Review: The Patagonia Capilene Air Bottoms for a Fly Fishing Baselayer

As pointed out in a previous review, after years of focusing on rods and reels and other tackle, we’re now focusing more on the essential gear that matters just as much in many instances, and baselayers are such gear. After some time in the field and on the water with the Patagonia Capilene Air Hoody, it was great to check out the new Patagonia Capilene Air Bottoms.

These baselayer pants are the same material and have the same fit as the Capilene Air Hoody. When it came to the hoody, the review stated, “The ‘second skin’ term gets thrown around a lot these days, but I really can’t think of a better description. This hoody feels so light and breathable (while snug) that you feel the benefits of the layer but at the same time it sort of doesn’t feel like you are wearing anything at all.” This certainly applies to the Patagonia Capilene Air Bottoms as well. It’s winter in Montana, and these pants have been a go-to under jeans, as a baselayer on hikes, and they are now my number one baselayer for fishing all year.

Some additional points:

  1. They might feel uncomfortable at first.
    -We’ve had two testers for these pants, and both of us absolutely love them. But for maybe the first hour or so, if you aren’t used to wool, we had to get used to it. After that, these pants were hard to take off. (Not physically hard.)
  2. They are long.
    -The first thing we noticed is they are long. This has no negative impact on this end when it comes to fit or function. When you visit the website, you might notice the models in the photos are tall, but the mediums have excess material in the leg. It appears as though the extra length is by design. Better long than short.
  3. They are lightweight.
    -It’s surprising how lightweight these pants are. Coupled with the hoody, and they are by far the lightest baselayers we’ve come across. This is great for travel, and the fact that they were lightweight did not compromise warmth. My first ever baselayer pants that I bought as a teenager (and still own!) are a thick material that Patagonia put out more than 20 years ago. The Capilene Air Bottoms are lighter and thin and seem way warmer.

The Capilene Air Bottoms come in sizes XS to XXL and in colors Black, Crater Blue, and Forge Grey. They cost $129. Hey, maybe like my other pair of bottoms from Patagonia, they could last more than 20 years.

To learn more about the Patagonia Capilene Air Bottoms, please click here.


Disclosure: Patagonia is in a professional relationship with the The Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.