Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: Platatac - Urban Dax pants

I had very good fortune to be asked to try out some prototype pants before Giftmas, and I have to say, I really like them. I've covered a lot of Platatac's gear in the past, and for good reason. They are locally produced, excellent quality and I have a really good rapport with the guys in the shop. I'm really pleased that I get to test out their gear, and more so, that I got the chance to play with a prototype, or at least, a pre-release set ... They are in-store now, I believe, and so I had to get my act together and do some writing, after sneak-previewing them in my "No Really" post.

 These are the Platatac EDC trousers, which are probably going to be called the "Urban Dax" and here's what I can tell you about them.

Made of a cotton ploy blend ripstop fabric, these are both light and breathable. I really noticed this in recent weeks as the Australian summer rolled into full effect. What they are not is flimsy, however. This is a densely woven and almost stiff feeling fabric, but resistance free. After a bit of wearing in, they loosened up, but kept a characteristic "sail-like" feeling. I really like this, mostly because they kept looking sharp, even after some punishment. Being able to blend in to an every-day setting is of great importance to me, and this fabric really did it. It is also silicone treated, and I'll get to that later on.

A simple straight leg, relaxed fit with a reasonably high waistline makes for a comfortable hot or cool wear. My partner Omega (of Fashion Adjacent) commented how smart they looked (perhaps in contrast to the more "outdoorsy looking" cargo pants I sometime wear. That was high praise. I even wore them to Giftmas dinner, with not a second look from the family.

They certainly had the look of slacks over other cargoes. Great for blending in whilst still being very, very effective EDC wear. Lets talk about that for a minute. These are some seriously well thought out and feature rich pants!

The main hand pocket is well placed, and deep, with the opening lines being broken to a just-off-vertical  mainline, and a second , just-off-horizontal seam. This distinction gives you ample real-estate for clipping in a pen, pocket knife or flashlight, without them either sliding around, or putting a tell-tale strain on the pocket. The hem is also reinforced to reduce wear and fraying and the carogo-pocket below has a peek-a-boo gap left in its hood seam to allow cordage, and the like to feed through. At the belt-line, one both sides of the pants, is a secret pocket, about credit-card sized, sewn right up to the waistline stitching lines, very hard to pick and if lightly filled, ideal for a safe stash.

On the front of each thigh is a mobile-phone sized open-topped pocket, which I was happy to keep my iPhone in its silicone case in whilst knocking about, and didn't have any worries with it falling out.

Inside the main-hand pocket is a simple coin-catcher. I kept my ConStel Micro LED lantern in one of these, fit perfectly, and I barely noticed it. In the other set I kept a set of these rappel rings, on a loop of cordage, which I pass over to Tactical Baby when she needs a play-toy, and use as worry-beads in times of stress. Never hurts to have a set on-hand, in case of unexpected haulage needs either....

I splattered them with cooking fat, mud, chicken mess, dribbled lunch, a variety of baby-mess, silicone lube and they bore up tremendously. 

 The silicone coating will wash out eventually, I'm told, but after a week of hard wear, including Giftmas Dinner with my family, they were still looking good. I only washed them to test how they washed.

The twin cargo pockets are at once spacious and cleverly tailored to tuck away when empty. The billowed sides are sewn such they stay flat when emptied of a load, which added to their tidiness for every-day urban wear. However, make no mistake, these are built for storage! With hook-and-loop patches to close the lid of the pocket, and matching tabs inside the pocket let you stow the lid out of the way when you need free access to your pockets. An additional button closure keeps your contents secure when you expect some upside-down adventure. As well as the main cargo-pocket, twin internal pockets give you extra gear securing options.

I kept my DMT sharpening stone in one of my cargo pockets,  my OscarDelta Deep Carry tube, and a variety of work paperwork in the others, without putting a dent or sag in my day. These are some serious EDC pants.

The back sides of each cargo pocket also feature two extra sets of pockets. The larger, inner pocket is big enough to fit my Surefire 6PX on one side, and my Gerber multitool on the other.  The outer pockets are for pens, which worked really well for me. This was great, and they were well fitted, not giving me the "pocket full of junk" swinging about that it might have. I occasionally forgot they was there. 

From this angle, you can see the webbing adjustment waistband, which gives you a nice range of fits, as well as elastisised siding to keep them snug when you bend and duck (no plumbers crack full of grit, thanks). The center most belt loop at the back features the only branding, a subdued Platatac logo on its extra wide space. The two back pockets are also good and deep, like the front hand pockets,the back-right pocket also has a button closure, to secure your needfuls, and I could happily walk around with my SIGG bottle in either of them with no trouble. The seat of the pants have a extra panel sewn in for padding, and wear-control.

The crotch is also deeply gusseted, which I found really comfortable, especially when wearing knee-pads. The main closure is button and zipper, with a webbing sewn button, and a very long and solid zip, good for getting in and out, without worrying about snagging or popping buttons.

A set of double-diamond shaped sewn in panels to add to wear-resistance and a touch more padding to the knees. These were a great design, although I found that with my extra-long legs, the panels were a little higher up on my legs than I'd have liked. being more knee-thigh than shin-knee. I let the Platatac guys know, and perhaps they will adjust the placement in revisions (unless it's just my mutant legs ...)

 These are probably my favourite pants to date. More comfortable and elegant than the Blackhawk! Performace pants, and more feature rich than the 5.11 Gear TacLite Pro pants. 

I haven't quite had the opportunity to "thrash them to death" as instructed, but I'll keep giving them a good hard wear doing a variety of adventurous things, in adventurous places, with adventurous people, and see how they hold up. I think I'd have a hard time doing them much harm, without collecting some new bruises and scars myself though.

1 comment:

  1. There's a chance you're eligible for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.


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