Pants block sun, bugs

Name: ExOfficio Women's BugsAway Ziwa Convertible Pants

What they are: Lightweight convertible pants with sun protection (ultraviolet protection factor of 30-plus) and bug protection (Insect Shield repellent is bonded into the fabric and good for 70 washes). Covered zippers allow adventurers to quickly convert the pants into shorts. The right leg features a zippered security pocket, and the left has a Velcro flapped pocket. The nylon fabric is quick drying, wrinkle resistant and moisture wicking. The pants are available for men.

The good: These pants have become a must-pack item for my adventures in Utah, Alaska and Australia, because the zip-off legs allow the BugsAway Ziwa to work as both my shorts and slacks. The quick-dry feature makes them ideal for amphibious adventures and also allows me to wash them at night and wear them the next day. Though the shorts weren't able to protect my ankles from mosquitoes, I seem to get fewer bites when I wear the pants. A zippered pocket is great for stowing a credit card and some cash when I don't want to schlep a purse. And the relaxed fit makes them comfortable whether I'm paddling a kayak or hiking on the beach.

The bad: I wish they were more like $80.

Cost: $99

Available from:,,, and others.

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