Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Winter pants review

Administrative note: If you commented on my blog in the last week then I just found the pile o' comments to approve. Sorry about the delay. The "email me when a comment arrives" feature does not appear to be working for me...

I like the idea of finding wool pants from Value Village for daily riding in the winter. My buddies Alex and Jon do this and it works well for them. I've not had such great luck; I tend to blow out the crotch on Value-Village wool pants.

This year I splurged on some high-zoot pants from REI. Back when Liza worked there and I could justify any purchase with my spouse-30%-discount, I bought some REI Acme pants. These retail for $159, and after a full winter of wearing them at least 2 of 3 days, I'd buy them again for full price. These are fantastically tough, comfy, versatile winter pants. They cut the water and wind good enough and with some poly long johns, my legs always felt warm enough. The ad copy talks about how they are abrasion resistant. When I took my bad fall I thought for sure I'd ripped these, but there was just a little rough spot. They're stretchy and they dry incredibly fast.

A far distant second were my molten-sposh resistant pants. I got these at Value Village for $2 in the uniform section. They are super comfy. I want to think they are wool but I can't find the material that "Oasis" makes these pants from anywhere online. They are actually too warm when it's over 35 F. They're reasonably water resistant. I didn't get the opportunity to test their abrasion resistance.

The cons with these are how they bind around my thighs. They're not terrible and they're good enough for short rides, but they bug me for long (3+ hour) rides. Also, the legs are pretty flared at the bottom, which is an easy fix, but I'm lazy when it comes to sewing, so I never got to it this winter. They take some time to dry too. The bottom line: these are a great value if you want to put some time into them and if you're thighs aren't huge. Plus they're molten-splosh resistant!

My least favorite pants this year are the ones I put the most time into. These are sturdy thick wool pants. I blew the crotch out a couple times and finally put in a gusseted crotch. Actually, my mother-in-law did that work. I put Velcro tie-down deals on the ankles. I think I spent $8 on these at Value Village. These bind a lot and they want to be worn high up on the waist, which is typical for older pants. The binding and the cut made them not work in the end. Which is a bummer, because they are super warm.


Anonymous said...

I thought maybe you disabled comments because you were too busy organizing P2P events this week. But you even have time to talk pants. Amazing.

I used to have trouble buying 2d hand pants because I was too skinny. I think most men's used clothing comes from dead guys' closets, and the average American dead guy is apparently pretty thick around the middle.

Luckily, I am now thick enough to be dead. I can find pants at ValuVillage, but, like you, no keepers. I've had great luck finding wool sweaters for biking, though. I'm wearing some large dead guy's merino wool number right now. And it's a perfect fit!

Anonymous said...

I can certainly "second" the Acme pants in Schoeller material. I have couple pairs of pants made of Schoeller and they rock. Wade

Michael said...

I used REI's Acme pants, mostly sans long-johns, riding around Tacoma last winter and yeah I dig them.