You may never of heard of Eddie Bauer if you're from the UK or Europe, but I think you soon will. It’s a big American brand that has some pedigree in the outdoor scene. Started by Eddie Bauer on the 1920’s, he started making outdoor clothing after developing hypothermia on a fishing trip. He patented the first quilted goose down jacket in the US and kitted out the first American to climb Everest, plus other Himalayan expeditions.
Since then the brand has grown and like a lot of outdoor clothing companies has developed a range to cover all outdoor needs. With sub ranges such as the First ascent line that is aimed at the more technical outdoor kit.
They have had a presence in Europe for a while, but only small. That is set to change with the launch of Eddie Bauer Europe.
The Pro guide pant is a light weight soft shell pant, made from a slightly stretchy material.
Two-way stretch fabric - 94% nylon, 6% spandex
A DWR finish to shed moisture
50+ sun protection
Polgiene odour control in the waist band
Bluesign - Eddie Bauer has partnered with bluesign® for these pants to ensure safe and sustainable textile production. By following their criteria, they are working to keep harmful chemicals out of the air and oceans.
There is a men’s and women’s version. They come in what I would call jean sizes so 32, 34, 36 etc. The mens have an original and a long leg option, and the women have an original, small, tall and plus size so it should be easy to find a size for you.
They also come in a range of colours, I have the Hazelnut which is a nice brown colour, which makes them look more like a cool pair of climbing trousers, rather than a soft shell as they tend to come in black, dark black or some really bright colours. I normally really like the bright colours but it’s nice to have some more everyday looking clothes too.
I am 6’2 (187cm) and 31/32 inch waist and a long leg 33.5 and the 32 tall version fits me very well. They are what most brands call athletic fit, so quite slim. I have skinny climbers legs and they feel a nice fit, not too tight and not baggy. If you have bulkier legs like skiers or cyclists for example then they do stretch to fit but the look may be different. The stretch they have is excellent I have worn them for climbing and walking and found them really good, no tight spots or being hindered by them. They do bag a little after you have worn them but I find this with most soft shell clothing.
I have used them rock climbing both cragging and multi pitch, walking in the alps and via ferrata, I really like them they are the perfect thickness for summer time and the shoulder seasons. I found them really comfy and nice to wear not just for activities. They breath well and I have never got too hot in them, perfect for activities, They also do a shorts version for really hot days.
If the weather turns bad they are wind resistance and the DWR finish allows water to bead and run off. They may struggle in torrential rain or a bad storm, but to be fair that’s not what they are designed for. They cope very well if you get caught out in a summer shower. They seem well built and I have not noticed any worrying signs of wear while testing them.
They have two good sized hand pockets at the front, 2 rear pockets that have velcro closures and 2 thigh pocket with zip closures they don’t stick out like cargo pants but lie flat - they will take a modern mobile phone and keep it safe, and are accessible with a harness on. They don’t come with any belt which is maybe the only down side I could come up with. The cuff at the bottom isn’t adjustable, but I found that it does fit over my walking boots.
I really liked these pants, I have been living in these for most of spring and can see me continuing to do so, in fact other than when its a shorts day they will be my go to pant. They have taken the use and washes really well and I don’t have any complaints there. If I am honest I cant really find a down side. Maybe an integrated belt would have been nice but its not a big issue. In fact I will be putting my money where my mouth is and buying a second pair soon. I also have the short’s version which are great.
Check out the range from the new Eddie Bauer Europe.