REI Co-op Talusphere Pant - Women's Review
Cons: Heavy, bulky
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Talusphere is a very comfortable rain pant that looks like a pair of dress pants and feels like sweat pants. It was much less versatile than the rest of the pants in this review, but might still be an excellent choice for you. These pants are best suited to rainy urban use and light hiking. They will fit easily over most pants and shoes, but they are not lightweight and packable enough to carry with you on backpacking trips.
The Talusphere performed well in our rain tests. The REI Elements 2.5 layer polyester fabric performed up to par, with taped seams, and was even stretchy, which is an unusual and very nice feature in rain pants.
The short cuff zips allow you to put the pants on without taking your shoes off, and the minimal length helps to reduce weak areas in the fabric where moisture can creep in. The Velcro on the zipper flaps also helps keep them closed to prevent moisture from hitting the non-waterproof zipper.
Comfort and Mobility
These were very comfortable pants due to the stretchy fabric used. But they lost some points for a few reasons.
First, they are heavy and wider at the cuffs, which made them flop around more than most. They look more stylish and fit over more clothing as a result, but they were cumbersome for anything beyond walking and mellow hiking. The waist has elastic in the back and is smooth in the front, which makes them look nice. There is an elastic drawcord which ensures a good fit at the waist. The looser fit of these pants provides they are easy to slip on over warm clothing and remain comfortable even when you put them on over jeans.
Breathability and Venting
There are no vents on these pants, but the two zippered hand pockets can provide some venting. They breathe very well, however, and have enough airspace due to the loose fit to ensure air flow.
At nine ounces for a size small, these were among the heavier rain pants in this review. As such, these were not our go-to pants for backpacking or outdoor use but were a good fit for urban use with their comfortable feel and sleek look.
These were the bulkiest rain pants in this review, so they lost some more points in this category. They didn't feel bulky when wearing them, but they certainly were bulky enough we wouldn't want to take them backpacking.
These pants have relatively basic features. The short ankle zips allow you to put them on while wearing shoes, but the velcro tabs that hold the zipper flap closed were pretty annoying. The cuff zippers have Velcro tabs that got in the way every time we went to unzip them. This helped keep water out by more securely closing the flap over the non-waterproof zipper, but we found this feature to be pretty annoying.
The side pockets are super stylish and comfortable, and the left-hand pocket turns inside out so you can stuff the pants into them. This helps protect the pants from dirt, grime, and sharp objects when traveling with them. There is no clippable loop, but we don't think rain pants need that feature.
These pants are made of durable polyester. The 2.5 layer waterproof laminate design ensures they are lightweight, but they can be less durable than rugged 3-layer or simple 2-layer fabrics.
These pants are a serious bargain. If they were lighter and more packable, they would have given the best buy winner a run for the money.
While we appreciated the stylish and comfortable REI Talusphere pants, they didn't make high marks in this review. If you don't need to carry them long distances on backpacking or climbing trips, however, they might be a good fit for you. They are great for hiking and walking around town in rainy climates, and hold up well to rain and wind, but also breathe well enough to be useful in milder weather.
— Lyra Pierotti