The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 lightweight hiking pants are perfect for days when you want coverage but don't want to roast. If you hate normal hiking pants and can't stand the swish-swish of nylon fabric, the Aphrodite will feel like a revelation. They aren't heavy-duty though. The soft, breathable, and stretchy fabric is also its downfall. These pants are prone to snagging. Don't expect them to last long. We don't recommend them for a backpacking trip, but they're great for traveling and shorter day hikes in mild terrain. We like their look and often wear them around town. The stretchy material and soft waist would feel cozy on a long flight.
The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Review
Cons: Not water resistant, snags easily
Manufacturer: The North Face
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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.
Comfort and Mobility
The Aphrodite earns a high rating for comfort and mobility. Its material is soft 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 Aphrodite's waistband is wide with some elastic and a drawstring. We like the adjustment for when you have a backpack on and don't want any belt loops digging into you.
Venting and Breathability
The material is lightweight, and these pants are one of the lightest options in our review. The Aphrodite has some of the best breathability as a result. We did we often find ourselves getting sweaty in the midsection, though. The waistband is a relatively thick side, keeping us hotter.
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. The fabric doesn't have an official UPF rating either, and the material is so thin that it doesn't do much to block the wind. The pants dry fairly quickly (40 minutes in full sun), though the waist was still a little damp. All in all, this is not the pair for any inclement weather.
The Aphrodite 2.0 pants aren'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.
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 feature doesn't help us secure the leg any higher, though, and we prefer to roll the cuff when we want a shorter length.
These pants cost a bit less than most of the other pairs in this review but are not much of a steal considering their durability issues. TNF states that this material is extremely durable, we disagree. It didn't take too long to snag the fabric while out hiking. Online user reviews are also full of mentions of snagging and pilling. Because the material is so soft, a sharp twig or rock can catch and pull the threads. 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 mellower, this may not be as much of an issue for you.
The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 is a great pair for certain applications, but we can't call them great hiking pants. They are comfortable and stretchy, and one of the first things we'd reach for on a rest day or to wear while traveling, but they aren't ideal for a big hike.
— Cam McKenzie Ring