When I first got the Isabel 2.0 Outdoor Pants by Wondery, I was skeptical about wearing them to work. My day-to-day workwear normally consists of hiking pants, whatever baselayer I have clean, and an older pair of hiking boots.
For context, I’m not a ranger or a guide: I teach at a forest preschool in Boulder, Colo. At our nature-based preschool, we are outside from August through May, pending lightning, poor air quality, or extreme temperatures.
That means that I’m running around, digging in the dirt, and wading through a creek with about a dozen 4- to 5-year-olds on a daily basis. I’m sitting on pokey, damp stumps, rolling on dusty ground, and wrangling littles all while needing to have my phone, walkie, keycard, and half a dozen other items in my pockets.
The style of the Isabel pants was new to me, almost a cross between joggers and cargo pants. I could tell that the fabric wasn’t the typical hiking pant go-to, like the fan fave Halle II by prAna, which is made from lightweight nylon.
I decided to fit these Isabel pants into my rotation for work and was immediately glad I did. They fit well with a looser, but still comfortable style, have solid, deep pockets, and looked cute enough with sandals or boots that I felt professional, even though I was also covered in dirt and snot.
The biggest standout, though, has been their durability and overall comfort thus far.
In short: I have worn these pants at least twice a week for the past 6-plus months, whether to teach, hike, or grab food. Other than the color fading a bit, there are no holes, no frayed seams, and they have stayed just as soft as when they were first delivered (even after putting them through the wringer outdoors, and the literal wringer in the wash). Beyond the exceptional durability and mobility, the pants have all the features that one needs in a pair of pants for heading outside — to the campsite, the trail, or teaching kids about nature.
- Material 97% cotton canvas, 3% spandex
- Style Jogger, high-waisted
- Waistband Adjustable
- Pockets Six (two cargo)
- Sizes XS to 4XL; short, standard, tall
- Colors Forest, Burnt Sienna, Tan, Brew
- Uses Hiking, rock climbing, camping, outdoor professionals, work pants, everyday lifestyle
- Washing Recommend hand-wash only (we put it through a machine wash in testing)
- Extremely durable
- Plenty of deep pockets
- Stylish enough to wear out after your hike
- High-rise and adjustable waist
- Extended sizes
- Mostly cotton, so not great for super-sweaty adventures
- Not waterproof or quick-drying — the biggest con
Isabel 2.0 Outdoor Pants Review
Fit, Function, and Features
Wondery prides itself in being an inclusive brand (more on that below), which includes sizing. The Isabel 2.0 pants start at an XS and run to 4XL. And, they come in standard, short, and tall, so no matter your size, you should be able to find a pair that fits. The pants mix a baggier, cargo style with a sleeker shape, and I found the overall look is pretty versatile.
One highly helpful feature about the pants — especially if you are in between sizes — is the webbing straps on the outside of the waist near each hip that you can easily cinch for a tighter fit. For this 2.0 version, the straps have been upgraded to a stronger webbing with a metal, matte buckle. The straps still come in a bright color for a bit of style, and the black matte buckle adds to the overall rugged look.
In terms of fit and rise, these pants have a comfortable high waist and cinched ankles for a jogger style, which helps if you want to pair them with a nice pair of ankle boots or go on a bike ride.
I have to mention the pockets, too, which are actually functional. There are six of them — two cargo with button closures, two back pockets with button closures, and two front pockets. All the pockets are deep enough to securely hold your phone, plus stash whatever else you need that day.
The most impressive part, though, is the overall durability of the pants. The fabric is 97% canvas cotton (an odd choice, we know) with the rest being Spandex. They are stretchy enough to really move around outside — or for me, sit in the dirt, on a stump, or crawl through the grass — without feeling at all cumbersome or getting any holes in the fabric. So what you get is a highly durable pair of outdoor pants that don’t skimp on mobility.
Because they are cotton, the pants aren’t waterproof or breathable, So, I’d opt for something else if you are doing an extremely strenuous hike or going to humid locales.
Conclusion: Do These Pants Really Work?
With the Isabel 2.0 Outdoor Pants, you’ll get a near-perfect pair of pants that do work for a lot of outdoor activities. They are durable, maybe even more so than many other hiking pants we’ve tried.
Really, the biggest knock is the lack of wicking and breathability — for hardcore, go-go-go sweat fests, these pants aren’t going to work. (Which is a bummer, because they are great otherwise!)
But if you spend nearly all your time outside, like I do? The pants will hold up to whatever you put them through, even if it’s simply playing outside and looking for worms.