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Great pants, until the elastic wears out
on July 15, 2013
These pants would be near perfect except for the "comfort" part. That means they have elastic hidden in the waistband, right above the front pockets, that is meant to allow the pants to "give" when you bend, squat, sit, etc. Of course, if you're wearing a belt (they are made with belt loops), then the elastic is pointless. But if you don't wear a belt, that elastic is stretching back and forth every day and eventually wears out. Then the waist gets saggy and the pockets start ballooning out. This happened to me after wearing these pants a couple of days per week for about 2 and a half years. Some blame may lie with the fact that I dry clean my pants about once a month, and I've read that dry cleaning is hard on elastic. So what did I do? I bought new ones. I don't like the fact that I had to throw out pants that otherwise were still in great shape, but the other features of the pants make them hard to give up. They are great for dressier work situations as well as more casual occasions, have a good fit without looking baggy or shapeless, are made from a tough, canvas-like material that still looks on the dressy side (most colors), and the hidden side pocket is great. I cut off the canvas tassle from the zipper, then the pocket is almost unnoticeable, unlike most cargo pockets, and yet much bigger than most 'hidden' pockets. The result is not having to sit on my wallet, and being able to reach it easily in my car for drive thru service. The pocket could easily accomodate a large mobile phone instead of a wallet. Another modification I made was to remove the rear pocket flaps with their center buttons. These just get in the way of sliding something into my back pocket (which I do daily), and they have a tendency to stick out of your rear end and not look so great in my opinion (yours may differ). As for the material, the carbon (black) and khaki and walnut and steelhead all come in a tough, canvas like fabric that doesn't look like canvas (looks dressier). The navy pants almost look black and the material has a very soft, velvety texture that is a lint magnet so I returned those. The rifle green is really a nice olive color and looks a bit more like canvas, but still soft and I can wear them to work. The other interesting thing is that different colors sometimes have different fit even if they are labeled as the same size. I bought the steelhead color over 2 years ago and they were bigger than the other colors, even though they were supposed to be the same size. Same thing happened with the same color the second time I bought them, so I got one size smaller. So I haven't yet found any pants better than these overall for the versatility and fit, but I really wish they would ditch the rear pocket flaps and the hidden elastic in the waistband. I've been getting along just fine without elastic in my pants all these years, and it would make the pants last a lot longer. And I've never had a problem with stuff falling out of my rear pockets with any pants I've owned, so I really don't see the point of the rear pocket flaps. But like I said, after trying lots of other khakis, these still come out on top despite the flaws.