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 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.
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.