Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant Review

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant

First Thoughts

Guide pants is the technical term, and I am sure I will be “guiding” my dog and little ones on many a mountain trail come summer time, but for now they have been a great lightweight casual pant in everyday life, on some longer travel road and flying trips, as well as a perfect companion for a few winter hikes in the Mountains of Colorado. I can already tell you that these Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant will see a lot more action in the foreseeable future.

The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant Fit

The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pants are advertised as their most athletic fit. I like to think that I am an athlete for all the crazy endurance races I put myself through, so I really like how these fit on me.  They are very comfortable, and to stress that point, this has been my go to piece of apparel. It has a streamlined fit with articulated knees, trimmed calves, and the double minimalistic pockets.

Great flex and bend out on the trail


  • Flexion Stretch Woven Technology: Two-way stretch ensures excellent mobility
  • StormRepel® DWR finish: Sheds moisture so it doesn’t soak in
  • FreeDry™ advanced moisture management: Wicks moisture for optimal comfort
  • FreeShade™ 50+ sun protection: Sunscreen In Your Size™
  • Articulated knees and trimmed calves: Enable unrestricted range when climbing, scrambling or approaching
  • Dual cargo pockets: Stow critical items such as maps, snacks, sunscreen or guidebooks
  • Small packed size: An easy addition when packing for an overnight or multi-day trip
  • Odor control: Fabric treated to resist odor
  • 94% nylon/6% spandex
  • Flexion: Active Stretch for All-Day Performance. Flexible, breathable, and adaptable. A proprietary Flexion stretch-woven construction delivers dimensional stretch for all-day comfort and offers an extremely versatile, high-performance alternative to traditional fabrics.
  • FREEDRY™: Wicks Moisture. Dries Faster. Our proprietary FreeDry™ fabrics use cutting-edge performance—featuring natural and synthetic fibers—to deliver the most efficient combination of wicking moisture away from the body to the garment surface, and rapid drying to maintain optimal comfort while active.
  • FREESHADE™: Sunscreen In Your Size™ Our proprietary FreeShade™ fabrics utilize textile construction to deliver high-degree solar protection from intense summer rays. Blocking sun with a UPF rating ranging from 15 to 50+, FreeShade prevents the burn by acting as a material barrier to harmful rays. We subject every FreeShade garment to rigorous testing—the equivalent of two years of regular use. 40 home launderings. 100 hours of exposure to sunlight. Only then do we set the UPF rating.

The length worked really well for me especially with my hiking boots.


The DWR Storm Repel finish has proven invaluable in several rain storms, and a wet snow that had me caught out a few miles from the trail head. We are currently in the dead of winter, and these Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant will be a staple in my Spring, Summer, and Fall camping, hiking, and backpacking adventures. I thought I would put these to the test in the more adverse conditions.  These are not very thick or warm, so for my winter hikes a base layer was required.

We spend a handful of weekends in a mountain cabin near Nederland, Colorado which is nestled up against the Indian Peaks. Situated at about 9300’ elevation, the temperatures can be a little colder, and the snow a bit deeper.  I wore the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant in and around the cabin for days on end.  That may sound kind of gross, but wait until I take these out for a week long backcountry hike. I wore them in the cabin for simply lounging around. They are comfortable and with the two-way stretch I could easily fall asleep in front of a roaring fire.  That fire did have to get fed, so chopping blocks, and hauling wood was of course tasked upon me. Again these guide pants were up to the task. Stomping around the woods, hauling logs, and splitting blocks, and carrying wood up through a foot of snow. Again my movement and mobility was never an issue. I was wearing some decent snow boots, but the snow wicked away nicely from the bottom of my pants. I did once take a big misstep and slid down a small embankment. I got some snow up my back due to my jacket not being fastened, but my legs stayed dry. This was also a much colder day, so I was wearing some base layers to aid in the cold and wind protection. I wouldn’t take these Guide Pants to go skiing by any means, but for shorter winter hikes and chores, they are up to the task.

Reaching Panorama Point at a local trail is always cause for celebration and a ‘Selfie’ – a Guide Pant ‘Selfie’ in this case.

Hiking to a small peak was my next big test. This is not a structured trail with trail head or anything like that. So, I was the first to make tracks through trees and wind blown ridges. I decided not to wear a base layer because I usually charge up the mountain causing me to heat up nicely in no time at all. The trees provided adequate protection from the wind, and when I did reach the open meadows and peaks my body was warmed up. I was able to accomplish my mission of claiming the peak. The downhill actually turned into a fast descent running, jumping, and scrambling over scree, rocks, and fallen trees. The pants actually took a bit of a beating against the rocks and branches, but held up without any tears or scratches. The stains I created did come out with a bit of scrubbing, a brief soak, and a delicate wash cycle. Good as new.

I have worn these Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pants a lot lately as my casual work and all around town pant. They look good with hiking boots, and even several of my comfy work attire shoes. The active or rugged look is just fine for a meetings or casual office day.

Colorado is blessed with 300+ days of sunshine. Add in some snow and higher elevations, the sun’s rays play a big part in our everyday lives. Sunglasses are a must for most outings especially with the reflectivity off of the snow. These Guide Pants have an Eddie Bauer Proprietary Free Shade fabric. This technology actually blocks the sun with a UPF rating ranging from 15 to 50+.

This is a technical version of the traditional guide pant. It’s almost like an advance performance piece with wicking capabilities, an all-season nylon/spandex stretch, and will breathe and shed moisture.

First Ascent is mountain guide designed, and being in the mountains is the place to be!

Final Thoughts of the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant

A wonderful active piece of apparel fantastic for a multitude of outdoor adventures. The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pant will be a solid companion for any of your endeavors. The stretch technology, wicking capabilities, functional pockets, and sun block protection are great features that place these above your average hiking pant.  Pick some up, you won’t regret it.

MSRP: $80

For more information and purchase for this and other fine quality pants please visit: www.eddiebauer.com



Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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