Jun 19

Kuhl Revolvr vs Carhartt Force: Prepper Pants

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.

Kuhl Revolvr Pants Review

Kuhl Revolvr Pants

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.

Carhartt Force Pants

Carhartt pantsCarhartt Force Tappen Pants Pockets 

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!


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    • J on June 20, 2015 at 6:22 PM
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    thanks for the info on these. Am a big Carhartt fan myself, although I have not tried the other brand you mentioned.

    1 brand I have been curious about was Duluth Trading Company. do you know anything about them? Their Firehose work pants looked pretty good but I dont know anyone that has tried them. Anyone have any info on them?

      • PJ on June 20, 2015 at 11:29 PM
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      I’ve looked extensively at Duluth although I’m hesistant to buy clothing online without trying it first. As an example, my 5.11 pants are 34×32 and fit almost exactly like the Carhartt’s which are 36×30. I suppose each company might make theirs a bit differently which is why I like to try things on first. Today my wife and I were at Bass Pro Shop and I picked up some more clothing, definitely had to try it on first. I saw some Columbia stuff online that looked awful in person, ended up going with another brand.

        • J on June 21, 2015 at 8:59 AM
        • Reply

        yea, am with you on that. It is one of the main reasons that i havent ordered any myself.

    • Luke on August 24, 2016 at 12:35 AM
    • Reply

    Two different styles of pants that you are comparing! Yes both are for outdoor but kuhls are more covert while the carhatt has ties to a tactical type pant.

    • John on November 3, 2016 at 12:47 PM
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    If you are trying to decide between Duluth trading or Kuhl pants or even Carhartt I would recommend taking a look at the Duluth trading fire hose and and flex fire hose pants. First off I do not work for or receive commission from Duluth trading. I just love their product since I have extensively used them. Hands down the best and most comfortable pair of pants I have ever owned are the Duluth trading flex fire hose pants. I had never tired them on before I bought them online because I don’t live close to a physical store. I used their sizing chart on the web site and they fit true to what ever size you are. I wear a 34 30 and the pants fit like a dream. Much like the Carhartt pants you can toss the Duluth pants on the floor and wear em next day no problem. My pants have been fishing up to Canada with me and out hunting and camping. Also the fire hose liner material the pants are made from is very durable and tough. When I was fishing in Canada I hooked a big muskie and when I landed it in the boat I went to remove the big ass muskie lure and the fish slammed it’s head into my leg and the barbs of the muskie lure poked into my pants. I froze because I thought for sure the lure was embedded into my skin. Nope not the case, the Duluth fire hose pant material stopped the the hook from poking through and the pants weren’t even ripped. I have beat the hell out of my Duluth trading fire hose flex pants and have had them for one year and they still are holding up very well. I just recently bought my second pair and I’m looking forward to getting my use out of them. If you buy a pair which you should because you won’t regret it, when you wash them make sure to hang dry them. Don’t throw them into the dryer because they will shrink about half a size. Other than that I have had no issues with my Duluth trading pants and will keep buying them. Also Duluths 7 year socks are a very good product. As an outdoorsman I’m very critical about socks to keep my feet warm but also to keep them from retaining moisture. As you know how important keeping feet dry and aired out is a must especially when hiking or walking long distance. I also work in EMS so my boots are on my feet a good part of my day. The Duluth trading 7 year socks preform above and beyond what I thought they would. Whatever tech they use to make their socks it’s superb as a camping/work sock. Your feet stay relatively cool and the socks help wick moister away from your feet so they don’t become sweaty and then have damp socks. I will stop commenting on Duluth trading haha but don’t take my word for it, go test the gear for your self. Christmas is coming up so if you have been looking for a new pair of pants put them on your list or ask for a Duluth trading gift card. That way you won’t be directly committed to spending 60 bucks on a pair of pants. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Take care and be safe!

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