Although I’ve liked Outdoor Research as a brand, I haven’t owned much OR gear, primarily because I worked at Patagonia for a couple of years and now have enough jackets and underwear that I should be covered for a few decades. Pants, on the other hand, I don’t have that many of. This is why I was excited to receive a pair of Ferrosi pants to test. What follows is my unbiased review– unbiased other than price, which I don’t believe I can weigh in on considering I didn’t pay for them.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi

Ferrosi Design & Performance

Outdoor Research designed the Ferrosi pant for long climbs with long approaches and they succeeded. These pants are super breathable and crazy stretchy. And, they’ve added features (discussed below) to make this a super versatile and lightweight pant for almost any outdoor activity. Think: Technical performance pajamas and you’ve got the Ferrosi.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi: Pants Review 1

These pants really can do just about anything from summer alpine climbing to yoga to chillin’ around the campfire thanks to their lightweight nature. Note: I haven’t actually worn them to yoga yet, but I certainly could and they wouldn’t restrict movement.

Although other reviewers have mentioned running in them, I feel that there’s too much fabric in the lower half of the pant for comfortable trail running. The flip side is that this makes them slightly more suited for wearing around town. This pant wasn’t designed for running or hanging out in vriksasana.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi: Pants Review 2

Ferrosi Features

In the Ferrosi, OR has pretty much made the ultimate lightweight climbing pant in my opinion. The fabric has an impressive combination of massive stretch, breathability and slight wind resistance. The durability is higher than expected for such thin material, although you can expect pilling in areas of high abrasion, like on the thighs under a harness. The minimalist pant still features details that set it apart from most others.

An elastic drawstring at the leg cuff is fantastic when you want to have less material around your ankles. I’ve even used it to pull the pant cuffs above my knee to turn them into shorts/capris. And cinching the drawstring keeps them where you want ’em.

The super stretch is great, obviously, because it does not impeded movement.

Zipper pockets are really nice to make sure you never lose the critical items.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi: Pants Review 3

Sweating through the pants, like under a harness or pack on a hot day, can happen on most pants, and the Ferrosi is no different except that the lightweight material dries much faster than heavier fabrics.

Ferrosi Fly Closure

The pant has a lightweight zipper fly, single snap closure, and a simple and effective internal drawstring at the waist, enabling more than enough adjustability. The tie drawstring is not my most favorite pant closure, but since I don’t always have to use it, it’s non-obtrusive even if it’s dangling inside the pant (just the occasional testicle tickle, which now that I think about it, could actually be considered a feature).

Ferrosi Pockets

The pocket linings are a really light material so small items can get lost in them because there’s no structure and they’re not tacked to the pant anywhere. I find the material can crumple up, making it difficult to get your hand in there and find small objects like coins or chapstick. But many of the pockets have zippers, which is a huge plus on long routes.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi: Pants Review 4

Ferrosi Inseam

I’m a solid 32″ inseam – these pants are a touch too long (1/2″) for me as a performance oriented pant, but that’s being pretty damn picky and not an issue if you use the cuff drawstring closure.

Ferrosi Concerns

The only thing that I’m not stoked on is the volume of the lower leg, as it’s more a standard pant style vs a tapered guide style. I believe they would be better if they were slimmer, simply to keep the material out of the way while adventuring. However, that extra room in the leg promotes breathability so it’s debatable if that’s a good design suggestion.

My approach to pant fashion could be described as Hobo Modern. Hobo in state of repair, modern in color palette. It’s rare that I’m wearing new pants and I’m more of a gray kind of guy, maybe dark grey. And when I’m feeling spunky, the occasional muted blue. The Ferrosis I received are blue. Really blue. Which means I end up feeling a little more self-conscious in them when strolling around town.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi: Pants Review 5

The fabric seems to be pilling a bit on the thighs as you can see in the photo above, which is likely from harness abrasion as previously discussed.

My Overall Ferrosi Experience

I will use these pants while climbing, especially in the summer (when I’m not wearing shorts) and shoulder seasons. They are my go-to pant for alpine climbing or when there is a longer approach. They’re the most breathable pant I own by far and the zippered pockets provide security. I generally don’t like wearing them around town on rest days because the blue calls too much attention and they’re too climber-casual for my ideal style. But I have no qualms wearing them to the brewery after climbing.

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Andreas Unterschuetz

Andreas Unterschuetz

Andreas is the other half of WeighMyRack. The half that films and edits all the WeighMyRack videos. And the half that usually does the dishes. And he's really good at making pizza.

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