OR Ferrosi Pants Review:
I have so far focused on sun hoodies as a platform to talk about UPF, but pants are important too. Many hikers wear shorts even for extended trips (even if they wear a sun hoody!), and I think that's great for them. But if you're like me, you need pants to protect your whole legs from sun, bugs, rocks, and brush. If none of these things are a concern, I take off my pants and hike in my underwear because I don't need shorts either. But most of the time, I need pants. If you do any high-output activities in anything besides the coldest weather - you want your pants to be as breathable as possible, so that they don't completely suck to wear. Enter the OR Ferrosi, the pants I have worn for over 350 days outside. I wear them every day I wear the Echo besides biking or skiing days.
Fabric: Pants are inherently subject to more wear than shirts, so more durable fabric is in order. This is inevitably less breathable, but fortunately our legs can tolerate that. A shirt made of Ferrosi fabric would be miserable, pants made of Echo fabric would shred if you sat on a boulder. We are very fortunate that this is true, if you think about it.
But breathability is still important in pants, enough that I feel the need to draw attention to the Ferrosi. I've tried other popular pants on the market (like the PrAna Zion and the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro) that many hikers claim to be "very breathable". They're not. I have found them to be, quite frankly, miserable to wear. The OR Ferrosi pants are the most breathable pants that I have found with reasonable durability. What's reasonable? Around 200 days, conveniently the same lifespan as my Echo hoody.
UPF is much less of a talking point in pants. Because the fabrics used are thicker, all pants suitable for hiking are at least UPF 50.
Features: Pants should have belt loops, and the Ferrosi do. I have found every integrated belt to be garbage, and elastic waistbands aren't applicable to anything that has weighted pockets. Get pants with belt loops, and if you need a belt wear an Arcade belt.
The pockets on the Ferrosi were perfect. The single butt pocket will satisfy some users, but doesn't see any use from me. The standard, deep, SIDE-OPENING, hand pockets were excellent (to my dismay, OR has recently changed the pockets to jean-style top opening). They held a phone securely, and still allowed you to put your cold hands in them. The single zippered pocket on the leg usually does nothing for me, except when I'm wearing a climbing harness and need it to hold my phone for accessibility and security.
I haven't used the women's Ferrosi pants for semi-obvious reasons, but I imagine that their pockets are horrible, because literally every pants manufacturer hates women. I would love for these to be the first pants to prove me wrong.
Fit: The Ferrosi are OR's flagship pants, so a plethora of size options are available. For me, the ability to get 30 waist 34 length pants is invaluable. I usually tolerate wearing 32x34 pants by using a belt, because that's all that's available. My first pair was a 31x34, but they both ran large and stretch out, so downsizing to the 30 waist was in order. OR has since updated the waistband to a stretchproof design, so I'm back to 31.
Besides the ability to get basically any numbers you want, the fit continues to be excellent. The legs are slim enough to look reasonably good but open enough to breathe well and fit over boots (but who wears boots?).