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Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2 Review

A technical pair of pants with the comfort and versatility to get the job done
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Price:  $120 List | $83.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  comfortable fabric, belt, zippered pockets
Cons:  Shallow pockets, expensive
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 16
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 8
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 7
  • Versatility and Style - 15% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 6
  • Features - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2 is a true high-comfort contender. Its super elastic fabric makes it a great choice for high-stretch activities beyond just hiking. These pants are both fairly breathable, and pleasantly weather resistant. Though it gets a few dings for some disappointing execution on a couple of the features, all in all, it has what most people will need to have a great day on trail. This is a technical-looking model that is a good option for anyone who enjoys climbing or yoga as much as hiking.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

These pants have one of the highest proportions of elastane of any model that we tested. We love the comfort and mobility that this model provides and they offer a nice balance between breathability and warmth.

Performance Comparison


This model has some bells and whistles that only enhance its functionality.
This model has some bells and whistles that only enhance its functionality.

Comfort & Mobility


These pants rate highly for comfort. Their fabric is a blend of 88% nylon and 12% elastane, making them highly stretchable. One really unique quality that differentiates them from most other pairs is that the inside-facing material is woven in such a way that it makes the synthetic fabric feel softer. During testing, we really came to appreciate the difference that this makes in terms of reducing abrasion.

The gusseted crotch (the smiley face of fabric in the middle) creates extra room where it counts  in addition to highly elastic fabric.
The gusseted crotch (the smiley face of fabric in the middle) creates extra room where it counts, in addition to highly elastic fabric.

Unsurprisingly, wearer mobility is also high. The gusseted crotch and articulated knees mean that there is plenty of room to move. The cut is fairly 'regular' — not slim, but not loose. The included belt also allows the wearer to dial in the fit of the waist.

Venting & Breathability


The ventilation on these pants is standard but effective. The front and rear pockets are mesh-lined, so they can be unzipped to throw some heat. If you opt to roll them up, the elastic cord in the ankle secures them in place. There are a handful of models that employ a similar feature, but we found that these pants actually execute it well.

Elastic cords in the ankles allow these pants to be rolled up and secured for a quick  effective venting option on the move.
Mesh-lined pockets make for modest vents if you keep them unzipped.

All things considered, these pants can breathe as well. The fabric is light and loose enough that they can keep you cool, even in the heat.

Versatility & Style


The Chockstone/2 has a high degree of versatility. They are great for different terrains. They perform well on flats and gradual switchbacks, but also have no problems with chunkier trails. High-stepping and scrambling is no problem. They are also effective for climbing, water-based or water-adjacent sports like canoeing and fishing, and even high-flexibility activities like yoga.

These pants have only one rear pocket  and it has a snap that secures very tightly.
These pants have only one rear pocket, and it has a snap that secures very tightly.

This model definitely comes with a tech look. They are a fine fit for the informal front country. They are decent utility pants that can also double as casual happy hour wear.

Weather Resistance


These pants have a unique relationship with weather resistance. We were pleasantly surprised by their initial water resistance. As with many highly stretchable fabrics, we did find that water eventually worked its way through the material in consistent, moderate precipitation (stretching opens up tiny spaces in between fibers that allow water to pass through). However, wearers didn't end up feeling that moisture as quickly. The weave pattern of the inside-facing fabric seems to absorb, which gives the wearer at least a little more time before the water makes it to their skin, but also ultimately means they take more time to dry than the average pair.

The main fabric of these pants repels water decently well  but the pocket zippers are not water tight.
The main fabric of these pants repels water decently well, but the pocket zippers are not water tight.

As with many other models in this review, we appreciate the UPF 50 rating that confirms the protection that these pants provide from harsh UV rays. They provide average wind resistance as well. Though the fabric is slightly thicker, the nature of its stretch means that wind cut through them.

Features


These pants have excellent features with just a couple of minor performance issues. There are four pockets; two handwarmers, one on the right thigh, and one rear pocket on the right. Crucially, the first three all have zippers, which we value highly for the increased security that they bring. The rear pocket is secured with a snap. During testing, we found it extremely difficult to get the snap pocket open. This may be by design so that it doesn't open inadvertently, but it also ends up being pretty annoying pretty quickly. The pockets, in general, are fairly shallow and we found that the opening on the leg pocket could stand to be just a little wider.

The easy clip integrated belt makes fine-tuning the fit a breeze.
The easy clip integrated belt makes fine-tuning the fit a breeze.

As discussed above, this model comes with a very practical elastic cord in the ankles as well as a removable belt. The removable piece is key here because we found that the belt doesn't quite match the quality of the rest of the garment. The strap gets twisted in the buckle and it can loosen over time.

The zippered thigh pocket is great for larger items like a phone or GPS.
Zippered handwarmer pockets aren't super deep  but they are secure.

Value


This is a high-quality model with a price tag to match. We think that because of how comfortable they are, this pair can be worth it in the long run. Though they are priced slightly higher than average, we think that they still represent a decent value, especially down the road. You can get similar performance, though, from other models.

Conclusion


The Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2 is a technical, versatile model. Its fabric blend makes it a comfortable, practical option for a variety of activities. Its features are great for the most part, with a couple of minor ways to improve. We like these pants for a variety of activities beyond just hiking and we think that they are the right pair for someone looking for the same.

There are a lot of things to like about these pants  not least of which is the soft weave of the interior-facing fabric (at bottom).
There are a lot of things to like about these pants, not least of which is the soft weave of the interior-facing fabric (at bottom).

Ben Applebaum-Bauch