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Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pant review: an ideal balance between warmth, durability, weight and breathability

Superb stretch softshell trousers, the popular Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pant is the perfect option for hikers tackling big hill and mountain days

Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pants
(Image: © Mountain Equipment )

Our Verdict

These are extremely practical softshell pants built for the mountains, which strike the ideal balance between warmth, weather-resistance, durability, weight and breathability. The result is a near-optimal pair of pants for cool conditions and technical terrain.

For

  • Lightweight
  • Great value
  • Comfortable and stretchy

Against

  • No leg vents

Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pant: first impressions

The Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pants have been around for several years now and are highly regarded, particularly amongst British hillwalkers. In many ways they’re classic softshell hiking pants, being made from a midweight stretch nylon fabric. The cut is fairly slim-fitting, though they don’t taper too much at the ankles, which means they fit easily over bigger B1 or even B2 mountain boots, particularly since the design features useful ankle zips with an internal gusset panel. 

The patterning incorporates some well-thought-out details such as a diamond-shaped crotch panel and knee darts for improved articulation. They have plenty of practical features too. You get a soft microfleece-lined waistband, with double press studs and an integrated waistbelt. There are two zipped thigh pockets with a mesh lining plus two zipped hand pockets and one zipped rear pocket.

There are three leg lengths available in both the men’s and women’s styles (the women’s model is called the Chamois). They seem to tick all the boxes as a versatile all-round mountain trouser (there’s more about how to choose hiking pants here).

Specifications

• RRP: $145 (US) / £85 (UK)
• Style: Softshell
• Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s (Chamois) versions available
• Sizes: Men's 28–40in, short / regular / long leg Women's UK 8-18, short / regular / long leg
• Weight (Men’s): 465g / 16.4oz
• Materials: Exolite 210gsm (92% Polyamide, 8% Elastane)
• Colors: Black / Broadleaf / Anvil Grey
• Compatibility: All-season hiking, trekking, hillwalking and mountaineering

Mountain Equipment Ibex Mountain Pant: on the trails

We found the Ibex pants particularly well-suited for cooler conditions, thanks to that midweight Exolite 210gsm softshell fabric. It offers a little warmth and good windproof protection, whilst remaining lightweight and fairly breathable (see: breathability ratings explained). The face of the fabric is reasonably durable yet the inner side is very soft, ensuring good next-to-skin comfort. 

We also liked the fact that it has some elastane for stretch, making these pants well-suited to scrambling over technical terrain. They don’t feel restrictive and allow for full freedom of movement. All these qualities mean they are also a good option for big hill days when you might be striding along exposed ridges or bagging multiple summits. 

To be honest, we found little to fault. They’re well-made pants. Admittedly, they lack the double-stitched seams or reinforced panels of burlier options, but they still proved to be durable and hard-wearing. Similarly, the features all do the job, despite the fact that the pockets can’t accommodate anything too bulky.