The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Ortovox Rock'N'Wool Pant - Women's Review

A super cute merino wool base layer with lightweight performance.
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Price:  $110 List | $99.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Warm for the weight, great breathability, cute colors and style, sustainable company model, dries quickly
Cons:  Expensive, potential durability issues
Manufacturer:   Ortovox
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Warmth - 30% 7
  • Breathability - 30% 8
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 8
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

If cute and colorful style is what you seek, the women's Orotovox Rock n' Wool 185 Pant delivers. This midweight base layer is as thin as the lightweight layers we've tested but warmer. The 100% merino wool construction wicks away moisture sufficiently and dries very quickly. When hiking, running, and lounging in this piece, the fabric retained its shape and continued to perform even when wet, dirty, and unwashed for over a week. The reinforced material at the knees offers more abrasion resistance to high wear zones. These pants are best for the woman in search of a thinner, packable layer that offers more warmth than you'd expect. With a stretchy design, it offers a versatile fit for most women, without additional comfort features. Unfortunately, the price is higher, but if you prefer to invest in a company that promotes sustainable practices combined with awesome performance, you'll find the investment worth the value.


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Pros Warm for the weight, great breathability, cute colors and style, sustainable company model, dries quicklyAll season wear, breathable, will keep you dry, warm, improved fitFleece lining is comfortable, elastic fit, amazing value, cute style, very durable, power wicking.Amazing breathability, comfortable on the skin, great fit, good warmth, affordable, cute colors and designsDurable, wide range of thermoregulation, comfortable, cute colors.
Cons Expensive, potential durability issuesLacks durability when worn aloneHigh water absorption.Less durable than previous versionNot super duper warm
Bottom Line A super cute merino wool base layer with lightweight performance.A versatile merino wool bottom for year round use.Our favorite bottom with a fleece-lined interior and versatile performance.A synthetic long underwear bottom with exceptional value and versatile applications.This is one of the most durable merino wool contender out there.
Rating Categories Rock'N'Wool Pant Merino 250 Bottoms Rho LT Bottoms Capilene Midweight Bottoms 200 Oasis Leggings
Warmth (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Breathability (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Comfort And Fit (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Durability (10%)
10
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7
10
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6
10
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9
10
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8
10
0
8
Specs Rock'N'Wool Pant Merino 250 Bottoms Rho LT Bottoms Capilene Midweight... 200 Oasis Leggings
Material 100% merino 100% merino Torrent fleece (84% polyester, 16% elastane) 100% recycled polyester 100% merino
Fabric weight (g/m²) & relative level of thickness 185 g/m² (lightweight) 250 g/m² (midweight) 150 g/m² (midweight) Midweight 200 g/m² (lightweight)
Measured Weight 6.0 oz 7.3 oz 5.8 oz 5.6 oz 5.7 oz
Fabric weights availiable Midweight Lightweight (150), midweight (250) Lightweight & Midweight (AR) options Lightweight, Midweight, Thermal Weight Midweight
Cuts avaliable Full length, boot length 3/4 length, full length, onsie (full body w/ hood) Full length Full length 3/4 length, full length
Smelly over time? No No No Yes No
Odor control fabric Naturally odor resistant Naturally odor resistant Polygiene anti-odor finish HeiQ Fresh Naturally odor resistant

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ortovox Rock 'n' Wool is a high performing merino wool base layer (185 grams per square meter) with lightweight performance. While it offers a nice thin layer of insulation, it's not the warmest but kicks butt in the wicking and drying game. If you prefer thinner base layers, this one is just that but offers a little more warmth than a traditional lightweight layer. It's perfect for layering on a hike or while climbing your next mountain. Just be ready to throw down some cash as the price is high.

Performance Comparison


Canoeing in Northern Ontario never felt so good with the Ortovox Rock n' Wool bottom layered underneath our hiking pants. It provides insulation from the cold  metal seat on this cool fall morning.
Canoeing in Northern Ontario never felt so good with the Ortovox Rock n' Wool bottom layered underneath our hiking pants. It provides insulation from the cold, metal seat on this cool fall morning.

Warmth


Built with merino wool, this bottom offers sufficient warmth for the ski hill and cold weather in the winter. While it's designed as a midweight piece, the bottoms actually feel pretty lightweight, doing a great job at wicking away moisture from the legs to keep you dry and warm while skiing. The Rock 'n' Wool offers a lot of warmth of its low density. While the bottoms don't offer the best insulation on there own, it's best to layer this base layer with an insulated pant if you're simply hiking or sitting on the ski lift. If you plan on cross-country skiing or backcountry skiing, a snow shell with zippered vents would work well. In order to make sure you are warm, it's important that the layers you wear above it offer the opportunity to ventilate well. This piece is best seen as a layer that'll wick away moisture but won't offer a whole lot in terms of insulation during sedentary activities.

Warm but thin  they offer awesome warmth when layered under a pair of shorts or snow pants.
Warm but thin, they offer awesome warmth when layered under a pair of shorts or snow pants.

Breathability


We absolutely love the breathability of this bottom. With its thinner construction, it keeps the skin super dry. The merino fibers are built in a way that easily grabs sweat or moisture, and evaporates quickly through it.

A look at the fabric made of merino wool  or 'Rock n' Wool' that wicks away moisture and transfers it away from the skin.
A look at the fabric made of merino wool, or 'Rock n' Wool' that wicks away moisture and transfers it away from the skin.

When wearing this model on a run, even when it got wet with snow, the fabric dried out quickly. Like many merino wool layers, it needs appropriate ventilation to ensure it stays dry. If you intend to wear it underneath a pair of snow pants, be sure they have zippered vents or a breathable design if you plan on sweating. Of the merino wool base layers tested, this offers some of the best drying speeds and breathability that we've seen due to its thinner design.

This is a super breathable layer given the thin construction that easily transports moisture and dries quickly.
This is a super breathable layer given the thin construction that easily transports moisture and dries quickly.

Comfort & Fit


We fell in love with the cute, contrasting colors of this base layer bottom, a refreshing change from the all-too-common grays and blacks typical of long underwear. The fabrics are soft to the touch and feel good to wear all day. We chose to wear them a lot while running and hiking. Even after wearing them during these sweaty activities, we'd come home and chill out without changing the bottom.

Chilling out at the cottage after a long day hiking and canoeing at the cottage in Northern Ontario. These bottoms are comfortable for all-day wear.
Chilling out at the cottage after a long day hiking and canoeing at the cottage in Northern Ontario. These bottoms are comfortable for all-day wear.

Given the thinner design, it's not as cozy as thicker merino wool contenders, but we appreciate the warmth it provides even when a room is cold or winter is blowing hard. The fabric offers good structure and doesn't sag after using it for several days on end. We also appreciate that no smells accumulated after wearing it for over a week without washing it.

A look at the overall fit of the Ortovox pant. Cute design and fun color combinations. The fabrics are stretchy and don't stretch overtime.
A look at the overall fit of the Ortovox pant. Cute design and fun color combinations. The fabrics are stretchy and don't stretch overtime.

The waistband is also pretty comfortable. It offers a good amount of stretch that isn't too tight, providing a versatile fit for lots of women of different shapes and sizes. The material on the band is not padded like other super cozy base layers, but it still feels good for all-day wear.

The waistband is comfortable with flat seams on the interior. It offers the right amount of stretch that isn't too tight or loose.
The waistband is comfortable with flat seams on the interior. It offers the right amount of stretch that isn't too tight or loose.

The seams are flat, and the fabric doesn't chafe, even when your skin is sensitive, cold, and dry. The fit is fairly true to size, being long enough for those with longer legs. The cuffs at the bottom of the pant are also quite stretchy. So if you have bigger calves, the fabric will stretch out to accommodate. That said, there is a seam at the cuff that does limit the sizing, unlike other thicker merino wool bottoms we tested.

Durability


After wearing these bottoms for the last few months, we haven't noticed any durability issues so far. We've washed it several times, and the fabric hasn't pilled, nor have we seen any snags or holes in the fabric. We appreciate the reinforced knees that add to the durability of these pants, especially if you find yourself kneeling a lot while in the backcountry.

We appreciate the extra fabrics at the knees  a higher wear zone when layered under a pair of pants.
We appreciate the extra fabrics at the knees, a higher wear zone when layered under a pair of pants.

That said, the thinness of the fabric does concern us a little bit. We have also tested the long-sleeve top of this model, and we noticed some holes develop after wearing it with a backpack. Given this is the same wool, we can't award it top marks for durability…yet. We will continue testing it to report back. However, after a few months of wearing it continuously while hiking, running, and lounging, it's done well so far!

Testing durability on a snowy day in the mountains.
Testing durability on a snowy day in the mountains.

Value


This is one of the most expensive base layer bottoms tested. While it does host cute colors and neat design, none of its performance features surpass other (slightly) lower-priced contenders. That said, Ortovox is a pretty rad company that manufactures all of its products from sustainable sources and is part of the 'Fair Wear' group that promotes safe and healthy working conditions for workers. If you're willing to invest in a company with these values, then we'd say it's worth the extra money. However, if you're simply looking at the performance of the product, there are better-priced options out there with similar or marginally better performance.

Enjoy the mountains in these awesome base layer bottoms. While they are expensive  performance is really amazing  keeping you dry and happy in all types of conditions.
Enjoy the mountains in these awesome base layer bottoms. While they are expensive, performance is really amazing, keeping you dry and happy in all types of conditions.

Conclusion


The Ortovox Rock n' Wool bottoms for women are super stylish with great performance. This is a top performer in our review because of its great thermoregulation and comfort. It offers lightweight performance (even though it's advertised as a midweight base layer), doing great work wicking moisture away from the skin to keep you dry. While it's not the most insulative or durable base layer bottom, it's perfect for high-intensity activities on cool to cold days. Unfortunately, it comes with a high price tag, but you might find the values of Ortovox worth investing in.


Amber King