Review - Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Hiking Pant

MSRP: $110 CAD

Pros

Incredibly lightweight, incredibly flexible, exceptionally comfortable, comes with removable belt, zippered pockets so you don’t lose things, stylish, DWR treated, quick dry, wind resistant

Cons

Not durable, front pockets are small, thigh pocket is a little too low, pills, DWR treatment wears off quickly

Fit

Relaxed straight legged

Would I recommend?

Yes, but you need to understand and respect its limitations, otherwise you’ll blow through these pants really quickly.

I’d like to start by saying that the Mountain Hardwear Chocktone line is by far my favourite pant line, period. Every single pant in their line so far that I’ve worn has become my new favouritepant. This one is no different. Same flexibility, same comfort. My only critic about the Chockstone Midweight Active pant was that it was a little too warm for some hot summer days. The Chockstone Hiking Pants addressed that issue beautifully. It’s so light and flows so nicely that when I first put it on, I started doing some high-kicking martial arts just to feel it move with me. These are honestly amongst the most comfortable pair of pants I’ve ever owned.

They were so comfortable that I wore them a lot. And I mean more than any sane person would. I took them hiking (they were awesome), took them paddling (they were awesome), took them around town (they were awesome), took them crack climbing (they started becoming less awesome).

When I took these pants and jammed them into rocks and applied some pretty heavy abrasive forces to it, the pants started showing some pretty high signs of wear. At the time, I had them for about 3 months, and they started looking more worn than the Chockstone Midweight Active Pants that I’ve had for 3 years. Since then, I’ve noticed that the pants are pilling a little bit, especially in high-wear areas such as the knees. I’ve also noticed the DWR treatment no longer really works. Of course, since I’ve scrapped off the treatment layer by shoving my legs into cracks, I can’t expect it to perform as though I hadn’t. Even though the pants are starting to show signs of wear, and they don’t rappel water all that well, their comfort and mobility still make these my top choice whenever I’m guiding outdoors. I recently took them on a 9-day river expedition to the Yukon and only wore these pants for the entirety of the trip.

The only other thing that bugs me about these pants is that the thigh pocket is a touch too low, and the side pockets are a little too small. This means that whatever is inside the thigh pockets tends to hit the back of my knees when I’m walking, and I’m often stuck putting the bigger things into it, because they don’t comfortably fit inside my side pockets.  

With regards to the DWR treatment, what I found was that even though the pants absorb more water than their Midweight counterparts, they are much thinner and so they dry much quicker. While we were on the river, I would often get splashed with water from the rapids and waves, but once the sun came out and we were in calmer areas, the pants would dry pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for an incredibly comfortable pair of pants for any hot weather activity where shorts are not ideal, I would highly recommend these pants. Even with all the wear, and all the limitations I mentioned, I still wear them 4 out of 5 days that I’m guiding or playing outside. These are sincerely the most comfortable and light pair of pants I own, and I grab them as often as I do without hesitation. If you’re looking for a flexible set of pants to wear while rock climbing, or something equally abrasive, and are looking for the pants to stay in pristine appearance, these are not those pants. On the flip side to that, In the past 6 months, I’ve probably worn them as many times as a regular person would wear in a year and a half, or even 2 years. I still take them climbing and I very much give them a beating many of the days I wear them, and they still haven’t actually ripped or torn.

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