Eddie Bauer Women's Guide Pro Pants Review
Cons: Waist-to-thigh ratio is hard to nail, no integrated belt
Manufacturer: Eddie Bauer
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Eddie Bauer Women's Guide Pro Pants
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|$48.92 at Backcountry|
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$79.95 at REI
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|Pros||Clean style lines, resists rain and wind well, dries very quickly||Very comfortable, versatile, wind and water resilient||Mobile, wide range of fit options, vents and breaths wonderfully, good pockets||Incredibly light, soft with endless stretch, breathable, DWR finish||Lightweight, easy to move in, breathable|
|Cons||Waist-to-thigh ratio is hard to nail, no integrated belt||Fit can be hard to perfect, not as breathable as the previous version||Doesn't block the wind, not a great style around town||Not the most flattering, low rise can be uncomfortable||Material pills, front pockets are small, sizing is off|
|Bottom Line||These technically superior pants are great for travel and hot or wet weather, but we find the fit tricky to nail||With their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical abilities, these are our favorite overall women's hiking pants||These 2-in-1 convertible hiking pants work wonderfully, providing great breathability and excellent value||Incredibly soft, flowy, and stretchy, these pants are comfortable, except for the low rise, which can make the crotch feel tight||A lightweight, breathable, and weather resistant pair of pants that perform adequately to get you out on the trails without spending a ton|
|Rating Categories||Eddie Bauer Women's...||Outdoor Research Fe...||REI Co-op Sahara Co...||Mountain Hardwear D...||Columbia Saturday T...|
|Comfort and Mobility (35%)|
|Venting And Breathability (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Eddie Bauer Women's...||Outdoor Research Fe...||REI Co-op Sahara Co...||Mountain Hardwear D...||Columbia Saturday T...|
|Measured Weight, Size Regular||9.9 oz||9.5 oz||12 oz||4.1 oz||9.2 oz|
|Size options and versions||0 to 16, Petite, Regular, Tall, Plus||0 to 14||0 to 26w, Petitie, Regular, Plus, Tall||XS - XL||2 to 24w Short, Regular, Plus, Long|
|Fabric||96% nylon/4% spandex||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||2-way Flexion stretch, water resistant||Quick-dry||Quick dry||Ultralight||Omni-Shield advanced repellency|
|UPF?||UPF 50+||UPF 50+||UPF 50+||No rating||UPF 50|
|Pockets||2 hand, 2 cargo (zip)||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?||No||Roll-up cinch cuffs||Zip-off||Roll-up||Roll-up|
|Integrated Belt?||No||Yes||Yes, internal drawcord||No||No|
|Fit Features||Mid rise, slightly curvy thighs||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||Bluesign approved materials||86% is bluesign approved nylon (46% is recycled)||Contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria
Contains recycled materials
Our Analysis and Test Results
If your go-to outdoor activities are water-based, or you live in a wet and wild climate, we highly recommend these pants. The DWR finish does a good job of keeping quick splashes and light rain at bay (for a while). But where these pants truly shine is in how fast they dry, making them one of the best in the test. Their breathability and UPF of 50+ also make them a good pick for warmer weather.
Comfort and Mobility
Our lead tester is in between sizes 4 and 6 at the moment. She went with a size 6 in these pants. They are comfortable through the thighs but loose around the waist. While roomy, they work pretty well. Waist ties aren’t the most exciting accessory, but they would give us a little more flexibility in this case.
These pants claim to be cut for curves, with more room through the bum and hips. We appreciate that, but you can usually achieve the effect by sizing up. The challenge is often having room in the thighs and having a waist that fits. The pants work okay for our lead tester, who has a curvy/athletic build, despite the sizing issue. But they may not be right for everyone.
They also stretch when you wear them as often as you’d like to between washes, which is another reason to consider sizing down if you’re in between. Though a little loose, they’re still pretty comfortable when sitting low slung on the hips. And you can always buy a belt.
We wear these pants to yoga, bouldering sessions, sea kayaking tours, dog walks, and, of course, hikes. Their mobility is excellent, but their comfort is only average due to the less-than-perfect fit. The loose waist left us pulling them up often.
What we really appreciate is how many sizing options Eddie Bauer offers. These pants come in plus, regular, petite, and tall sizes, making it more likely that you can nail the fit if you try a few sizes. The 32-inch inseam on the regular cut is a little long for many of our testers. Though the light fabric and straight cut make these pants easy to roll up, it is a little annoying. The fact that they’re a little loose exacerbates the issue.
Two-way stretch fabric stretches side to side and on the diagonal but is pretty rigid vertically, as in running from your waist to your feet. We find that this level of stretch is plenty for our adventure needs and seems to keep them from sagging so they keep their clean lines longer.
The crotch isn’t gusseted, meaning that four seams meet without an extra triangle of fabric to make the pants more three-dimensional. It doesn’t seem to hold us back. It’s just that every pair of pants we find incredibly comfortable has one. We find these fairly comfortable. There is a difference.
The 96% nylon and 4% spandex detail fabric is soft and feels nice against your skin. The pants don’t have any of the cushy features that other options have, like a microfleece lining in the waistband, but we don’t miss it. The mid-rise is great. We think it’s the most comfortable and practical option.
Venting and Breathability
Many hiking pants encourage you to roll up your hems when it’s hot out by adding straps to hold the rolls in place. The Guide Pro doesn't do this. The light fabric rolls up easily and has enough structure that they don’t unroll themselves easily. This is less true when the pants are wet. Of course, when it’s raining or you're wet, you’re probably less concerned about the heat.
The fabric also seems highly breathable, meaning that the warm air and sweat you generate while you're hiking can escape. We’ve really enjoyed these pants on hotter, muggier days.
Between the breathability of the light and thin fabric and the 50+ UPF sun protection, these pants treat you right in hot and sunny weather. Though the darker color we tested isn’t the best in these conditions.
Eddie Bauer doesn’t claim that these pants offer any resistance to the wind, but we feel they do a decent job of blocking it. That’s great news for the mountains or shoulder seasons when temperatures can drop quickly and unexpectedly. Our favorite hiking pants block wind and breath well, letting you shed heat when you need to while keeping out external chills. These pants perform fairly well at this task.
They do let some wind in though, and they are thin. That means these pants are best suited to warmer weather. The company does make a fleece-lined version for colder temps.
Eddie Bauer uses its mid-range durable water repellant (DWR) finish on these pants. The coating keeps droplets from soaking in right away. As a result, the Guide Pro does well in light rain.
They aren’t waterproof, so you do get wet when it pours. But they did keep us dry longer during our shower test than almost any other pant in the review. They also dry faster than the rest, making them a favorite for rainy weather and water sports.
The Guide Pro pants are straightforward with minimal features and absolutely no bells and whistles. They have belt loops and pockets, and that’s it. We don’t have a lot to say about the belt loops. We don’t love wearing a belt when hiking, but it works. Since these pants don’t have an internal drawstring, and their waist can stretch out, you might need one.
These pants have four pockets, two hand pockets, and two zippered, outer-thigh pockets. None of them are big enough to fully swallow a smartphone with a case. That’s a bummer since you could almost always use a secure pocket to stash one in. You can carry your phone in them, you just can’t zip them up when you do.
The pockets are mesh, which keeps them light and keeps air circulating. They’re pretty comfortable for your hands, and the hand pockets are just big enough to hold yours. They aren’t that useful, but when you’re hands get cold, you won’t be sorry that you have them.
We tend to like having zippered pockets on the outside of our thighs. It’s one of the most comfortable places to add bulk to your pants when you’re walking. The Guide Pro’s versions are big enough for your credit card and ID, some cash, and maybe a granola bar.
Since we realized halfway through the test that we may have purchased these pants a size larger than we should have, they don’t fit like a glove. That looseness can feel frumpy. But they don’t seem to look it. We got a few compliments while wearing them and were often pleasantly surprised when we caught our reflection in a mirror.
These pants could pass as casual workwear, though the logo on the front of your left thigh kind of gives the game away. But we could definitely see traveling with them given that they offer passable style, are easy to pack, and dry quickly after a was.
The mid-rise helps the pants work well under a harness or backpack strap. While they aren’t our first choice for a yoga class, they certainly move and breathe well enough to work.
This is about what you pay for hiking pants these days, and we think these will last longer than most. We can’t see any sign of the hikes, climbs, yard work, or dog jumps these pants have sustained. That increases their value tremendously. We also think you’ll find more occasions to wear these pants than just when you’re hiking. Their style is inoffensive enough to creep into your daily wardrobe, and definitely into your travel capsule.
The nylon and spandex fabric is bluesign certified, and having your clothes leave you with more healthy environments to explore seems like a bonus. We don’t love that Eddie Bauer couldn’t tell us if the DWR treatment used on these pants contains PFAs though. If you value reducing toxic chemicals, there are other pants that claim to.
These minimalist hiking pants have a sophistication that adds to their style and seems to focus on the task at hand, keeping you comfortable outside. From their durability to their breathability to their quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant nature, these pants will keep you comfortable, so you can focus on fun.
— Clark Tate
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