Judy Armstrong reviews a pair of all-round women’s outdoor trousers 

Patagonia appear to have reduced their hiking pant range to two models, Pinyon Pines and Quandary. The latter are the most basic pants in the test (although not the lowest priced). Patagonia describe them as ‘all-season pants’ which must assume you can double them with thermal legwear in colder weather. In warm conditions, the fabric works well: made from lightweight nylon with elastane, it has more stretch than I expected and breathes easily. The initial DWR is effective, although washes out quite rapidly. Fit seems large at waist relative to the leg width, and the Short option of 30″ / 76.5cm is more like Regular. The lower leg is completely straight with a simple hem so shortening them isn’t a drama.

There is no apparent panelling in the pant, unlike the more technical garments which have curved panels between waistband and bum, and across the thigh/knee zones. Still, a good level of stretch means they move nicely and aren’t restrictive. The ankle to ankle crotch gusset also helps. I do have two moans, though. The smallest is a tab below each knee, inside the pants, with a large metal stud: this is to shorten them to capri length in summer, but the stud is annoying, cold against the leg and prone to flapping. I cut them off. The biggest gripe is at the waist. Instead of a belt (although there are belt loops) Patagonia have used a narrow, stretchy cord which ties inside the waist, above a metal button and zip. This is basically useless (due to being too narrow and stretchy) and can’t be easily cut out since it is sewn into the waistband tunnel. I cut it off at the ends and bought a belt. Hopefully by next winter Patagonia’s website will show pants for proper mountain use; in the meantime, these are most likely to be appreciated by fans who love the label.