Outdoor Research Revelation Pant, Women’s

GEAR REVIEW – Outdoor Research Women’s Revelation Pants.

I have a confession to make.  I have spent years wearing men’s pants with that awkward two way fly zip and even more awkward fit around the hips and waist.  Sorry mom, I know you thought I grew out of that “tomboy” phase during that uncouth period that was the 90’s, I often had no choice but to wear men’s pants in the backcountry.  As a woman who spends an embarrassing amount of freetime, *ahem* all of it, in the backcountry, I have spent many years looking for a women’s specific shell pant to protect me from the mountains’ often harsh and psychotic environments that I crave to be in without sacrificing form.  It appears that outdoor companies have finally heard my plea, as quite a few contenders have entered the market for a women’s specific shell pant and Outdoor Research is one that shines high above many.

Outdoor Research’s Gore-tex Revelation pants are made for women with attention to details only understood by us harness wearing and crampon donning peeps.  The construction of the fabric is unique, the Gore-tex 3L membrane is enclosed by a highly durable and stretchy outer fabric allowing for the pant to move freely with you when the next placement calls for a figure four and without shredding to pieces when you find yourself grunting up an awkward chimney in the alpine as I so often do.

Before I delve further into the details of the Revelation pants, I’ll toss in my body build for reference – 5’8″, 135 pounds with a 32.5″ inseam.  I tested the Outdoor Research Women’s Revelation Pant in a size small.  The activities they were tested in were ice climbing and general mountaineering.


  • FIT – made for a woman!  Plenty of room in the hips with adjustable velcro tabs at the waist to accommodate varying waist sizes and layering situations.  On approaches I found myself with the tabs at the loose position and then cinched them tight when climbing to prevent the dreaded whisper from the mountain on the nape of my back.  The sizing is true to size, follow the Outdoor Research women’s size chart for the right fit.
  • Warmth/Windproof – I tested these puppies out in temps averaging 20F with wind chills down to -5F.  The Gore-tex provided shelter from the bite of the cold wind.  The Revelation pant is merely a shell, so I did wear a baselayer under them as I do with any shell pant in those conditions.
  • Waterproof – Nothing is worse than getting to the top of a frozen waterfall, to find it dripping wet at your belay stance.  There were quite a few occasions where I was essentially in a downpour and watched the water bead up on the pants BUT did not absorb and leave me wet.  So, they are as waterproof as you can get.
  • Breathability – Gore-tex is a dream membrane material that allows for body generated moisture to escape without allowing environmental water molecules from entering.  The Revelation pants are constructed from a Gore-tex membrane encapsulated by fabric that does not inhibit the Gore-tex magic.
  • Durability – having tested these pants for only this season, I can only attest to how they have handled over the past few months.  I have about 20 days of wear on them in harsh circumstances.  The majority of wear they have seen has been on arduous and scrappy mixed climbs, the good stuff.  They have endured awkward scumming in chimneys and the accidental knee jam on my pick without tearing or abrading in the slightest.  They have not stretched out at the waistband and continue to provide respite from the harsh alpine environment.  I’ve tried other gore-tex shells that tore on day one after having rubbed against a rock the wrong way.  These take a beating thanks to the outer abrasion resistant fabric used over the gore-tex membrane.  In the off chance you do tear the pants, Outdoor Research’s kick @$$ customer service will replace em.

  • Functionality
    • ZIPPERS!!!  Again, Outdoor Research kills it with its waterproof zippers.  I first reviewed their Revelation Gore-tex jacket and was blown away by their zippers.  It is with no exception, that they have carried that over to their Revelation Gore-tex pants.  The location of the zippers is what gets me excited (and my climbing partners oh so jealous) every time I wear these pants.  There is a left and right thigh pocket that are both accessible while wearing a harness.  They are quite large, though I typically only keep my topo in one pocket as wearing anything bulky in a pocket and rubbing it up against things tends to cause excessive wear on shell pants.  The beauty of the pocket location makes my topo accessible when I need it most, in my harness and moving quickly.
    • 3/4 length side zips with snap closures at hem – not much to say about these, they zip and unzip only when you manually do so.  The 3/4 length allows you to put on and remove the pants without removing your fruit boots.
    • Ankle grommets – doubles as an instep lace.  For more snowy approaches, its nice to have a tie down option if you want to go sans-gaiters, especially since these pants come outfitted with super durable crampon and ski resistant kick steps at the hem.
    • Adjustable, brushed waistband with belt loops and double snap fly closure – personalizing your pant fit without needing a belt, but with the option to wear a belt if you so desire.  The fabric at the waist is brushed so that it does not cause chafing at your waist.  The waistband is adjusted by two velcro tabs, one at each side, and the velcro stays put without releasing until you manually do so.  The fly has a double snap closure ensuring you don’t have an accidental fly exposure release party.


  • Length – The ONLY gripe I can concoct on the Outdoor Research Women’s Revelation pant is the length and this is nit-picking.  In a dream world, they would come in a “long” option.  I really only wanted an extra inch of length.  The current length is not so short that it exposes my skin above my boots even when high-stepping or figure fouring; however, that extra inch would provide some extra security to this mountain “tall” girl.  Any girls taller than 5’8″ with my build may start to encounter length issues.

Bottom Line – Outdoor Research did it again with their Women’s Gore-tex Revelation Pants.  They manhandle abusive situations in the backcountry and wear like you just tore the tags off of them, day in and day out.  For alpinists and backcountry aficionados, give this pant a serious consideration.

Addict Disclaimer – Thrillseekers Anonymous was provided with the Outdoor Research Revelation Pants for this review. The opinions expressed above are my own and reflect my experience with theOutdoor Research Revelation Pants.  No one can buy my love!

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Raised in the ocean lined landscape of Southern California, Ilana now calls the rocky mountains of Colorado home. Ilana is a mother to an adventurous daughter, an accomplished rock and ice climber, skier, snowboarder, mountain distance runner, avid adventurer, and a Registered Trauma Nurse. A recent, near fatal accident in May, 2018, has left Ilana with a new disability; bringing her biggest life challenge to head, adapting to continue her pursuit of long, hard days in the mountains and share it with the generations to come. Ilana is the founder of Thrillseekers Anonymous, a seasoned event speaker, and has been featured in various media outlets including the February 2015 issue of ‘Climbing’ magazine, December 2013 issue of ‘Rock and Ice’ magazine, December/January 2013 issue of ‘Gripped Climbing’ magazine, Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons (How To Climb Series) by Dave Black and Pasadena Magazine as well as a Climbing Expert on MTV’s Parental Control (Season 7 – “Heather”).

Ilana has written 119 articles for Thrillseekers Anonymous.

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