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Columbia’s Silver Ridge Convertible Nylon Pant: Goes Anywhere Perfectly


Never thought you could wear one specific pair of pants in so many environments. I’m so fortunate to have stumbled across Columbia’s Silver Ridge Convertible nylon pant . It’s so easy to get in and out of the water with these, and stay cool. This is the perfect pant for many South Florida conditions – from warm environments and extended sun exposure, to buggy treks through the mangroves, they get the job done and comfortably.

This Columbia pant has a partial elastic band in addition to wide belt loops. The pant comes with a thin-gauge nylon belt and Nifco polyoxymethylene (POM) buckle. Pockets are abundant and are all low profile. These include two front OMNI-WICK pockets, two back OMNI-WICK pockets, one left side (mid-leg) zippered pocket, and one right side (mid-leg) pocket. The convertible option allows for unzipping each pant-leg, offering a solution for shorts.

GREAT FEATURES

KEEP YOU COOL – When it comes to Florida heat and humidity, I look for a pair of these light weight nylon pants. It’s not just the heat and humidity either, I use these for staying out of the sun and for keeping bugs away. They have really become my go-to pant. Not sure how I stay so cool. I simply can’t imagine wearing anything thicker or heavier. Florida is really a place for shorts. If shorts are your thing, then you are also wearing sunscreen or bug juice. I can’t say I am into either of those, however would gladly wear these lightweight nylon pants to solve all the environmental challenges.

UPF 50+ – Columbia has constructed the pant with their UPF 50+ OMNI-SHADE sun protection. Not sure we need to say more on this.

DRY SUPER FAST – Columbia uses their OMNI-WICK fabric for pocket lining and such. This keeps water running off and away from the body. It works pretty well, keeping the air flowing between your skin and the pant material. After coming out of waist deep water on a hot breezy day, I can usually dry out within 45 minutes. If you towel off it’s even faster.

CONVERTIBLE – OPTION FOR SHORTS – This goes without saying. Nothing like removing the pant-leg to increase air flow. Always great to have this option. If you wish to increase air flow slightly in the legs, simply unzip each leg just a bit (maybe 30% or so).

SOFT TO THE TOUCH – I’m sure the lightweight rip-stop nylon has been softened by some process. Can’t put a finger on it, however there is a softness to the material that makes the pant comfortable at any point in the day, or night.

CLASSIC CUT/ STYLE – With relation to style, the pant has an active looking cut, somewhere balanced between sporty and casual. Not too baggy and not too tight. This allows options for dressing it up or keeping things casual.

GREAT COLORS – Columbia offers all the typical shades of grey, blue, and of course black. They also offer all the natural colors, from light creams, tans, and beige to rusts, browns, and greens. The colors are great for blending into the environment (i.e. Bonefish flats, arid deserts, dark forests, etc.). For fishing the flats and all, keep to the light natural colors.

SUPER LIGHT WEIGHT – For most of us in Florida, it’s great to have the option of wearing pants in year-round heat. Some may ask, why pants? More than anything, I think it comes down to keeping out of the sun and away from bugs (mosquitoes). What makes this pant an option is how lightweight they are, offering a way to keep cool in the heat.

EASY TO PACK – It must be the low profile, lightweight, nylon part of these which gives them such a minimal footprint. I think you could roll these up in something resembling the circumference of a French baguette. Perfect to pack for traveling where gear weight becomes a concern.

POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS

I suppose I am more of a critic than most – it might simply be my quest to find great gear with a balance of form and function. Following are a few challenges I encountered and how they were addressed.


METAL HIGH-PROFILE BUTTON This particular pant comes with a high profile metal button. As the waistline of the pants takes on pressure, both sides of the zipper/ placket slightly pull against each other. This causes the button to twist, thus digging into your waistline. It’s an easy fix – carefully remove the metal button and replace with a 3/4″ button of choice. This will keep the waistline slim and allow it to lay nicely under a belt.

VELCRO FASTENING As most of us know, Velcro (hook-and-loop) fastening can be instrumental when securing gear quickly or in difficult environments. My only challenge comes when the hook-fastener shreds the material the loop-fastener is attached to. I will usually seam-rip (remove) the Velco and replace it with KAM snaps in some matching color. KAM snaps are made of polyoxymethylene (POM), are lightweight, and low profile. KAM snaps keep the surrounding material from deteriorating.

LIGHTLY STITCHED BACK POCKETS I found the stitching that secured both back pockets quickly wore away. I am sure siting on the boat, beach, rocks, benches, etc. had something to do with it. This is what pants are for, no? I reinforced my pockets with a slightly tougher thread.


Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Nylon Pant:  Button Issue
Button Issue

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Nylon Pant:  Button Solution
Button Solution

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Nylon Pant:  Velcro Solution
Velcro Solution (KAM Snap)

OTHER NOTABLES

The elastic band is challenged if you carry any weight in the pockets or simply get the pants wet. I’m sure the stock belt functions fair enough, however I use Patagonia’s nylon friction belt . Had it for years and works amazingly well.

Just a reminder for everyone, nylon melts. Keep away from anything burning (i.e. a flame, sparks, embers, etc.). Nylon will easily melt and stick to anything it’s touching.

MSRP for this pant has always been $60 USD, however on occasion you may find it for less on Amazon .

I currently have four pair of these and absolutely love how functional they are across the board. A cool, lightweight, fast drying, easy-to-pack pant that offers sun/ bug protection to boot, how much better can it get?

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below and share.

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