Last month one of my hiking buddies Tracy told me about a Woot-style site for outdoor gear called Steep and Cheap. They offer one deal at a time, with limited supplies. You can get alerts by IM or through a little desktop app that pops up a notice when the next item is available.
Steep and Cheap offers a wide range of gear. I’ve seen tents, backpacks, shoes, sleeping bags — all sorts of gear. But it was a long while before I actually jumped on one of the deals.
Yes, after hiking for over a decade in the same North Face shorts, I decided it was time to expand my wardrobe a bit. I saw a pair of prAna Katek convertible pants for $39 (regularly $75). I jumped.
The process was painless and the pants arrived a few days later. Great process, and I’m super happy with them. They fit well, move with me and feel really comfortable. Being my first pair of convertible pants, I wasn’t sure how I’d like them. My hiking friend Jim prefers traditional pants because for him the zipper for the “legs” always seems to be in an irritating position.
I’ve worn my prAna Katek’s mainly as shorts — which is what I almost exclusively wear while hiking (this IS southern California, after all). But there are times when it’s nice to have the option to zip on the legs — such as bushwacking through poison oak or hiking at higher elevations where the temperatures get downright cold.
My only complaint about them is that I’d like some cargo pockets. There is one “extra” pocket discreetly hidden below the front right pocket that works well for carrying my iPhone, but anything else and the pockets feel “too full.” Not a biggie, but worth noting.