Review: Mammut Zinal Guide Pant
Robust, stretchy and exceptionally windproof hiking pants, I took the Mammut Zinal Guide Pant throughout the alps this summer and found them to be a great addition to my hiking gear collection.
Mammut describes their Zinal Guide pants as a fully featured trekking pant for longer hiking tours and I have to agree. I put them through their paces on my first Tour du Mont Blanc of the “summer”. This involved sun, rain and snow in the beginning of August. I then continued to wear them happily, right through October, when the snow started falling again, as it’s supposed to…
- Material: 95% Polyamide, 5% Spandex
- Weight: 511 grams
- Size and Color Tested: Large, Black
- 4 pockets: 1 rear, 2 hand & 1 thigh
- Thigh vents
- Cuff zipper
- Velcro adjustments on calf
Who is Mammut?
Mammut is any proboscidea (elephant family) that lived in North or Central America over 10,000 years ago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammutidae). That might be taking Mammut’s history a little too far back. Mammut, as we are concerned, is a sports company founded in 1862. Kaspar Tanner, the company founder, made climbing ropes in the Swiss town of Dintikon and remained family owned until 1924.
What is Zinal?
Zinal (pronounced Zee Nal) is a little town at the southern end of the Val D’Anniviers in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is a relatively undiscovered town deep in the Swiss Alps, often overshadowed by it’s more well known neighbor, Zermatt. It is part of the Walker’s Haute Route: a trek that starts at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix, and ends at the foot of the Matterhorn, Zermatt. This just happens to be my favorite trek in the Alps- Let’s see if the Zinal becomes one of my favorite trekking pants.
How do the Zinal Guide Pro Fit?
Fit and sizing are very subjective things. It ultimately depends on which market your gear was designed for. European designed gear tends to fit tighter for similar sizes when compared to their North American designed counterparts.
Mammut describes the Zinal Guide pants as having a regular fit; a modern and functional tailoring with narrow tapered leg hems. I would offer they have a regular Euro fit. The waist fits true to size and the legs are quite trim. As I have thick thighs the Mammut Zinal Guide pants fit quite snug. Thanks to the stretch of the material this was not an issue. The large zippered vents on each leg also helped give a little extra “breathing room.”
They do feature a narrow hem at the bottom of the pants and this can be adjusted with an expansion zipper that runs mid-calf down to the bottom of the leg, adding 2 inches of width to the bottom. This worked really well with larger width boots or if you are into a looser fitting pant bottom.
There are velcro tabs that can micro-adjust the width of the bottom of the pants. This would come in handy if you were wearing boot crampons and did not want excessive material flapping around to catch on the crampon tooth. This worked for small adjustments but in reality, I did not need it. I was happy with the pants at either fully open or fully closed with just the zipper. Unfortunately, the hook part of the hook and loop closure is not as long as the hook portion. It has started to pull at the material and fray it a little. This will not ruin the pants in the long term but is unfortunate.
Where’s the Beef?
These are slim fitting pants, so you might be asking, “Where’s the Beef?” Well, for starters these are Mammut pants and we know the proboscidea are unrelated to the Bovine family. Secondly, the “beef” is in the materials.
The Angus of the Mammut Zinal Guide pants – the main material – is 95% Polyamide and 5% Spandex. Polyamide is a strong nylon material and the 5% spandex adds stretch. The pants move well while hiking, stretching with longer gaits or up high steps without impeding movement.
The Wagyu is in the knees and seat of the Mammut Zinal Guide Pants.The knee patch runs from just above the knee all the way to the bottom of the pants. From a design perspective this looks great but I would have appreciated it if the patch ran between the legs at the cuff. Though the pants have no abrasion marks from this summer, it’s always appreciated to have some extra support for that high wear area.
The seat and knees of the Zinal Guide pant’s are made of 70% Polyamide, 20% Polyester, 10% Spandex panels. They very much remind me of kevlar patches that I used to have on snowboard gloves. Feeling almost as strong as kevlar, this material is much more flexible. It was nice knowing that no matter what terrain I hiked through, whether I brushed against rough rocks, or if I sat on a thorn I wasn’t going to tear these pants. These are very durable pants and show very little wear after a full season’s guiding.
For some reason the left pant leg always twisted for me and the inner seam ended near the top of my foot. There is no lace hook and I feel this would’ve kept the pants in place.
In total there are 4 pockets on the Mammut Zinal Guide pants. There is a large zippered back pocket, two hand pockets and one thigh pocket with an inner mesh pocket for a smartphone.
Admittedly, I did not use the back pocket. I never use back pockets. The two hand pockets sit right on top of the thighs which took a little getting used to. Most hand pockets sit on the side of the thigh but Mammut puts theirs front and center. It’s far from a deal breaker but it is a little unusual at first but I got used to it by the end of the season
The thigh pocket is perfectly situated above the knee. Inside is a mesh stretch pocket that easily holds a large cell phone. I thought this would be uncomfortable to wear since the thighs are so snug. I was wrong. The stretch of the legs allowed me to fill the pocket without feeling uncomfortable.
The Mammut Zinal Guide pant has long vents on each leg. They are one of the best parts of these pants and allow them to be worn in warmer weather. They begin mid hip and zip all the way down to the knees. Both sides of the vent are mesh-lined, meaning nothing can get blown in. When it’s windy nothing can get blown into the pants. Also, the mesh keeps the large vents from flapping in the wind like dumbo’s ears. The only thing missing was a longer pull tab on the zipper. You can see in the photo where I have added one, myself.
We at BlackSheep are fans of Mammut; you only need to read one of our previous reviews such as the Spindrift 32L Ski Pack, to know that. We had high hopes for the Mammu Zinal Guide Pant and we weren’t disappointed.
When I received the Mammut Zinal Guide pants I didn’t think I was going to be using them until autumn. Boy, was I wrong. My first “summer” trip gave me cold rain and snow. High winds and snow took every ounce of motivation out of me but these pants allowed me to stay comfortably warm in the foul weather. I felt none of the wind through the material and they stayed warm throughout the day navigating snow covered trails. The day prior I was out in the sun working on maintaining my suntan. The ability to roll up the bottom of the pants kept my lower legs cool, almost as if was wearing shorts.
I appreciate the strength and quality of the materials used. This gave me peace of mind while on the trail, trusting in their burly construction. I sat where I wanted, trekked through the bush as I pleased and never worried about snags.
Despite the tight fit in the thighs, the stretch made them far more comfortable than I imagined they would be and I got to show off my thighs without exposing myself! Bonus.
If you are looking for some durable technical hiking pants and don’t hike in the desert, the Mammut Zinal Guide Pant is a great choice.
Pros: Incredibly Windproof. Warm when wet. Durable with great stretch.
Cons: I couldn’t get the left leg to sit straight, a lace hook would be great. Velcro at pant leg unnecessary. Two thigh pockets and pull tabs on zippered vents.
If you are interested in checking out the Mammut Zinal Guide Pants head on over to Mammut and check ‘em out!
Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free sample of the Mammut Zinal Guide pant. This in no way affected our opinion and review of the pants.