While the Front Range may taunt and tease with mild, cold, freezing and on occasion a regression to balmy weather, the mountains are cooling off and that’s no reason to stop playing in them or to inhibit transitions from the flatlands to the hills and back. We checked out a few pairs of long pants — ahem, trousers if you will — for work, play and chilling out.
Ibex Ramble Wool Pant
Ibex has had a lot of success over the years with their various wool pants and the Ramble is no exception. The 360 gram brushed twill woven wool gives these pants a hefty and burly feel with out being heavy. The cut is comfortable and allows for great freedom of movement even though they look like they are dress pants. The hip pockets are a perfect size and the low profile cargo pocket is nearly unnoticeable but is handy for those extra items you weren’t expecting to be holding (like my wife’s stuff when she doesn’t have any pockets). They run a little small around the waist so order a size up and you’ll be all set. Available in grey.
Icebreaker Field Pants
These mid-weight pants are a touch lighter than the Ibex Ramble Pants above. Nevertheless, they are ready for fall and winter action. With a touch of heft when you pick them up you know they will keep you warm when the temps drop. The canvas weave blends merino wool and polyester giving these pants some breathability to broaden the useful temperature range say, if conditions warm up by mid-day or if you somehow get stuck indoors unexpectedly (ugh). The seams are super durable thanks to the triple needle stitching while a gusseted crotch provides good freedom of movement. Again, a slim cargo pocket, comes in handy as does the thigh cell phone slot pocket on the other leg. Although, since all my pants don’t have this sneaky pocket, I forget to use it. Available in Cedar & Chocolate.
Horny Toad Drover Denim
Everybody needs a good pair of comfortable jeans in their wardrobe. Though these aren’t technical pants, the 1.5% of spandex blended into the denim provides enough give in case you find yourself bouldering on your lunch break. The other 98.5% is organic cotton so you can feel good about where they came from. These pants sit on the hips perfectly and are resilient enough to take a lickin’ (like a spill off my bike onto the pavement). These jeans are comfortable from the start and get more so the more you wear them. Available in medium & dark denim.
Ecoths Grady Cords
Cordoroy can be hit or miss with folks and the miss is usually because people don’t give them a try… or they fear the vvvt-vvvt sound of the fabric rubbing between their thighs. Though, the latter isn’t really much of an issue in Colorado since it’s one of the fittest states in the union. So we’re back to not giving them a try. Well, try them. The extra fabric comfortably adds a touch of warmth, perfect as we slip into fall and winter. The relaxed jean cut and stitching makes for a familiar fit. Also, Ecoths has a great mission which includes a program to donate three meals to a regional food bank for every garment sold in the United States. More on their website. Available in Beige, Turkish Coffee & Nine Iron (shown).
Carhartt Cotton Ripstop
Somehow, Carhartt has transended the “cotton kills” montra so often evoked by outdoor enthusiasts as their pants and other garments have worked their way into the wardrobes of outdoor workers and recreationalists alike. Much of it can be credited to the toughness and durability provided by Cordura fabrics found in many of their garments including these multi-pocketed work and play trousers. The relaxed cut is loose enough to be comfortable yet doesn’t drift into any likeness of being baggy. Available in Dark Coffee, Moss, Desert & Black.
Eddie Bauer Methow Valley Pants
These pants are in Eddie Bauer’s hunting line-up and are designed to thrash through wet brush still laden with the morning dew. Durable Cordura fabric from mid thigh down casually brushes off thorns and other sharp stickers found in the wild. The reinforced leg cover makes it look like you’re wearing chaps so you might want to add a cowboy hat to your ensemble. And maybe get a horse. Available in Flax.
Fjallraven Vidda Pro
Made of Fjallraven’s own G-1000 fabric, which is 65% polyester and 35% cotton and coated with Greenland Wax, these pants come from a long history of durable products. The fit, like most items from across the pond, is a little snug in spots and despite the myriad of pockets littered up and down the front and sides of the legs there are no back pockets. There’s even what they call an ax pocket, but I have yet to find an ax that fits. For the deep cold, check out the insulated version. Available in Dark Grey, Tarmac, Dark Olive & Autumn Leaf (orange) and Green.