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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible - Women's Review

An excellent, stretchy pair of pants that can handle almost anything.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $90 List | $67.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Hold their shape day after day, breathable, durable, deep hand pockets will hold a phone
Cons:  Fits tight on thighs, cargo pocket is not very useful
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Meg Atteberry ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2019
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90
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 10
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 9
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 10

Our Verdict

The search for the perfect pair of hiking pants landed us at the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible. They are lightweight, stretchy, and breathable while still offering protection and durability. Despite the tighter fit, mobility was never an issue, which we loved. In our quest for the perfect hiking pant, we discovered that there's always a downside. For the Ferrosi's, we would have liked to see a better side pocket and a touch more room in the pant. However, there's something to be said for a pant so cozy and durable that we couldn't wait to get them on.

Since these pants perform so well, we would love to see Outdoor Research develop these pants to fit more body types. Currently, these pants work well for women with fewer curves and an athletic build. For a curvier pair (and a contender for our Editors' Choice Award), check out the REI Co-op Sahara Convertible, which will also save you cash.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $67.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$69.95 at REI$129.98 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$70 List
Check Price at Amazon
$79.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Hold their shape day after day, breathable, durable, deep hand pockets will hold a phoneMobile, wide range of fit options, shed water easily, excellent pocketsGreat weather resistance, mobile, comfortable, durableMaterial is soft and stretchy, lightweight, deep front pocketsGreat pockets, fashionable and functional, lots of mobility
Cons Fits tight on thighs, cargo pocket is not very usefulButton doesn’t appear to be durable, limited color optionsNot as breathable, slim cut hard to layer underLimited features, not water resistant, slow to dryDon’t breath well, potentially awkward fit, slow to dry
Bottom Line An excellent, stretchy pair of pants that can handle almost anything.A great bargain for a convertible hiking pant the does it all.Best for cold weather hiking and wet days on the trail.The most comfortable pair that we tested.Techy tights that combine all the things we love about hiking pants and put them into a fashion-forward tight that functions on big trail days.
Rating Categories Ferrosi Convertible Sahara Convertible Gamma LT Pant Mountain Hardwear Dynama Utility Hybrid Hiker
Comfort Mobility (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
Versatility (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
8
Durability (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
Weather Resistance (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
6
Features Conveniences (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
9
Breathability (10%)
10
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10
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
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10
10
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4
Specs Ferrosi Convertible Sahara Convertible Gamma LT Pant Mountain Hardwear... Utility Hybrid Hiker
Measured Weight (in oz) 9.5 oz 9.6 oz 11 oz 7.5 oz 10.3 oz
Inseam (from crotch to cuff) 31" (pant), 9.5" (shorts) 32" 32" (Short) 30", (Regular) 32", or (Long) 34" 29"
Fabric 86% ripstop Nylon, 14% Spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop Nylon 88% Nylon, 12% Elastane 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane 95% Nylon 5% Elastane
Pockets 2 hand, 2 back (zip), 1 side (zip) 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 hand (zip), 1 side (zip) 2 hand, 2 back 2 hand, 2 back, 2 utility
Zip-Off or Roll-Up? Zip-off Zip-off Cinch around ankle Roll-up No
UPF? UPF 50 UPF 50 None UPF 50 No
Integrated Belt? Yes, internal drawcord yes Yes No No
Fit Features Articulated knees, dual snap zipper fly, belt loops, movement-mirroring stretch belt loops, built-in belt, zippered cargo pockets with internal stash pocket, gusseted crotch, multiple inseam length, petite through plus sizing Softshell pant, breathable and abrasion-resistant, trim fit 3 inseam lengths, DWR finish, stretch waistband, elastane fabric zippered front and side pockets, elastic waist
Lengths available

Our Analysis and Test Results

These are a stretchy pair of lightweight softshell hiking pants. The Ferrosi Convertible pants feature an 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. The material is comfortable and moves with you, but the legs are on the slim side, and the convertible zippers can feel constricting at first. These issues didn't deter our testers for long, though.

Performance Comparison


The Ferrosi's fit best on narrow hips and less-curvy women. For our tester's athletic build  the pant was just right.
The Ferrosi's fit best on narrow hips and less-curvy women. For our tester's athletic build, the pant was just right.

Comfort & Mobility


At first, we weren't too sure we would like the Ferrosi's. They seemed to fit a bit snug around the thighs, and we weren't too convinced that we would be able to move well in these pants. However, once we put these on, we were pleasantly surprised. There isn't any high stepping that these pants can't handle. We climbed, scrambled, hiked, even slept in them, and had zero complaints. If you're looking for a pant that has a bit more room in the legs, check out our Best Buy Winner, the REI Co-op Sahara.


The tightness around the thighs is a bit odd at first, but it goes away once you start moving and there was never any chafing or rubbing noted by our testers. The zippers on the convertible leg were protected and didn't cause any problems. Many online reviews suggest sizing up, and if you have thicker thighs, we would recommend this too. Plus, you'll have an easier time putting a base layer underneath if you plan on wearing these pants in colder temps.

We loved these pants so much that we wore them for five straight days, and the pants never lost their shape. They can take quite a bit of abuse, unlike the Marmot Lobo's, which had the same tightness issues as the Ferrosi but lost their shape within 30 minutes of wear. We wore the Ferrosi on the trail, at camp, at the crag, and even to sleep one night under the stars because we loved them so much. The material moves with your body, not against it.

The Ferrosi didn't lose its flattering  but mobile  fit after five days of use.
The Ferrosi didn't lose its flattering, but mobile, fit after five days of use.

Versatility


The ability for these pants to turn into Bermuda shorts increases their versatility score. When in short mode, the Ferrosi's offered ample coverage. The tighter fit made for a more flattering short, which is a tall order when the shorts are a bit longer. Along with the new addition to the pant, a drawstring at the bottom, which enables you to cinch the bottom of the pant for climbing, bouldering, or traveling over scree, as well as cinching up for a cropped pant.


Although the Ferrosi is a convertible pant, it doesn't scream hiking pants the way the REI Co-Op Sahara's do. We still felt somewhat comfortable wearing these into town, although they aren't as stylish as The North Face Hybrid Utility Hiker Tights.

In cinch mode  the Ferrosi pants have the unique ability to make excellent cragging pants  or keep out small pebbles and dirt over bumpy terrain.
In cinch mode, the Ferrosi pants have the unique ability to make excellent cragging pants, or keep out small pebbles and dirt over bumpy terrain.

The Ferrosi's are not only suitable for a wide variety of hiking terrain, but they are perfect for other sports too. We especially liked using these for climbing. The deep hand pockets allowed us to store small items below our harness and the flexible, durable material stood up to sharp granite and abrasive sandstone. They also fit nicely under a harness, which we cannot say for the Lobo's, which kept sagging and pulling at our harness.

The cinch strap on the Ferrosis comes in handy to keep out rocks  wear the pant in capri mode  or take these pants to the crag.
The cinch strap on the Ferrosis comes in handy to keep out rocks, wear the pant in capri mode, or take these pants to the crag.

Durability


The Ferrosi's are well-made pants with double-stitched seams and heavy-duty closures at the waist. The material is surprisingly thin, but we didn't encounter any issues scrambling over sandstone or climbing in them. The gusseted crotch does a lot to enforce the slim fit of these pants. We wore these pants in the desert for nearly a week without seeing any signs of wear.


Weather Resistance


Water does bead up on these pants initially, but once they got soaked, they took longer to dry compared to REI Co-Op Sahara and the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch, which shed water constantly. Once wet, the Ferrosi's dried in the sun within 15 minutes, which was quite impressive. There was still slight dampness on the felt waistband, but that quickly dried in another five minutes. The Arc'teryx Gamma LT is a slightly thicker softshell and offers better weather resistance with a slightly longer drying time.


These pants also offer UPF 50+ protection, which we truly appreciated in the intense desert sun. When it comes to wind, this 90D nylon provides some resistance, but it also allows cooling breezes to penetrate the pant. Some people may feel that these pants run a little too breezy, but since the pant stretches easily, it's easy to fit a base layer underneath the pant without feeling like your waist and hips are too squeezed.

The Ferossi (left) and the Lobo's (right) getting soaked for some of our weather resistance testing. The Lobo's performed quite well and almost all of the water simply spilled right off the pant.
The Ferossi (left) and the Lobo's (right) getting soaked for some of our weather resistance testing. The Lobo's performed quite well and almost all of the water simply spilled right off the pant.

Features


In addition to the convertible shorts and drawstrings at the bottom of the legs, this pair has a zippered pocket on the leg, two rear pockets, and massive hand pockets. Throughout all of the pants we tested, useless pockets were a recurring disease, the Ferrosi's are no exception. The side zipper pocket is pretty useless aside from holding a car key and an ID. However, the hand pockets are beyond deep, allowing you to carry your phone without worrying about it falling out. Sometimes this was uncomfortable while high stepping or scrambling, but for modest terrain, it didn't bother us.


The stretchy material combined with a felt-lined waist belt held up exceptionally well day in and day out. However, unlike the Marmot Lobo, the Ferrosi has a built-in drawstring that gives you the added protection to keep these pants right where you want them. There are also belt loops if you prefer to wear a belt.

Although the zippered pocket of the Ferrosi won't hold a phone  our phone felt secure in the extremely deep waist pockets.
Although the zippered pocket of the Ferrosi won't hold a phone, our phone felt secure in the extremely deep waist pockets.

Breathability


These pants are lightweight and highly breathable, although they still cut the breeze out a bit when we encountered chilly desert winds. We appreciated the balance in the design here, since you don't always want a pant to let in every single breeze, but you do want them to vent well. If you're looking for a pant that is going to keep the wind at bay, then consider the Arc'teryx Gamma LT.


Best Applications


The Ferrosi Convertible is a lightweight pair of hiking pants that work well in a wide variety of conditions and can tackle any terrain where you're looking to adventure. We wouldn't recommend them for colder winter days, but for most hiking applications, these pants are an excellent choice. They maintain their structure enough to wear day in and day out, making them the ideal choice for backpackers, climbers, and hikers.

The Ferrosi's handled the abuse of trad gear and sharp rocks during the testing period.
The Ferrosi's handled the abuse of trad gear and sharp rocks during the testing period.

Value


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 $80.

Conclusion


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible pants were the model we kept coming back to thanks to the stretchy, durable material and lasting fit. However, we certainly recognize that these pants aren't best for curvier women, and we would encourage you to try before you buy if that sounds like you. If they fit, we certainly recommend them for a broad range of outdoor recreation, hiking and beyond.


Meg Atteberry