When it comes to hiking tights, it can be tough to find just the right balance between comfort and function. The Patagonia Pack Out is the closest thing we've been able to find. With a simple no-frills design, and silky soft fabric you won't want to take them off! Patagonia also put thought into the design, with useful pockets and durable material that doesn't stretch out and sag. This combination made these tights a clear favorite among our testers. As such we have made this pair our Top Pick for Comfort. We were disappointed to learn that these don't come in many colors and we wish that the weather resistance was a bit more robust.
Patagonia Pack Out - Women's Review
Cons: Heavy, no water repelling technology, not ideal for hot days
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pack Outs come in sizing options that run from XS through XL with a 39-inch inseam. These are meant to be a bit higher waisted and sit just below your belly button, offering plenty of coverage. The 87% polyester and 13% spandex blend is silky and soft.
Comfort & Mobility
When we first pulled the Pack Outs out of the bag, we couldn't believe how soft they felt. Ever since we put them on, we didn't want to take them off, and our primary tester is not a tights person, so that's saying something.
Softness aside, the Pack Outs offer infinite mobility. Tights are often far more mobile than pants, and the Pack Outs are no exception. The thick waistband keeps you from spilling out of the top, and also keeps the pants from sagging or bunching. Even after days of wear, they still maintained their shape.
Tights typically aren't usually versatile, as you can only wear them one way, but the Pack Outs still managed to get high scores here. They are so comfortable you can do anything in them. Wear them to yoga, lounge around the house (or camp), use them as a base layer under ski pants; they are so cozy you won't mind sleeping in them either. We had our doubts when we took them climbing since softer pants tend to be less durable, but they tackled abrasive sandstone with ease.
We weren't sure how well these hiker tights would transition to town. They definitely look like athletic tights but pair them with the right shirt, and you can pull off a casual look.
These pants are thick and thus heavier. On the one hand, we welcome the thicker material as it makes the pants more durable, less see-through when bending over and provides a little extra warmth when tights typically run on the cool side.
However, these pants are not breathable making them a little too warm in the heat of summer. With that said, the Pack Outs are less suffocating than some of the other hiking tights in this review, but probably aren't an ideal choice on a hot day.
Since we can't test the pants for years on end (otherwise, our reviews would be outdated), it's hard to say how the Pack Outs will last over time. However, we can head to harsh environments and rough up the pants a bit, which is what we did when we took the Pack Outs on a multi-pitch climbing adventure in the desert. Much to our surprise, we encountered zero signs of wear and tear as we beat these up on abrasive sandstone. Patagonia has managed to make these pants soft, yet durable and we can't get enough.
If you're looking for an ultra-durable pair of hiking pants, tights might not be the way to go. This lack of durability is due to the stretchy material's tendency to wear out over time, and typically, the softer the fabric, the more susceptible it is to piling.
The Pack Outs fall short when it comes to weather resistance. Most of our hiker tights didn't perform well in this category. The Pack Outs were the first to absorb water and the last to let it dry.
Often times, hiker tights get knocked for being too cold. Although the Pack Outs didn't keep us as warm as some of the higher scoring pants in this review, they still did a pretty good job.
Comparing the features of convertible pants to those of hiker tights is like comparing apples to oranges. We thought that we should consider what a hiker tight should be and what important features it should have, instead of comparing it to pants that convert into shorts. For tights, the Pack Outs have an excellent balance between function and a streamlined look you want in a good pair of tights.
If it's one thing we are a stickler for, it's pockets. What good is a pocket if it can't carry anything? The Pack Outs have one deep, rear-ish zipped side pocket that sits right near the widest part of your lower hip. You can fit a variety of things in there, including your hands, which we appreciate. Along each side of the pant is a super-deep, stretchy pocket that can easily hold a smartphone, a snack and then some. What we love about this is you can keep your valuables close and quickly grab your phone for a photo or munch on a small snack on the go.
We also considered the waistband in our features category for hiker tights. Thin bands often lead to spillage and sagging as the day wears on, while a thicker band helps keep you secure and worry-free. The Pack Outs have a perfectly sized waistband that keeps them up and comfortable, giving us a feeling of confidence when hiking. We also appreciate that the waistband doesn't stretch out too much after multiple days of use.
The Pack Outs aren't exactly a budget-friendly option. It might be hard to justify spending a lot of cash on a pair of hiking tights. But if you are looking for a high-quality pair of hiker tights with a great set of features that are well suited for a variety of activities, these might be the tights for you.
Patagonia hit the nail on the head with the Pack Outs we are excited to see hiker tights with pockets in all the right places. These pants can spread a wide range of activities and are some of the most comfortable technical pants we've ever worn.
— Meg Atteberry