Breaking through treeline on a flank of Mount Massive, Colorado’s second-highest peak, I could see the clouds building from the west — cold wind and the threat of a mid-summer pounding was in the air. Hours before, I had started the ascent comfortably with shorts in 70-degree weather. The approaching storm was driving temps down rapidly — time to zip the legs back onto my convertible pants. Time to push fast for the summit.
The Paramount Convertible Pant from The North Face was designed for these scenarios. Like similar convertible models, the Paramounts have mid-thigh zip-off legs, Velcro cargo pockets, and extended side-leg zippers to provide easy off-and-on.
The $65 pants are made with a rugged nylon fabric and coated with a water-repellent finish. They come with a low-profile belt. I have found them to be comfortable equally in the heat of the desert, where they serve as protection against the sun, or in brisk air on an alpine peak.