Words and photos by Eric Bennett
I’ve been a proud Coalatree ambassador for several years now and have been taking their gear on all of my adventures. I’ve continued to rep their brand because I love their gear. That’s what our relationship is based on. It holds up and does what I need it to in extreme environments without adding a lot of weight. Ever since Coalatree released the first version of the Trailhead pants, they have come with me on every single journey. When the Trailhead 2.0’s were released this year, I was excited to test them out on my most recent trip, a month of solo backpacking in Patagonia.
The Trailhead 2.0’s have all of the same features as before. They’re lightweight, water resistant, stretchy, comfortable, great fitting, durable, breathable, warm, and much more. But all of that has been amped up a bit in the 2.0’s I found out as I put them through the ringer in some of the world’s most rugged terrain. To avoid carrying more weight than necessary, I wore the Trailheads as my only pair of pants for the entire month long trip, confident that they would last.
Unfortunately, during the majority of my trip it was pissing down rain. There were a few days where it snowed as well. Along with this freezing cold, wet weather there were 90km winds during some days, not unusual for this area. On the bright side, it’s a good thing I had the Trailhead 2.0’s with me because they kept my legs completely dry!
In order to get to a lot of the locations I shot during the trip I had to walk through really rough, thick, brush that had thorns and pokey parts all over, sharp enough to tear the skin right off your body. The trailhead pants not only protected me but they never got a single rip either. I also had to do a lot of boulder hopping to reach certain spots and after a month of sliding around on granite with my butt there wasn’t a single hole to be shown for it. The pants also have nice, deep pockets, so I never lost anything while climbing or scrambling around.
While the temps during the trip weren’t super extreme, it did get down to about 15F which can feel pretty dang cold with crazy wind and lots of humidity. On one morning my full Nalgene bottle even froze while hanging from my pack. I didn’t pack any long johns or thermals to wear on my legs to avoid carrying more weight, but the Trailhead pants kept my legs plenty warm anyways. They definitely did the job for me even though they aren’t intended as a winter pant, but if I was going anywhere colder I would pack a thermal layer to wear underneath for extra comfort. I’ve used these pants in hot conditions as well, and they are so breathable your legs stay nice and cool. They definitely have a big range of temps that you can use them comfortably in.
By the end of the trip, my pants barely had any stains and hardly smelled at all compared to the rest of my unshowered, filthy body. All of the stitching remained intact and these things could pass as brand new. They also kept their fit really nicely. I am super impressed by their durability and performance overall with exposure to water, snow, wind, cold, and extreme wear and tear.