A comfortable women’s pant that preserves modesty.
Plusses: Modesty-preserving convenience, warm, multiple pockets.
Minuses: Slightly expensive.
Features: These pants have a regular front zip for taking the pants on and off and a secondary zipper that starts below the first and runs between the legs to the back waistband, allowing women to pee without taking the pants off. There are five pockets, three of which are zipped, with one positioned on the leg for holding a smartphone, avalanche beacon, or important snacks. The legs have snap fasteners to roll the cuffs up capri-style, and drawstrings with toggles at the bottom.
Fit: The fit is generous, so, if you’re in between, you may need to go down a size. It’s high-waisted and the cut is for women with curves. Unlike many pants, the waist doesn’t nip in but has a drawstring to pull it tight.
Comfort: The fabric is stretchy and soft and having a zip the length of your crotch is neither uncomfortable nor noticeable. The pants are also quite warm, though they probably wouldn’t cut it in winter snow conditions. They’re okay for spring climbing, ski touring, or winter tramping.
In use: The SheFly was invented by a woman who’d worked as a glacier guide in Alaska. She spent her days surrounded by people wearing a harness in a pee-unfriendly environment. I tested the pants on a summit trip on Mt Ruapehu, including peeing through the crotch zip (you just pull your underwear to one side), peeing while on the ground and wearing a harness, and also while dangling from a harness. I did pee on myself in the third scenario, but this is more user error and probably isn’t strictly the intended use.
Value: At $279, these softshell pants are on the spendier end of the spectrum (compared to the Outdoor Research Cirque II, my go-to winter pants, at $249) but worth it for the ability to pee freely in the outdoors.
Verdict: They’re ideal for women who spend time in a harness, in exposed environments where there’s no rock or tree to crouch behind, or in cold weather when baring all is deeply unpleasant. Climbers, guides, or those who crusade for pee-quality – these are the pants for you.