Review: Montane Men’s Tenacity Lite Pants

A stretchy, resilient, and exceptionally comfortable pair of trousers suitable for mountain hikes, trekking and scrambling.

Feature type Review

Read time 5 mins

Published Oct 11, 2023

Jonathan Doyle Jonathan is a freelance filmmaker, photographer, and drone pilot, based in the North West of England. His passion is for capturing real adventure stories about real people, the kind we can all connect with. Exploring connections with health, friendships and the environment by documenting the experiences of people pushing their limits, Jonathan brings their stories to life.

OUR VERDICT

A stretchy, resilient, and exceptionally comfortable pair of trousers suitable for mountain hikes, trekking and scrambling.

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Weight 320g
Features Abrasion resistant, UPF 30+ protection, 4 way stretch and recovery, PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent)

Pros

  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • 4-way stretch material
  • Protection from wind and light rain showers
  • Environmentally conscious (PFC free DWR)

Cons

  • Small front pockets
  • Not very easy to rethread the belt

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

When it comes to outdoor trousers, the most important factors I am look for are; durability, flexibility, comfort and sustainability. I want a pair or trousers that doesn’t restrict my movement or catch and rub in uncomfortable places when moving in the hills all day. Furthermore I want to trust the they will be able to withstand the rough treatment that my outdoor activities often bring. I also strive to use clothing that’s as sustainable as reasonably possible, opting to support brands where this is an active focus of their research and development.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I was really pleased to find that the Tenacity Lite trousers were shipped to me in paper packaging. The trousers themselves looked to have an excellent build quality, feeling sturdy with fine stitching. I must be noted that although I ordered a black pair, to my eyes they were most definitely a dark shade of blue… cue the arguments! The Granite stretch material was very comfortable to the touch, and at 320g (size medium), they’re certainly light enough.

THE TEST

I put the Tenacity Lites through their paces; wearing them in a variety of situations from a day of filming climbers on Dow Crag in the Lake District, to a beach holiday in North Wales

 

As with the majority of these tests, it was just a matter of wearing them as much as possible, although in this heatwave, trousers were not the first choice of attire!

Nonetheless, I put the Tenacity Lites through their paces; wearing them in a variety of situations from a day of filming climbers on Dow Crag in the Lake District, to a beach holiday in North Wales. I climbed up scree slopes, soloed easy sections of crag to find suitable filming locations and scrambled across sea cliffs and boulder fields. The conditions across all the activities were hot and dry, although I did experience a good deal of wind too.

Sadly(?) it didn’t rain so I couldn’t test the trousers’ water repelling properties in full, though Montane describe them as offering ‘enhanced protection in changeable conditions’.

WHO ARE THESE TROUSERS FOR?

Montane say that the Tenacity Lite Pants are designed with fast mountain walking and backpacking in mind. They are certainly designed for a more difficult life, so if you’re the kind of person that throws yourself fully into your activities, then these trousers are the perfect fit. The Tenacity Lite pants are designed for longevity and have a PFC-free DWR coating, so are ideal for more environmentally-conscious people. It must be noted that these are designed with an ‘athletic fit’ and so trying-before-buying is recommended.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

Abrasion and wind resistance

This is a big selling point for Montane’s Tenacity Lite Pants, and certainly appears to go above and beyond what’s on offer by alternative brands at this price point.

Freedom of movement

The Granite stretch material allows for 4-way movement so they will not hinder even the most dynamic lifestyle.

Comfortable fastening

The Tenacity Lite Pants utilise a sliding popper for the waistline closure which is low profile and doesn’t require an uncomfortable internal backup.

Pockets

The only real drawback to these trousers is that they have quite small front pockets.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Trousers are just trousers right? What could be so special or different about them and why would you possibly want to spend £100 on a pair? My initial thoughts were rather cynical and so I was really interested to see how these ‘fancy’ pants compared to my go-to £12 charity shop trousers.

The Montane Tenacity Lite Pants sit right in the middle of the price-range for ‘lightweight’ outdoor trousers. While there are lighter trousers on market around the £100 mark, the Tenacity Lite pants offer a level of abrasion, wind and rain resistance that they do not. I think these trousers are a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for’; yes they’re not cheap, but if my experience and Montane’s marketing is anything to go by, then I would expect to get a good number of years of frequent use from them.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

The Tenacity Lite’s are an ‘athletic fit’, which to me mostly means they have a closer fitting leg. Personally, I find this fit more aesthetically pleasing on myself and present less of a trip hazard than their baggier counterparts. This style does however present a potential limitation to their customer base, a point that has not gone unnoticed by Montane and as such, they do offer the Terra Stretch which uses the same Granite Stretch material in a ‘regular’ fit.

I found the pants to be exceptionally comfortable when scrambling around boulder fields. In fact I hardly noticed them as they stretched and moved in unison with my body. However when my phone was stashed in one of the front pockets, it did poke me in the hip rather uncomfortably when making big step-ups. In the age of larger phones, pockets just need to be larger and angled away from the vertical so phones and other larger items aren’t trapped between the thigh and hip joint.

Montane’s Tenacity Lite Pants utilises a low-profile sliding popper to secure the waistline which I am most impressed with. I’ve found that standard popper fastenings can easily come undone when stressed, which isn’t ideal when climbing or moving over technical terrain. I had none of these concerns while on a recent climbing shoot at Dow Crag as this problem is impossible to occur with Montane’s closure system. Furthermore this design mitigates the need for an internally-facing backup-button, which is generally a very uncomfortable and cumbersome solution. I was also exceptionally grateful for the Pants’ soft-shell performance that day, as despite the punishing gusts of wind whipping across the crag, not a whisper got through to my skin. My pals were left shivering, I was not*.

Finally it is somewhat difficult to comment on the longevity of the trousers provided by the abrasion resistant construction due to the short-term nature of the review. However I can say that after multiple session of climbing, scrambling and butt-sliding across a variety of rock-types, not a mark can be seen and thus so far at least, they are standing up to the marketing hype. And yes, they have replaced my [amazing] charity shop pants as the go to pair.

*The hot-water-crag-dog probably definitely contributed to my smug comfort.

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