MEC Women's Sandbagger Pants
Colours: Shadow (grey), Carbon Green, Black
Weight: 326 g/ 8.3 oz (Size 6)
Price: $105 CDN
Made from 90% nylon and 10% spandex with a DWR finish, these pants are stretchy, can block wind and shed light rain. They have been created with a straight leg cut with articulated knees and microfleece lined waistband for comfort. These pants have 3 pockets: 1 right thigh pocket and 2 zippered hand pockets. The pants have an elastic waistband with a drawstring cord. Sound like other softshell pants you've tried? Read on.
The stretchy softshell material makes the Sandbagger pants feel like I can perform any athletic movement and not be hindered. I really enjoy using these pants while alpine or rock climbing, because with any gymnastic type movement they feel amazing on just like a pair of leggings or yoga pants. In comparison to other softshell pants I own, they are far more flexible.
The softshell material holds up well in harsh environments. I've abused these pants while trekking for a month in Nepal, on many canoe trips, countless hiking days and over rough granite rock climbing areas. These softshell pants are legit, and are made for outdoor use and abuse. I now have 2 pairs (one for over 3 years), and can't tell apart the old black pair from the new black pair.
One of my favourite features of these pants is the straight leg cut. Streamlined around the lower leg, these pants NEVER get in the way when walking, hiking with high steps, or with crampons on alpine climbing. I tend to hate baggy pants that hit together as I walk and have to wear gaiters to keep things 'skinny'. The pants fit over hiking and mountaineering boots no problem. They rarely if ever get muddy on the inside of the ankle as there is no extra fabric flapping around getting hit by the other boot. Perfect.
These are my skinnier softshell pants and I love the cut. The waist height is perfect for crouching down and still covering up my backside. The drawstring on the waist acts as a lightweight belt and keeps the waistline in place.
Not having a zippered fly and button waist closure is also why I love these pants. Backcountry bathroom breaks are easy as the Sandbagger pants come off as quickly as yoga pants do. I found this is also a fantastic feature when my fingers get fumbly in colder conditions and I don't have to deal with the zippers or button enclosures. When wearing a harness over top of these pants, it fits more comfortably without the zipper and button.
The three zippered pockets come in handy. To be honest I normally just use the right zippered thigh pocket the most for maps, lip balm, or other small items. These softshell pants weigh less than my other softshell pants, another reason I always reach for these ones! In hot conditions, I simply roll up the pants to form capris. The pants don't have any fancy conversion fasteners, but they stay rolled up easily and don't fall down.
After a month of trekking in Nepal, 2 weeks canoeing in the north, countless days climbing, teaching outdoor education, and numerous days hiking in these pants, they are my absolute favourite outdoor pant. I have tried other softshell pants from Arc'teryx, Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Research, Marmot, Salomon and Patagonia, but always reach for the Sandbagger pants when it comes time to do anything outdoors. The comfortable fit, trim style, array of uses and high quality are what keep my buying more and more pairs. Don't just take my word for it either- after 95 reviews on the MEC website, the pants are rated 4.8 out of 5! My vote would definitely be 5 out of 5!
MEC has had some strange colour choices in the past seasons, but in 2017 have brought out more normal colours (dark grey, black, and a grey-green). I have 2 pairs of these pants in black, and will be buying more this summer in the new colours.
My biggest fear is that these pants will be discontinued for some odd reason. MEC, please keep making these pants ....they are the best!
Alpine climbing, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Hiking, Trekking.