Columbia Men's Head Wall Pants Review

Head Wall TM 8460
Product Rating: 
Columbia Head Wall Pant - Front
Columbia Head Wall Pant - Back
Columbia Head Wall Pant - Waist


Columbia's technical Head Wall™ pants are a union of utility and style. These durable pants block wind, repel harmful UV rays, and resist rain and stains. Two-way comfort stretch and gusset detail enhance mobility while adjustable toggles and a convenient bootlace hook ensure the pants stay in place on any adventure. Head Wall™ pants feature two front and one thigh zip-closed security pockets to keep valuables safe. Made from 62% recycled polyester.


Men's Size: 30 (waist) x 32 (inseam)
Material: 89% polyester/11% elastane
Omni-Shield®: Yes
Omni-Shade®: UPF 50
Weight: 15.7 oz.

Initial Thoughts (08/11/11):

I purchased the Columbia Sportswear Head Wall™ pants with the intention of using them for mountaineering and hiking in the shoulder seasons. This is my first pair of technical soft shell pants. I really like that there are three pockets that all zip. The included belt works well, which is good since it is not designed to be swapped out (there are no ordinary belt loops). The adjustable toggles around the ankle cuffs and bootlace hooks appear durable and functional. The stretchy fabric making up the Head Wall™ pants feels much thicker than typical nylon hiking pants, but not too thick as to cause overheating in warmer weather. The inside feels slightly softer than the outside and the pants are comfortable to wear. Normally when I sit down my pants ride above my ankles, but not with the Columbia Head Wall™ pants. They do not feel restrictive, but do feel substantial enough to keep out moderate wind and cold. They appear to be well designed and suited for my intended purpose.

Initial Field Test (10/08/11):

I recently went on a Fall hike to a nearby waterfall with my wife while wearing the Columbia Head Wall™ pants. The temperature was in the mid 40's to low 50's most of the trip. I found the pants to be very comfortable to hike in over the course of our 7 mile trip. It had rained the night before, so there were wet plants along the sides of the trail. As I brushed by the wet foliage, the small amount of water of my pants beaded up and evaporated or was easily brushed away. The three pockets proved useful for organizing small items. I didn't test out the adjustable toggles or bootlace hooks on this trip, but I imagine I will once the winter snows arrive. While moving at a brisk pace (approximately 3 mph), I found the Head Wall™ pants to be a little warm once the temperature rose above 50°F. The pants were fine while sitting or moving more slowly. We didn't have any wind during our hike, so I cannot yet comment on the wind resistance of the pants. My initial take on the Head Wall™ pants is very favorable. They are the most comfortable pants I have ever hiked in (but keep in mind they are my first pair of technical soft shell pants). If they prove durable over time, they are sure to become my favorite pair of pants.

See Ramona Falls adventure where the Columbia Head Wall pants were used.

Extended Field Testing (09/15/14):

My Columbia Head Wall pants have proven to be my favorite go to soft shell pant. They have worked great from short day hikes to solo climbs of Mt Hood. The material and stitching has held up very well. It has not come apart at any seams and has fared well to abrasion from rubbing against plenty of rocks.

I love how versatile and comfortable the Columbia Head Wall pants are. They are great for the shoulder seasons and winter when worn with a base layer. They fare okay with light wind, but require an outer shell in cold gale force winds.

See Mt Hood, Mirror Lake and Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, and Mt Hood (Illumination Saddle) adventures where the Columbia Head Wall pants were used.

Final Thoughts (09/15/14):

I am very happy with the performance and long term durability of the Columbia Head Wall pants. I definitely recommend them or a similar style Columbia soft shell pant.

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