I decided to bite the bullet and try the Gnara (formerly SheFly) Go There Pants… I say bite the bullet because I have been traumatized by women’s adventure pants. Even when I find something in “my size” they rarely fit. When they do fit, they feel really uncomfortable. Usually they’re too tight in the waist and too loose in the hips/butt, or too tight in the hips and too loose in the waist. It’s almost always this way, and I gave up on finding adventure pants a long time ago. If you see me on trail, I am wearing stretchy shorts in the summer, leggings in the spring/ fall, and fleece-lined leggings in the winter.
I think maybe the people who design outdoorsy pants don’t take into account that the types of bodies that will be going outside to enjoy nature aren’t all going to be the same. We aren’t all slender in the waist, with long, muscular legs and 6-pack abs. Just like in life, all different shapes and sizes of people need adventure wear.
Enter the Go There Pants featuring GoFly Technology. A patented zipper design allows people who squat when they pee outdoors to answer nature’s call discreetly. In addition to the familiar zipper fly in front, a second zipper extends from beneath the first zipper to the back of the waistband.
I used the Gnara Go There Pants size chart and nervously ordered the largest size they had. Their largest size, a 22, stated a waist measurement of 45.5”. I measured my waist the day before I started my period. With bloating, it was 48”. But I really wanted to try the pants, so I took the plunge and ordered them thinking, “if they’re too tight, I’ll try and shed a few pounds before I use them this spring… it’s winter weight anyway… I’ve been hibernating just like the bears...”
They arrived and I didn’t try them on immediately. I held them up, “dang, those look huge… I can’t believe how big I am… these had better fit or I’m gonna need to lock myself in the closet for a week.” This train of thought is left over from my childhood. I can’t tell you how many times I heard adult women say that when I was young. These thoughts continued as I left the pants hidden away in my closet.
A few days went by, and it started snowing, HARD. I needed to walk the dogs so I decided to try on the SheFly pants because I had read they were water resistant and they had a wide enough leg that I could probably fit them over my Sorel Snow Boots.
They fit! Beyond that, they were actually kind of loose. I had at least an extra 2’ of room, even with my fleece-lined leggings on underneath. “That’s a relief,” I thought, as I cinched in the waist tie, so that the pants fit snugly against my belly. They were pretty high-waisted, too, which I really like. A high waist keeps all my wiggly bits in.
I threw on my snow boots, zipped on my jacket, and went out into the snowstorm. The pants felt lightweight, and a little stretchy, but not too stretchy. I could bend down easily enough, without feeling like I was cutting off my air supply or ripping through the seams. The three large front pockets zipped closed, which was fantastic because I had my phone with me, and I didn’t want snow in my pocket. The two back pockets had a sort of envelope closure, so those were also protected.
I didn’t overheat after walking 2 miles with the dogs, which is weird, because I typically get dressed for a cold day outside and once I’m out there, moving around, I get overheated really easily. The Gnara Go There Pants and my fleece-lined leggings kept me just warm in the 20º stormy weather, but were still breathable enough for me to feel comfortable.
I haven’t even gotten to the part where I talk about the most important function of these pants, an extra zipper, that starts at the bottom of the normal zipper, that unzips backward, under my crotch area, all the way to the top of my butt, if necessary. Obviously, with my leggings on underneath, I couldn’t try this part out the first day.
I waited for a warmer day, and wore the pants with just some underwear. The fit was the same, loose around my waist, but fine once I cinched in the waist tie — that part of the design is really clever.
To Pee or Not to Pee?
That used to be the question I would ask myself. I felt like I had to be really observant of my surroundings, to make sure that no one was coming before I took my pants down to bare my entire butt for the whole natural world to see.
But with GoFly, I don’t have to do that. The opening on the bottom is quite discreet. I can just unzip a little, pull my underwear to the side, and go.
My only issue was, being a larger woman, with short-ish arms, it was impossible for me to use the zipper all the way to the back. I had to tie on a longer zipper pull. Luckily, there was a length of string that came with the pants — to hang the tag on — and I just used that on the zipper pull. Worked like a charm! I can unzip as far as my arm will reach, and then reach behind to grab my extra long zipper pull.
I discreetly did my business, stood up, re-zipped, and I was back on trail in no time.
Things I Love About the Gnara Go There Pants
- Stretchy fabric
- Water repellant
- Lightweight and breathable
- Extra zipper for peeing and other things…
- Adjustable hem on the pant legs can be cinched in or rolled up and snapped
- Zippered pockets
- iPhone size pocket on the right thigh
- Envelope closure on back pockets
Things I Struggled with ...
- Second zipper hard to reach for larger people
- Size chart led me to order one size too large
The Gnara Go There Pants are an obvious game changer. Being able to unzip my pants instead of completely dropping my trousers has made me feel WAY more comfortable going pee outside. I love the way it has changed that completely vulnerable cheeks-out situation to a discreet crouch-and-go. Paired with my Kula Cloth and Prairie Dog Trowel, these three pieces of gear will forever be my go-to system for bathroom needs outdoors.
Ace Curtis is a plus-sized outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking in Northern California and taking photos of many tree-covered hillsides. She was born and raised in Mt Shasta, CA at the base of a 14,163’ mountain. She is currently working with her husband on creating an off-grid lifestyle on 2.5 acres just a few miles from where she started life, 36 years ago.