There's a lot to like about the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible hiking pants. They are lightweight, stretchy, and will shed a light rain. They have a lot more spandex in them than some of the other hiking pants that we tested, and while that makes them stretchy and soft, they didn't dry as quickly as a result. The stretchiness feels great on, and we loved the mobility of this pair, but it was hampered somewhat by the tight fit in the legs and the convertible zippers. They felt slightly constricting on our main tester, who has skinny legs to begin with, so someone with more muscle in their upper legs might have a hard time getting a good fit in these pants. This pair is available in a non-convertible option, but if you love convertible pants, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Marmot Lobo's. If you're looking for something more affordable, our Best Buy winner, the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch, retails for only $60.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible - Women's ReviewPrice: $89 List | $69.62 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Sheds water, stretchy material
Cons: Convertible zippers are tight on legs, small hand pockets, no crop option
Bottom line: A stretchy pair of that would be comfortable if the legs were looser.
Inseam (from crotch to cuff): 31" (pant), 9.5" (shorts)
Fabric: 86% ripstop Nylon, 14% Spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Pants for Women
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
Comfort & Mobility
We had 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 was very slim in the size that we tested it in, and combined with the convertible zipper placement at the bottom of the thighs, we felt that both our comfort and mobility was impacted. The zippers are an un-stretchy band in an otherwise stretchy leg, and without them we surely would have had greater range of motion. The tightness of the zipper on the legs was 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 had much better mobility in that pair because there was 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 ability for these pants to turn into Bermuda shorts definitely ups their versatility score. There is no way to secure a crop 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 would be hard to layer under this pair.
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.
The Ferrosi are well-made pants with double-stitched seams and heavy-duty snaps at the waist. The material is very 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.
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 was a nice feature for avoiding this issue.
We did like the internal drawstring for tightening the waist, which did tend to stretch out a bit as the day wore on, and there's also belt loops for those who prefer a belt, though that doesn't usually work well with a backpack hipbelt.
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 baselayer underneath.
These pants retail for $89, 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 were 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.
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Most recent review: October 27, 2017
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