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The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant - Women's Review

This high-performance convertible pant is packed with great features.
The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant - Women's 2017
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Price:  $80 List | $47.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Quick to dry, lots of pockets, inner drawstring, flattering short length
Cons:  Cargo pockets don't hold much, inseam runs short
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 30, 2018
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 9
  • Durability - 15% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 7
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 9
  • Breathability - 10% 8

The Skinny

Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant is a staple in The North Face's hiking pant line, and for many good reasons. These pants are quick drying, versatile, and packed with features. They are great for extended backpacking trips or single day hikes and scored at or near the top of the pack in most of our testing metrics. They were slightly outscored by our Editors' Choice winner, the Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant. Ultimately it came down to a question of fit and comfort; if you like your pants higher waisted and your shorts shorter, then the Paramount 2.0s are the convertible pants to buy. If you prefer a mid-rise pant with a Bermuda-length short, then go with the Lobo's.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant is made of a 96% Nylon / 4% Elastane blend with "FlashDry" technology that's supposed to help them dry faster. They come in three inseam lengths (Short 30", Regular 32", and Long 34"), and convert into a 6" inseam short. Note that we tested these pants in a Regular inseam, but when we measured them the inseam was only 30 inches long, and they were distinctly short on our 5'6 tester. They come in sizes 00-16.

Performance Comparison


These hiking pants are easy to move in and quick to dry  making them a great choice for most hiking and backpacking adventures. The "Regular" inseam is on the short side though  so keep that in mind if you need a 32" or longer inseam.
These hiking pants are easy to move in and quick to dry, making them a great choice for most hiking and backpacking adventures. The "Regular" inseam is on the short side though, so keep that in mind if you need a 32" or longer inseam.

Comfort & Mobility


Whether or not you find convertible pants "comfortable" tends to be a question of preference and getting used to the zipper band around your thigh. Compared to all of the other convertible pants that we tested, this pair annoyed us the least because the zipper is mid-thigh and at a fairly wide place in the pant leg. The zipper band on the Marmot Lobo's occasionally felt a bit constricting as it lands right above the knee on a narrower part of the pant, and the one on theOutdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible was flat out uncomfortable and restricted our movement.

The convertible zipper sits mid-thigh in a wider place in the pant  which we appreciated since it didn't restrict us in that spot. However  the high rise wasn't so comfortable under a hip belt  and we had some issues with this pair being cut on the short side.
The convertible zipper sits mid-thigh in a wider place in the pant, which we appreciated since it didn't restrict us in that spot. However, the high rise wasn't so comfortable under a hip belt, and we had some issues with this pair being cut on the short side.

The Lobo's material is softer than the Paramount's though, and more comfortable for all-day wear, giving it a slight edge in this category. The rise on the Paramount is also slightly higher than most other hiking pants, and while we are not against high-waisted pants per se, they are not our favorite to wear under a backpack. We don't want them to sit so low that our hip belt pushes the pants down, but when they sit too high, it starts to feel uncomfortable and creates pressure points over bulky areas like belt loops.

The Paramount 2.0 does offer a lot of mobility, and we did prefer the shorter length shorts for some activities, like biking, where it's preferable not to have any restriction at the knee. The internal drawstring also helps keep the pants in place when moving around. If you're looking for an uber comfortable pair, check out our Top Pick for Comfort, the Mountain Hardwear Dynama, or the equally comfortable TNF Aphrodite 2.0.

Internal drawstrings are a must-have when it comes to hiking pants. They keep the pant up without using a bulky belt  which is uncomfortable under a backpack.
Internal drawstrings are a must-have when it comes to hiking pants. They keep the pant up without using a bulky belt, which is uncomfortable under a backpack.

Versatility


Like all convertible pants, this pair is fairly versatile thanks to the ability to be worn as a full-length pant, short, or crop option. The previous version of this pant did not have the roll-up cuff feature, and we appreciate the option to now roll up and secure the bottom of the legs. There is one internal dangling strap on the bottom of each leg, but because the legs are cut on the wide side, we never really noticed them.

The Paramounts can convert to a crop and six-inch short. These are the "shortest" short in this review  which may or may not be for you.
The Paramounts can convert to a crop and six-inch short. These are the "shortest" short in this review, which may or may not be for you.

Breathability


These pants are slightly heavier than the Marmot Lobo's, yet felt similar for breathability (we think the "extra" weight is coming from the convertible zipper, which feels bulky in this pair). They are light enough for hot weather hikes, and the 6" short options lets you stay more comfortable when the day warms up.

The best way to make these pants more breathable is to take off the legs! But if you are wearing anything bigger than runners you'll have to take your boots off too.
The best way to make these pants more breathable is to take off the legs! But if you are wearing anything bigger than runners you'll have to take your boots off too.

Durability


These pants are well-constructed and durably made. The material itself resists abrasions and snags, and we noticed no pilling or wear areas during our testing period. The front snap closure is strong and didn't pop open on us once, and the shorter-on-us inseam length meant that the cuffs never dragged the ground.

Weather Resistance


The previous version of this pant used to have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior, but TNF has done away with that. Water no longer beads up as well on the surface, and it didn't take much for the material to saturate through. The good news is that they are still quick-drying, and take only 20 minutes or so in the sun to dry out. Here is where the Marmot Lobo's gains a distinct edge over the Paramount, as they are more water resistant (but not fully waterproof either). The best option for truly wet weather is the Arc'teryx Gamma LT softshell pant. The Paramount 2.0 is rated UPF 50+, and the material blocks the wind better than the thinner Mountain Hardwear Dynama and TNF Aphrodite 2.0.

The last time we tested this pair  water sat on the surface and didn't soak in. As you can see from this photo  that is no longer the case. While not as water resistant as before  they still dry quickly.
The last time we tested this pair, water sat on the surface and didn't soak in. As you can see from this photo, that is no longer the case. While not as water resistant as before, they still dry quickly.

Features


This pair is one of the most feature-rich options in our review. The convertible zippers are color-coded, which is a genius move on TNF's part. The two zippers on the right leg are red, and on the left they are blue, so no more misfiring or trying to figure out what zips where.

The color-coded zippers are one of our favorite features. The red zipper on the right leg matches up with the red end on the right thigh  and the blue goes on the left.
The color-coded zippers are one of our favorite features. The red zipper on the right leg matches up with the red end on the right thigh, and the blue goes on the left.

We also liked the deep hand pockets, as we could fit our whole hands in there comfortably while walking. There's also a small zippered security pocket inside the right-hand pocket for keeping small items safe. On the left-hand side, there's an internal mesh passport pocket for hiding that document away, though frankly, it doesn't feel that comfortable to hike with it in there (it's more of a travel feature). The side cargo pockets are on the small side though, and our phone couldn't entirely fit in there. Because the shorts are so short, there's not enough room for a larger cargo pocket, but it is a shame since that is the best spot to carry a phone or camera.

While the cargo pockets are bigger than before  they are still on the small side and can't really fit a phone.
While the cargo pockets are bigger than before, they are still on the small side and can't really fit a phone.

Best Applications


The Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant is a great choice for any fall, spring, or summer hiking adventure, whether that's a day hike or a multi-day backcountry trip. The convertible option lets you adjust for a change in temperature, and the quick-drying material is ideal for washing out your pants in camp or drying them fast after a storm. If you prefer to wear tights on the trail, you can check out our Top Pick for Trail Running, The North Face Hybrid Tights.

Switching to shorts-mode after the day heats up. This pair is versatile and a great option for all of your hiking objectives.
Switching to shorts-mode after the day heats up. This pair is versatile and a great option for all of your hiking objectives.

Value


With an $80 price tag, these pants are comparable in price to many of the other models on the market but offer way more value. You get three options for the price of one, along with durable construction and a lot of features.

Conclusion


We like The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant a lot, and they came close to winning our Editors' Choice Award. They are great for a variety of hiking objectives, are quick to dry, and easy to convert into shorts when the day heats up. While not the best fit for some of our testers, they might be perfect for you, and they are an excellent choice for almost any hiking adventure you have in mind.


Cam McKenzie Ring