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Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants review: high-tech, low-bulk, comfortable and versatile

Softshell pants that don’t restrict your movement, Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants boast an array of useful pockets

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants
(Image: © Jessie Leong)

Our Verdict

Patagonia’s Point Peak pants for women are a delight to wear, and if you’re looking for breathable, high-performance hiking pants to look after you in tough conditions, these are an excellent choice.

For

  • Comfortable
  • Fit true to size
  • Robust construction, resistant to tears
  • Recycled material used

Against

  • Some visible signs of abrasion after heavy use
  • Leg pocket was hard to get to underneath waterproof pants

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants: first impressions

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak are a pair of softshell women’s hiking pants for cool weather conditions, which are just as well suited for striking a pose on the summit of a 4,000m alpine peak in summer as they are worn in the UK mountains in winter. They’re a pair of go-to pants designed to be worn in rough and tough alpine conditions, where they provide a decent level of protection from the cold, the wind and the rock. 

Specifications

• List price: $150 (US) / £130 (UK) / €150 (EU)
• Sizes: Regular available in Short (73.5in / 29in) and regular (79cm / 31 inch)
• Weight: 405g / 14oz
• Materials: Recycled fabric with PFC-free DWR main body and inset panels made of recycled nylon / elastane fabric for durability and stretch; with a PFC-free DWR finish (durable water repellent coating that does not contain perfluorinated chemicals)
• Colors: Black / Smolder Blue / Topsoil Brown
• Compatibility: Mountaineering, alpine adventures and hiking in hard conditions

Like so many of Patagonia’s products, these pants are made with recycled materials (they’re definitely one of the best eco-friendly outdoors brands). The main body and inset panels are formed from recycled nylon and elastane fabric, which combine to offer durability and stretch, whilst the outer fabric has been treated with a PFC-free durable water-repellent coating that does not contain per fluorinated chemicals. 

I was delighted to discover a version of the Point Peaks with a short 29-inch seam, offered alongside the regular 31-inch pants. Nothing is more frustrating than wearing hiking trousers that are too long, having to try and roll the legs up and ending up with the pants dragging in the mud. 

I thought the pants felt true to size, with an option at the hip to cinch the waist in using Velcro straps and a belt. The pants sat nicely – they didn’t gape at the lower back, nor were they aggressively styled to be super skinny. I found them comfortable, and they allowed ample freedom of movement, which I particularly appreciated while testing them in the mountains of North Wales.

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants: on the trail

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants

Inset panels on the knees and seat have been added for abrasion-resistance and durability (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Pants often don’t get the attention lavished on other flashier items in the outdoor wardrobe (such as the best waterproof jackets or the best hiking boots) – but Patagonia Women’s Point Peak remind us that, just because a garment is practical and comfortable, that doesn't mean it can’t be impressively technical as well. 

Durability 

From clambering up Cwyfyr arête on Cadair Idris to climbing the Dubhs Ridge on Skye, my Point Peak pants have seen a lot of classic alpine action. Mountaineering often involves a full-body experience, so whether it’s applying a knee jam or scuffling across a rough boulder field on Skye, the pants needed to give me protection and stay in one piece. 

Inset panels on the knees and seat have been added to the Point Peak pants, for abrasion-resistance and durability – this increases the product’s overall weight, but adds to the durability of the garment and the level of protection they offer in the peaks.

I was pleased to see the seams were still looking strong even after three months of solid wear, and the pants also washed well, with minimal bobbling overall. However, in the bum area, I did notice there was visible abrasion where the material had become caught while I was climbing on Skye. Gabbro is some of the stickiest – as well as sharpest rock – found in the UK and the seat of the pants seemed to be the most vulnerable area.

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants

Not a gratuitous bum shot – we’re just showing you the area of the pants that seem to wear most quickly (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Functionality 

The Point Peaks are, overall, great as a practical pair of hiking and climbing pants. I liked the adjustable waist that didn’t rely on additional buttons on the inside, and having an adjustable Velcro cuff at the ankle. 

The pockets – which included a zipped hand pocket on either side, and an open pocket – are sealed with a lightweight piece of cord, rather than bulky toggles, which is a great design feature. In addition, there are two zipped pockets at the rear. I would, however, have liked to see a slightly larger pocket, to better fit a smart phone. The pants were comfortable to wear with a harness, and my only critique is that the pockets were too high, so when I was carrying a phone, it restricted my movements a little. 

The design of the pants felt good thanks to the flexibility of the fabric and clever design. A gusseted crotch and moderate leg articulation equips the pants with some give, ideal for practicing high insteps. I also liked the integrated loop at the front, which meant the pants had a built-in gaiter. The material is resistant to the absorption of mud and water, so this feels like a useful bit of design. On Skye I really appreciated this when we were on the ridge – as expected, we didn’t walk through wet conditions initially, but later in the day needed to clip our pants in to avoid bog seeping in over boots and to stop ticks crawling up our legs. 

Patagonia Women’s Point Peak hiking pants

It’s a struggle to get a smart phone in these pockets (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Waterproofing and breathability 

These pants were tested in relatively mixed conditions, including high humidity and plenty of rain. They proved showerproof, but I needed to put proper waterproof pants on when it was fully raining – I felt a bit damp when I tried to test the waterproofing on a wet walk in to Cwyfyr arête. The Durable Water Repellence (see: What is DWR?) helps the moisture bead, but like with so many softshell pants, it’s not a viable alternative to real waterproof pants when the heavens open.

Weight / Price

At 405g, the Patagonia Point Peaks are 60g heavier than their alpine cousin, Patagonia’s Altvia Alpine pants, and much heavier than the brand’s Quandry pants. Yet, in the conditions I was wearing them, I didn’t mind the extra bulk. These pants are very well suited to the colder, wetter, mixed conditions I encountered. If I was wearing them in a warmer mountaineering context, I think I’d opt for a slightly lighter shell fabric, but I was glad of the durability and the more robust and protective material. 

Overview

Patagonia Point Peaks are a high-tech, low-bulk pair of hiking trousers that will come out with me on many more exciting mountain trips when I’m climbing in alpine environments, but they’re equally at home when worn in changeable and challenging low-altitude conditions, such as those encountered in places like Scotland. They’re comfortable, functional, and cleverly designed for active use, with zipped pockets, built-in gaiter hooks and articulated panels. 

A former brand ambassador for Merrell and current Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Jessie Leong’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walks in the Peak District. This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-day treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles. When not walking, she can be found rock climbing, wild swimming, cycling, photographing, filmmaking, writing and modelling. Jessie’s most recent claim to fame is playing a Miss World contestant in the 2020 feature film Misbehaviour.