To the test: Trailhead Pants in chilly waters
Words and photos by professional kayaker Erik Boomer.
"I'm just like everyone else, I put my adventure pants on one leg at a time."
-My paddling adventure bud Ben Stookesbery
Living in the Teton valley, my adventures this summer were focused in Wyoming. A common quote with kayaking here is if you want quality go to California but you're looking for adventure, just go to Wyoming--so this summer I opted for adventure paddling V+ remote multi-day creeks in the Wind River Range. With access to so many adventures, I am pretty sure I wore my Trailhead Adventure pants every single day this summer.
One of my favorite paddling trips this summer was on Bull Lake Creek. The big challenge with this run is getting to the put-in, and we decided to take an extra scenic route, approximately 17 miles of hiking from the southwest side of the range up and over a 12,200 ft pass, and into the North Fork of Bull Lake which would take us near the small town of Crowheart on the northeast side of the Winds six days later. Hiking through the heat of the sun at elevation, the Trailhead Pants kept me cool and protected from the sun.
Conversely, when the wind picked up and it got cold they regulated my temperature perfectly. In the evenings when it would cool down and be near freezing I would wear a thermal long john underneath them. The best thing about the pants on paddling trips is you can chill in style at camp instead of wearing a full body uni suit or old ripped up long johns.
While I love using the Trailhead Pants on paddling trips, I found them to be the perfect pant for alpine climbing this year. The stretch means they never hold me back and the durable fabric takes abuse that only crack climbing can dish out. All while keeping me at my happy medium temperature and protecting me from the sun.
During this last trip it was snowing and freezing in the Winds, but I only had to wear one pair of long johns underneath the Trailheads and I was ready for frosty alpine starts and blustery summits.