• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Best outdoor pants? We review the Tru Spec 24-7 Xpedition pants

600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

People who are uncomfortable outdoors can usually blame that on inadequate or improper clothing. The wrong clothing can make the day too hot or too cold. And rain and stormy weather can be unbearable.

I wore these Tru Spec 24-7 Xpedition™ pants exclusively on a recent Mississippi River canoe trip, and here is how they worked out.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: Tru Spec™ supplied the product used in this review. I was not paid to write this, and Tru Spec™ had no input in the content. At the time of publication, Tru Spec™ does not have a promotional relationship with Survivalcommonsense.com.

The first line of defense between hypothermia and hyperthermia is your clothingSo dressing for success in the outdoors means choosing the appropriate clothing for the conditions and situations.

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The Tru Spec 24/7 Xpedition pants got a workout when I went canoeing.

First know your materials. I hold with the philosophy that “Cotton Kills” and that causes me to wear a lot of wool, fleece and polyester.

To field test these pants, I wore the Tru Spec 24-7 Xpedition™ pants exclusively on a five-day canoe trip on the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company out of Clarksdale, MS. My backups were my old reliable wool pants.

Here are Tru Spec 24-7 Xpedition™ Pants specifications:

  • Polyester/Cotton
  • Zipper closure
  • 6.5 Oz. Polyester Cotton Rip-Stop Fabric: 65% polyester, 35% cotton. Contrast: 91% nylon, 9% spandex
  • DWR water repellent coating
  • Durable double weave fabric on the hip yoke, back of the knees and front cargo pockets

Here is what I found out.

Fit: Excellent. I’m 5’10” tall, weigh about 186 pounds and have a 32″ waist. The expedition pants fit me to a “t”. They were comfortable to wear while paddling and hiking, with no binding in the crotch or knees. I did a lot of gear loading and unloading into the canoe, and that frequently requires all sorts of physical gyrations. There was never any problem with binding or chaffing from the pants.

The lengths come in 2″ increments. I ordered the 32″ length, since that was closest to my actual 31″inseam. A 30″ inseam would have been too short in most instances, but in this case, it would have allowed more comfort and less bulk in the neoprene boots we all wore. Since these pants will be frequently be worn with knee-high neoprene boots, the shorter length would be a good idea.

Water repellent: The DWR coating of the material was really appreciated when we had to paddle against a strong headwind, and I kept getting splashed.  Durable water repellent, or DWR, is a coating added to fabrics at the factory to make them waterresistant (or hydrophobic)  The water beaded up on the fabric, and didn’t soak in.

In one instance, I jumped into water that went over and filled up my boots. The fabric appeared to be thoroughly soaked, but dried very out quickly.

Wear: This remains to be seen, but close examination of the pants before and after the canoe trip did’t show any wear at all. There was no staining or any sort of discoloration. The only time the pants were washed was once when they were soaked in the river and scrubbed with sand. In typical use, the pants are machine washable, and can be dried.

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The cuffs feature snaps, a zipper, and a mesh insert for coolness.

Cuffs: These are well-designed and very useful. I tightened the cuffs down to fit in my neoprene boots, and that kept them from riding up and being bulky. The cuffs have snaps with two adjustments. I like these, since sometimes the cuffs need to be closed to keep debris out, or opened for ventilation.

Pockets: The pockets are well-designed, placed appropriately and very useful.

There are zippers on the right thigh cargo pocket, and right rear pocket. This allows for secure storage of wallets or other important items. The thigh pockets are on the front. This allows for easier movement through brush, and cuts back on the bulk when sitting. I don’t generally like bellows thigh pockets, and find them to be overkill in most instances. All in all, the pockets and their placement is outstanding.

Zippers: Made by YKK , the YKK stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha (say that five times fast), according to the company website. This company is now the world’s foremost zipper manufacturer, making about 90% of all zippers in over 206 facilities in 52 countries.

My pants got wet and sandy but the zippers never jammed. The zippers appear to be really sturdy and well designed.

Temperature control: My personal wilderness areas include Oregon high desert and mountains and Mississippi swamps. These areas have extremes in temperatures and humidity. In both these areas, being able to regulate body temperature is really important. The spandex panels behind the knees and just below the waist band work well for dissipating heat. The zippered mesh panels on the ankles and thighs also help with ventilation. IMHO, these might be the coolest pants around. Still, if you need to stay warm, the mesh areas can be closed.

So are the Tru Spec™ Expedition pants the best choice for your outdoor excursions?

It depends on what you do.

Probably the best field test analysis came from Mark “River” Peoples, a veteran river guide for Quapaw Canoe Company. Mark is out on the river guiding 200 days a year, and is very knowledgeable and picky about his gear.  After seeing how my pants worked out, Mark asked for information on where to order a couple of pairs.

I like mine very much, and will soon get another pair in khaki.

The cost per pair is right around $70. Order yours here.

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