Ferrosi Convertible Updates
The design of this hiking pant has changed slightly this year. The zippered thigh pocket has switched legs, from the left leg to the right. The fly, previously a dual snap closure with a drawstring, has been swapped out in favor of a single button closure zip fly, and the belt loops are thinner. The fabric of the pants (what everybody loves about the Ferrosi line!) has remained the same. Compare the new pants (below, left) to the old pants (right).
The price is up $1 on the new version, from $89 to $90. As we've yet to review the new version, the following text refers to last year's pant.
Hands-On Review of the Ferrosi Convertible
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible pants are made with a 86% ripstop nylon and 14% spandex blend. These pants have a 31-inch inseam, and they convert into a 9.5 inch Bermuda short. There is only one inseam length available, and they come in sizes 2-14. Current color options are Mushroom, Pewter, and Black.
Hiking in Red Rock, Nevada, in the Ferrosis. We liked a lot of things about this pant, but it fell a little short of our Editors' Choice award winner.
Comfort & Mobility
We have mixed feelings about the comfort and mobility of this pair. There's no question that the softshell like material is comfortable and stretchy, and it moves with you more than a pair with less elastane or spandex, like the Marmot Lobo's. However, the cut of the leg is very slim and combined with the convertible zipper placement it impacted our comfort and mobility. The zippers are an un-stretchy band in an otherwise stretchy leg, and without them, we surely would have a greater range of motion. The tightness of the zipper on the legs is just plain annoying as well.
We understand the fashion trend towards skinnier pants, but it just doesn't work with convertible pants. The Arc'teryx Gamma LT is also a softshell pant with a skinny leg, but we have much better mobility in that pair because there is no zipper. Also, we should note that our lead tester has notoriously skinny legs, and they felt tight on her (while still fitting in the waist), so we can't see these working for anyone with more muscular thighs. For a convertible pant with a looser cut, check out the The North Face Paramount 2.0 pants.
The material is stretchy and didn't restrict us when scrambling, but the tight legs and convertible zippers did.
The ability for these pants to turn into Bermuda shorts increases their versatility score. There is no way to secure a cropped length though, and the fabric is so soft that when you try and roll up the legs, they don't stay that way for long. They are lightweight enough for hot days but might feel a bit too light in colder weather. Also, due to the tight fit, it's hard to layer under this pair.
This pair converts into a knee-length short.
These pants are lightweight and highly breathable, though they didn't feel quite as breathable as the Mountain Hardwear Dynama, perhaps because of the tight cut.
We never felt overheated in these pants even on hot days, and the convertible option helped keep us cooler when the temps soared.
The Ferrosi are well-made pants with double-stitched seams and heavy-duty snaps at the waist. The material is thin though, and while we didn't experience any issues during testing, it probably wouldn't take much butt-scootching on some desert sandstone to wear a hole in this pair.
When it comes to wind, this 90D nylon doesn't offer much resistance. Water does bead up on these pants initially, but once they get soaked they took almost twice as long to dry compared to The North Face Paramount 2.0
and the Marmot Lobo's
. The Arc'teryx Gamma LT
is a slightly thicker softshell and offers better weather resistance with the same drying time.
Water beads up and roll off of these pants, and they do repel a light rain, but once they get wet they take longer to dry than the pants with less spandex or elastane.
In addition to the convertible legs, this pair has a zippered pocket on the leg that can hold a phone, but the hand pockets are so shallow that they can't hold much let alone your hand.
Because the material is stretchy, we were able to get the removable pant legs off without having to take our hiking shoes off. But there's no easy way to distinguish which leg came off which side, which can make putting them back on a hit or miss affair. The color-coded zippers on The North Face Paramount 2.0 helps you avoid this issue.
We were able to squeeze the legs around our size 10 hikers, though it might not work on a pair of hiking boots.
We did like the internal drawstring for tightening the waist, which tends to stretch out a bit throughout the day. There are also belt loops for those who prefer a belt, though that doesn't usually work well with a backpack hipbelt.
The drawstring is nice for cinching down your pants without having to wear a belt. The belt loops are thin and low profile, and didn't bother us under a waistbelt.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible are a lightweight pair of hiking pants that work well in warm weather, but might not be the best for colder hikes where you want room for a base layer underneath.
Hike in hot climates and want the option to turn your pants into shorts? The Ferrosi's are a good choice.
These pants retail for $90, which is on the high side of the hiking pant market. If you don't need the convertible option, a zipper-less pair costs "only" $80.
There are some great things about the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible pants, including the soft, stretchy material and deep side zippered pocket. But the tight fit in the legs, and the "get these pants off me" feeling that the convertible zippers gave us definitely made us not as psyched on this pair overall.