Most of my past hiking pants have sacrificed form for function, resulting in pained looks from my girlfriend every time I try to wear them anywhere other than the trail. However, ARC ‘TERYX’s trim and stretchy Ramparts earned high marks straight out of the dressing room for their sharp looking fit, which translated to superior performance around town as well as the backcountry.
The Ramparts are designed for maximum movement with the articulated knees, seat (technical term for butt), and gusseted crotch. They were the only pants I brought on a two-week trip to South Africa, and they endured hiking on the Otter Trail in Tsitsikamma National Park just as well as a morning tour of Cape Town’s Fairview Wine Farm. The quick-dry fabric eliminated any extended discomfort when I was unexpectedly soaked along the coastline trail, and the simple pockets and features didn’t make me feel like a dorky Indiana Jones when I made it back to civilization.
Although lightweight at 10 ounces, they can take a full beating, thanks to ARC’TERYX’s house textile, TerraTex, which is a 94% nylon and 6% lycra blend that is breathable and quick drying. Scrambling over the rocky coastline in Tsitsikamma left the fabric unfazed, and even after twelve days between washes, they didn’t get all bagged out and uncomfortable.
These britches have plenty of carrying capacity with the front, rear, and cargo pockets. Although I never actually lost anything, the lack of zippers or buttons for security (especially in the cargo pockets) made me a bit apprehensive about storing anything too important like a passport.
Bottom Line: Lightweight, compact and with a high tolerance for abuse, these pants get it done and look good while doing it. Seriously, they’re my favorite 3-season hiking pants… ever.