Nice pants, bro. Yeah, it’s not all that common of a comment, but I find myself saying it every time I slip on The North Face Motion Pants. And, it’s not about all the things they do, it’s about how they fit, feel and function.

The North Face Motion Pants Features:

  • Durable and versatile pant for mixed use
  • Blended Triexta fabric offers slight mechanical stretch
  • Articulated knees and gusseted crotch for easy movement
  • Reflective tab under cuffs
  • Straight fit for a classic look
  • Colors: Dune Beige, Asphalt Grey (tested), Burnt Olive Green, Weimaraner Brown, Granite Bluff Tan
  • Cuff Diameter: 15.5″
  • Inseam: Short (30″), Regular (32″), Long (34″)
  • Fabric: 237 g/m² 86% cotton, 14% Sorona® Triexta
  • MSRP: $75
The North Face Motion Pants Review

Kicking up my fall style with the Motion Pants in Asphalt Grey.

Pull them on, then get out there

Pants for outdoorsy folks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The most ubiquitous are the zip-off cargo pants, but unless you are a solo thru-hiker, pants are best as pants and shorts are best as shorts. With The North Face Motion Pant, we’re not talking about a do-it-all pant, but these are pretty darn good for a variety of uses.

Since there are better hiking-specific pants out there, I’m taking the urban/casual approach to the Motion Pants. These have been my go-to pants for hauling around town, to the office, to church and pedaling around the hood. The fit and cut are straightforward — not baggy, but not slim-fit either. Honestly, in this day and age, the kind of fit you’ll find here is a Godsend. No, I’m not a fan of skinny jeans and these could never be classified as such (and boy are my quads grateful).

The North Face Motion Pants

The subtle leather tag is all the branding you’ll get.

This woven fabric looks a bit like linen. It is not, however, porous or fragile — these have taken their fair share of abuse. Wind yields minimal penetration, yet they do breathe well.

The North Face Motion Pants Review

Reflective leg cuffs for added visibility for urban cycling

Some details I can appreciate include: reflective cuffs when rolled over and separate media pocket. The cuffs work great, but the media pocket misses the mark. Yes, it fits phones just fine, but the pocket should go backwards so it sits on the side of the thigh, not on the top. I develop rectangular wear marks where my iPhone sits atop my thigh — they aren’t permanent yet as they come out in the wash, but over time, they may become a permanent fixture. The phone carries well enough there, but when seated, it causes wear so you end up seeing the outline of your phone even though you’ve removed it. All other pockets are great.

The North Face Motion Pants Review

Leg zip pocket is great for phones, but should go backwards.

As mentioned, the overall fit of the Motion Pants is superb and just to my liking. Call me crazy, but I like being able to sit and stand or walk and run without feeling constricted. I know — skinny jeans are the unfortunate rage, but I’ll take these well-cut pants any day. The gusseted crotch adds to the comfort.

The Good

  • Excellent cut for comfort
  • Jean-style fit
  • Fabric is comfortable next-to-skin
  • Excellent hand and rear pockets, media pocket is nice to have (but could be improved)
  • Reflective cuffs
  • Breathe well and do offer good wind protection

The Bad

  • Media pocket should face backwards, allowing phone to sit on the side of the thigh

The Bottom Line: The North Face Motion Pants

I’ve been sporting the Motion Pants around the house, around town, to the office and even in more formal settings. These are super-versatile, comfortable and fit well.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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