REI Co-op Taereen Pant Review
Cons: Sub-optimal pockets, tapered leg restricts hem roll
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Hiking pants can feel overly complicated with their zip-off legs, waist ties, and ten pockets. REI's Taereen pant is a minimalist clap-back. Just pull them on and go. The comfy cut delighted our testers, a sentiment echoed by online customer reviews. With a casual, pulled-together style, an endless mobility range, and fuss-free wearability, these are excellent pants for traveling the world or the ups and downs of daily life. They also offer light weather protection with a durable water-repellant (DWR) coating and UPF 50 sun protection. Check out the plus or petite versions to find your perfect fit.
Comfort and Mobility
Usually, our favorite praise for a piece of gear is that it performs so well we forget all about it. These pants are so cute and comfy that we couldn't stop complimenting them. A big part of comfort is fit. And it's hard to find women's pants built to accommodate muscular thighs without sagging around the waist. These pants do that with a generous but flattering cut that seems to nail proportions. They work well for a variety of body types and come in sizes from plus to petite.
The crotch isn't gusseted, but we never noticed. The thigh panel design is so clever that it doesn't need to be. These pants never feel restrictive, even during a full yoga class. The wide waistband tucks in just enough to stay up comfortably without ever feeling restrictive, even when sitting at a desk after an enthusiastic pizza party.
Tapered legs are in fashion at the moment, and the whims of style may reverse again. Either way, they sure are functional, keeping the Taereen's hem out of your way on the trail. We appreciate streamlined fabric around our ankles when bushwhacking, bouldering, or in the rain. Soggy cloth slopping around your ankles does not a happy camper make.
While the pockets don't work that well for large cell phones, they're perfectly placed and sized for hands. They keep you a bit more comfortable in a breeze, and we kind of like that the pants prioritize us over our technology. When hiking with a pack, we usually prefer to keep our phones in a hip belt pocket anyhow, so it's not on our legs but still accessible.
Venting and Breathability
Breathable fabrics keep you cool and dry when working hard on a sunny uphill hike. If the weather turns brisk or gusty, though, uber-breathable fabrics can give you a chill. The Taereen pants strike a nice balance. They don't disappear on your legs on a hot day, like some of the pants we tested, but they do breathe and are roomy enough to keep you from feeling clammy.
Here the tapered legs work against you a bit. You can roll the hems up once or twice to give your ankles some air. The roll feels tight at first before loosening up as you move but not enough to allow much air to circulate further up your leg.
We love these pants for shoulder-season adventures or days that range from chilly mornings to warm middays. Their weight also keeps you comfortable as you move from airconditioned offices to warm mid-day hikes. They aren't our first choice for blazing hot hikes, though. If you do take them on a longer trip in warmer climes, tossing a pair of shorts in your pack is a simple way to prepare for extreme heat.
While water beads up briefly on these pants, it doesn't roll off the fabric very well. Since it sticks, it soaks in quickly. They can shrug off a splash or two on a creek crossing but wet through in our shower test after about a minute and a half. Still, the durable water repellant (DWR) finish buys you a little time before the pants get truly soggy in a storm.
That said, if it's a warm rain, they are comfortable when wet. The tapered leg stays out of your way, and the tucked in the waist keeps them from sagging. They also dry relatively quickly, as well as most pants in the test. Not fast enough for us to want to rely on them to keep us warm and dry in the backcountry for long, though.
The Taereens are UPF 50. While that's pretty standard these days, we still love it. They offer standard wind resistance for a pair of midweight pants and are comfortable in the range of temperatures that don't involve triple digits or a winter jacket.
The straightforward nature of the Taereens means that they don't have much in the way of features. That's part of what we love about them. They are just comfortable, stretchy pants that are easy to move in and inspire you to keep walking, from the stairs on the way to work to just-one-more switchback on the trail.
Okay, they do have pockets, four of them, and belt loops. The front pockets are great for hands, but not much else. They gap widely, and we don't trust them to retain anything of importance. The rear pockets do zip. They would work well to keep a key, credit card, or ID safe. But you have to sit on back pockets and whatever they hold. They aren't big enough for a phone.
The lack of an internal drawcord at the waist doesn't bother us since they never stretched out or need help staying in place. We would like one if we were heading out on a thru-hike, though, as those have a way of eating inches off your waist.
The lack of trail-specific features keeps these pants poised to move about the wider world. They are meant for casual hikes and travel and fit the bill perfectly, heading gracefully from tourist destinations or an informal office meeting to the woods. Their quality construction keeps you looking sharp. Their comfort and durability keep you ready to get outside.
We love these pants for casual hikes. They also move well enough to keep up with you in a yoga class, your company's softball tournament, or at the climbing gym. They aren't as comfortable under a harness, though. They're also loose enough to keep the bugs from feasting on your legs.
Their moderate breathability and weather resistance make them less prepared for extreme adventures. Large temperature swings and sudden storms would leave you hot or cold and wet. Their lack of an internal drawstring or functional pockets also leaves you less prepared to navigate the backcountry comfortably and safely. While the tapered waist did an excellent job of holding the Taereen up in our tests, insurance is nice when you're far from home.
These pants are a good buy, offering hike-ready performance in a day-to-day package. Since you can wear them in so many situations, it's easy to get a lot of use out of them. During our months of testing, we didn't notice any signs of wear and tear. We expect these pants to be a staple in our outdoor-ready wardrobe for years to come.
The Taereen's are ready for pretty much anything your average day will throw at you, making it that much easier to head to the trailhead from wherever you happen to be. Any piece of gear that removes a barrier between us and outside gets our vote.
— Clark Tate