21 hours ago
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I've mentioned these pants in passing a couple times: once for an OTM column and once in a general Winter Pants post.
But these pants rule so hard, I want to make sure I have a post dedicated to their ruliness.
I'm in my second winter with these pants and I'm amazed at their durability, lightness, their ability to dry quickly, their wind-cutting greatness, and their relative warmth. Not to mention they are normal looking (non-bikey) pants you can wear daily.
I've never paid so much for pants. Two years ago they retailed for $160. They're still $160. They're worth every cent! If you have run into me in the winter over the last couple years, it's highly likely that I was wearing these pants. My guess is that between October and March (inclusive), I probably wear these pants 4 or 5 days of the week.
If my math is right (4 times/week over 24 weeks, for 2 years), we're looking at about 200 days of use. Based on how they are wearing, I'd say I have at least one more winter of use. Which will put me at about 300 days of use. About .50/day. That's expensive, but these pants put out.
The fancy-ass Schoeller fabric is super comfy and stretchy and very easy to ride in. All the hyped properties of Schoeller are true. And I say this as a dyed-in-the-wool wool guy who has never bought the fantasy of the vast majority of high-tech fabric claims (especially the "wicking" nonsense... but that's a different rant). But the Schoeller PR folks speak the truth: this stuff blocks wind well, dries amazingly fast, and with a good base layer, is perfectly suitable to temps down to the 20's (F).
But the thing that gets me on these pants is the durability. I have had many spills in these pants. There are a few times where I was positive I would've ripped them. Here's a documented case. After many miles of riding, these pants show no wear around the sit bones. I have worn through the sit-bone-area of at least 6 pair of underwear in the time I've had these pants. And I (thankfully) change my underwear about 3x more than I change (or wash) these pants.
There is one tiny hole at the ankle that was the result of the pants getting caught in my chainring under the chain. The hole has not grown.
So that's the deal. If you cycle in the winter and you want normal looking pants dig the REI ACME pants. I just hope they keep making it and don't change anything!
One thing to note, a lighter-weight, but less durable version (a lot of pilling around the sit bones) is the REI Mistral pant. It's also super comfy, nice looking, very quick drying, and the pant I wear almost daily during the spring. Plus it's cheaper.