The Rab Traverse Zip-Off Pants are a multi-activity pant with zip-off legs that convert into shorts. These pants are constructed from quick drying, lightweight nylon fabric with excellent stretch for comfort. The Rab Traverse pants also come with two front pockets, one rear pocket, a DWR finish to protect you from the elements and a reinforced inseam at the hem. The right front pocket is outfitted with a key clip to help you secure your key during your trip. The Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants have the following specifications:
Upon receiving the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants, I was very excited to give them a try, as I really like the concept of the zip-off hiking pants, but my experiences with these types of pants have been less then desirable in the past. As I inspected the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants, I immediately liked the stretchy nylon fabric and softshell type feel of the pant. As I tried them on, I found they fit well, were stylish looking, but more importantly seemed like they would be comfortable and allow for real freedom of movement. The zippers on the legs seemed to work well and operate smoothly. I also liked the belt loops, as I knew to obtain the perfect fit, I would need to utilize a belt. It would have been great however, if Rab would have incorporated a belt into these pants, as that always makes things so much easier.
I began utilizing the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants while hiking and backpacking in the Ozark Mountains. As I descended down into the Ponca Wilderness, the pants fit well and were very stretchy, allowing me to move over rocks, fallen trees and down steep terrain with ease. In the humid temperatures of the late summer, the Traverse Zip-Off pants seemed to breath very well and handle the dirt and debris from the trail and brush very well.
As I continued through the Buffalo National River area, I found the zip-off legs to be quick and easy as I waded across the Buffalo National River. The zip-off legs enabled me to remove my boots and the lower portion of the pants, without removing the entire pant. This helped save time and make the crossing that much easier. Once across, I decided to just leave the lower portion of the pants off and give this version of the pants a try.
While utilzing the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants as shorts, I found the length of the shorts to be around the middle or top of my knee cap, which is about right for hiking shorts. I also found the legs of the shorts to be large enough in diameter to wear comfortable and the shorts to continue to stretch very well. As I approached a much more brushy area that contained thick vegetation, I quickly replaced the lower portion of the pants to protect myself from insects. This process proved to be both quick and easy, as the zippers worked very smoothly. While this may not be a concern in other areas of the country, the ticks and chiggers in the Ozark Mountains are definately worth avoiding if possible.
I then decided that the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants would be a perfect addition to my Montana Expedition gear list. As I traveled some 52 miles through Glacier National Park in late August, I found the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants to be the perfect compliment to the weather and terrain. The softshell material of the pants continued to prove tough and durable and warm enough for the afternoon fluxations of the mountain weather. On warmer days, I removed the lower portions of the pants and was able to soak up the mountain sun and enjoy the warmer weather. During a couple of short and sudden rain showers, I found that while these pants are obviously not waterproof, they did repel the water pretty well and dried very quickly, allowing me to continue to utilize them through out the day.
On several occassions, I found myself climbing and crawling up areas of scree and solid rock. The Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants handled these areas well and obtained no damage other than a few scrapes and some dirt. The dirt and mud easily brushed off the pants and the scrapes so minor, one really had to look for them to notice. The softshell material while comfortable and stretchy, also proved very tough and durable.
After weeks of use, the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants showed no real signs of wear,other than one scrape that I sustained while sliding down a large rock. The rest of the pant still contiued to look great. Care of the Rab Traverse Zip-Off pants also proved to be very quick and easy. While in the field, I would simply brush off any dirt and debris and found that while the pants are quite light-weight, the fabric and material in the pants makes then durable and quite tough. At home, I washed the pants in the washing machine with my other gear and then woud hang to dry. I found that the pants showed no signs of wear from this treatment.
In the past I have always had two main concerns with Zip-Off style pants. First, it seems that with many brands in the past, the Zip-Off zippers were manufactured so light to keep the weight down, that the zippers themselves would not last very long. Nothing is worse than having the zippers on the pants malfunctioning, or just not working at all in the field. Secondly, once zipped off, sometimes the short portion of the pants were so long I felt like a rapper and at other times so short I had traveled back to the 1970’s. Rab seems to have corrected both these issues, plus built a light-weight, durable pant to boot. If you are someone that has always liked the concept of these types of pants, but have never tried them, I would recommend that you try these. The pants are comfortable, have great stretch, are durable for such a light-weight pant and with the added zip-off portion, how can you go wrong.