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Sitka Mountain Pants Review

Sitka Mountain Pants Review

The Sitka Mountain Pants are durable and breathable hunting/hiking pants. They are very flexible with a gusseted crotch that provides an excellent range of motion which makes them great for scrambling off-trail in steep or rocky terrain. One feature that was new to me in a hunting pant is a removable kneepad which is meant to give added protection to your knees when kneeling or crawling outdoors.

Specs at a Glance

  • Fabric: 4-way stretch woven polyester
  • DWR finish: Yes
  • Pockets: 7
  • Color Choices: Subalpine camo, Open Country camo, and “dirt” (brown)
  • Waist-sizes available: 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 44?
  • Inseam sizes available: 33, 32, 33, 34 and 34.5?
  • Gender: Men’s only in this model

Features

Sitka’s Mountain pants have an articulated fit with 4-way stretch woven polyester fabric, which is very supple and comfortable to wear. I would consider them a mid-weight pant and was a little skeptical at the thought of using them off-trail for fear of snagging them on branches. However, as I hiked through heavy sagebrush and scrub oak, I was pleasantly surprised at their durability and resistance to abrasion.  They performed tremendously well in various weather conditions this spring.

The Mountain pants are very flexible with a gusseted crotch that provides an excellent range of motion which makes them great for off trail scrambling
The Mountain pants are very flexible with a gusseted crotch that provides an excellent range of motion which makes them great for off-trail scrambling

The Sitka Mountain pants have seven pockets, two in front, one in the rear (each with zipper closures), and two cargo pockets on each thigh, with what I will call a vertical zippered side stash pocket on their face. The flaps of the cargo pockets have a soft open/close snap which is prized when trying to access essentials while trying to remain quiet in the field. The zippers of the side stash pockets are thoughtfully tucked under the cargo flap and added peace of mind that I wouldn’t lose anything out of them while hiking

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like the knee pads as they seemed to be positioned too low with the top of the pad hitting the top of my knee cap when I walk. This was initially annoying and distracting. They do ride low, but as you kneel down the pant leg rises slightly, putting the pads exactly where they need to be. Over time the foam seemed to form and loosen up with a little use. The knee pads are removable, however, I found them quite handy in the field providing protection to my knee when kneeling on rough ground. They also provide added protection to my upper shin and knee when walking through dense cover.

The kneepads can be removed easily in the field
The kneepads can be removed easily in the field

The waistband alone has features worth discussing. There are a few extra belt loops positioned around the outside of the waist, adding further support for a belt to keep the pants in place. And, while these are far from my grandpa’s pants (sorry grandpa), they have reinforced webbing loops for easy attachment of Sitka’s specially designed suspenders for an alternative way of keeping your britches in place.

The inside of the waistband has a non-slip strip on the inside of the pants. Its purpose is to help keep your shirt tucked in place, and/or your pants from sliding off your hips. I had seen this feature in dress pants but never considered it as an adjunct to hiking/hunting pants. I found it to be beneficial in two ways. First, by keeping my shirt tucked in place it helped keep small debris from working its way into places I won’t mention when hiking off-trail.  Second, I noticed a difference when carrying a backpack. I experienced less ‘trail sag’ of my pants which plagues me at times when carrying a loaded pack.

The flaps of the cargo pockets have a soft openclose snap and the zipper of the side stash pockets tucked under the cargo flap
The flaps of the cargo pockets have a soft open/close snap and the zipper of the side stash pockets tucked under the cargo flap

The only oddity that I found was a two-way zipper on the fly of the pants. There is a zipper pull at the top and bottom of the fly. I made this discovery by catching both the lower AND the upper zipper pull together when zipping up, and then striking off on the trail only to notice things were a little drafty. This confused me for a minute, but once I realized what had happened, I corrected it and had a good chuckle. I consider it a novelty; not exactly something to point out to a passing hiker, but a feature worth mentioning here.

Recommendation

Sitka has developed a full line of clothing and outerwear to tackle the extremes in weather often encountered when hunting. The Sitka Mountain Pants are by far the nicest purpose-built hunting pants that I have ever used. There are a variety of features that increase creature comforts while wearing them. I would recommend them as a mid-season hiking/hunting pant that will perform well in a variety of weather conditions. They are durable, breathable, and a great all-around choice for adventures, on or off the trail.

Disclosure: Sitka provided the author with a pair of pants for an honest review.

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About the author

Sven Peery is an all-season outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. He is also an experienced hunter and fisherman who is not afraid to wander off the beaten path. His wanderings have led him to hike and explore the vast trails of the High Uinta Wilderness, Wind River Range, and the Frank Church Wilderness in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho respectively. Sven spent 8 years with a county Search and Rescue team in Northern Utah. His training includes man tracking, wilderness survival, backcountry, cave, and high angle rescue. Whether hiking in National Parks with family, rising up to 13,527 feet elevation of Kings Peak, or dipping nearly a mile below the rim to cross the Grand Canyon, he is always ready for the next adventure!

7 comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I like the idea of the removable knee pads. Sure it would take a while to get used to them. Looks like a great pair of pants. These new backcountry hunting brands are killing it with great gear options.

  2. I was informed by a good friend that the oddity of the double pull zipper is intended to allow you to relieve yourself without having to unbuckle you hip belt on your pack to get at you zipper. I’m sure that some you knew that already, now that I know it’s genius!

    • That really is a convenient feature. Well thought out product all around.

    • Plenty of mountaineering pants (and jackets for the same reason) feature a double zipper. When you need to relieve yourself wearing a climbing harness, it certainly helps! With a backpack hip belt as well :)

  3. I use British army’s Personal Clothing System (PCS) temperate trousers. They are available in NATO sizes (waist&height), prices are very affordable, around 20-30€ in Europe. 66% poly 33% cotton. They are very good hiking pants for the price.

  4. wait until they are on sale. You can get them for 149 dollars. they are great pants and have been used on many hunts. However if you where rhem east of Nebraska or in the thorn patches of Ohio they will not last. i haven 4 pair currently and used them on a elk hunt in Colorado and after 10 days of riding saddles they worn down and stained. Overall i do recommend as they are comfortable and reliable but be prepared to replace them after 2 or 3 years

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