AztecDave wrote:Have been trying to figure out what's good - Columbia, ex offcio, REI. Not into the convertable pants. Anybody?
Man I have been searching for these types of pants for over a decade. There are tons of different varieties on the market and I have never seen a decent pair of lightweight but tough pants with all the right features yet.
I purchased 2 pair of White Sierra lighweight nylon travel pants late last year. They are NOT convertibles. They were cheap, and fit was very good, they can certainly pass for dress or dress casual (khakis) but really they don't hold up - fabric sort of a copy of supplex. They will last about 3 months of normal (not hard) use. These have mesh pockets (suck). Better to have real pockets and small mesh drainhole rivets in them (like the kind you see in boonie hats).
5.11s lightweight poly/co 65/35 are pretty good (the fabric is close to ideal - though movement is too loud in them for my tastes and the cotton carabiner holder is a poor idea (I cut those off), as is the single sunglasses-crushing-too-small-for-a-proper-mag pocket in front (and the hidden front pocket is nearly useless as well). The pockets are a little small all around in these, and no drainholes unless you install them yourself (suck). The plus is that they DO hold up and hold up well to HARD use - I have used these as work pants for several years.
Columbias are okay - I have some of their GMT pants (these are convertible though they make similar pants non-convertible), the thigh pockets could use double velcro to help them stay shut better but the drainholes are tiny sewn in things that don't work all that well.
I have not tried some of the better pants I have seen - usually I see these when I have a full supply of pants or the ones I've seen are not in my size...These are made by The North Face, Marmot, Moonstone, Patagonia, etc. The fabric and design looks to be top grade, they look durable and I suspect they are - I will be picking up a few pairs of these pants this year. I expect to pay $60-80/pair which is usually what they are priced at. This is kind of pricey, but you're paying for quality and that's pretty important.
My suggestion is to go to a high-end sporting goods store (the kind that sells mountain climbing and serious hard core outdoor gear) and have a look around at their pants. That is where you will find the kind of pants we are both looking for.
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