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Hot Pants! Salewa ‘Lavaredo Hemp Light’ Keeps You Oh-So-Cool

Salewa says its Lavaredo Alpine Hemp Light pants are for climbing. I say they're for anything.

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When I first tried on Salewa’s Lavaredo Hemp Light pants, I didn’t think much about them. I was about to climb a via ferrata at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. It was a beautiful day, and while the public relations folks handed out some new gear to try, my focus was on the climb and the gorgeous scenery.

I didn’t think much about the Lavaredo pants during the climb, although they performed flawlessly. I didn’t think about them much during my first day of hiking on Colorado’s epic Four Pass Loop near Aspen. But it dawned on me somewhere around the third pass, maybe on day two after covering 15-ish miles with a heavy pack. These pants are freaking awesome!

Man wearing Salwea Lavaredo pants
The author shows off the huge zippered pockets on the men’s version; (photo/Sarah Poinski-McCoy)

Salewa built the Lavaredo pants for climbing. So, they’re tough enough for abrasion against rock, yet supple enough for high leg lifts and awkward positions. All that, while being thin and light. And while I am a very amateur rock climber, I certainly appreciate those attributes away from the crag as well.

In short: The Salewa Lavaredo Hemp Light Pants are light, airy, and slightly stretchy. They allow for an excellent range of motion and dry quickly. Available in men’s and women’s models, there are a few differences. The men get huge, zipper-secured pockets. The women? Not so much. But both are light and durable, and they have a good sustainability story.

Testing the new pants during a late spring stream crossing in Colorado; (photo/Sarah Poinski-McCoy)

Salewa Lavaredo Alpine Hemp Pants


  • Adjustable waistband with cord
  • Belt loops
  • 2 flat front pockets
  • 2 rear zipped pockets
  • Gusseted seat
  • Elastic hem adjustment system with cord locks
  • Sustainable hemp fabric


  • Durable
  • Light
  • Breathable
  • Big pockets


  • Too light for cold weather

Salewa Lavaredo Alpine Hemp Men’s Pants: Review

My primary use of these pants is for hiking in the summer. I also wear them as everyday, around-town pants on hot days.

Why not wear shorts? Well, I do, but I also appreciate that shorts can be too informal for many situations. While somewhat technical in appearance, the Lavaredo in tan is a pretty neutral pant that can stretch into casual offices or dinner settings.

But, they also are very technical. Wearing them on the Four Pass Loop, I found the hemp, polyester, and elastane blend fabric delightfully cool during the hot segments of the hike. And they were tough as nails when bashing through sections of thick, wet willows. They’ve even held up to abrasion against rock while climbing.

Thus, these have become one of my top choices for warm-weather hiking, bouldering, or general outdoor pants.

Beyond the fabric, I love the large pockets. The two front hip pockets are large enough to easily swallow your keys, phone, and wallet during normal daily wear.

Want more security? Massive back pockets — seriously, these are huge — have zippers at the top to keep items from falling out. I haven’t used these as much as the front pockets, but they are great for secured storage and keeping gear low when wearing a pack.

Women’s Lavaredo Hemp Pants: Pockets Not as Good

Editor Mary Murphy climbing a section of the A Basin via ferrata
Editor Mary Murphy climbing a section of the A-Basin via ferrata; (photo/Sean McCoy)

Side by side, the men’s and women’s Salewa Lavaredo hemp pants share a lot of similarities. They have the same technical attributes: light, breathable, stretchy fabric, and an athletic yet polished look. They share durability and good performance both on rock and on the trail.

However, compared to the men’s Lavaredo’s deep, large pockets, the women’s pockets are much smaller. The front drop-in hand pockets are OK, but the back pockets — normally where you’d want to stash something larger like a smartphone — are poorly designed with far less utility than the men’s.

Our female editor stands by these pants, saying, “They are amazing in terms of technical fit and function. But why on earth aren’t the pockets designed better?”

The pockets on the Salewa women’s pants are not as deep and cannot hold a phone; (photo/Mary Murphy)

Arguably, the whole rear of the Lavaredo pant is not designed for anyone with even the slightest curves. That said, they still performed great on-mountain, moving, stretching, standing, climbing, and lifting. And the front pockets are designed nicely with a harness in mind.

So, our tester for the women’s pants didn’t knock on the overall design of the women’s pants — just the pockets. Alas — guys, your pants have huge, awesome back pockets on top of all the technical chops. Ladies, adjust your expectations.

Salewa Lavaredo Hemp Pants: Conclusion

Overall, the Lavaredo is a slim-fitting pant. On my men’s tester (30-inch waist and 30-inch inseam), the EU 48/U.S. small size fit great.

The pants include an internal drawstring, although I prefer to use the belt loops and an external belt. I’m picky when it comes to pants.

And while LIVSN still makes my favorite pants overall, the Salewa Lavaredo ($129) is a great alternative when the temps get hotter. For those looking for light, breathable pants for warm weather that can also easily handle alpine use on rocky faces, these are worth investigating.

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