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The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Review

This lightweight pair of hiking pants is comfortable and has great mobility, but it's not very durable.
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Price:  $70 List | $68.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, breathable, comfortable, flat waistband with a drawstring
Cons:  Not water resistant, snags easily
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 30, 2018
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 10
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Durability - 15% 4
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 5
  • Breathability - 10% 9

The Skinny

The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 is a lightweight pair of hiking pants that work well for days when you want some coverage but don't want to be roasting. The material is breathable and stretchy, and it's one of the most comfortable pairs that we tested. However, the soft feel is also its downfall, as it is highly prone to snagging. If you hate the feel of most "normal" hiking pants and can't stand the swish-swish of harder nylon fabric, then the Aphrodite will feel like a revelation. But, don't expect them to last very long, particularly if you'll be using them for hiking or rock climbing.

The Mountain Hardwear Dynama is equally as soft and we didn't experience as much snagging as we did with this pair, so it won our Top Pick for Comfort Award instead. If you're in the market for a more traditional pair of hiking pants, our Editors' Choice winner, the Marmot Lobo's Convertible, is an excellent choice.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Aphrodite 2.0 is made with a 95% Nylon / 5% Elastane blend and TNF's "FlashDry" technology, which is supposed to wick moisture and increase drying time. These pants are available in XS to XXL sizes and Short (30") and Regular (32") inseams. However, we measured the Regular pair that we tested and it was more like a 31-inch inseam.

Performance Comparison


This comfortable pair is soft and cozy  and has a sleek look to them thanks to the rushing on the side and slimmer fit. However  the soft material snags and pills easily  making them less durable in the long run.
This comfortable pair is soft and cozy, and has a sleek look to them thanks to the rushing on the side and slimmer fit. However, the soft material snags and pills easily, making them less durable in the long run.

Comfort & Mobility


The Aphrodite received the highest rating for comfort and mobility, tying with the Mountain Hardwear Dynama. They are both made of a soft material, with ample stretch and a supple feel. We climbed and scrambled in both pairs and never felt like the pants were getting in our way. The waist on the Aphrodite is a wide panel with some elastic in it as well as a drawstring, which is nice for when you have a backpack on and don't want any belt loops digging into you. The Dynama does not have a drawstring, so keep that in mind if you want a soft pair but need something extra to hold your pants up.

We scrambled around in this pair and the fabric stretched with us well. The flat waistband also fits nicely under a hip belt or harness.
We scrambled around in this pair and the fabric stretched with us well. The flat waistband also fits nicely under a hip belt or harness.

Versatility


The Aphrodite 2.0 isn't the most versatile pair in the test group. They can't convert to shorts or capris, and the lack of water resistance makes them a poor choice for water sports or rainy days.

Breathability


The material on this pair is lightweight, and they are one of the lightest models in this review. The Aphrodite has some of the best breathability as a result and is on par with the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch and the Mountain Hardwear Dynama. We rated the Aphrodite slightly lower than those two pairs though because we often found ourselves getting sweaty in the midsection. The waistband on the Aphrodite is a little on the thick side when compared to the others, and it kept us hotter there.

Durability


TNF states that this material is "extremely durable," but we'd have to disagree based on our experience with these pants. Online user reviews for this pair are full of mentions of snagging and pilling, and it didn't take too long for us to get some snags as well while out hiking. Because the material is so soft, a sharp twig or rock can catch on it and pull at the threads a little. One or two here or there is no big deal, but once you have a bunch all in a row, the pants look a little shabby. We tested this pair in a pretty rugged desert environment, so if your favorite hiking locale is a little mellower, this may not be too much of an issue for you. Otherwise, consider a sturdier pair like the Kuhl Splash Roll Up Pant.

Because the material is so soft this pair snags easily. One or two didn't seem too bad  but when we got a lot all in the same spot  it made them look worn out after only a few weeks of use.
Because the material is so soft this pair snags easily. One or two didn't seem too bad, but when we got a lot all in the same spot, it made them look worn out after only a few weeks of use.

Weather Resistance


This pair doesn't offer too much in the way of weather resistance. There is no DWR coating on the fabric, and moisture soaks right through. There's no SPF rating either, and the material is so thin that it doesn't do much to block the wind either. The pants did dry fairly quickly (40 minutes in full sun), though the waist was still a little damp as it's a thicker layer. All in all, this is not the pair for any inclement weather. Look to the Marmot Lobo's Convertible for a quick-drying pair that also sheds water well, and our Top Pick for Wet Climates, the Arc'teryx Gamma LT if you need something for drizzly days.

When we sprayed these pants with water  the moisture soaked right in. The pant legs were quick to dry  though the waist took a bit longer.
When we sprayed these pants with water, the moisture soaked right in. The pant legs were quick to dry, though the waist took a bit longer.

Features


The Aphrodite 2.0 pants don't have too much going on in the way of features. There are two hand pockets and one small zippered pocket inside the right pocket for those items you don't want to lose. There's the drawstring at the waist, and there is a cinch cord on either ankle. This didn't help us secure the leg any higher though, and we prefer to roll the cuff when we want a shorter length.

The best feature about this pair is the comfortable waistband with a drawstring. It lies flat and there's nothing that can create a pressure point under a hip belt or climbing harness. There's also a small pocket with a zipper just inside the right side hand pocket.
The best feature about this pair is the comfortable waistband with a drawstring. It lies flat and there's nothing that can create a pressure point under a hip belt or climbing harness. There's also a small pocket with a zipper just inside the right side hand pocket.

Best Applications


The Aphrodite 2.0 is a great choice for traveling and shorter day hikes in mild terrain. We like the look on this pair and felt comfortable wearing it around town, and the stretchy material and soft waist would feel cozy on a long flight. This is not a heavy duty pair, nor something you'd want to pack for a backpacking trip. For longer trips into the backcountry, The North Face's Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant is a better option.

Day hiking in Red Rock Canyon. The Aphrodite pants are comfortable and breathable  and they would be a perfect pair for the desert if they were a little more durable.
Day hiking in Red Rock Canyon. The Aphrodite pants are comfortable and breathable, and they would be a perfect pair for the desert if they were a little more durable.

Value


This pair retails for $70, which is a bit less than most of the other pairs in this review, but not that much of a steal considering the durability issues you might encounter. The Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch retails for a little less ($60), and was a better overall hiking pant.

Conclusion


The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 is a great pant for certain applications, but we can't call it a great hiking pant. It's comfortable and stretchy, and one of the first things we'd reach for on a rest day or to wear while traveling, but it wasn't built to take on a big hike. That's okay, because there are plenty of other water-resistant and durable options in this review to choose from, and you still need clothes to wear when you're not hiking.


Cam McKenzie Ring