The PERFECT Convertible Hiking Pants for Petite Women (review)


I recently bought a pair of my very first hiking pants: the REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants! Take a look at the product review below and learn why these are the best convertible hiking pants for petite women!

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My husband and I had been planning a trip to Catoctin Mountain and were thinking about hiking through the mountain. With over 25 miles of trails and a potential rainy weekend, that meant I needed some hiking pants beyond my regular workout leggings!

After one crying session with a failed shopping trip and then a successful shopping trip, I finally found my perfect pair of hiking pants. They were an investment for all the future hiking trips we’ll be making but, since they were convertible hiking pants, it felt like getting two pants for the price of one!

Chimney Rock, Wolf Rock hiking trails in Maryland - REI Hiking Pants Review

Weekend Trip to Catoctin Mountain

My husband and I visited Catoctin Mountain for the first time in October 2021 for a weekend cabin stay. The area was gorgeous, the campground was comfortable, and we were excited to dig into our hiking gear for the first time!

During our stay at Catoctin Mountain, we went on several hiking trails:

  • Cunningham Falls Nature Trail (2.8 miles round-trip)
  • Visitor Center – Chimney Rock – Wolf Rock Loop Trail (3.9 miles)
  • and even the 8 Mile Loop Trail, which combines all the major hiking trails!

As you can see, with so many miles hiked, these REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants were well-tested during our weekend stay at Catoctin Mountain!

The best part of this entire review? I even got to hike while it was raining! It’s like nature was on my side for this product review of the REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants!

Yasmin jumping on logs while wearing a gray sports tank top and burnt orange hiking pants - REI Hiking Pants Review | Convertible Hiking Pants for Petite Women | Sincerely Yasmin

Product Review: REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants

The full journey for finding these amazing convertible hiking pants for women from REI, plus the features I like and don’t like about them!

The Try-On Session of Endless Hiking Pants

It took me two shopping trips, a good cry, and several try-on sessions to find these convertible hiking pants for women from REI!

My husband and I knew we had our trip to Catoctin Mountain coming up so we set aside a day to go shopping for some gear we needed. The two major purchases made were a hiking backpack and hiking pants for me!

Going into the shopping trip, I knew I wanted some pockets, a high-rise waist, and as close to my inseam as possible (or something that would be easy to tailor).

Yasmin trying on burnt orange REI hiking pants

Features for REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants

After trying on several different kinds of hiking pants for women, these are the features from the REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants that really stood out to me and made me want to buy these hiking pants:

  • the variety of pockets on the hiking pants
    (long front pockets, back pockets, zippered pocket on left leg)
  • convertible hiking pants
    (ankle-length hiking pants to mid-thigh shorts)
  • jogger-style cinched ankles
    (keeps pants from falling or shifting, great for pulling over hiking boots)
  • not just one but three waist fit design elements + high-waisted
    (zipper/button, drawstring, stretchy waistband)
  • water repellant
    (moisture beads up and rolls off)


Every woman knows that if something has pockets, it must go in your shopping cart because the likelihood of getting pockets in many women’s clothing is so low! These hiking pants had several pockets.

First, there are the super long front pockets. I love that there’s so much space and I can fit my huge phone but I would have preferred pockets that are the same size as the back pockets. Since these are so long, it creates some slightly awkward lines for me. Then there are the regular-sized back pockets and the small zippered pocket on the left leg.


These are convertible hiking pants! The zipper is about mid-thigh for me and easily zips on and off. I didn’t really try out the convertible feature during this trip but I did try it out at the store and thought the short length worked for me.

If you’re looking for a women’s convertible hiking pants, then these would be a great choice! The zipper easily zips around and it’s not hard to line up the sections. You can even tell which side goes where because of the small zippered pocket on the left leg side.


For all my petite ladies, jogger-style is a great way to get better fitting hiking pants because the cinched style allows you to “shorten” hiking pants to a length that works for you.

These hiking pants are technically about three inches too long for me but the cinched ankle helps to keep those three inches “hidden” so I’m not tripping over the fabric.

I would also like to warn you against too much of an exact inseam length. I lucked out with these hiking pants because the three extra inches of fabric is perfect for overlapping my hiking pants over my socks but under my hiking shoes.


As a short gal, a petite woman, a shortie shawtie if you will, I need high-waisted pants. Period. I don’t care if I’m by myself in the middle of the woods, I have to look good for all the forest nymphs!

Just kidding, I need high-waisted for the best fit around my thighs, butt, and waist. These REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants have not just one but three different waist fit elements. There’s a drawstring to tight the pants, a button and zipper to keep things closed and tucked in, and a stretchy waistband to keep things comfortable.


During one of our hikes at Catoctin Mountain, it started drizzling and then raining but I barely noticed it on my legs! These hiking pants felt dry the entire time during our hike in the rain. Any rain that fell on them would immediately roll off, which kept me super comfortable during the hike.

Would I buy again?

Very much so! These hiking pants were extremely comfortable to wear throughout the hike. The many options to tie the pants at the waist meant I could adjust as needed throughout the hike while still staying comfortable. Having the adjustable waist options also means that these pants are more likely to fit you, if you are also a petite and curvy woman.

At one point, it also drizzled during our hike which was perfect to test out these REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants because they are listed as being water-repellant and quick drying. When the drizzle started, I quickly put on my rain jacket for the top-half of my body, but the pants easily shed any water and never felt truly “wet” throughout the hike while under the drizzle.

Yasmin standing in a gray tank top and burnt orange hiking pants - REI Hiking Pants Review | Convertible Hiking Pants for Petite Women | Sincerely Yasmin

Thanks for reading this product review of the REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants! I hope it was useful in helping you narrow down whether these are the hiking pants for you.

If you were looking for convertible hiking pants for petite women, this is an amazing option to try out! These hiking pants come with several pocket options, are water-repellant, and convert into shorts. A great all-around option as hiking pants for women!

Check out the full list of hiking pants I tried on during my search, maybe you’ll find the pair that works for you!

This is a travel post about
Review of New Hiking Pants: REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants.

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