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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants Review

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Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants are highly breathable and quick drying convertible hiking pants with zip-off legs. They’re very stretchy which makes them great for scrambling and even rock climbing, with a gusseted crotch that provides great range of motion. In addition to zip-off legs, there’s an elastic band in the ankle cuffs which lets you pull the legs up to calf or even knee-height to keep them dry for stream crossings or just to cool off.  I also like the fact that they have a UPF+ rating which means they block 98% of the sun ultraviolet light from reaching your skin. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a bright sunny climate, it pays to be careful with your sun exposure over the long haul.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants

Freedom of Movement
Fast Drying
Durability
Lots of Pockets
Venting and Air Circulation
Weight
Sizing

Uncanningly Breathable and Stretchy

OR's Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants are highly breathable hiking pants with zip-off legs and roll up legs to help you keep you dry across a wide range of activities. A high percentage of stretch spandex makes them great for scrambling across rocks and for climbing.

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Specs at a Glance

  • Fabric: 86% nylon, 14% spandex, 90D stretch woven ripstop
  • DWR Treated: Yes
  • UV Protection: UPF 50+
  • Pockets: 5
  • Waist-sizes available: 30, 32, 34, 26, 28″
  • Inseam sizes available: 30, 32, and 34″
  • Gender: Men’s and Women’s models available

The distinguishing characteristic of OR’s Ferrosi Convertible Pants is their stretch. But they’re not hiking tights, they’re pants, with pockets and all the features that day hikers and backpackers want from a pair of hiking pants.

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants have a LOT of spandex and stretch well!

The pants have a regular cut and the fabric is very soft and comfortable. They’re also very lightweight and almost feel like you’re wearing silk, instead of ripstop nylon. Their breathability is also off the charts. I sweat copiously when I hike, regardless of the temperature, and these pants keep my waist and calves dry and perspiration free which I find kind of astonishing.

Elastic sewn into the cuffs lets you roll up the legs over your calves or knees, as well

If you’re still too warm or you feel like a dip at the local swimming hole, you can zip off the pant legs. The zip-off leg zippers are color-coded, a light grey and a dark grey, so you can match them up to the right legs when you put them back on. Alternatively, there are elastic bands sewn into the cuffs, that let you pull the pants up over your calves or even up above your knees for more ventilation, kind of like the roll-ups provided on other hiking pants. These are really handy for stream crossings when you don’t want to bother unzipping the legs to keep your pants dry, but just want to roll the legs up for just a few minutes.

The Ferrosi Convertible pants have five pockets, two in front, two in the rear, and one zippered pocket on the right thigh which is sized for a smartphone or wallet, when traveling. The two front pockets are made with mesh for breathability, but like the rear pockets, they’re open on top without zippers or button-down flaps for added security.

Illustrate zippered thigh pocket
The Ferrosi Convertible Pants have a zippered thigh pocket that can hold a smartphone

The pants don’t come with a belt, but have 2 and 1/2 inch belt loops sewn in. The tricot-lined waistband is soft for increased comfort and closes with a button and zipper fly. I use a soft webbing style belt and find these pants to be quite comfortable when worn under a backpack hip belt.

Other great hiking pants

Make / ModelLeg StyleGenderPrice
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking PantsConvertibleM | F$60
prAna Stretch Zion PantsRoll-upM$85
REI Sahara Convertible Hiking PantsConvertibleM | F$70
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible PantsConvertibleM | F$90
Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible PantsConvertibleM$99
REI Screeline Hiking PantsFull LengthM | F$80
Mountain Hardware AP PantsRoll-upM | F$90
Arc'teryx Palisade PantsFull-lengthM | F$159
Marmot Arch Rock PantsFull LengthM$75
Fjallraven Vidda Pro PantsFull LengthM | F$150

Recommendation

Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Convertible Hiking Pants are a highly breathable three-season hiking pant with lots of built-in stretch for scrambling and increased mobility. They’re super comfortable and functional with zip-off legs, elastic roll-up cuffs, and a zippered smartphone pocket on the thigh. Available in men’s an women’s versions and in a wide range of sizes, I’d recommend giving them a try if you sweat a lot during hikes, want a nylon hiking pant that dries quickly, and can be used for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Disclaimer: The author purchased this product.

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8 comments

  1. I love their breathability and stretch. I wear a size 32″ inseam in all of my pants. These were too long and I had to go with a 30″.

    Also, I absolutely hate the front pockets. They are too small for me to carry my small wallet, keys and phone. I realize I can move the wallet or phone to the side pocket, but I rather not.

    The pockets were a deal breaker for me, but I ended up keeping them based on their breathability.

  2. I have the non-convertible version and love them. Prefer this as I don’t like the zipper on my leg. They’re lightweight enough and the roll up legs can cool me down enough if needed.

    Agree with the pockets being too small, but that’s usually not an issue while hiking…maybe at camp, but I’ll make the sacrifice.

    I wish they came with a built in belt/waist adjustment and they’d be perfect for me. I dislike wearing a belt if at all possible.

    • The optimal waistband is either built-in with side elastic pulls for tightening the fit, or a sewn in-belt that is covered all around, so it works with a climbing harness. But those options are really rare and usually found on winter softshell pants only.

  3. I’ve got the non-convertible Ferrosi pants in a 32″ inseam, and really like them (I also have a pair of the Ferrosi shorts I like.)

    OR’s Equinox convertible pants are also good; they also come in a variety of inseam lengths, and they have a built-in belt. I tend to use them more, probably because (at the time I bought them) I couldn’t find the Ferrosi in a 30″ inseam.

    I may have to pick up another pair of them, in the convertible style.

  4. I also have the non-convertible version and over the past couple of years they have become my primary pants for three season hiking. They are surprisingly durable given how thin the material is. As you mentioned, they are very breathable, but this also means they can be a bit chilly when the temperature drops and the wind picks up. I have also tried the Ferrosi shorts but I found them to be a little tight on my thighs, which was a little surprising given that the pants fit perfectly.

  5. The Ferossi’s are my favorite hiking pants for warm weather. I wore a pair on the second half of my AT thru hike last year and was really impressed with them. The elastic cuffs on the bottom must be new because my pair that I purchased Q2 2018 does not have them. I was surprised when I saw them in your review above and had to dig out my pair from the closet to confirm that I had not missed that feature all of last year. Great product.

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