Reviews You Can Rely On

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant - Women's Review

With their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical abilities, these are our favorite overall women's hiking pants
outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review
Credit: Outdoor Research
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $89 List | $66.69 at Amazon
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
By Clark Tate  ⋅  May 31, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
79
SCORE

RANK
#1
of 14
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 9.0
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 8.0
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 7.0
  • Features - 15% 7.0
  • Versatility - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi hiking pants are ready for a wide range of trails with 50+ UPF fabric that blocks wind and shrugs off splashes of water. The soft fabric stretches like a dream, allowing you complete freedom of movement. The zipped thigh pocket is big enough to store most phones, the ankle cinches make it easy to keep your hems out of the way, and the lightweight fabric is easy to roll. That's a good thing since the updated fabric doesn't seem to breathe as well or dry as quickly as previous versions of these pants. But they’re still the best in our test and are more comfortable than ever.

Compare Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $66.69 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$80 List
$55.89 at REI
$59.24 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$41.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
79
73
73
58
Bottom Line With their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical abilities, these are our favorite overall women's hiking pantsThese 2-in-1 convertible hiking pants work wonderfully, providing great breathability and excellent valueIncredibly soft, flowy, and stretchy, these pants are comfortable, except for the low rise, which can make the crotch feel tightA lightweight, breathable, and weather resistant pair of pants that perform adequately to get you out on the trails without spending a ton
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Fe... REI Co-op Sahara Co... Mountain Hardwear D... Columbia Saturday T...
Comfort and Mobility (35%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Venting And Breathability (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Features (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Outdoor Research Fe... REI Co-op Sahara Co... Mountain Hardwear D... Columbia Saturday T...
Measured Weight, Size Regular 9.5 oz 12 oz 4.1 oz 9.2 oz
Size options and versions 0 to 14 0 to 26w, Petitie, Regular, Plus, Tall XS - XL 2 to 24w Short, Regular, Plus, Long
Fabric 86% bluesign nylon (46% recylce), 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop 96% recycled nylon/4% spandex 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane Omni-Shield Summiteer Lite 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
Fabric Features Quick-dry Quick dry Ultralight Omni-Shield advanced repellency
DWR Finish? No Yes Yes No
UPF? UPF 50+ UPF 50+ No rating UPF 50
Pockets 2 hip, 2 back, 1 cargo 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 side, 1 rear, 1 zippered thigh 2 hand, 1 side (zip), 2 back (Velcro)
Zip-Off or Roll-Up? Roll-up cinch cuffs Zip-off Roll-up Roll-up
Integrated Belt? Yes Yes, internal drawcord No No
Fit Features Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric, harness-compatible waist Mid rise, convert to shorts, relaxed fit, straight leg, 2 inseam lengths Three inseam length options, elastic waist, stretch fabric Gusseted crotch, mid rise, straight leg, convertible to capris
Social or Environmental Certifications 86% is bluesign approved nylon (46% is recycled) Contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria
Contains recycled materials

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.

The convertible version of these pants is also great.
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.

Performance Comparison


outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - the updated ferrosi pants are polished enough for everyday life with...
The updated Ferrosi pants are polished enough for everyday life with comfort and technical details that hold up on the trail.
Credit: Janet Tate

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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - from high-stepping to climbing to yoga, these pants stretch and move...
From high-stepping to climbing to yoga, these pants stretch and move with you nicely.
Credit: Maureen Mills

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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - the 30-inch inseam was an ideal length for our testers, and the...
The 30-inch inseam was an ideal length for our testers, and the pants can easily be cinched or rolled at the hems to adjust the length if needed.
Credit: Maureen Mills

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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - an early spring heatwave in the blue ridge mountains made for muggy...
An early spring heatwave in the Blue Ridge Mountains made for muggy weather. While the Ferrosi pants breathed well enough to keep our legs dry, the new fabric doesn't feel as impressively breathable as the older version.
Credit: Janet Tate

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.

A lightweight elastic and cinch makes it easy to tighten your hem...
A lightweight elastic and cinch makes it easy to tighten your hem. It is harder to loosen, however, and the cinch clips on and off easily. It seems highly likely that you'll lose at least one.
Cinching your hem helps you place your feet precisely in technical...
Cinching your hem helps you place your feet precisely in technical terrain and makes it more pleasant to walk in wet pants.

Weather Resistance


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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - though the pants do soak through quickly in a hard rain and take...
Though the pants do soak through quickly in a hard rain and take longer to dry than the previous version, they shake off a quick splash of water easily.
Credit: Clark Tate

Features


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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - the two front pockets have small openings but are deeper than...
The two front pockets have small openings but are deeper than expected. The unobtrusive waist tie helps you adjust the pants to fit your shape without resorting to a belt, which is hard to wear underneath a backpack waist belt.
Credit: Clark Tate

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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - the outdoor research ferrosi pants have a comfortable fleece fabric...
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants have a comfortable fleece fabric lining the waist and a forgiving elastic drawstring.
Credit: Clark Tate

Versatility


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.

outdoor research ferrosi pant for women hiking pants review - the ferrosi's mid-rise work well with daypacks, backpacks with waist...
The Ferrosi's mid-rise work well with daypacks, backpacks with waist straps, and climbing harnesses.
Credit: Maureen Mills

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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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