Brand: Mountain Hardwear
Model: AP Pants
We love the trail-to-town trend, with a slew of brands making technical apparel that you can wear without looking like an Everest guide. Who doesn’t want more versatile clothing? The only problem is that backcountry duds often get dumbed down for the frontcountry. Not so with the AP Pants.
For starters, they’re amazingly tough for the weight.“My buddy ripped his technical hiking pants in Escalante’s cheese grater slot canyons, but even after multiple days of scrambling, mine were unblemished,” says one tester, and this was after he’d already worn the pants for months of testing, everywhere from the Canadian Rockies to the Turkish coast. Credit the fabric’s comfortable blend of cotton and nylon (yes, cotton; we found the fabric did fine in light rain, but these pants aren’t the choice for heavy precip). A dash of elastane adds stretch, so we never felt restricted while high-stepping over canyon chockstones. The elastane also helps the pants retain their shape, even after we wore them for a week straight.
The overall design is clean—take the minimal detailing on the rear pockets, for example—and the cut is trim. Caveat: Some testers found the material too warm for temperatures above 80°F.