Hands-on Gear Review

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

The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant - Women's 2017
Price:  $80 List | $51.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Water resistant, quick drying, lots of pockets, inner drawstring, flattering short length.
Cons:  Cargo pockets don't hold much, inseam runs short.
Bottom line:  High-performance convertible pant with great features.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Weight:  11 oz
Inseam (from crotch to cuff):  32" (pant), 5" (short)
Fabric:  96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
Manufacturer:   The North Face

Our Verdict

The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant has been around for a long time for good reason. These pants are water resistant, quick drying, versatile, and packed with features. They are great for long backpacking trips or single day hikes, camp life, or even water sports. They scored at or near the top of the pack in all our testing metrics and were only 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 shorts shorter, then these are the convertible pants to buy. If you prefer a mid-rise pant with a Bermuda-length short, then go with the Lobo's. And if you are looking for a great pant that is less expensive than the rest, our Best Buy winner, the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch, is also a good choice.

Product Update - May 2017
The Women's Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant look slightly different than when we originally reviewed them. We've been in contact with The North Face, and they confirmed these updates. To learn more, scroll on down!



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Pants for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Wednesday
June 15, 2016

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The New Women's Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pants vs. the 2016 Model


We recently noticed that The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant look moderately different than when we originally had our hands on them. We reached out to The North Face to confirm these changes. Most noticeably, the zip off cover has been changed. The new version has a flap that covers the actual zipper, which was not a featured in the original model. The side pockets look taller in the new model, and since we originally reviewed the product, TNF has added a few fabric loops about mid-calf which serve as fastening points if you want to roll up the pant and make them 3/4 length.

Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the latest version of The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant pictured on the left and the older version on the right.

The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant - Women's 2017
The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible


Here's a summary of the key differences between the new Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant and the previous version:
  • Zip-Off Cover — The zip-off feature is updated with a flap which covers the zipper and a change in the stitching pattern/design.
  • New Fastening Loops — With the original model of these pants, testers complained that they weren't able to fasten off the pant when they rolled them up. It looks like the latest version incorporates stitched fabric loops at mid-calf height. The loops allow you to fasten the rolled up pant leg with an adjustable button-tab closure.
  • Re-designed Side Pockets — The side pockets look to be taller than the ones in the original model we reviewed, though a representative from The North Face says they have not changed in Volume.

Since we haven't yet reviewed the latest model of these pants, the ratings and text below reflect the older model that we reviewed.

Hands-on Review of the 2016 Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant - Women's


The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant are made of a 96% Nylon/4% Elastane blend with a DWR finish. They come in three inseam lengths (Short 30", Regular 32", and Long 34"), and convert into a 5" inseam short. Note that we tested these pants in a Regular inseam, and they were distinctly short on our 5'6 tester because the waist sits fairly high). They come in sizes 00-16 and Sedona, Sage Grey and Dune Beige colors.

These hiking pants are easy to move in and water resistant  making them a great choice for most hiking and backpacking adventures.
These hiking pants are easy to move in and water resistant, making them a great choice for most hiking and backpacking adventures.

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. 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 the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible was flat out uncomfortable and restricted our movement. The Lobo's material is slightly softer than the Paramount's though, and more comfortable for all-day wear. The rise on this model is also slightly higher than others that we tested, 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 pushed the pants down, but when they sit too high, it starts to feel uncomfortable and create pressure points over bulky areas like belt loops.

The pants are somewhat high-waisted  which was occasionally uncomfortable underneath a hipbelt.
The pants are somewhat high-waisted, which was occasionally uncomfortable underneath a hipbelt.

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.

Trying to find the trail in the wash. The shorts are probably the best feature about this pant  and the shorter length improves their mobility.
Trying to find the trail in the wash. The shorts are probably the best feature about this pant, and the shorter length improves their mobility.

Versatility


Like all convertible pants, this pair is fairly versatile thanks to the ability to be worn as a full-length pant or short. There is no crop option, though that doesn't mean you can't still roll up the legs and hope that they will stay. The water resistance of the pant also lets you use it for water sports, increasing its versatility over a less water resistant pant.

The Paramounts convert to 5" inseam shorts  but no longer have a crop option.
The Paramounts convert to 5" inseam shorts, but no longer have a crop option.

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 5" shorts options lets you stay more comfortable when the day warms up. They are not quite as breathable as the Columbia Saturday Trail, but those pants don't offer the same water resistance, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

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 in the ground.

Weather Resistance


A DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior of these pants makes them very water resistant. Water beads up and refuses to soak into them, which means that you can wear them in a light drizzle and still stay dry. Eventually, the friction from walking will cause the material to saturate through, but once wet they are quick to dry, taking only 20 minutes in full sun to go from soaked to dry during our water testing. The Paramount and Lobo's models were very similar in this respect, whereas others, like the Prana Halle and Patagonia Quandary, quickly wet through even though they are treated with a DWR as well. If you need something for continued wet and cool conditions, the softshell Arc'teryx Gamma LT are a better choice.

These pants do a great job of repelling water! They don't soak through unless you really douse them  and are fast to dry once wet.
These pants do a great job of repelling water! They don't soak through unless you really douse them, and are fast to dry once wet.

Features


For the updated version of this pant, TNF has done away with the crop option. While you can still roll the pants up, they won't necessarily stay there. While this makes them slightly less "featured" than some of the other convertible pants, they do have one feature that we loved that set them apart from the rest: the convertible zippers are color coded. Genius! 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 on the Paramount 2.0s was one of our favorite features. If you've ever felt like an idiot trying to figure out which pant leg goes on which side  you'll never have that problem again with this model.
The color-coded zippers on the Paramount 2.0s was one of our favorite features. If you've ever felt like an idiot trying to figure out which pant leg goes on which side, you'll never have that problem again with this model.

We also liked the deep hand pockets, as we could fit our whole hands in there comfortable while walking. The side cargo pockets are on the small side though, and can only accommodate a set of keys or a Chapstick, and not a phone or camera.

We liked the deep hand pockets on the Paramount 2.0s
The cargo pockets are on the small side and can't even fit a phone.

Best Applications


The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant is a great choice for any fall, spring or summer hiking adventure, whether that's a day hike or multi-day backcountry trip. The convertible option lets you adjust for a change in temperature, and the highly water resistant materials mean you don't have to don rain pants if it's only drizzling out. If you like to wear tights on the trail, you can check out our Top Pick for Trail Running, The North Face Hybrid Tights.

These pants are great for hikes on days when you don't know what they weather is going to do  or if you plan on changing significant elevation  like heading to the top of that peak on the upper right side.
These pants are great for hikes on days when you don't know what they weather is going to do, or if you plan on changing significant elevation, like heading to the top of that peak on the upper right side.

Value


With an $80 price tag, these pants are comparable in price to many of the other pants on the market but offer way more value than many of them. You get two options for the price of one, along with durable construction and great water resistance.

These pants came up a little "short" on us  but if the fit is right they are a great buy.
These pants came up a little "short" on us, but if the fit is right they are a great buy.

Conclusion


We liked The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible Pant, and they came close to winning our Editors' Choice award. They are great for hiking or water sports, 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'd be an excellent choice for almost any hiking adventure you had in mind.

Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: June 15, 2016
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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