Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Blackhawk! Performance Cotton Pants

Here's a set of pants that I acquired from LEGear, which I must say, I have been slack in reviewing, which says more about my laundry-duties than the pants themselves. I gave this set a fairly reasonable workout, a weeks worth of wear and adventure, and they came up for more.

With both Tactical Baby almost walking and scooting EVERYWHERE, and Triceratops Girl being the most on-the-bounce 4 year old I know, I certainly spent some time crawling through pipes, clambering over logs and obstacles, digging in the veggie garden, chasing chickens as well as looking tidy and professional whilst wandering the server-rooms, labs and corridors of the hospital I work in.

These are some feature packed pants, which were a delight to get into, and find all the options available to me. Here are some of the pockets and what they are good for, and what I used them for.
The main "Angle-cut" hand pockets are deep, and well placed, with flat-seamed edges, to hook and clip pens, money clips and pocket knives to. The right hand side also features a hidden, zippered pocket built into the seam. Good for stowing valuables, papers and the like. The supporting internal stitching keeps it sag-free, which is a great addition.

The front of the top of each thigh has an easy-access, top opening mag pouch, with a hook-and-loop closure. Not humping ammunition around myself, I nevertheless found that they fit an iPhone nicely, or a set of precision screwdrivers, snugly and securely.

The main back pockets are also deep, and sloped to afford easy access and storage, scalloped at an angle rather than vertically as in Levi's. the back right pocket also features a zipperable pocket, to keep your wallet stowed and secure (I still keep mine in my EDC harness but as the weather heats up, I may take this option up.)

 The big cargo-pockets at the bottom of the thigh on each leg also hook-and-loop secure, with two patches on each flap. Each of these pockets feature three wide elastic webbing loops, inside to keep all your needfuls secure and properly oriented. They will fit two TV/DVD remote controls and my Trophy Master skinning knife (just in case, you know?) without even showing a significant bulge. I believe they would suit the designed mag-holding purpose very nicely. As well as the big pocket, the cargo-pockets each also feature a zippered pocket on the inside leg seam, for extra storage, as you can never have too many options. A lanyard loop at the belt loops is another aspect of that.

The pants close with a press-stud and zipper, with secondary botton inside, to give you that extra level of anti-dacking security. A cool feature inside the pants is the silicone grip strip inside the  waistband which kept my shirts tucked in during baby-chasing maneuvers. You can also see here the hidden, elastic waistband slides which kept the pants snug, but gave them some play when bending and kneeling. I really liked this feature. No more pinching!
The pants themselves are made of a rugged wrinkle / fade resistant 8.5 oz cotton canvas, which was double layered in the butt and knees for increased wear and protection. I just threw out a set of pants for tearing through the knee, something I hate. I hate it almost as much as I hate tearing out the crotch, which I do with alarming regularity. The Blackhawk! Performance Pants, however, anticipated this, with their broad crotch gusset, which allows increased movement, less pinching and no snagging of my bling. The belt loops are also generous, being 1.75" wide, to allow easy of feed for rigger belts such as my 215Gear Ultimate Riggers belt. The leg cuffs are also reinforced, which usually isnt an issue for me, being a long-legged as I am, but the 32waist/36leg was a really good fir for me, and when barefoot, the cuffs do actually touch ground, a rare surprise for me.

The only issue I found with these pants is that they seemed to pick up every piece of fluff or dust that I came into contact with. I had thoguht this might have just been because they were fresh out of the bag, and would die off after a wash, but post-laundry (where I remind you again of my general lack of care whilst doing this chore) they seem to have the same issue. Hopefully in a few more washes this will soften up the cotton until it no longer collects crud, and they will look as snappy as they aught to. Rock solid adventure-wear, great storage options, and rugged as all get up. These are pants to see you through some tough times

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