Patagonia simple guide pants

For the first time in a while, Calgary’s weekend forecast involved sun and warm weather.  With my climbing buddies either busy or sick, I decided to go on a hike. The hike turned out to be a little crazier than expected and my Patagonia simple guide pants saved my butt (literally).  This got me thinking I should write a review of them – also I was inspired to do a gear review by @lizzy_t’s recent review of her Patagonia rock guide pants.

Destination for the day was Mt. Yamnuska, one of the first mountains visible from the highway as you drive towards Banff.  It has sheer cliffs on the front that are a mecca for multi-pitch climbs and also a scramble around the backside up to the summit.

Yamnuska

As we hiked up the mountain and crossed over to the backside the wind got progressively worse.  Further up the wind became so strong that I had to start sitting down when I heard it coming lest I be knocked off balance.  During one such “rest stop” the wind actually yanked my sunglasses off my face and tossed them down the scree slope.  That would be the second pair of sunglasses claimed by the mountain that day!

I should mention that the wind probably felt worse for me than for others as I’m short and on the smallish side.  This is where my pants came in handy.  When I heard a gust of wind coming I would get low to the ground or sit down to avoid feeling off-balance.  This involved a lot of scraping of my lower extremities on sharp rock.  Several times I had to check that my pants hadn’t ripped.  Not only did my pants survive the trip, but after a washing they look exactly as they did when I bought them in February with no rips or scuffs.  Thankfully this means my legs weren’t scraped up as the pants took the abuse instead!

I bought my pants initially on recommendation from a colleague and I love them so much I’ve returned to Patagonia to buy pants for my husband.

Patagonia Simple Guide Pants

Pros

  • Water-resistant even after several washes
  • Pockets are well located – you can actually put items in the pockets and it doesn’t restrict your movement
  • Windproof – most times you don’t need long underwear as they block the wind well
  • Rugged – not sure what it would take to rip these but I have yet to damage mine and they have been taken out several times on rough terrain
  • Fashionable – maybe this is a girl thing but I like to look good even in outdoor clothes.  I’ll always put function before fashion but these achieve both
  • Slim fit means the bottoms don’t drag on the ground.  Side benefit is that they stay cleaner as there is less fabric around your ankles to catch/rub/drag on anything
  • Breathable – even when it’s warmer out, I don’t get sweaty in them despite the fact they’re black

Cons

  • Color – currently the only choice is black.  For me, it hasn’t been an issue as it doesn’t really get that hot where I tend to go.  If I planned to wear them in warmer climates, that may be a consideration.

Summary/Comments:

I don’t own rock guide pants but in comparison to my husband’s, the simple guide pants seem designed to withstand more rugged conditions as the fabric is a little heavier.  Also they do have a slim fit so I find that wearing long underwear with them can make things a little snug – though that may be different for each person.  If you’re planning on wearing these with long underwear I would bring a pair to the store to try on with the pants to ensure it’s not too tight underneath.

Overall I’ve been impressed with these pants and with the customer service at Patagonia’s stores.  Their employees have always been friendly and knowledgeable in helping me pick out the right thing.

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