UKH

Montane Terra Pack Pants Review

Lightweight, fast drying trousers are something most of us appreciate for hillwalking or climbing in spring and summer. Montane's Terra Pack Pants (trousers) are ideal for warmer days, light enough to keep your legs from overheating and good at wicking any sweat away quickly. The fast drying nature of the fabric also makes them perfect for taking out when conditions are more mixed. I've found that after being soaked, these trousers can be almost completely dry again in around 20 minutes. My favourite thing about them though is the fit. Although a highly personal feature, it's something I find many trousers fail for me on, so if you often find other trousers baggy in cut then you may want to consider these.

What they're for

Though they're sold primarily as mountain walking trousers, I've been using them very happily for climbing too. This is a lighter tale on montane's classic Terra Pants; at just over 200g, the Terra Pack Pants are definitely at the more summery end of things and best used in warmer conditions.

Fit

There isn't currently a female fit version of these trousers, but they do come in a big range of men's sizes from S to XXL and in two leg lengths.

For this review I opted for size small and the regular leg length. This is my usual size and the sizing in this case came out spot on. Around the thighs and lower leg there is just enough material to keep them loosely fitting but without loads of excess material. I really like the inclusion of the press stud around the ankle to bring the trousers in around the hem. I have this constantly buttoned up as it gives you a slightly neater fit at the ankle, which I like for climbing.

The waist on the Terra Pack is elasticated and is secured with a press stud and button. Montane also provide a belt. It's of decent quality, however I find I don't really need it as the elastication gives a good range of fit. I also tend to avoid wearing belts if I'm climbing as it's another object to press against the harness.

The Terra Pack Pants on Meall an t-Seallaidh, a fantastic Corbett  © UKC Gear
The Terra Pack Pants on Meall an t-Seallaidh, a fantastic Corbett

In warmer conditions, the legs on the Terra Pack Pants can be rolled up to become ¾ lengths. This is secured using a bit of material from inside the leg, with a press stud to stop them slipping down. I've used this once or twice. It's potentially a good addition, but I find the rolled up fabric is quite tight around my leg, cuts off air getting in from the bottom of the leg and also because the fabric is bunched it doesn't dry as fast. For me the trousers are already light enough to be sufficiently breathable on hot days when you're working hard.

Fabric

Montane has used a nylon fabric called Vector Light, which is lightweight, fast drying and with a small amount of stretch to it. Because it's quite thin and lightweight, it's also highly packable and can be stuffed down to just over a fist-sized ball - in our size small regular at least. The Vector Light fabric is also very comfortable. I use these trousers daily just "kicking about" as well as on the hill and for climbing.

A popper at the ankle allows you to get a nice close fit  © Dan Bailey
A popper at the ankle allows you to get a nice close fit
© Dan Bailey

Since it's very fast drying, Terra Pack Pants were my choice of legwear last summer whenever the threat of rain was possible. After a good soaking these trousers can dry very quickly, even when standing still with little wind, as happened to myself on a damp Lochnagar belay during the summer.

For such a lightweight material the fabric has held up extremely well. I've probably had something in the region of 40 days climbing and walking in these over last summer and autumn, not counting the days I've worn them around the house etc. There is a small amount of wear on the fabric around the upper leg, but nothing that is going to cause any issue. I've also had no nicks or tears occurring, so overall I'm pleased with durability.

Features

These trousers are not packed with features. Being simple summer trousers, they're pretty basic. Unfortunately the biggest let down would have to be the front pockets. Aside from providing some ventilation through their mesh lining, they are almost useless for actually putting anything in, as they are so shallow you are almost guaranteed to lose it. There is an internal zipped pocket inside the right hand pocket. It's large enough to take a phone and a few coins and I often used this for storing such if out running.

The small internal zip pocket is great for valuables, fitting a large phone  © UKC Gear
The small internal zip pocket is great for valuables, fitting a large phone

The thigh pocket is awkwardly shaped, as such I found myself using it less  © UKC Gear
The thigh pocket is awkwardly shaped, as such I found myself using it less

The back and thigh are good, deeper and come with YKK zips. I sometimes use these, but being such a lightweight trouser, anything that is slightly bulky is very noticeable when carrying, so if I can I'll stick extra items in a jacket pocket or bag.

Summary

The Montane Terra Pack Pants are great warmer weather trousers. I've found them just as nice for walking as when climbing, but this depends what you want from a climbing trouser. I've tended to use them on mountain trad, where the quick drying fabric is a bonus. The biggest selling point for me is the cut. On me they are some of the best fitting lightweight trousers I've found, offering good freedom of movement without being too baggy. I particularly like the press stud to keep them tidy around the ankle. Features are sparse, and the pockets are slightly lacking in depth, but overall they are a great trouser. They fall at about a mid range price, £75 RRP. I have definitely got that value from them and suspect I will buy another pair purely because of the fit.

Montane say:

Updated with new Vector Lite fabric, the Terra Pack Pants offer stretch comfort for all-day use in warmer conditions. Lightweight, fast drying and with a sun protection factor of UPF 50+, the Terra Pack Pants have all the features required for multi-day trekking in the mountains.

  • Articulated knees and an active cut for high step movement, perfect for mountain use
  • Pre-elasticated waist with press stud and button fastening
  • Fine brushed microfleece inner rear waistband for additional comfort
  • YKK zippered fly
  • Removable lightweight belt with low profile buckle and belt loops
  • Two mesh lined hand pockets
  • Extra zipped security pocket inside right-hand pocket for coins, cards or valuables
  • Left-hand thigh pocket with YKK reverse coil zip
  • Rear right-hand mesh-lined pocket with YKK reverse coil zip
  • Pants can be rolled up to ¾ length using an internal calf press stud arrangement
  • Press stud hem adjustment for a secure fit over footwear

  • Sizes (men): S-XXL reg and short leg
  • Weight: 237g (approx)

For more info see montane.com



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