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Reviews > Rain Gear > Jackets and Pants > Outdoor Research Celestial Pants > Test Report by Andy Rad

Outdoor Research Celestial Pants


Initial Report: Nov 4th, 2007

Field Report: Jan 11th, 2008

Long-Term Report: Mar 10th, 2008

Product Information

Manufacturer: Outdoor Research


Model: Menís Celestial Pants

Year of Manufacture: 2007

MSRP: $150.00 (US)

Color: Black

Size: Large

     Listed Weight: 7.8 oz  (221 g)

     Measured Weight: 8.0 oz (227 g)

Size: Medium

     Measured Weight: 7.5 oz  (213 g)

Tester Information & Background

Name: Andy Rad

Gender: Male

Age: 50

Height: 6 ft (1.83 m)

Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)

Location: Boise, Idaho USA

Email: arad1 at yahoo dot com

I started backpacking 24 years ago, most were short three day trips, but are now generally four or five days. I'm in the backcountry year round with early spring trips requiring snowshoes over the passes, summer, late fall into snow, and winter camping on snowshoes or skis. About half of my trips are lightweight solo and the other half are with my family and friends.  The majority of my trips are in central Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Initial Report††† Nov 4th, 2007

After being on backorder for 6 months, the menís Outdoor Research Celestial pants finally arrived for testing.Had they arrived as originally anticipated this report would be coinciding with my previous Celestial Jacket report which can be viewed at mention this because the Celestial jacket and pants have many of the same features and are intended to complement each other.

The Gore-Texģ information tag is printed in what appears to be English, French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.The OR tag is printed in English and Spanish.  The tags expound on the pantsí features; waterproof/breathable, ultralight 15D Gore-Texģ PacLiteģ fabric, fully seam sealed, water resistant zippers, articulated knees for unencumbered movement, below-the-knee side zips allowing easy on/off over layers and boots, zippered security pocket, and loops or instep lacing at the ankle cuffs.

The Celestial jacket I previously tested fit very nicely, so I was surprised when I tried the pants on and found them to be too large.I generally wear a 33 in (84 cm) waist pant and the large Celestial pants I requested are definitely too large.ORís menís sizing chart has a 32 in (81 cm) waist and 32 in (81 cm) inseam classified as a medium, and a 35 in (89 cm) waist with 33 in (84 cm) inseam as a large.Since I was between the medium and large in waist, I requested the larger as I didnít want the pants to be constricting.I had not expected the pants to be this large.Iíve been in contact with ORís customer service and we are in the process of swapping out the large for a medium.The Field Report will include the medium specifications.

To give an idea of the generous cut of the size large, the fully expanded waist is 45 in (114 cm), mid thigh is 28 in (71 cm), and the knee is 24 in (61 cm).The pants are also high waisted with a total length of 45 in (114cm), and inseam is 33 in (84 cm).  The below-the-knee zippers are long, measuring 17 in (43 cm), and have a sturdy YKK #5 zipper.This long zipper is a nice feature, as I was able to put the pants on over my shoes better than most of my rain pants.Of course the generous cut also aided in this maneuver.Topping off the cuff zipper is an over-the-zipper patch that is secured by a metal snap.The photo at the top illustrates the zipper and cuff snap.

Iím surprised that the pants weighed in at 8.0 oz (227 g) given the generous size and amount of rubber backed elastic in the waist and ankle cuff.The waist front has a sewn in elastic band and is accompanied by a cinch cord.The back half of the waist has an aggressive 4 ribbed rubber backed elastic.The ankle cuff has the same rubber backed elastic on the instep and no gathering material on the outer step. This rubber backed elastic is not slick and is intended to keep the pants from sliding down the waist or creeping up the ankle.The photos illustrate these features.

Back zippered pocket (as can be seen in the photo at the top) is constructed of a netted fabric.This reduces weight as well and allows moisture to pass through.Personally, I prefer nylon pockets in pants, as they are less likely to develop holes over time.

My initial inspection of the pants is very favorable. Every detail is focused on minimal weight while retaining functionality.  It is hard for me to believe how light these pants are, considering the long zippers, aggressive waist/cuff elastic, overly generous cut, and waterproof/breathable laminate.

Field Report††† Jan 11th, 2008

Locations and conditions:

Field test period provided the opportunity for using the Celestial pants on 2 different backcountry trips.  Additionally, I used the pants while commuting to work on my bike and around town.  Total days in the field were 6 and numerous times commuting on my bike.


The pants arrived about 6 months late, thus my testing has been driven by winter activity, which is probably not the intended activity.


Three day snowshoe trip into central Idaho, snowed 18 in (46 cm), temps were in the low 20s F (-6 C) to freezing.  I wore the pants while snowshoeing in the morning, setting up camp, and in the evening.  I really appreciated the way they went on and off over my mid weight winter boots.  I generally carry full side zip over pants, but they are about 50% heavier.  I was pleased how well the Celestial pants went on and off over my boots.


Two day Nordic ski trip in central Idaho, with mild temperatures around freezing.  Camp was semi-supported near the vehicle.  I wore the pants mostly in the morning and evening.


Day hike in Boise, Idaho foot hills and experienced a light rain shower.


I have used them for walking around the neighborhood.  They are nice fitting pants and donít look anymore out-of-place than athletic/workout pants.



The size medium replacement pants are definitely smaller than the previous large.  Waist fully expanded is 42 in (107 cm), length from waist to cuff is 43 in (109 cm), inseam is 31.5 in (80 cm), mid thigh is 25 in (64 cm), knee circumference is 22.5 in (57 cm), ankle zipper is 17 in (43 cm), and they weighted in at 7.5 oz (213 g).


Compared to size large, there is little noticeable difference when putting them on/off over boots.  The generous 17 in (43 cm) ankle zipper is very accommodating to my size 9 Ĺ US hiking, BC ski, and medium weight snow boots.


The fit has been perfect, they are not too baggy as to look/feel overly large, and articulated enough to fit comfortably when hiking.  While riding my bike they are a little snug, but acceptable.  If the pants were any smaller they would be a little constricting, so I feel Iím near the upper end of the size medium.  Iíve also found that the simple waist cinch cord is sufficient in keeping the pants in place.  This is probably aided by the rubber backed waist band.


Iíve been concerned that I would rip the pants due to the light weight fabric, but thus far they are holding up to everything Iíve put them through.  Iíve been snowshoeing through brush, fallen on rough ice while skiing, and dug out a stuck car while on my knees in a mixture of snow and gravel.


While riding my bike they create a great wind barrier against the cold, and the breathability appears to be satisfactory.  My legs do tend to get a moist feeling, but that is expected as I heated up.  I generate just too much moisture and heat to dissipate while riding bike when it is above freezing.  When actively cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at temperatures around freezing, I have the same issue of overheating and would appreciate a means of venting.  This is not to say the pants donít breath, but as with any shell, adjustable venting is required if the pants are to have a wide range of temperature control. 


Full length side zippers would be my preference.  Sure it might cost an extra ounce, but the ability to unzip the upper thigh would be much appreciated when it comes to venting.  This would also allow the pants to be removed over muddy boots without the possibility of getting mud inside the pants.  That is not to say that the generous 17 in (43 cm) ankle zip isnít sufficient for going over boots.  In fact the ankle zip is longer than any of my other pant shells.


For me, pants are always an issue, as I over heat and prefer my legs to run cool.  So much so that I generally wear zip off (convertible) nylon pants while snowshoeing.  That way I can unzip the lower leg section and push them under my gaiters.


I slept in the pants one night and I wasnít clammy, but then I was on the cool side.  I commonly wear vapor barrier clothing when Iím in cold temps, and find that my thermal bottoms collect some moisture.  This is evident by the way my thermals immediately have that evaporation chill when I remove the VP.  The Celestial pants didnít hold the degree of moisture that I experience with VP, but that is what I would expect from waterproof/breathable pants.


There are no observable wear points at this time.  Iíve been a little concerned about the knees experiencing wear, but other than while setting up camp, Iím not too often on my knees and they show no wear.


Long-Term Report  March 10th, 2008


Locations and conditions:

The last 2 months provided the opportunity for using the Celestial pants on 2 additional backcountry trips.  Additionally, I used the pants while going for walks around town and a few runs around the neighborhood. 


Two day snowshoe trip into central Idaho, snowed 4 in (10 cm) while coming out, early morning temperature was 14 F (-10 C), and the temperature coming out was just below freezing when the snow started.  I wore the pants while snowshoeing in the morning, setting up camp, and in the evening.  I was wearing mid weight winter boots and the Celestial pants went on and off over the boots without issue.


Two day Nordic ski trip into central Idaho, with night time temperatures down to 15F (-10 C) getting up to freezing during the day.    I wore the pants only in the morning and evening.  I was wearing Nordic ski boots the pants easily went on and off over them.



As mentioned in my field report, the generous ankle zippers allowed the pants to be readily removed over Nordic ski boots and mid-weight snow boots.  The thin, yet durable, material makes for a comfortable light weight pair of pants, that easily stuffs into its own mesh back pocket of 6 x 6 x 2 in  (15 x 15 x 5 cm).

The pants are not ski pants with ankle gussets, thus I wore gaiters over the top.  In all my testing, they kept the elements out.  They never felt wet inside if I removed them before over heating.  All testing was done with minimal base layer.  Generally, I wear summer style convertible nylon pants, and if the temperature is going to be well below freezing then additional light weight thermal bottoms.  I tend to go light on the legs and regulate my temperature by layers on top.  Often times I unzip the lower legs of my convertible pants and just stuff the lower section into my gaiters.

Over the course of 4 months, the pants have performed flawlessly and show little to no wear.  Even though I had some brush encounters that caught the pants, there is no evidence of a snag or imperfection.  I used them for a total of 10 days, several trips on my bike, and a few times running in the neighborhood. 

Since there is no zipper in the waist area, the pants are cut generous so they can be pulled over the hips.  Iíve experience no issue getting them over my hips, and they stay in place by use of a cinch cord and rubber backed elastic waist in the back.

The pants are waterproof, as all seams are taped and the ankle zippers are water resistant.  The articulated knees provide noticeable freedom without the pants looking bulky.  Although they weigh in at a mere 7.5 oz (213 g), they are definitely not a pair of cheap minimalist pants.

Overall, Iím very pleased with the functionality, performance, and appearance.  They are top notch waterproof/breathable pants that will not weigh down the pack.


    * Long ankle zippers, slips over all my boots

    * Light weight and small packed size

    * Articulated fit, and are not bulky

    * Nice looking pants



    * Full length side zips, even at the expense of an ounce


This concludes my test of the Celestial Pants.


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