Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants

It's going to snow... better bring waterproof pants on my weekend hike! EEEEEHHHHHHH. Not for me at least. I don't like waterproof pants because they are never comfortable, make an annoying 'swooshing' noise when you walk, and make you really hot. Granted softshell pants can't replace waterproof pants in super wet conditions, its nice to give them a chance to breathe a little if it's just snow or light rain. Thus, I give you the Patagonia Alpine Guide pants. These softshell bad boys are my favorite technical pant out there. This is why:

Movement, comfort, style. The Alpine Guides toot all those horns. The midweight polyester/spandex material allows for enough stretch in them that they dont need a gusseted crotch or articulated knees.  This allows it to LOOK relitively normal -- I will wear these out on a rainy/crappy day.

With five pockets, it will make everyone happy... but the best part is they are all flat -- no poofy cargo pockets. They also all zipper up, making everything that you throw in there secure, which is great for climbing, skiing, or sketchy city streets.

The DWR (durable water repellant) keeps it water resistant, and the built in gaiters are great for getting a good seal over your boots. They zipper up to expand the bottom, giving enough room for ski boots too. Usually I don't like gaiters, but its nice for biking because it doesn't flap around and I can keep my pant leg down without it getting caught in the gears.

Along with using them on cooler weather hikes, I also use it on a weekly bases when I am on my Emergency Responder shifts at the American Red Cross. My pair have gotten plenty of use in the past year I've had them, and I'll tell ya, I love these pants. While a little heavy at 20.7 ounces, I am bringing its baby brother the Rock Guide pants on my Pacific Crest Trail trek (they also come in nifty a zip-off version). The full line of Guide pants from Patagonia is great (Rock, Lightweight, Simple, Alpine, and Backcountry) but the Alpine and Rock guides have this Camels stamp of approval.

--Ian