Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger review: the perfect, go-anywhere pant

 Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger
Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger

Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger: first impressions

Not every hike requires rugged leg protection. Plenty of summer hiking calls for comfortable, breathable hiking pants with lots of stretch  and for that, the Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger more than fits the bill.

Made of 86% recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, these polyester pants are breathable and quick drying if you get caught in a summer shower, and have a good dollop of elastane for added stretch and comfort. For such lightweight pants, you’ll be surprised at how much protection you get on a windy day, but most of all you’ll be astonishingly comfortable thanks to super soft fabric, a loungy fit and broad elasticated waistband with adjustable cord.


List price: $95 / €89.95  
Gender specification: Women’s
Sizes available: XS - XL
• Materials: 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane
• Fit: Relaxed
• Weight: 7.4oz / 210g (women’s small)
• Colors: Jet black, Everglade, Navy
• Best use: Hiking

Elasticated ankle cuffs make these easy to wear with any hiking boot and for pulling on a pair of rain pants, while three decent-sized zipped pockets will hold your essentials, though none is big enough for a map. These pants provide everything you need for mild and warm weather hiking when you want to stay cool but keep the sun (and ticks) off your skin. Meanwhile, they’re stretchy enough that you can head straight to your yoga mat for a post-hike stretch and flattering enough to wear around town and enjoy a few compliments. Our only complaint is that the ankles could use a little more elastic, as they’re a little difficult to take off, but then again, we never want to take them off. Again, we’ll repeat that these aren’t technical hiking pants with reinforced knees and leg vents, but if you are just seeking comfort for straightforward hikes, you won’t find many pants more comfortable than these.

Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger: in the field

Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger
Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger

Every few years, a pair of hiking pants comes along that I wonder how I ever lived without, and this is one of those pants. These joggers have barely left my body over the past month, filling the void that my once beloved Lululemon Studio pants left when they finally lost all of their stretch and became gigantic and nearly drowned me I’ve worn them on the trail, in yoga class, to work and to the bar for afternoon cocktails on the patio.

Here’s how they performed:

Sizing and fit

I tested a small and they fit perfectly. The jogger design is loose enough to be flattering, but not baggy or flappy, and tapers at the ankle which makes it easy to walk and pull on my rain pants in a hurry if the heavens open. The only complaint I have is that the ankle cuffs don’t have enough stretch – they feel great on, but it makes them a little difficult to take off. Perhaps it’s my high arches, but I resort to turning them completely inside out to pull them off each time like a seven-year-old. It doesn’t affect their performance any, and frankly I’m pleased to keep the ticks out of my trouser legs, but they could use a little more give.

Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger
Royal Robbins Women's Spotless Evolution Jogger

Comfort and breathability

Ultra soft, light material feels fabulous against my skin and the wide hem and ankle cuffs are comfortable. The waistband is stretchy, but also has a draw cord so you can adjust it to your liking. The light fabric also breathes really well on sticky hikes, sweaty yoga practices and long train rides.

Weight and packability

These are lighter than any of my other hiking pants, so I’d be more likely to wear them than pack them, but they do roll up to about the size of an apple meaning I’d happily stuff them in my hiking backpack or suitcase for any adventure.

Weather protection

These aren’t water repellent or windproof, so I wasn’t expecting much from them when I wore them up a munro in the Arrochar Alps last week. It wasn’t a cold day down low, but the winds were strong enough to blow me off the trail for the final scramble and if you don’t already know, a Scottish wind is always cold. Anyway, I was expecting my legs to be chilly and was very pleasantly surprised to discover these do a great job of keeping the wind off. They’re not insulated or suitable for winter hiking, but they provide ample coverage for shoulder season and summer hikes, plus they dry quickly if you get caught in a shower.

Storage and durability

Jogger pants don’t often have a lot of storage, but these come with three handy zipped pockets, two at the hips and one at the rear. The design of the trousers mean that something heavy like an iphone might tug a bit at the waistband, but I hiked seven miles yesterday with my phone in the pocket and thought nothing of it. They’re not big enough for a map, and in honesty I don’t use my pant pockets much anyway, but you could use them for keys, credit cards, and light gloves.

These aren't designed to hold up against abrasive rock, so if you're planning on doing a lot of scrambling, wear pants with a tougher material and reinforced knee. You'll want to keep these ones nice.