At GearGuide, we’re enamored with softshell fabrics. For years, they’ve appeared as key components on some of the coolest outerwear on the market. Products like the Cloudveil RPK and The North Face’s Nimble Shirt definitely standout. Several manufacturers now employ them in a new crop of pants designed for trail and travel. One of the best I’ve found is the REI Endeavor.
REI makes the Endeavor pant in two styles – standard pant (with some cool styling) and a version with a zip off leg. There’s also a shirt, vest and short in the line up. Since March, I’ve put the convertible pant through its paces with international travel, hikes, camping excursions and fishing trips.
The Endeavor pant is constructed from a lightweight stretch softshell fabric. Five pockets line the outside. There are two slash pockets at either hip. The right includes a interior coin pouch. Both have zippers (as do all the other pockets) which is a good thing ‘cause they’re a little too shallow for holding large items securely. On the rear, there’s two additional pockets. And on the right thigh REI placed a storage pocket which is large enough to hold a cell phone, GPS or other items.
Construction: Softshell convertible
Fabric: Polyester/spandex blend
Adding to the pant’s versatility is the zip off leg. For convenience, REI uses two zippers on each lower leg – one just below the knee and another down the side. This makes it easier to convert to shorts without removing your shoes or boots.
Finally, REI lines the waistband with a soft fleece for added comfort.
The Endeavor pant comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) and multiple lengths making it pretty easy to dial in a fit. I found that they ran smaller than expect pushing me up to a large from my typical medium. Even though I was at the low end of the large waist size, the pants never felt too big. My advice, when in doubt, go up a size.
The REI Endeavor is one great softshell pant. It’s good looking, rugged and has plenty of storage. It breaths nicely and dries quickly. The hip pockets are just a tad too shallow for my taste, but that’s a minor issue. At less than $100, the Endeavor is a bargain when compared to other brands. If you want to try a softshell pant, these are the ticket.