Sherpa Baato Pant Review
by Ian Morton
I have been testing the new Baato Hybrid Trousers since March 2014. These trousers form part of Sherpa’s Spring/Summer 2014 “Khumbu Trek Collection”. As such they are aimed at the “airport to trail” traveller (their words) rather than being out-and-out mountain wear. Nevertheless they have performed extremely well on a number of different UK mountain walks in the last couple of months.
Fit and features
Unlike my usual Spring/Summer legwear (Terra’s) the Baato pants have only subtle colour coordination rather than the Terra’s more “Harlequin” style. This gives the Baato pants a typical Sherpa “understated” look which I actually quite like. The trousers are apparently a single-thickness mix of nylon canvas and spandex which allows stretch and movement in key areas (knees), combined with more hard-wearing material which is slightly less stretchy in other areas. Unlike the Terras there are no zips for venting or at the hem - these are a simpler, streamlined design. The material feels very sturdy (slightly thicker than the Terra’s) and so far has no pulls or marks despite a number of scrambles.
The sizing was excellent for me (in my experience Sherpa sizing can sometimes be a bit hit-and-miss) with a 36” waist and “regular” leg length fitting well (I am c.31” inside leg). The waist is not elasticated and has a number of wide belt loops and a soft lining to avoid rubbing. There are two front pockets and one rear zipped pocket. No belt is supplied. A centre press-stud allows for fastening but a belt will be important in regular use. I have used a simple webbing belt and clip buckle which has been fine. The usual “endless knot” embroidery sits just below the rear belt loops.
The Baato pants are treated with a DWR which works well for briefer showers but which will eventually soak up any heavy rain. They do dry very quickly in the breeze though and in Summer being caught in a brief downpour wouldn’t be a concern as long as it wasn’t too cold.
I have probably used the Baato pants on 8-10 occasions since mid-March in everything from freezing wind-chill to muggy Spring warmth in varying terrain in The Dales, The Lakes, The Peak District and Snowdonia – and from short two-hour walks to leading a twelve-hour Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge event.
Whilst it is still relatively early days I have been very pleased with the Baato pants in terms of both comfort and performance and will certainly be wearing them on a regular basis over the coming months.
Ian is an MTA member and partner in Striding Ahead LLP.