Finding a pair of outdoorsy pants can be a shockingly difficult process. While there is nothing inherently wrong with zip offs or cargo pants, many of these traditional styles simply don't transition well to front country life.
They might be practical and comfortable while in the wilderness, but their loose fit, abundance of pockets, and general laser focus on function leave something to be desired in the department of overall fashion.
Don't get me wrong, fashion doesn't make a good pair of trail pants, but there is something to be said about a pair of pants that perform well and look good. This combination is found in the Trailhead Adventure Pants by Coalatree. They raised $424,466 on Kickstarter this past April, and we are excited to share our thoughts on their pants!
While Coalatree did provide us with a sample for this review, the opinions included in this review are 100% our own.
General Impressions of the Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants:
The Trailhead Adventure pants were designed to be light, durable, packable, stain proof, and fashionable (in a outdoorsy chic kind of way). Made from 4-way stretch ripstop nylon, the pants are antimicrobial, odor resistant, breathable, and self packable. They feature deep front pockets, elastic draw strings on the waist and ankles, and a ergonomic crotch gusset. The Trailhead pants weigh just 11oz.
To quote the wonderfully ridiculous Dion Sanders: "If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good." Such is the case with these pants. They feel good, they look good, and they allow the wearer to perform in a wide range of outdoorsy and athletic activities!
1. They are exceptionally comfortable: While the Trailhead Adventure Pants are tighter than traditional outdoorsy pants (certainly a slim fit), they manage to be trendy, comfortable, and fashionable.
The elastic waist keeps your pants exactly where you want, while simultaneously providing the luxurious feeling of wearing sweat pants. The Trailhead Adventure pants hug snugly to your legs, but the crotch gusset allows for a surprisingly exceptional range of motion. You'd think they'd feel restrictive, but they simply don't (unless of course you've ordered the wrong size)!
The elastic ankle draws also allow for easy pant height adjustments, making the transition to biking or climbing exceptionally easy. They have quickly become my very favorite pair of pants. While I enjoy the snugger fit, if you are in-between sizes, you should order up.
2. They look good: While I've discussed their comfort, the vain reality of the Trailheads is that they also just look attractive. Even if they didn't have any functional outdoorsy purpose (which they do), they would still be a relatively fashionable pair of trousers!
I like pants that have a tighter fit, and while I don't wear Railriders or REI zips offs in my day-to-day life (though I've certainly worn both while backpacking), I do wear the Trailhead pants indiscriminately. Perhaps a great endorsement for their style is that my non outdoorsy friends have complemented these pants frequently.
3. They perform great: So far I've used my Trailhead Adventure Pants while biking, climbing, hiking, lifting, and playing pickleball (not to mention general around town wear). In all of these instances I've been thrilled by their performance. The slim fit means that I'm never concerned about extra fabric getting in the way, and the crotch gusset means that the slim fit doesn't restrict more athletic movements.
Concerns not Cons:
There is not alot that I don't like about these pants. In all honesty, they are pretty incredible! While these aren't cons, there are 2 things you should consider about these pants before buying:
- If you don't like slim fitting pants, these are not for you. They are certainly a "hipper" looking pant, so if you're a bit more traditional in your pant choice, you should consider that before purchasing.
- While they appear to be pretty great against water/stains, I do have some concerns about their long-term durability. Yet to be seen!
I was stoked when Coalatree sent us these to review. While I was initially shocked by the size of their Kickstarter campaign (1/2 million dollars and 5 thousand backers), it's obvious why these pants raised so much money... they are genuinely awesome. While I got this pair for free, I'll most certainly be buying another.