FR: Columbia Venture Pants - Pat McNeilly
Below is the text version of my FR for the Columbia Venture Pants. The
html version can be found in the test folder at
I look forward to any edits.
Report Date: July 2, 2007
I have worn the Columbia Venture pants on two day hikes in central
Maryland and a three day backpacking trip in the Monongahela National
Forest of West Virginia. The weather conditions included temperatures
45-80 F (7-27 C) and I encountered fairly dry conditions with only small
amounts of rain. These hikes were strictly done on trails with only
moderate amounts of rock. The elevations ranged from 300-4800 ft
(90-1460 m) on these trips.
I gave the pants a workout at an orienteering event in Maryland where I
actually ran through the course in the pants. The temperature that day
reached 85 F (29 C) after starting out much cooler [approximately 60 F
(16 C)]. I have also worn the pants around town while running errands
and to other outdoor events.
When I initially received the Columbia Venture pants I was pleased with
them but after wearing the pants for a couple of months, I am finding
the good and bad points. In general, the fit is good but I find that
the pants are somewhat tight through the seat. I have found this more
noticeable when I have items in the pockets, particularly the back
pockets. This hasn't produced any problems such as excess chaffing
but is noticeable. I don't believe this is an overall size issue
since I feel the waist and inseam size are just about right. From now
on when I hike in these pants, I will try to keep larger items (e.g.,
wallet, keys) in a pack or in the side pockets to provide as much room
I was caught at one point in a rainstorm while in town and I found that
the Omni Dry fabric does seem to dry quickly. I noticed this as well
when wearing the pants on hikes where I had worked up a sweat and noted
that the fabric dried out nicely.
The lateral leg zippers work well but I had some trouble with the right
leg zipper sticking which I attribute to dirt in the zipper from mud on
the trail. The outside leg zippers are long enough to allow for easy
removal of the legs while wearing sneakers and trail shoes, but I have
trouble removing them when wearing boots. I found removing the legs
very useful, particularly at the orienteering event I noted above where
the temperatures over the course of the day required that I go from long
pants to shorts. The zippers which attach the lower leg sections work
easily. When re-attaching the lower sections, I found that I have to
pay close attention to which leg I am working with because the zippers
are aligned specifically for each leg. The problem is that if I am not
paying attention, I might try to attach the lower section of the left
leg onto the right leg and find that the zippers don't match up.
I have found a couple of problems with some of the pockets on the
Venture Pants. I found that since the back pockets do not have any flap
over them, debris has a tendency to collect in them. I found this to be
true even though the pocket was closed with the hook and loop closure.
I also find that the small cord on the zippered front pocket is situated
in such a way that I frequently catch my finger in the loop while
reaching into the pocket which is very annoying.
I have laundered these pants a number of times and at this point I have
not noticed any problems with loosening of threads or other problems
with the fabric.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long-Term Report should be
completed by September 18, 2007. Please check back then for additional
The Columbia Omni Dry Venture Pants are a versatile garment that easily
convert from long pants to shorts using zippers on the legs. The Omni
Dry fabric is soft, comfortable, and dries quickly. In general, the
pants have a good fit with the exception of being a bit tight through
Things I like:
1. Quick drying fabric
2. Easy on and off legs
Things I don't like:
1. Tight fit through seat
2. No flaps on back pockets
3. Front zippered pocket cord
I would like to thank Columbia Sportswear and BackpackGearTest.org for
the opportunity to test this item.
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