Arc'teryx Creston Pants (trousers) are cool, light, and pretty straightforward at first glance. They are pitched at those after warm-weather, lightweight, breathable legwear with a bit of stretch. Hillwalking is the target audience but we've also tested them on some climbs to see how they perform where more movement is required. As with other Arc'teryx gear, they come with a fairly hefty price tag for something this light, but the workmanship and quality shine through so you know you are getting a quality product. The five pockets are one of the lauded features, but we'd say it is more like three useful pockets. There is no closure system around the ankles.
What They Are For
"Summer hiking can be hot" states the Arc'teryx introduction, and that tells you a lot about what these are aimed at. Lightweight and a simple cut, with good breathability and some stretch - you won't be wearing these in the cooler months. Arc'teryx has an extensive and sometimes bamboozling collection, and they have several slightly lighter legwear options, but the Creston come in at 250g and feel light enough without crossing over into flimsy. The synthetic fabric is breathable and is designed to be quick-drying rather than water-resistant. The five pockets are aimed at hillwalkers rather than the more action end of the market where you might want to keep your legs free of bulky items.
The Creston is actually a full range including a trouser and mid-length short for Men, and three lengths on the Women's side - trouser, capri (calf-length) and short shorts. Even the short shorts come with five pockets, which is a feature of the range.
They claim a trim fit with a straight leg. A full range of sizes are available across all models and this includes different leg lengths. You need to get the sizing right though since the trim fit can make the smaller size feel a little restrictive, and the next size up might be slightly flappy. In my case they are just a touch on the flappy side, but that does mean there is no problem with restricted movement or comfort. It is also worth noting that there is no stretch in the waist band, so a belt is likely to be required for most.
The 'Abron™ warp stretch plain weave fabric' has some stretch in one dimension - lengthways in the legs, and crossways in the diamond gusset. This is a fully synthetic fabric which gives the afore-mentioned fast drying and lightness but lacks the soft feel of cotton and cotton mix. The stretch is minimal although definitely enough for hillwalking, with the extra knee articulation. On the climbs we used it for there was no real movement restriction either, including on some nice high-steps. There are no reinforced knees or extra patches of fabric which means that they are not going to last forever in general use and may scuff up if used for scrambling or climbing.
They come in a range of earthy colours for the men, and understated colours for the women's trousers, with one bright option in the shorts.
Pockets and Other Features
The five pockets are a big thing with these pants and have also attracted the most comments on other online reviews. To be clear we are really only talking three functional pockets, since the two rear patches are just that, small fabric patches with no zip or closure. For me this isn't a drawback since I rarely like to have anything bulky on my backside and you certainly wouldn't do that if climbing.
The two front pockets are top-opening which makes them secure when sitting but more awkward to get into. They are quite deep and tight on the top. The zipped side pocket is an interesting feature. Big enough for a phone - but something that heavy will swing around in trousers of this weight. It does fold around the back of your leg though which keeps things a little more out of the way. Being a mesh pocket you probably won't keep your keys in there since they are likely to snag.
There are no other features of note, except to say that the lack of ankle closure might rule these trousers out for some climbers.
Summer hiking can be hot. Made with a lightweight, warp stretch plain weave fabric that is durable and highly air permeable, the Creston is perfect for the hot days. Five pockets elevate the versatility while articulated knees and stretch gusset enhance freedom of movement and comfort.
- Sizes: Men - 28-38 inch waist and two leg lengths, Women - 00 to 14 and two leg lengths
- Styles: Men - trouser, short. Women - trouser (right), capri, short
- Weight: 250g - 240g (trousers)
- Abron™ warp stretch plain weave fabric
- Right side seam pocket with invisible zip
- Two open hand pockets
- Two reinforced back patch pockets
- Front fly with snap closure
- Articulated knees for unrestricted mobility
- Stretch gusset for freedom of movement and comfort
Low profile waist design with belt loops