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REI Co-op Trailmade Pants - Women's Review

These incredibly comfortable hiking and climbing pants are made to move
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REI Co-op Trailmade Pants - Women's Review (While not windproof, these pants are reasonably protective in blustery weather. With baselayers beneath, they can...)
While not windproof, these pants are reasonably protective in blustery weather. With baselayers beneath, they can handle full-on winter weather.
Credit: Clark Tate
Price:  $70 List
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Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Clark Tate ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 28, 2024
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 12
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 9.0
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 5.5
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 7.0
  • Construction Quality - 15% 5.5
  • Versatility and Features - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

Lightweight, with endless stretch, the REI Co-op Trailmade Pants are easy to forget the moment you pull them on. We always appreciate that kind of all-day, no holds barred, comfort. These pants work well whether you're on a day hike, an extended backpacking trip, or hanging out at the crag. While thin, they do a reasonably good job of standing up to wind and weather. A water repellant treatment helps the fabric shed a few splashes of water, and the pants dry quickly. The lightweight fabric doesn't do much to protect you in a true rainstorm or on a bushwhack though. And the pair we tested are already missing some stitches. While they're not the best for rough conditions, if you like cute, easy-wearing hiking pants that breathe well enough in warm weather, these will get you the most bang for your buck.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable
Endless mobility
Breathe fairly well
REASONS TO AVOID
Thin fabric may wear faster
Uses short-chain PFC-DWR

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award   
Price $70 List
$48.93 at REI
$67.97 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$80 List
$55.93 at REI
$42 List
$41.99 at Amazon
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Bottom Line These pants offer endless flexibility on the trail, up the mountain, or on the climbing wallPants that can take you from town to the trailheadA versatile pair of pants with great venting and breathability at a great priceA compelling price tag makes these sturdy but less comfortable pants compellingA less expensive option that will show wear and tear more quickly
Rating Categories REI Co-op Trailmade Prana Halle Straigh... REI Co-op Sahara Co... Cycorld Convertible... Baleaf Quick Dry Ca...
Comfort and Mobility (35%)
9.0
8.5
7.0
5.5
6.0
Venting and Breathability (20%)
5.5
6.5
9.0
8.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
4.0
Construction Quality (15%)
5.5
7.5
7.5
6.0
3.0
Versatility and Features (15%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Specs REI Co-op Trailmade Prana Halle Straigh... REI Co-op Sahara Co... Cycorld Convertible... Baleaf Quick Dry Ca...
Measured Weight (Size 6) 8.0 oz (size 6) 11.2 oz (size 6) 12 oz (size 6) 11.2 oz (size small) 8.0 oz (size small)
Material 94% nylon/6% spandex 95% recycled nylon, 5% elastane 96% recycled nylon, 4% spandex 100% polyester 90% polyester, 10% spandex
Fabric Features Water resistant, quick dry, and breathable Water resistant, breathable Quick dry, water resistant Quick-dry and breathable Water resistant, quick drying, breathable
Water Resistance DWR finish PFAS-Free DWR finish DWR finish Unknown DWR finish
Size Options and Versions 0P to 26W, in Petite (28.5"), Tall (34") 00 to 16, in Short (28"), Reg (30"), Tall (34") 0P to 26W, in Petite (27.5"), Regular (30"), Tall (33"), and Plus XS to 2XL XS to 3XL
Sun Protection UPF 50+ UPF 50+ UPF 50+ Not specified UPF 50+
Pants-to-Shorts Conversion Cinch around ankle No Zip-off Zip-off and cinch around ankle Cinch around ankle
Pockets 2 hand, 2 back, 1 thigh (zip) 2 hand, 1 coin, 2 back (snap), 1 thigh (zip) 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 hand (zip), 1 back (zip), 2 thigh (zip/velcro) 2 hand (zip), 1 back (zip), 1 thigh (zip)
Integrated Belt Yes, internal drawcord Yes, internal drawcord Yes, internal drawcord No - partial elastic waist Yes, external drawcord
Other Features Double fabric on knees and at heels, articulated knees, articulated hips, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric, cord loop at waistband Gusseted crotch with vent holes, articulated knees, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric Mid rise, convert to shorts, relaxed fit, straight leg, 2 inseam lengths, reinforced cuff backs, flatseam Articulated knees, stretch fabric, gusseted crotch, sctratch resistant Articulated knees, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric
Social or Environmental Certifications Bluesign approved fabric, Climate Neutral Certified Brand, short chain perfluorinated chemical DWR treatment Recycled nylon fabric, Bluesign, PFAS-Free DWR finish Contains materials that meet the Bluesign criteria
Contains recycled materials, From a Climate Neutral Certified brand
None known None known

Our Analysis and Test Results

Thanks to their killer comfort, super-stretch fabric, and useful features, these pants offer excellent value. We wore them hiking, climbing, working, and in yoga class, and they never held us back.

Performance Comparison


rei co-op trailmade pants for women - while not the most flattering, the trailmade pants are cute, comfy...
While not the most flattering, the Trailmade pants are cute, comfy, and easy to wear.
Credit: Clark Tate


Comfort and Mobility


The Trailmade pants are among the most comfortable we've tested. With a more generous cut through the bum and thighs than most, they have a relaxed feel. We wore them all day at the office and then straight out to the trails or climbing gym. They felt great the entire time.


The pants feature subtly articulated knees but do not have an extra triangle of fabric, or gusset, in the crotch. Luckily, the fabric offers excellent four-way stretch, so we never needed more room.

From warm beach days to chilly shoulder seasons to full-on winter weather, these pants work well, fitting easily over a base layer if you need some extra warmth.
Credit: Clark Tate

From high stepping up steep trails around Acadia to awkward climbing moves or pigeon pose, we never feel restricted when wearing these pants. A cinch that lets you tuck the hems out of the way when it's raining or you need to watch your footwork work doesn't hurt.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - stretch fabric makes these pants comfortable for any activity, from...
Stretch fabric makes these pants comfortable for any activity, from hiking to backpacking to an impromptu yoga session.
Credit: Clark Tate

Venting and Breathability


These pants are light and airy, and those cinches at the hem make it easy to hold them up over your ankles to cool off. They also stay in place reasonably well if you roll them. That's as much ventilation as most hiking pants provide, and these work well.


During our breathability tests, we wore each pair of pants during a hard workout in the gym. These held onto more sweat than our favorite options, especially during a 10-minute stair climber workout. They dried quickly, but we thought the thin fabric would do a better job of letting heat escape. Luckily, as we mentioned, they're easy to roll up to increase airflow on hot days.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - the thin fabric breathes well, but other options vent sweat more...
The thin fabric breathes well, but other options vent sweat more quickly. If you find yourself overheating, rolling your pants or using the hem cinch to hold them up works well.
Credit: Clark Tate

Weather Resistance


The Trailmade pants are treated with a durable water-repellent, or DWR, coating. It helps water bead up and roll off the pants, giving it less of a chance to soak into the fabric. The treatment buys you some time in wet weather, but water soaked through to our legs in about 21 seconds in the shower test. Luckily, they dry quickly.


You may have heard that DWR coatings have traditionally included dangerous forever chemicals, and many companies now use less toxic alternatives. The first step is often to switch from long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (C8) to shorter-chain versions (C6). Short-chain options should break down faster but are still harmful to the environment. We reached out to REI, and a representative confirmed that these pants are treated with DWR made of short-chain PFAs. They are not PFAs free like many of the other options we've tested.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - a water-resistant coating protects from light mist or accidental...
A water-resistant coating protects from light mist or accidental splashes.
Credit: Clark Tate

REI doesn't claim that these pants are windproof, and they aren't, but the wind doesn't slice right through them either. But when a cool breeze kicks up, we find ourselves chilling quickly when it plasters the thin fabric against our legs. Wearing these pants with a wool base layer in the cooler months solved the issue.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - these pants are a great fit for warm weather through the shoulder...
These pants are a great fit for warm weather through the shoulder seasons.
Credit: Clark Tate

Construction Quality


We appreciate the Trailmade pants cut, design, and features but are concerned about their longevity. Their lightweight fabric is easy to deform or puncture with the tip of a paperclip. When you do poke a hole, the fabric pulls, making it seem easier to tear.


Some of the stitches are loose after just a few months of wear and they are easy to snag. If you do catch one, it pulls and bunches the fabric. It is comforting that there are double fabric panels on the knees and heels. Still, these pants are better suited to well-cleared trails or climbing gym days than the rough faces of real rock. The zippers, cords, and pockets seem more solid.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - since back pockets aren't often useful, we don't mind the lack of...
Since back pockets aren't often useful, we don't mind the lack of zippers or snaps on these.
Credit: Clark Tate

The integrated belt is thinner than others in the test. The first time we washed the pants, it wrapped around them, bunching the fabric into an annoying tangle. The button at the waist isn't reinforced and seems a little loose already. These aren't dealbreakers, but you may need to pull out the emergency sewing kit at some point.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - useful pockets and a comfortable cut are a few of our hiking pant...
Useful pockets and a comfortable cut are a few of our hiking pant requirements.
Credit: Clark Tate

Versatility and Features


One of our favorite aspects of the Trailmade pants is how versatile they are. They work well for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and yoga. We get compliments on them at the bar. If you work at a casual office, they'll likely fit right in. The Trailmade's features are also well-executed, for the most part.


The soft rubber cord locks on the elastic ankle cinches are pleasant to use and work well. They are also lightweight and don't flap around your feet when unengaged.

The hand warmer pockets are large enough to be useful. The back pockets are also well-sized. They lack a zipper or snap, keeping them light and comfortable. There is a good-sized pocket on one thigh that is large enough for a phone and zips securely.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - a tie at the waist helps keep these pants in place, even if this one...
A tie at the waist helps keep these pants in place, even if this one is on the thin side.
Credit: Clark Tate

And, while we're not overly impressed by the heft and quality of the integrated drawstring at the waist, it works. It's also a fun, teal accent color in the green version of the pants we tested.

The pants are thin, though, making them best suited for summer and warm shoulder season conditions. If you're traveling in the mountains or by the coast, where sudden chilling winds could drop the temperature quickly, you'll want to have some layers handy, like long underwear or a pair of rain pants.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - a generous side pocket is large enough for a phone and zips closed...
A generous side pocket is large enough for a phone and zips closed for security.
Credit: Clark Tate

Should You Buy the REI Co-op Trailmade Pants?


The Trailmade pants are an excellent choice for a casual or less frequent hiker who wants comfort and is looking to save some cash. It's awesome for day hikes or crag time in nice weather. If you'll be exposed to more variable weather or rough terrain, it's probably worth spending more to get pants that will stand up to more abrasion, wind, and wet weather.

What Other Hiking Pants Should You Consider?


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant costs more than the Trailmade pants, but not a mind-bending amount. They have a slimmer cut and aren't quite as comfortable, but they do a better job cutting wind and shrugging off water. They've also stood up to years of use by our lead tester. The REI Co-op Sahara Convertible pants are another compelling option. They're pretty rough and tumble, have a wider cut like the Trailmade pants, and convert easily to shorts.

rei co-op trailmade pants for women - we found ourselves reaching for these pants often during the test...
We found ourselves reaching for these pants often during the test period.
Credit: Clark Tate

Clark Tate