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REI Screeline Hiking Pants Review

REI Screeline Hiking Pants are super-comfortable spandex and nylon gusseted hiking pants with vents behind the knee and reinforced knees and rear. I like wearing them for my more rugged scrambly hikes, off-trail bushwhacks and harvesting firewood that would rip up a lighter weight pair of pants. While the Screeline Pants are breathable and dry quickly when they get wet, they are somewhat warmer and more windproof than a really thin pair of summer weight hiking pants. Still, they don’t look like hiking pants when worn, so you can get away with wearing them to work or going out and none will be the wiser.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight: 15.1 oz in a men’s 38 x 30, also available in women’s sizes
  • Pockets: 4 mesh-lined, including one zippered side pocket, one rear pocket, and two side pockets
  • Gussetted: Yes
  • Material: 88% nylon/11% spandex and 1% love

The thing I like best about the Screeline Pants is the fit, which is comfortable and relaxed without being baggy. They also come with a webbing belt that runs inside a channel in the waistband so it won’t interfere with a backpack or climbing harness, you can’t lose it, and it won’t pull out in the wash. If you want to use your own belt, there are external belt loops provided as well.

The crotch is gusseted which is good for scrambling and active use. A gusset is a piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing and something you find frequently in climbing or hiking pants. The Screeline gussets also have a pair of small reinforced ventilation holes to help keep your crotch dry.

The Screeline Pants come with a webbing belt that won’t interfere with a backpack or climbing harness

The knees and seat are reinforced with nylon for extra durability, which is very useful if you find yourself scrambling up or sliding down granite ledges. There are two side pockets, one rear pocket (only on the right) and a small zippered pocket on the side of the right knee, which is large enough to store a cell phone. All of the pockets are mesh-lined, which helps with ventilation. There are also fine mesh vents on the back of the knees to release additional perspiration. These are and covered with an awning-like flap of fabric to keep them from being ripped up, which is also a thoughtful durability feature.

You can’t see them super-well, but there are mesh vents on the back of the knees that do a pretty good job of releasing moisture


If you’re looking inexpensive hiking or everyday utility pants, I’d recommend trying these REI Screeline Pants. I normally don’t like pants with a reinforced seat or knees, but these pants are so comfortable to wear, quick-drying and durable that I reach for them time and again. I also like buying REI clothing because it’s high quality, and relatively inexpensive compared to more mainstream brands.  One trick I use is to buy “unpopular” colors or the ones that REI offers sale pricing on. You can save a substantial amount of money that way, but it pays to search the REI website carefully to find those hidden deals.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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  1. Material: 88% nylon/1% spandex

    Hmmm……. Is the other 11% the air in the vents?

  2. No zippered pocket on the women’s version, or at least none listed in the description nor visible in the photos. Grrrrrrr. Come on, REI, we ladies also have essentials that we need to keep secure!

    • This lady buys the men’s versions of hiking pants in order to get roominess and pockets. I have to have places to put those expensive camera memory cards, batteries, and polarizing filter, not to mention lens cap and wired shutter release. REI stores conveniently have individual changing rooms with complete doors. Support your brick and mortar stores!

      • CAPT Gary Andres USN ret

        NancyP….right on! I’m a guy…..30 years as federal wildlife officer….35+ years in the Navy and -Navy Reserve…..I’ve been in my birthday suit with guys….and in survival school, with a couple of women…..but I completely appreciate your “complete door” comment! {especially as I helped raise two daughters!). And with all that, aside my “Dad-hood concerns”, I personally prefer “complete doors” always. I have to say… are the first person I’ve ever seen address it in comments! My daughter, by the way,refers men’s hiking pants as well……for exact reasons…..but she usually has to have them hemmed!

    • Link to REI site – “This product is no longer available” ?

      • REI refreshes their product listing feed every 24 hours, so it probably just sold out but hasn’t been updated in my feed.
        I checked the availability just a few hours ago before I sent out my newsletter and they did have inventory then.
        But REI does a weird thing with their sizing, listing each leg length as a different product, which can be real annoying.
        Your best bet is to go to the REI website and type in “screeline” to see what sizes are available and which are on sale.
        For example, these are still in stock.

  3. Yes, the “each inseam length is a different sku” is annoying, but there’s another issue: there is an “old” version of the Screeline pants, which are on clearance. They reviewed poorly because of a snug fit through the rise and seat. They also don’t have the vent holes in the gusset, have a weird hook belt buckle and have patch pockets instead of the mesh internals. I sized up on a pair to wear over a base layer for snow hiking and they’re not terrible, but it was confusing when I first researched it.

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