The bottom line: The GORE H5 Women's Windstopper Hybrid Pant is an amazing piece of windproof, waterproof technical attire. We just wish that the pockets could hold a smartphone!
The GORE H5 Women's Windstopper Hybrid Pant (try saying that three times fast!) is easily one of the best and most high-end women's hiking pants on the market today. With GORE windproof and waterproof technology and features galore, it's easy to see why.
First of all, GORE did something with these pants that I've never seen before: they added Velcro to the sides of the waistband instead of a drawstring to tighten and loosen the pants for the perfect fit. This, coupled with the grip tape on the inside of the waistband, ensures you'll have a pant that doesn't slowly slide down while you're cruising up the trail.
Another feature that I loved was the thicker, rubbery fabric on the inside edge of the ankles of these pants. I've killed half a dozen pairs of pants in that area with microspikes when I forget to wear my gaiters, so it was awesome to see a company adding a bit of extra protection here. The ankles of the pants also have a shoelace hook to keep them pulled tightly over your boots, making gaiters practically built-in!
The GORE H5 Women's Windstopper Pants are made from several different fabrics, which makes them unique. On the front, down to about the knees, is a polyamide/polyester blend, which makes it incredibly durable, windproof, and waterproof. However, the main, stretchy fabric of the pant is infused with elastane and feels a lot like a warmer yoga pant. Because of this, your legs stay dry when rain inevitably drips off the bottom of your jacket without sacrificing the range of motion needed for trail running, fast hiking, and scrambling up the sides of mountains.
It's also worth noting that these pants have a reflective logo and reflective print to make them safer for nighttime use in a more urban environment.
It was odd to me that, with so much care and attention given to the features, these pants did not include a pocket large enough to comfortably house a smartphone. It would have been awesome to see a zippered pocket included in the rainproof area of the pant to keep a phone, GPS, or small camera dry!
At $299.99, these pants are at the upper edge of the price range for a women's hiking pant, but when you factor in the tried-and-tested GORE windproof and waterproof technology with all of the extra features, it starts to justify the price. If you're an avid hiker who wants the best of the best when it comes to your gear selections, these pants are sure to not disappoint.