Gear Review: Patagonia Thermal Bottoms

O Holey Tights

I bought the Patagonia Women’s Capilene Thermal Weight Bottoms for my AT thru-hike as camp pants in the winter. There are so many great things about these bottoms (great fit, really comfy, don’t hold odor), but I can’t recommend them for one reason: the seam quality – once you get a hole, it’s over, folks.  

I got a hole in the inner thigh about two weeks into trail, even though I didn’t do a ton of walking around in these pants (remember – used as camp pants). Once the hole started, it quickly went to the size of a quarter. I sewed it up, but soon another hole appeared on the OTHER thigh, then the crotch, then further down the leg at the knee, at the cuff, always around the seams. The cloth was very thin, and the holes grew even as I stitched them shut. I did wash them in the clothes washer with my other clothes, but I never put them in the dryer. They managed to make it to Maine (after being sent home for about 2.5 months in the summer), but didn’t last long after that. They were soon totally shredded. I expected more from $89 Patagonia bottoms.

I loved these bottoms, but they didn’t hold up to the test. I replaced them with Smartwool NTS 250 Pattern Bottoms. (I got mine for $50 at REI Garage Online, and the particular style is discontinued, so I linked to the bottoms Smartwool is now selling.)

One very positive note: I contacted Patagonia with the issue, and they apologized and offered me a full refund. I mailed back the tights (they paid for shipping) and a week later the full amount was returned to my credit card. They have excellent customer service.

(Photo cred: Patagonia; I never took pictures of mine, dang it!)

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