really come clean in the wash. They did! The seat of the pants that were really grimy came clean as new.
IMAGE 4
Dirty today, clean tomorrow!
The pants haven't shrunk or changed in size with all the washing and drying I've put them through.

Although the Dupont TeflonŽ DWR treatment of the material doesn't seem to really repel trail dirt, I think it helps release it in the wash. The DWR treatment does help repel light moisture. Although I have noticed a decreased effectiveness of this after multiple washings, water drops will bead up on the material. If I don't brush it off fairly quickly it will absorb into the material but the small beads of water dry rapidly.

In particularly hard rain, since the pants were never intended to be waterproof, they did absorb water. The material clung lightly to my legs when they were soaking wet. I didn't find this uncomfortable and I still had full range of motion while walking and scrabbling over debris and rocks.

One of the excellent qualities of these pants is that the material dries rapidly. One day I washed the pants in the lake and they dried really well when I hung them in a bush in the sun. There was a slight breeze that day. The exception to rapid drying, although these areas still dry fairly quickly is the waist and all the pockets. Basically where there are multiple layers of fabric. This was not unforeseen since the laws of nature pretty much dictate that a single layer of nylon will dry faster than multiple layers that are a greater thickness. The slower drying areas did not cause a problem with me wearing the pants as my body heat finished off the job of drying the pockets.

FIT & COMFORT

Over all I feel the comfort of these pants is very good. The pant legs continue to give me the room and full range of movement that I need to scramble over rocks and logs. The gusset at the knee is a good idea. It allows me to bend my leg without restriction. The material is also still very comfortable. The material glides smoothly against my skin and I have had absolutely no chafing. I would like to see the a longer center rear seam so that it does not "ride up" causing me to have to pull on the seat of the pants. I don't constantly pull on the seat of my pants but sometimes it does bother me. There still is plenty of room in the waist, hips and the front of the pants.

Sierra Pants Front
Plenty of room in the hips and front of pants.

Sierra Pants Back
I could use a little more room with the center seam.

Sierra Pants
Plenty of room in the thigh area.


The pants legs are easy to take off and reattach in the field or in my tent. The ankle zippers are long enough that I can unzip them to pull the pant leg off without removing my boots without getting caught. One of the things I really enjoy about these pants is that it is VERY easy to tell which leg goes on the correct side. The left leg of my pants has the special stow pocket. I just look for this pocket and then I know it goes on my left leg. I haven't had much use for hanging the stow pocket to my belt loops as I usually have my backpack on and my hip belt prohibits attaching the stow pocket. When I did attach it to the belt loops, it was secure and comfortable.

I tested the SPF 30 by sitting out on a rock near a beautiful lake on a warm summer day. My arms turned mildly pink but my legs stayed untouched by the sun. No sunburn. The SPF 30 seems to work very well.

The nylon pant material is mid to lightweight and while I was going through some thorny areas of a trail, I was scratched by some blackberry brambles. That was the only thing that seemed to get through the material. The pants protected my legs from the larger sticks and scratchy brush. I didn't notice any bug bites through the material. I've also sprayed my pants with different types of bug spray. Some had DEET others were "natural". None of the sprays affected the materials technical abilities or did they stain.

SUMMARY

During my testing I have been impressed with the durability and comfort of the pants. I like the pocket placement and the placement of the hook and loop for the pocket closures. I haven't lost anything out of the closed pockets as of the date of writing this report. I like the color of the pants and they are holding up extremely well from the abuse I'm giving them. They clean up like a champ and look brand new.

The only thing that I wish was different is the back seam should just have a little bit more room so the pants won't ride up in the back. I can't really say the pants are tight so they are not really uncomfortable but I do get a slight wedgy from part of that center rear seam. Overall I would recommend these pants as I find them comfortable and durable.

TESTING STRATEGY

I will be continuing with the same testing strategy. I am interested to see how they will continue to hold up to more washings and continued wear and tear out in the woods while bushwhacking through tough terrain with lots of blow-down and branches to wiggle through and climb over.

A continued "Thank You!" to both White Sierra and BackPackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these pants. I will be giving my final report at the end of October 2007. Be sure to check back then.

Thank you for looking!


LONG-TERM REPORT

October 29, 2007

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have put the White Sierra Teton Woman's Trail Pant though a thorough testing. I have been in the Adirondack Mountains backpacking all summer and into the Fall. I have hiked through mostly valley areas of the mountains with moderate gain/loss of elevation. I have encountered a few really warm days of weather in the low 90's F (32 C) but typically we have been hiking in moderate temperatures in the mid 70's F (21 C) to 60 F (15.5 C). Nights have gone down into the mid 50's F (10 C) on more than one occasion.

The conditions these pants have been subject to have varied. I've taken them bushwhacking through thick forest where there were a lot of trees blown down. That meant a lot of scrambling over fallen trees where branches pulled, scraped and poked at my legs. I have also been through fields where blackberry brambles pulled and poked at my pant legs. I have also been caught in the wind and rain.

I usually wore them casually around the house or on the weekend out and about.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I am still impressed with the quality of construction of the White Sierra Teton Woman's Trail Pants. At the beginning of this test I had a list of questions I wanted to answer. Below is a summary.

Fit & Comfort and Durability:

Over all the fit is good. The center rear seam could use a tiny bit more room so it wouldn't ride up. I didn't really have to pull on the seam but occasionally it did bother me. The waist was not tight and was comfortable. The pant legs are full and movement is not impeded. They are actually very roomy and comfortable and gave me full range of motion as I scrambled over downed trees and large rocks. I like the gusset in the knee area which gives me extra ease of movement.

The zippers all work great. I have had no problems with trying to zipper the legs of the pants on and off or with the main zipper at my waist. All the zippers worked smoothly. I especially like the fact that there are ankle zippers that allowed me to remove the legs (or put them back on) with my boots on. It was easy to tell what leg goes on what side.

Although I am not much of a belt wearer, I did find the belt and buckle was durable and easy to use. I was not uncomfortable when I wore my backpack.

Another nice feature of these pants is the material. It is very durable for a mid-weight cloth. Nothing ripped through the material although some briers did poke through to my legs. As far as bugs biting through...both mosquitoes and black flies were thwarted.

The material wicked away moisture and dried fairly quickly. When really wet from a storm, they did stick to my legs a bit but that did not impede my hiking in any way. The Dupont TeflonŽ DWR (durable water repellent) coating did resist some mud, grass and camp stains. The pants did get very dirty but always came out clean as new. I didn't notice any fading of the material and these pants were washed A LOT! The DWR coating is still on the material and does resist some water drops if they are brushed away quickly.

The SPF 30 material did stop my legs from being sunburn.

The stow pocket was easy to use. The legs unzip and one leg tucks into the pocket of the left leg (that was unzipped from the pant) and makes a self-pocket. I was then able to hook it to the belt loops at the back of my waist. I found it very comfortable when I stowed the legs this way although I usually just stuck them in my backpack.

After numerous wearings and washings, the pants are almost like new. The material has shown no sign of pilling, shrinking or stretching. They have always washed easily and dried quickly. On the trail they were easy to wash although drying around the zippers and waist took longer because of the layers of material. On a sunny day this was not a problem.

SUMMARY

In summary, I really like these pants. I wear them a lot even when I'm just bumming around the house or on a weekend. I have been comfortable in them on the hike and I like the durability and the easy cleaning of the material.

I definitely would buy the White Sierra Teton Woman's Trail Pant again.

Thank you to White Sierra and BGT for allowing me to test these great pants!

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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