Columbia Windefend Pants

Manufacturer Description

Featuring a slim but not restrictive cut that’s optimal for active movement, the Windefend Pant sports an innovative hybrid design that blends the best of breathability, mobility, and action-oriented protection. The pant’s supple windproof softshell cuts arctic gusts, while stretch gusseting in the crotch area with Omni-Wick™ technology delivers freedom of movement and supreme sweat-wicking breathability. An Omni-Shield® advanced repellency treatment also keeps out light rain. An interior drawstring delivers the perfect fit, and zips at bottom hem allow for easy adjustability.

Features

  • Front fabric – 100% polyester Windefend
  • Back fabric – 90% polyester/10% Elastane Slick Knit
  • Omni-Shield advanced repellency
  • Omni-Wick advanced evaporation
  • Active gusset fit
  • 4-way comfort stretch
  • Windproof front panel
  • Interior adjustable waistband
  • Grippers at leg opening for maximum stay power
  • Ankle cuff zip – 15 cm (5.9 in)
  • Zip-closed security pocket – 15 cm tall x 17 cm wide (5.9 in x 6.7 in)
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 315 g (11.1 oz)
    • Inseam – 83 cm (32.7 in)
    • Waist – 74 cm (29.1 in)
    • Thigh width – 30 cm (11.8 in)
    • Knee width – 23.5 cm (9.3 in)
    • Cuff width – 16.5 cm (6.5 in)
  • Retail – $70

YMMV Review

I was sent a pair of the Columbia Windefend Pants to test along with the Windefend 1/2 Zip Top. Now that the wind is blowing and the temperatures are dropping I was able to put these tights to the test. Columbia has been working hard to redefine their brand. Items such as these are steps in the right direction.

Front View of Pants

Design / Construction ★★★½☆

The Windefend Pant is part of the Titanium Collection. The Titanium collection blends innovative design, fabrics and technologies with an active fit for intense activity. The Columbia Windefend Pants are a mix of fabrics similar to the ½ zip top. The fronts of the legs are made of Windefend polyester softshell with a laminate to block the wind. The rest of the legs are made out of polyester/Elastane fabric that is not windproof but has a bit more stretch to it. The pants are made in panels to create the optimum fit. I count a total of _ panels. All the seams are flat locked for comfort against the skin. The pants are gusseted for less resistance. The gusseted crotch is made of a mesh fabric which is thinner and more breathable than the main fabrics. This further helps in keeping you cool.

The waist is elastic and stretches to fit. There is a draw cord in the waistband to allow you to tighten the waist and keep your pants from falling down. There is a small zippered pocket on the right buttock. It is a good place to store items if needed. On the left buttock and on both ankles there are reflective elements for better visibility. The ankle cuffs also have ankle zippers for easy on and off. This particular pant also includes two of Columbia’s core technologies: Omni-Wick and Omni-Shield.

Back View of Pants

Omni-Wick is the ultimate moisture-management technology for the outdoors. Its superior wicking properties move moisture away from the body and enable perspiration to evaporate quickly. During physical activity, increased body temperature causes perspiration. Normally this results in damp, clammy, and uncomfortable clothing. With Omni- Wick clothing, moisture is quickly wicked up into the fabric, and away from the wearer’s skin. The moisture spreads out across the surface of the fabric where it quickly evaporates. This wicking/evaporation process keeps the wearer cool and the clothing dry. You stay dry, which helps regulate temperature, prevent chafing and keep you comfortable all day.

Omni-Shield delivers protection from the outdoors where you least expect it but need it most. This coated fabric resists all liquids below 170º F from absorbing into the yarns and staining the garment (without any effect on the feel of the material). The fabric itself will also dry 3-5 times faster than untreated fabric, without holding moisture like a conventional fabric, meaning it stays lighter even when it’s wet.

Unlike the Columbia Windefend Top, the pants are a bit more finished. The seams are well stitched and straight. While I did not feel like this would detract from the durability of the Top, the pants seems very sturdy and ready to last a long time.

Gusseted Crotch

Fit ★★★☆☆

The Pants fit like you would expect them to. They are not skin tight like running tights are and not as loose as casual pants either. There is enough room to layer a baselayer if needed but if you are running you probably will not need to. I tested these running distances up to 13 miles and did not have any chafing issues. The gusseted crotch makes the pants less bulky between the legs. The fabric has a nice stretch to it to help the pants move with you and not inhibit your stride. The legs on these are longer than other running pants I have tested. They are a good option for someone with longer legs but may be too long for some. I personally was a fan of the length as I get slightly annoyed with pants that are on the shorter side. The waist was nice and stretchy and was comfortable without being too compressive.

Performance ★★★½☆

The Columbia Windefend Pants were not only comfortable but performed well too. The front fabric blocks the wind and the rest of the fabric kept me from overheating too much. The pants are on the warm side just like the top so they are better when the wind is blowing or it is fairly cold out. The ankle zips are shorter than other pants I have run in but they were long enough to get the job done. The rear pocket is large enough for several gels or even an iPhone. But the heavier the object the more likely they are to bounce. That is where the draw cord waist comes in handy as you can cinch them up so your pants don’t get pulled down.

Rear Pocket

I do wish the pants had a bit more reflective elements. The lower zippers and the logos on the ankle and upper butt help but a bit more would be nice. I also wish there were hand warmer pockets. If you wear these pants with the matching top there are no hand warming pockets on either which I think is a miss on cold weather gear. This is just my opinion though.

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall I have been a bigger fan of the Windefend Pants over the Windefend ½ Zip. The pants seem to be better put together than the top. The fit was good, a comfortably tight fit. I appreciated the longer inseam as well but not all people will like this length. These pants do run on the warm side so I think they are best for blustery cold days. I did overheat a bit when the wind was not blowing. I think these are good running pants but I wish there was hand pockets in addition to the back pocket. Other than those preferences the pants are a good value for a hybrid running pant. The Windefend Pants retail for $70. As always, your mileage may vary.

Waist Band

Pros

  • Hybrid mix of fabrics
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Ankle zips
  • Long inseam length

Cons

  • No hand warmer pockets
  • A bit warm on calm days

About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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