Designed for action, Stio’s Women’s Pinedale Pant has been a wardrobe staple the past couple of months. The athletic fit, soft shell fabric, and articulated knees make it a versatile, high functioning, comfortable pant for outdoor activities and for everyday wear.

Made out of Everlight soft shell material, a nylon/poly/spandex blend, the Pinedale Pant has a sleek, form-conscious fit, a gusseted inseam, and provides enough stretch to allow me the freedom of movement I need to scramble over rocks, peddle my bike, or crouch in an airport lobby to repack my suitcase. Articulated knees mean no bunching or binding; I never have to fight against the fabric to move.

In fact, one of the things I like best about this pant is that the fabric moves when I move. Even more important, the fabric stretches but doesn’t stretch out. I’ve worn other soft shell pants that stretch and stretch, and after an hour or two, they’re too baggy and chafing my inner thighs. I believe that’s the difference between $49 pants and $149 pants.

The thin and lightweight Everlight material is ideal for temps between 30-50 degrees F.  The Pinedale Pant does a good job of breathing so I don’t overheat when I’m hiking. Thankfully, the pant also has a DWR coating, providing me with enough rain resistance to walk or bike to errands in light rain without getting soaked. Since I never take the time to change clothes between activities, and because I like to get around on foot, I love having a pant that protects me from the weather, keeps me comfortable when I’m active, and looks smart (and doesn’t smell) when I wear it to school or to a meeting.

At almost 6′ tall, I have a very hard time finding women’s pants that fit; they’re always too short and too high-waisted. The Pinedale Pant has a medium rise, so I can wear the pants where they feel most comfortable: on top of my hip bones. The length is just over 33″, which is perfect for me. I’m usually a 34″ length, but this pant’s length is a real treat in a land of 29-30″ length women’s pants.

Dulcet Pant

I wasn’t surprised by the Pinedale Pant’s quality and performance; it’s very similar to Stio’s Dulcet Soft Shell Pant, which is probably my all-time favorite outdoor pant. I love the black fabric, slanted front pockets, and narrow, zippered pant legs.

The Pinedale Pant is an inch longer in the length, with leg openings an inch wider than those in the Dulcet pant. While I prefer the Dulcet Pant’s urban style, tapered legs, and discreet logo (on the back of the waistband) I appreciated the  Pinedale Pant’s extra length. Also, with no ankle zippers in the Pinedale Pant, customers have the option of shortening or lengthening the hem. The pants are form-fitting, so the two front pockets and single side pocket are best used for small, flat items, such as my credit cards and driver’s license, my car key, and a few tissues.

Aside from the large logo on the front of the pant, which limits me from wearing it to business causal events, the main issue I found with the Pinedale Pant: the front snap sometimes pops open. Now, I admit I’m carrying some extra weight these days, but it’s quite irritating to have my pants pop open every time I sit down. This never happens with the Dulcet Pant, which has a button.

The Pindedale Pant is available in women’s sizes 2-12.

Bottom Line: A hard-working pant that’s comfortable and versatile.

Manufacturer’s Site: www.stio.com

$149 (on sale now for $104)