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REI Co-op Talusphere Pant - Women's Review

The Talusphere is a city savvy model that will fit over most pants layers.
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Price:  $90 List | $89.50 at REI
Pros:  Stylish, soft, stretchy
Cons:  Heavy, bulky
Manufacturer:   REI
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 19, 2018
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 8
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7
  • Breathability & Venting - 20% 5
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Packed Size - 10% 6
  • Features - 5% 7
  • Durability - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The REI Co-Op Talusphere feature 4-way stretch, making them very comfortable. They are not as ideal for outdoor pursuits as they are bulkier and heavier than the rest of the pants in this review, but for light hiking, walking, and urban use, they will fit right in. We appreciated the soft feel and looser fit, as this made it easier to layer them over jeans or whatever pants we were wearing.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stylish, soft, stretchyDurable, lightweight, versatile, full zipLightweight, versatile, comfortableUltralight, athletic fit, affordableVersatile, affordable
Cons Heavy, bulkyHeaviest in review, expensiveNot full length side zippersLess durable, clammy feelingInterior feels plasticky interior feel
Bottom Line The Talusphere is a city savvy model that will fit over most pants layers.A remarkably versatile shell pant for use on long treks and lightweight expeditions.The OR Aspire are highly versatile and lightweight.These are the ultimate lightweight model.As a versatile and affordable model, they are excellent for a first rain pant, or for more experienced backpackers.
Rating Categories Co-op Talusphere Pant Alpha SL Pant Aspire Pant Helium Pant PreCip Full-Zip Pant
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Comfort And Mobility (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Breathability & Venting (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Weight (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
7
Packed Size (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
Features (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
Durability (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Co-op Talusphere... Alpha SL Pant Aspire Pant Helium Pant PreCip Full-Zip Pant
Measured Weight 9 oz 12 oz 6.5 oz 3.5 oz 6.5 oz
Waterproof fabric Material REI Elements waterproof breathable laminate GORE-TEX with Paclite technology GORE-TEX with Paclite technology Pertex Shield membrane NanoPro
Face fabric and Layer Construction Polyester, 2.5 layer 40D nylon ripstop 2 layer 100% polyester 50D plain weave, 2 layer 30D nylon ripstop, 2.5 layer 100% Nylon Ripstop, 2.5 layer
Pockets 2 zippered hand None 1 rear stow 1 rear stow 2 zippered hand
Side zips length? Ankle Full-length 2/3 length, unzips to upper thigh Ankle Full-length
Put on Over Hiking or Mountaineering Boots Hiking Anything! Even skis or crampons! Mountaineering Hiking Anything! Even skis or crampons!
Inseam Length, Size Small 32 32 30 30 30
Stows Into Pocket? Yes No Yes Yes No
Clippable loop? No Yes Yes Yes No
Waist band Style Waist drawcord + elastic back Adjustable belt Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic

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.

Performance Comparison


Testing rainpants in the Pacific Northwest. This particular model is the Talusphere  by REI.
Testing rainpants in the Pacific Northwest. This particular model is the Talusphere, by REI.

Water Resistance


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 Talusphere is a 2.5 layer rain pant.
The Talusphere is a 2.5 layer rain pant.

We gave these pants a very strong 8 out of 10 for this category in part because of the short cuff zips. These 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 & Mobility


These were very comfortable pants due to the stretchy fabric used. We liked this feature a lot, but the pants got knocked down in this category to 7 out of 10 because of a couple of issues.

The Talusphere is a more baggy fit and is easier to wear over clothing.
The Talusphere is a more baggy fit and is easier to wear over clothing.

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.

The comfortable and adjustable waist belt of the Talusphere; the front also has a flat hem that looks stylish and dressy.
The comfortable and adjustable waist belt of the Talusphere; the front also has a flat hem that looks stylish and dressy.

Breathability & 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.

The inside of the Talusphere feels softer than most 2.5 layer waterproof breathable fabrics.
The inside of the Talusphere feels softer than most 2.5 layer waterproof breathable fabrics.

Weight


At 9 ounces for a size small, these were among the heaviest 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.

Packed Size


These were the bulkiest rain pants in this review, so they lost some more points in this category. We still gave them 6 out of 10 because they didn't feel bulky when wearing them, but they certainly were bulky enough we wouldn't want to take them backpacking.

Features


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 which 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 stylish pockets on the Talusphere.
The stylish pockets on the Talusphere.

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.

Durability


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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


These pants are a serious bargain. If the were lighter and more packable, they would have given our Best Buy winner, the Marmot PreCip, a run for their money.

Conclusion


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.

Enjoying the weather  all bundled up in our rain gear.
Enjoying the weather, all bundled up in our rain gear.


Lyra Pierotti