I like comfortable pants and as a contractor of various types, prefer those which are functional, durable and heck somewhat stylish. Over the years I’ve worn almost every variety including Wrangler, Sonoma, 5.11 and more. Yet recently I had the opportunity to wear and test two other brands: Kuhl and Carhartt. I should note that I have other Carhartt gear but this is the first time I’ve specifically gone with a pair of their pants (I have bib overalls, coats, shirts etc).
So before we get into this whole thing I think the bigger question is, what should prepper pants do for you? The answer could vary but generally I think they need to fit well, be comfortable, durable, have plenty of well placed pockets and generally look good while being readily available and at a decent price point. Enter our two recent contenders: the Kuhl Revolvr and Carhartt Force Tappen Pants.
Kuhl via REI: I hated them.
Let’s cut to the chase, while I paid $80 for them (after hearing rave reviews from the sales reps at REI) I returned the Kuhl Revolvr pants after a mere 3 days of wearing the. In fact, I hated them…allow me to share.
1- The price wasn’t exactly user friendly. $80? We aren’t talking about designer suit pants here.
2- Loud noises. While the pants seemed to be lightweight the material was reminiscent of trash bags around my legs, and they made just as much noise when I walked.
3- Front pockets: I hated them. The front pockets are cut like jeans, almost horizontal in fashion, this as opposed to a nice 45 degree cut of other pants. Pocket knives look awkward clipped into the corner pocket and who likes to shove their hand downward into a tight little pocket to retrieve keys?
4- Wrinkle factor. I like pants which I can wear daily, toss on the floor and wear again. These things wrinkled up like a pair of business casual chinos, not exactly something I want to spend time ironing daily before I head out the door.
The Solution: Carhartt
Let me just preface everything I’m about to write by stating I’ve never been let down by Wrangler and have other lower priced pants which tend to work well. Yet if you are in the market and have an extra $60 to spend I highly suggest a pair of the Carhartt Force Tappen pants.
1- Price point is decent at around $60.
2- No loud noises when you walk, very comfortable pants.
3- Love the front pockets, lots of room in there and the angle of the cut is money. Cargo pockets are functional as well.
4- Wrinkle factor is about zero. Ripstop summer weight pants mean I can toss these on the floor and throw them on the next day no problem.
The Bottom Line
Try pants on, heck even wear them for a few days before you decide on whether or not you like them. I paid top dollar for some pants from REI and personally think they suck, this is why I returned them and bought 2 other sets of Carhartt’s from another store. Pants are important for preppers as we tend to keep the majority of our EDC in them! They must be comfortable, functionable and quite frankly stylish (to our own taste). Choose wisely!