These versatile and lightweight softshell pants offer so much freedom of movement you could probably do almost anything in them – but we recommend wearing them for hiking in cool and warm conditions.
Good stretch provides unrestricted freedom of movement
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Rab Women's Sawtooth pants: first impressions
On the rack, these hiking pants appear to be everything you want from a pair of softshell pants. They are feather light and very stretchy, meaning that while you’d probably wear them for hiking, you could do a proper heel hook while rock climbing in them, or even a little yoga on the trail.
They are highly breathable and designed for summer hiking however they’d work across all seasons with good wind protection and even some water resistance. They boast four deep zipped pockets for storage, tethered draw-cord hems, a fleece-lined waistband, belt loops and 30+ UPF. All in all, these are everything you want from a softshell pant all wrapped up in a stylish fit.
• RRP: $125 / £90
• Sizes available: US XS - XL / UK 8 -16
• Materials: Nylon (88%), elastane double weave with DWR 182 g/m2 (12%)
• Colors: Beluga, Blazen, Sagano green, Deep heather
• Best use: hiking, mountaineering
Rab Women's Sawtooth pants: on the trails
I definitely squealed with delight when I tried these pants on for the first time. They boast superior comfort and an insane amount of stretchy freedom of movement for pants that aren’t leggings. I got them out in the hills on a fairly warm fall day and they kept me nice and cool and dry. On a cooler day though, they still provide good protection from the wind and while they aren’t waterproof, I’d definitely wear these ski touring if the conditions weren’t too moist.
I love all the pockets for stashing credit cards, keys and headphones and am really pleased with the flattering cut, which is not always the case with hiking pants. Though being able to do yoga in them is absolutely not a marker of a good hiking pant, I was able to keep them on for a few stretches when I got home which is a bonus in my book. These are comfy enough to be travel and camping pants too.
Here’s how they performed:
These fit true to size. I’m wearing the UK 8, which is my typical size, and there’s not a single place where they catch or hang loose.
These are slim fitting and flattering owing to the stretchy material, without being skin tight. Basically everything you want from the best hiking pants.
In addition to the light, stretchy, breathable fabric, superior comfort is sponsored by the gusseted crotch and articulated knees. There’s nothing Rab could do to make these more comfortable besides serve them up with a hot drink.
These pants are highly breathable so will go a long way towards keeping you cool in summer, while the wind protection will stave off the cold in winter.
I ought to have been sweaty in these pants given the warm conditions I was hiking in, but I wasn’t. The breathability is great for hiking and ski touring.
These pants are great quality, well made and don’t require frequent washing, therefore they should stand the test of time.
Here’s where we tested the Rab Women's Sawtooth pants:
This hike rises up from the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and after a steep, grassy climb delivers superb views of the Arrochar Alps.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.
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