Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Very comfortable, versatile, wind and water resilient
Cons: Fit can be hard to perfect, not as breathable as the previous version
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Compare Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Outdoor Research updated its Ferrosi hiking pants for 2022. This is still a great pair of pants, but we have mixed feelings about some of the changes. The fabric, which is now 46% recycled (which we love) is softer and stretchier than before. That makes these pants more comfortable, but they did away with the gusseted crotch, a feature we always appreciate. And the fabric doesn't seem to breathe as well or dry as fast as the previous version. The original Ferrosi pants were incredibly breathable, by far the best in the test. Now they are more average. We wish offering more comfortable and sustainable pants didn't come at the expense of their technical superiority.
If you prefer to unzip the legs to transition your hiking pants to shorts, Outdoor Research makes a convertible version of these pants. We recommend whichever version better meets your needs.
Comfort and Mobility
These pants stretch and move with you enough to keep up with nearly any activity you have in mind. The thigh to waist ratio wasn't perfect for our testers, leaving a gap at the waist, but the integrated drawstring belt helped make it work. The waist cinch works better than most options we tried, holding your pants up when required without getting in the way when you don't need it. There are also belt loops if you prefer.
The original Ferrosi pants we tested had a gusseted crotch (including an extra triangle of fabric to offer more range of motion), but this new version does not. We don't exactly miss it since the pants stretch so well, but the pants can pull awkwardly in the front, and we wonder if that would help.
The knees are still articulated, but differently. There are two extra tucks of fabric on the outside of each to make sure you have room to move any old way you like. They work great without making the legs look baggy.
A microfleece material lining the waistband helps keep it comfortable even when you're hauling your world around in a backpack or pulling on a climbing harness. The pant's mid-rise also works very well to hold the pants comfortably in place and works well with backpack waist straps.
The 30-inch inseam is perfect for most of our testers, and it’s easy to cinch or roll the hems if they are long on you. Extra fabric around your ankles isn't always your friend on a hike or a climb, so we appreciate the straight cut of these pants.
Venting and Breathability
The thin fabric is easy to roll up all the way to your knees. There is also an elastic cord in the hems with a lightweight cinch so you can snug them around your ankles. This can do wonders to help keep you cool.
The ankle fastener is lightweight and very easy to tighten. Loosening it is harder, and the cinching element can pop off the cord. We would not be surprised to lose one or both of them pretty quickly. Still the elastic is long enough that you could knot it if need be.
When it comes to breathability, the previous Ferrosi pants were on another level. This new version feels more average. They are very lightweight but hold in more sweat on hot and muggy days. When you roll them up though, we stay cool enough. There's a convertible version if you get warm easily and want more ventilation.
These pants are thin, offer 50+ UPF sun protection, and breathe fairly well, so they are a good option for hot weather. They also block wind, keeping it from ripping your body heat away when it’s cooler out. Because of this, they transition further into the shoulder seasons better than you might assume for such lightweight pants. They're also easy to pull on over a thin wool base layer, providing you with full three-season use.
The women's Ferrosi pants have a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that helps them shed some water before it starts soaking into the fabric. Our lead tester’s dog loves to swim and shake water on any human standing nearby. These pants handle it with ease, letting her shake it right back off. But if it rains hard, you'll get wet. These pants are fast drying, but not as fast as they used to be. They’re fine for short showers in warmer weather, but be careful of wet weather as the temperatures drop.
We've already mentioned the well-executed drawstring in the waist and tighteners in the hems. Now let's talk pockets.
The two hand pockets upfront are sizable, with a narrow entrance opening up to a much deeper pocket than you'd expect. They certainly work well for your hands. But the thin fabric makes it uncomfortable to carry much in them while you hike unless it's flat and light, like a map. They are big enough to swallow a phone without worrying about it falling out. Again though, it’s not that comfortable.
The thigh pocket is set off to the side of your leg, big enough to hold most phones, and is zippered. This is the only truly comfortable pocket configuration we’ve found for a smartphone, and we appreciate that Outdoor Research included this on the updated Ferrosi pants. There are two back pockets. One has a zipper. The other does not. The open pocket will hold a phone or wallet, but not very securely. The zippered option is great for a card or two or some cash. They're not incredibly functional but add to the pants' casual look.
The previously mentioned fleece fabric lining around the waist is a nice comfortable touch to keep the pants comfortable, especially when wearing a backpack or climbing harness.
The new Ferrosi fabric is 14% ripstop spandex, and Outdoor Research claims that they are abrasion-resistant. We rubbed a corner of the hem across a rough granite corner and it didn’t pick, pile, or abraid. We’ll keep you updated on their durability as we test them throughout the season.
Aside from seeming durable, these pants are comfortable enough for a casual after-work hike or dog walk, and technical enough to serve you well on a backpacking trip. The rise works with a climbing harness or backpack and, as we discussed in the weather resistance section, it keeps you comfortable in a range of temperatures.
That said, we never feel all that stylish while wearing these pants, though they do earn our test team compliments. Their straight cut, subtle pockets, and neutral color pallets keep them from betraying our outdoor adventure intentions. When we wear them to social functions and work events, we never feel out of place.
With the top score in the test and an average price tag, we think these pants offer a pretty good value. Like most outdoor gear though, they are an investment. The earlier version of these pants stood up to rough wear and tear. Time will tell if these do as well. If so, a long lifespan will add tremendously to their value.
Their impressive versatility helps. These pants more than earn their space in our closet, van, or carry-on.
Outdoor Research the nylon that makes up 86% of these pants is bluesign certified and 46% of that nylon is recycled. They also have several company-wide commitments to people and the planet. If their values match yours, it could increase the value of purchasing from them.
These are our favorite hiking pants in the test. They hold their comfortable, stretchy shape for days on end, breathe fairly well, and stand up to wind and rain long enough for us to seek shelter or pull on a rain layer. We're fans, and recommend these pants for active days, day hikes, and backpacking trips.
— Clark Tate
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is commited to honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year. We buy all the products ourselves. We won't accept manufacturer's freebies. No ads. No "sponsored" content. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing.Learn More