Gear Review: Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants

Softshell pants built for years of abuse.


From the metal buckle on the integrated belt to the armor-like scuff guards on the ankle cuffs to the reinforced Polartec Hardface* fabric on the knees, these softshell pants are built for years of abuse. Good thing, because with the combination of weather-resistant/breathable Polartec Power Shield and low-profile looks, I found myself wearing the Alpine Guides more than any other pants last spring. The DWR-treated fabric is nearly waterproof—one tester used them for two weeks straight on a hike-paddle-climb journey in soggy Chilean Patagonia, and says, “They never wet out even after after three days of rain and crashing waves.” Articulated knees and a nonbinding fit allowed excellent mobility while skiing, snowboarding, and high-stepping. $229; 1 lb. 4 oz. (32); 28-38;

Best For: Hikers/climbers/skiers who want one pair of versatile pants for all of their pursuits

Tester Data

» Dennis Lewon (other testers: Shannon Davis, Steve Howe)

» Duration Feb. to May

» Locales/conditions UT, WY, Patagonia; 20°F to 70°F; rain, snow, wind

» “Metal snap closures at the ankle accommodate big boots, and they won’t ever snag or break like zippers.”