Craghoppers Bear Survivor Trousers Review
- FEATURES: 9 pockets button and zippered closures, button and elastic waistband, Solardry polyamide construction
- WEIGHT: 450g
- MSRP: $85
Bear Grylls is one of those memorable figures that you can easily sit in front of the TV and be in awe of as he excitedly scampers across varying terrain sucking on eyeballs and generally making survival seem like a grand adventure. In fact in the past few years he has almost become a household name around the world. Bear's signature style seems a mix of unbridled determination and amazing knowledge base, and what quasi adventurer does not want to be like Bear in some manner?
Bear is riding his name recognition all the way to the bank with the introduction of his adventure clothing line as produced by UK leading active wear clothing maker Craghoppers. Luckily we were offered the chance to review a few items to see if they are all that Bear portrays in his shows. For this review we took the Bear Survivor trousers through the ringer all the while doing our best Man vs. Wild impressions by scrambling, running, jumping, swimming, sliding, and flipping our way through the Colorado Mountains and the Utah Deserts. These pants are designed to be lightweight and quick drying while providing stretch in critical areas to allow freedom of movement during your adventures. Now to set the record straight, when I saw Bear wearing these pants during his trips I assumed the black patches of material on the rear, the knees, and inner cuffs were some bomber tough abrasion resistant fabric to keep them together during the rigors of survival, but in fact they are stretch panels. In the seat and knees they are not a second layer but a bit of stretchy fabric sewn in the place of the normal material. For the cuffs the stretchy material is sewn over the normal fabric. So I guess there it provides another layer, but other than that I wonder what would stretchy material on a pant cuff sewn over non stretch material do for you?
This is not a gripe, perhaps I misunderstood the product and thought I was getting a version that had reinforced bits, which FYI they do offer but I have not reviewed them yet.
On the up side the stretch material is a great thing for active movement, not once did I not appreciate its ability to maneuver with my body, the knees were never tight and the rear...well who knows. During my testing the pants held up well until I decided to jump on and slide down sandpaper like sandstone a bunch of times and eventually the sandstone did its thing and wore through the stitching in the rear, but it did leave the stretchy material almost unmarred!
The general construction of the pants are nice with just enough of a loose fitting that they wear as pants should in my opinion, nicely in the waist and a good straight leg cut, with minimal bagginess and overall a great look. They feature 9 pockets which include 2 rear pockets, 2 standard front pockets and 1 additional zippered front security pocket, 2 cargo pockets each with another pocket (one internal and one zippered from the side). Which is more than enough storage space for all of your snickers bars and smart phones...you know the stuff of adventure! For a product designed with adventure in mind they must be tough, flexible and ready for anything and I would have to say that these do a great job of covering the bases.
For active folks that want the durability and comfort while blasting through the bush, this is a great pair of pants to use...the price may be more than some can swallow but it is in line with comparable pants from leading US makers. I look forward to the other offerings from Craghoppers and I am glad they are breaking into the US market.