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Arc'teryx Palisade Pant - Women's Review

These flattering, stretchy, and, breathable pants have the technical chops for backpacking trips and enough comfort for day-to-day use
Arc'teryx Palisade Pant - Women's
Photo: Arc'teryx
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Price:  $169 List | $169.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Soft, quick-drying, easy to move in, lined waist with an integrated belt, great pockets, articulated knees, and gusseted crotch
Cons:  Not our favorite colors, expensive, not very water-resistant, no UPF rating
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 19, 2021
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 15
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 8
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features - 15% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Palisade pants are flattering and forget-about-them comfortable with enough technical features to keep up with you on almost any trail you want to tackle. We found the nylon fabric to be as light, stretchable, and breathable as the company claims. It also shrugged off thorny bushwacking with way more grace than we could muster. A fleece-lined waistband and integrated belt work well with a backpack and the four zippered pockets stay accessible while you're wearing one. Exceeding clever thigh pockets hideaway expandable fabric to fit bulkier items. Without a durable water repellent coating, the fabric soaks water in quickly, so they aren't the best for water-heavy adventures. They do dry quickly though. All told, we like these breathable, stretchy, and structured pants for everything from hot day hikes to long backpack trips.

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Pros Soft, quick-drying, easy to move in, lined waist with an integrated belt, great pockets, articulated knees, and gusseted crotchAll-day comfort, versatile, breathable, wind-resistantMobile, wide range of fit options, shed water easily, excellent pocketsFeminine fit, many adjustment options, great movement, comfortableLightweight, easy to move in, breathable
Cons Not our favorite colors, expensive, not very water-resistant, no UPF ratingCan be long, snug in the thighs, tie at the ankle isn’t the bestButton doesn’t appear to be durable, limited color optionsWeak buttons, small pocketsMaterial pills, front pockets are small, sizing is off
Bottom Line These flattering, stretchy, and, breathable pants have the technical chops for backpacking trips and enough comfort for day-to-day useWith their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical chops, these pants are up for any adventureA great bargain for a convertible hiking pant the does it allThese are great pants for colder hikes, rock climbing, and bike commutes from the office to the trailA lightweight, breathable, and weather resistant pair of pants that perform adequately to get you out on the trails without spending a ton
Rating Categories Palisade Pant Ferrosi Pant Sahara Convertible Prana Halle - Women's Saturday Trail Stretch
Comfort And Mobility (35%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Venting And Breathability (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Features (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
4.0
Specs Palisade Pant Ferrosi Pant Sahara Convertible Prana Halle - Women's Saturday Trail Stretch
Measured Weight, Size Regular (oz) 9.3 oz 9.5 oz 9.6 oz 12.0 oz 9.2 oz
Size options and versions 00 to 14, Short, Regular, Tall 0 to 14 0 to 22w, Petitie, Regular, Plus, Tall 00 to 22w, Short, Regular, Tall 2 to 24w Short, Regular, Plus, Long
Fabric TerraTex (94% nylon, 6% elastane) 86% ripstop, 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop Nylon 97% nylon, 3% spandex Omni-Shield Summiteer Lite 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
Fabric Features TerraTex Quick-dry Quick dry Water, and abrasion-resistant Omni-Shield advanced repellency
DWR Finish? No No Yes Yes No
UPF? No rating UPF 50+ UPF 50+ UPF 50 UPF 50
Pockets 2 mesh hands, 2 zippered thigh 2 hip, 2 back, 1 cargo 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 hand, 1 thigh (zip), 2 back (button) 2 hand, 1 side (zip), 2 back (Velcro)
Zip-Off or Roll-Up? Roll-up Roll-up Zip-off Roll-up, available as zip-off Roll-up
Integrated Belt? Yes Yes Yes Yes, internal drawcord No
Fit Features Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, fleece-lined waistband, integrated belt Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric Gusseted crotch, mid rise, convert to shorts Articulated knees, mid-rise, relaxed fit, 3 inseam lengths Gusseted crotch, mid rise, straight leg, convertible to capris
Social or Environmental Certifications

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Palisade pants do a good job of breathing and blocking wind...
The Palisade pants do a good job of breathing and blocking wind, making them work well for a range of temperatures.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Comfort and Mobility


The first time our lead tester pulled these on, she marched them to the top of an ancient volcanic cone on a 70-degree day in the heart of humid Appalachia. The trail was unmarked and well camouflaged by briars. She was shocked at how well the fabric shrugged them off, protecting her skin and our investment.

Between the gusseted crotch, stretch fabric, and articulated knees...
Between the gusseted crotch, stretch fabric, and articulated knees, we never felt restricted in these pants. Though they can pull a little in the crotch with extremely high steps.
Photo: Ryan Reed

A generously gusseted crotch and articulated knees gave her plenty of room to take lots of big ole' high steps too. These pants move well enough for yoga, though the zippers and belt keep us from using them on the mat too often. The cut worked well for our size-small test team as well. Though the belt looks like it would make the waist less comfortable when sitting or bending over, we hardly notice it after we pull these pants on.

The integrated belt helps keep the pants snug if your weight fluctuates on a longer hiking or backpacking trip. But when we had smaller testers try these pants, and they had to snug the waist down significantly, too much fabric bunched in the front. You may need to be more careful with your size selection as a result.

The Palisade pants breathe well. You can also easily roll them up to...
The Palisade pants breathe well. You can also easily roll them up to add a bit of ventilation. There is no way to secure them up, though.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Venting and Breathability


That inaugural hike we mentioned is straight down and then back up, in both directions. The temps were high for spring, the sun bright, and the humidity humming. The Palisade pant didn't seem to trap a hint of sweat, keeping us reasonably cool while shaded and protected from meanspirited brambles. We found these pants to breath well on all subsequent outings, like heading, but were most impressed with the first.

These pants breathe so well we rarely felt the need to roll them up...
These pants breathe so well we rarely felt the need to roll them up, but it's a nice option to have.
Photo: Ryan Reed

You can also roll the light, laminated (which means there is no stitching circling them) hems up quite high thanks to the thin stretchy fabric and roomy cut. This helps air circulation to cool you off quickly. And the hand pockets are mesh, which cuts down on bulk and keeps them from holding onto water.

These pants aren't windproof, but they don't let a cold breeze rip...
These pants aren't windproof, but they don't let a cold breeze rip right in and chill you to the bone either. The thicker fabric helps.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Weather Resistance


Arc'teryx doesn't mention a durable water repellent finish on these pants, nor does it claim a sun-protective UPF rating. In our shower and splash tests, water just soaked right in. These aren't pants you want to wear on a cold and rainy day unless you have a waterproof layer. And you have no way of knowing how much of the sun's rays they're blocking, though they cut down on surface sunburns.

They do a good job of cutting the wind, though we wouldn't go so far as to call them windproof. The fabric's structure also holds it away from your legs, slowing down the transfer of cold air from the outside in. We prefer these pants for hot to crisp weather on dry days.

The Palisade pants do bead water up a bit, but mostly it just soaks...
The Palisade pants do bead water up a bit, but mostly it just soaks in. Luckily they dry pretty quickly.
Photo: Clark Tate

Features


The most prominent feature of these hiking pants is their integrated belt. Most serious hiking pants have some way to tighten their waistline since it's common for pants to stretch out over the course of a long or multi-day adventure. Many people lose weight on longer backpacking trips as well.

This is one of the sleeker solutions we've tested. The wrap-around single belt "loop" keeps it hidden everywhere except right above the fly, and the laydown slip closure keeps the profile low. It does its job less intrusively than most, and we always appreciate a fleece-lined waistband on pants we want to put a backpack waist strap around.

The thigh pockets work well to stash valuables or necessities.
The thigh pockets work well to stash valuables or necessities.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The pocket placement is equally thoughtful. Arc'teryx skips the back pockets with the Palisades, a frequently unused pocket among our lady hiking friends and community. They opt instead to keep everything up front where you can reach it with a pack in place. We never love zippers on our hand pockets, but the teeth are small enough that they aren't a deterrent.

All of the pockets will easily secure a smartphone, though we prefer placing bulkier items in the thigh pockets. They hide away a tuck of folded fabric, allowing them to expand a bit to hold larger items like gloves or a hat without straining the seams against your thigh. There are even drain holes in the corner in case you spill something inside.

We wouldn't call them streetwear, but we'll take them out on the...
We wouldn't call them streetwear, but we'll take them out on the town on occastion. They prefer backpacking and trail meandering though.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Versatility


The Palisade pants aren't the most stylish at first glance. They offer such a flattering fit though, that we feel pretty well-dressed in them. The lack of rear pockets do make them look pretty technical, and they can scream I'm outdoorsy a little more than we'd like in social settings. Still, in a casual office environment, we'd show up in these if we had to.

They do work for a range of outdoor activities though, particularly high abrasion activities like climbing or bushwacking. The stiffer fabric keeps light brushes with thorns from snagging your skin and they showed no wear and tear when we drug them across granite or fought through thorns during testing. The breathability, belt, and pocket placement make them a nice option for backpacking trips too.

Clever features like that fabric tuck in the side pocket and an...
Clever features like that fabric tuck in the side pocket and an integrated belt combine with durable construction to make these pants a solid value.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Value


Like most Arc'teryx gear, the Palisade pants are as expensive as they are thoughtfully designed. To rationalize paying this much for hiking pants, we want to want to wear them often, and they'd better stand up to the high-use and abuse. Do they make the cut? We think so. They work well for hiking in the comfortable conditions most people enjoy, moderate to hot temps on dry days. We wouldn't mind them in a warm rain either.

Arc'teryx doesn't make any eco-friendly or labor ethics claims in relation to the Palisade pants themselves, which are made in China. They do, however, explain their commitments to work towards low-carbon solutions, make long-lasting gear, support fair trade, and improve working conditions in their supply and manufacturing chain.

The Arc'teryx Palisade pants breathe really well while blocking cold...
The Arc'teryx Palisade pants breathe really well while blocking cold winds from ripping away your warmth.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Conclusion


We like the fit and feel of these sturdy and stretchy pants, making them an easy favorite to pull on for long days in the field. Functional pockets and protective fabric sealed the deal, keeping our map (or phone/map app) close at hand and our legs safe from stray thorns.

Clark Tate