The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant - Women's Review

With their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical chops, these pants are up for any adventure
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant - Women's
Photo: Outdoor Research
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $59.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  All-day comfort, versatile, breathable, wind-resistant
Cons:  Can be long, snug in the thighs, tie at the ankle isn’t the best
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 19, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 15
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 9
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 8
  • Features - 15% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 9

Our Verdict

A flattering cut and breathable yet wind-resistant fabric make the Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants a long-standing favorite. Thoughtful construction details like a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and an integrated drawstring waist combine with stretchy, unrestrictive fabric to keep up with your every move. Hike or climb as fast as you'd like—the fabric breathes like a dream. They also dry fast, block a lot of wind, and have a UPF rating of 50+. While the fabric is incredibly functional, it's not exceedingly soft. These pants also have a slim cut through the thigh, keeping them from falling into the frumpy hiking pant trap, but making them a little snug on curvy and muscular hiking legs. The stretch helps, and we never notice it after the first few steps. You may want to pay more attention to sizing with these pants though. All told, these pants get the important things right, making them the best hiking pant option for most folks and the widest range of hiking applications.

The convertible version of these pants are also great.
If you prefer to unzip the legs to transition your hiking pants to shorts, we've been long-time wearers and fans of the convertible version of these pants. We recommend whichever speaks to your needs more, as they are both excellent hiking pants.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $59.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$69.95 at REICheck Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$74.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$174.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
86
77
73
73
71
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros All-day comfort, versatile, breathable, wind-resistantMobile, wide range of fit options, shed water easily, excellent pocketsFeminine fit, many adjustment options, great movement, comfortableIncredibly light, soft with endless stretch, breathable, DWR finishDurable, breathable, excellent pockets, cinch-able high waist stays put
Cons Can 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 pocketsNot the most flattering, low rise can be uncomfortableFeel a bit odd at first, tricky fit, expensive
Bottom Line With 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 trailIncredibly soft, flowy, and stretchy, these pants are comfortable, except for the low rise, which can make the crotch feel tightClever features make these tights a fun and practical choice
Rating Categories Ferrosi Pant Sahara Convertible Prana Halle - Women's Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 Abisko Trekking Tight
Comfort And Mobility (35%)
9
7
8
8
7
Venting And Breathability (20%)
9
9
6
9
8
Weather Resistance (15%)
8
7
6
6
5
Features (15%)
7
9
7
6
9
Versatility (15%)
9
7
9
6
6
Specs Ferrosi Pant Sahara Convertible Prana Halle -... Mountain Hardwear... Abisko Trekking...
Measured Weight, Size Regular (oz) 9.5 oz 9.6 oz 12.0 oz 4.10 oz 9.0 oz
Size options and versions 0 to 14 0 to 22w, Petitie, Regular, Plus, Tall 00 to 22w, Short, Regular, Tall XS - XL XXS to XXL
Fabric 86% ripstop, 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop Nylon 97% nylon, 3% spandex 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane 82% polyamide, 18% elastane
62% polyamide, 16% aramid, 12% elastane, 10% polyester
Fabric Features Quick-dry Quick dry Water, and abrasion-resistant Ultralight Stretch
DWR Finish? No Yes Yes Yes No
UPF? UPF 50+ UPF 50+ UPF 50 No rating No rating
Pockets 2 hip, 2 back, 1 cargo 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 hand, 1 thigh (zip), 2 back (button) 2 side, 1 rear, 1 zippered thigh 2 leg (1 zip), 1 waist (zip)
Zip-Off or Roll-Up? Roll-up Zip-off Roll-up, available as zip-off Roll-up Limited roll-up
Integrated Belt? Yes Yes Yes, internal drawcord No Yes, internal drawcord
Fit Features 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 Three inseam length options, elastic waist, stretch fabric Wide waistband, high wast, gussetted crotch, pre-shaped knees
Social or Environmental Certifications Contains non-textile elements of animal origin. Fluorocarbon-free impregnation

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Durable, stretchy, and breathable, the Ferrosi's fabric is magic...
Durable, stretchy, and breathable, the Ferrosi's fabric is magic, keeping you comfortable in a wide range of conditions.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Comfort and Mobility


Despite a slim and flattering cut, these pants aren't at all restrictive. We have the extra triangle of fabric (gusset) in the crotch, articulated knees, and incredibly stretchy fabric to thank. The combination offers a full range of motion while never seeming to stretch out, which we really appreciate on backpacking trips.


The cut works for a variety of body types thanks to the fabric's stretch and a drawstring tucked discreetly into the waist. The waist cinch works better than most options we tried, holding your pants up when required without getting in the way when you don't need it. There are also belt loops if you prefer. A microfleece lining the waistband helps keep it comfortable even when you're hauling your world around in a backpack or pulling on a climbing harness. The pant's mid-rise also works very well to hold the pants comfortably in place and works well with waist straps.

No matter how high you want to step, these pants never hold you back.
No matter how high you want to step, these pants never hold you back.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The 31" inseam is a little longer than most of our testers prefer and they are narrower through the thighs than most pants we tested. While it's easy to cinch or roll the hems, extra fabric around your ankles isn't always your friend on a hike or a climb. Luckily, the legs aren't excessively wide, so the rolls don't rub. We mostly notice the fabric hugging our thighs a bit when we first pull them on, especially right after wearing any of the other pants tested. The snug feel quickly fades into the background and certainly never holds us back. You may just need to pay a little more attention to sizing with these pants.

These pants are comfortable enough to jog or even sleep in, which is...
These pants are comfortable enough to jog or even sleep in, which is some of our highest hiking pant praise.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The moment we pull these pants on, we often notice a few of the seams. The bottom seam of the back pockets can rub, as can the seams at the articulated knees. The fabric itself isn't the most comfortable in the test. One tester described it as scratchy (the seams) another as slimy (the lightweight nylon). Again, as with the thighs, this sensation all but disappears when you start moving. These minor complaints aren't nearly enough to distract us from the technical superiority of these pants. Their breathability, wind-blocking, and abrasion resistance more than makeup for any nit-picky comments about comfort in our opinion.

The thin, stretch fabric is easy to roll up to or above your knees...
The thin, stretch fabric is easy to roll up to or above your knees, giving you some much-appreciated airflow on hot days.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Venting and Breathability


The thin fabric is easy to roll up all the way to your knees. There is also an elastic cord in the hems that lets you snug them around your ankles or tighten them up above your calves. This can do wonders to help keep you cool. The drawcord doesn't have an integrated clasp though. To tighten them, you have to throw in an overhand knot. It's inelegant, harder to adjust, and can be a pain to untie. Several other pants offer this same adjustment with a thin elastic cord and an easy-to-use and nearly weightless cinch. We prefer those.


An elastic loop in each hem lets you cinch them tight around your...
An elastic loop in each hem lets you cinch them tight around your ankle. This is handy if the pants are a little long or you'd like them out of your way for climbing.
Photo: Ryan Reed

When it comes to breathability, these pants are on another level. Hot days, up mountainsides, with a pack, they let our lower half breathe, keeping us from feeling sweaty and stifled. They are one of the most breathable pairs of hiking pants we tested. Between that and the ability to roll the pants so far up, we don't ever feel like we need to zip off the legs entirely. Some folks love this option though. If that's you, there's a convertible version for you.

The women's Ferrosi fabric doesn't have a durable water repellant...
The women's Ferrosi fabric doesn't have a durable water repellant (DWR) coating, so it only shrugs off the first few drops. Water soaks in pretty quickly. They do block wind pretty well though and dry quickly.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Weather Resistance


These pants are thin, offer 50+ UPF sun protection, and again, breathe incredibly well, so they're a stellar option for hot weather. They also block wind impressively well, helping to hold your own warmth around you. Because of this, they transition further into the shoulder seasons than you might assume. They're also easy to pull on over a thin wool baselayer, as long as you have room in the thighs, providing you with full three-season use.


Even just a few splashes will quickly soak in. They dry back out...
Even just a few splashes will quickly soak in. They dry back out nearly as fast.
Photo: Clark Tate

Though the women's Ferrosi' pants don't seem to have a durable water repellent (DWR) finish (the men's do), they still shed water well for a moment before it starts soaking into the fabric. If it rains hard, you'll get wet. They do dry fast and are fine for short showers in warmer weather. They're also great sun protection when horsing around water.

The front pockets are huge, but at an awkward angle for your hands...
The front pockets are huge, but at an awkward angle for your hands, especially when walking.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Features


We've already mentioned the well-executed drawstring in the waist and the less-than-perfect tighteners in the hems. Now let's talk pockets.


The two hand pockets upfront are sizable, with a narrow entrance opening up to a much wider pocket than you'd expect. They're certainly large enough for your hands. But the top-down orientation forces your hands, wrists, and arms into an awkward position, particularly when walking. It's also not comfortable to carry much in them while you hike unless it's flat and light, like a map. They are big enough to swallow a phone without worrying about it falling out.

You can often see the pocket's outline, which detracts from the...
You can often see the pocket's outline, which detracts from the overall streamlined look.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The front fabric of these pockets is made of mesh, which helps reduce bulk. Still, you can see their outline through the thin fabric and slim-cut thighs. It's not our favorite look, but we never think about it on the trail.

The open back pockets are big enough to hold a phone or wallet, but not to secure one, or anything else. They're not that functional, but they do add to the pants' casual look. The side pocket is the only zippered/secure option. It's not quite big enough to zip in your smartphone but is a great spot for a couple of credit cards or a small sunscreen bottle.

The thigh pocket isn't large enough to zip a phone in, but it...
The thigh pocket isn't large enough to zip a phone in, but it comfortably holds a bar or two.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Versatility


The Ferrosi is a workhorse. It stands up to scuffs well enough to climb in (the fabric is 86% ripstop), is comfortable enough for a casual after-work hike or dog walk, and technical enough to serve you well on a through-hike. The rise works with a climbing harness or backpack and, as we discussed in the weather resistance section, it keeps you comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.


We really like them on the water as well. From rafting to SUPing to sailing, they keep the sun off and dry fast enough to keep us comfortable on warmer days. All told, there is very little we won't do in these pants.

The Ferrosi is an excellent choice for backpacking adventures. The...
The Ferrosi is an excellent choice for backpacking adventures. The mid-rise works well with a waist strap or even a climbing harness. We think it looks pretty good in this art gallery too.
Photo: Ryan Reed

That said, we never feel all that stylish while wearing them. Mirrors and cameras always show us looking better than we expect though, impressively put together in fact. Their trim cut, subtle pockets, and neutral color pallets keep them from betraying our outdoor adventure intentions. Since we find ourselves wearing them more often, they make appearances at social functions and work events, and we never feel out of place.

These pants have really held up for us over the years.
These pants have really held up for us over the years.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Value


We've passed versions of these pants around for years with very few signs of wear and tear. In our abrasion test, where we rubbed a patch of each pant across a granite edge, we didn't find any signs of wear. In our experience, these pants hold up, which adds to their value tremendously. Their impressive versatility does too. These pants more than earn their space in our closet, or van, or carry on. We think they offer a great value.

Outdoor Research doesn't claim that the Ferrosi meets any sustainability standards. They do have several company-wide commitments to people and the planet. If their values match yours, it could increase the value of purchasing from them.

If you want a pair of pants that is ready for almost anything you...
If you want a pair of pants that is ready for almost anything you are, these are the ones for you.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Conclusion


These are our favorite hiking pants. They hold their comfortable, stretchy shape for days on end, breathe well enough to keep us cool and dry in clear weather, and stand up to wind and rain long enough for us to seek shelter or pull on a rain layer. We're fans, and recommend these pants for day hikes, backpacking trips, and even on-water use.

Clark Tate