rei co-op sahara convertible pants green

REI Sahara Convertible Pants

The REI Sahara Convertible Pants offer great value for a fully-featured pair of zip-off hiking pants.

  • Price: $80
  • Weight: 12.0 oz
  • Material: 96% recycled nylon, 4% spandex
  • Pockets: 2 hand, 2 back, 2 thigh
  • Sustainability: recycled materials, bluesign approved.
  • Avg ReviewScore at REI: 4.1/5 Stars
  • Fit: Standard
  • Pros: Full set of pockets. Good value. Convertible. Conversion does not require shoes off. Color coded thigh zips
  • Cons: Small belt loops. Zippers add weight and bulk. Some customers complain that current version is worse than previous version. Scoop pockets can be hard to reach into.


Whenever we see it, the first thing to call out is always dual cargo pockets. There’s simply no reason to stop at one, and we wish all pants had two. The REI Sahara convertibles check this box with one zippered pocket (right side) and one flap-covered pocket (left).

We also love the construction of these convertibles. Not only do they have color coded thigh zips, but they also have lower leg zips. This has some venting utility, but mainly what it offers is the ability to remove the pants without taking shoes off. A very useful feature for trips that involve an above average amount of shorts/pants conversions.

While these pants average a solid 4.1 out of five stars, we found that many of the user reviews lament this version being inferior to previous versions. When people find a pair of pants they like, it’s easy to feel married to them. So we understand the sentiment, but suggest taking it with a grain of salt. For reference, the main difference between current and past is that the previous version was 100% nylon and with a looser fit and less stretch, but also more durable and more quick drying.

A few other notes, the women’s version has an internal drawstring, which we dislike as it is one more step in the on/off process, and can get caught in the zipper. Both men’s and women’s have scoop style hand pockets, which are more secure but also more difficult to reach into.


The REI Sahara Convertible Pants are a good value for a good all-around pair of hiking pants with all of the right features.


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