Karianne’s Review: Anatomie Skyler Pants and Tatiana Tank
If you saw my packing list post back in December, you know that packing so few clothing items in a small 40 liter backpack for a one-year trip was quite a challenge. The key was that I needed to pack very few clothing items, but those few items needed to be highly versatile and durable. I especially had trouble packing bottoms. Here is my original list:
- 1 x pair yoga pants / base layer
- 1 x pair zip-off hiking pants/shorts
- 1 x pair quick-dry shorts
- 1 x rain pants
The yoga pants could only be worn for, well, yoga. Even though I spotted some other travelers wearing them as travel pants, I didn’t have that same comfort level in different cultures across the globe. The rain pants were meant only for extreme weather in hiking situations. I ended up ditching those pretty quickly. So, my main pant for the first 4 months of travel ended up to be my baggy, unflattering pair of zip-off hiking pants/shorts. Even walking around cities to just sight-see during the day, I felt out of place, and they certainly couldn’t double as pants for a night-out.
When I received the Skyler Skinny Pant in black, I ditched all of my other long-pant options and tried these out for the next 8 months of travel. I have to say that I was skeptical of whether the pants would be worth the listed price (currently US $225 online), but I had learned from my carrying around my pricier merino wool shirts that the cost could be worth it IF the quality and versatility were both high.
The best part about the Skyler pants for long-term travel is the light-weight, quick-drying material. I was surprised that these were even lighter than the zip-off hiking pants/shorts that I’d been carrying around for these exact practicality purposes. The Skyler pants had the hiking pants beat in this area and, even better, and honestly more importantly to me at the time after feeling drab and unfashionable for months, these pants fit well AND looked good. They were not too tight or too loose, and they were flattering and versatile enough for day hikes and nights out. The result was that I wore them pretty much everyday, everywhere.
Where did I wear them? I wore them hiking across the villages of Laos. I wore them riding camels in the desert. I wore them in the cool weather high altitude mountains of Nepal and in the heat of the day at the Taj Mahal. I wore them to a nice restaurant in Barcelona. I felt comfortable wearing them to look fashionable, including when paired with the Tatiana Tank, and I felt just as comfortable when I wanted to look conservative in cultures where I had it paired with a long-sleeved shirt most of the time. They were breathable enough for the heat and though thin, I was still comfortable in them for cool weather.
Besides the look, the amount of (or rather, lack of) space that they took up in my bag was an important feature to me. It was also nice that after getting rained on, they would dry almost immediately. The pants do have pockets, but they are not practical, and I never used them. For me this wasn’t a problem, since I have never relied on using the pockets in my pants and rather carried a day-pack instead.
The one complaint I have about this pant is that after 8 months of constant wear and tear, the stretchy little fibers on the pant are starting to break off and peak through the tops of the thighs of the pant. The result is that it looks like I have little specks of white dust all over my thighs, and I don’t think that I’ll be able to keep them long-term once I get home because of this development. Admittedly, I got a LOT of use out of these pants, and the problem could have occurred because the care instructions do state to wash them separately and not to dry them. I did include them two or three times in laundry that I handed off to a local laundromat, where they were likely washed with all of the other clothes, though I do believe they were always line-dried.
If I knew for certain it was the fault of not following the care instructions, I would state that these are worth the high price. Without knowing this absolutely, I would say the price is still a little high, as I would have hoped to been able to wear them for years once I returned home from these travels with the intention of packing them along in future short-term travels. The Tatiana Mesh Tank was also versatile for day use and a night out. Unfortunately, I chose “white” as the color (never a good idea when backpacking) and I couldn’t wear a tank top for months at a time in more conservative cultures. Still, I’d pack this shirt again, in a different color, for shorter trips to less conservative cultures.
Overall, I am extremely happy with these clothes, and have to say that when I started this trip, I wasn’t sure fashion and practicality could be combined when only packing such few items in a backpack for a year-long trip. I am happy that they can indeed.