These might just be the World's Toughest Trousers.
• Unrivalled durability and comfort
• Quick drying
• Wind proof
• Scrub resistant
Like all Cactus products, these are made to the highest quality standards right here in New Zealand. We use our exclusive C-Canvas and YKK zips, and incorporate carefully considered design features such as articulated knees and strategic bar tacking for strength and wear-ability. Because of this we can confidently offer a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship.
Antelope is the darker of the two browns - a kinda nice chocolate colour. Beige is the other one. Ocean is a blue. Not quite a light denim blue, but close enough. Moss is a light olivey green. All very serviceable colours.
The black colour option is a lighter 8oz fabric.
• Exclusive 12oz or 8oz (Black only) WK C-Canvas is super durable and great to wear
• Articulated knee for tricky manoeuvres, be they building houses or a quick spot of bouldering
• Casual styling which won't let you down in most social situations
• Bar-tacked at all stress points
• YKK zips because they're the best
• Phone pocket for easy access to your digital companion
Saying that these pants are tough and durable is a bit like calling a diamond "sorta hard'ish" - never before have I come across a pair of trousers that take literally months to wear in and soften up, yet still retain the ability to stand up without me in them. 'Tough' just doesn't do them justice. When I can usually kill a pair of denim jeans in under 3 months just by wear-and-tear, these stood up for themselves and fought back, stubbornly refusing to show even the slightest signs they couldn't handle the punishment.
I wore these day in and day out - with breaks every few days for good hard washings to beat them into shape - for nearly 5 weeks before they started to soften up and get some flex. Yet, even after more than 2 months when I take them off, if I position them carefully, they will carry their own weight and stay standing. NOT something you want to catch a weary glimpse of out of the corner of your eye at 3am in the bush, especially if you have them standing under your hanging jacket! Talk about echos of "Sleepy Hollows"!
Taking the rep I met at Fieldays to his word, and girding my loins against potential disaster, I even waded through some rose bushes and gorse wearing these, fully expecting to be picking thorns out of my thighs for hours afterwards. Happily for me, and the toughness reputation of these pants, not a single spiky bit got through, and the worst I had to do was pull a couple of small, spiky twigs off my pants as I exited the scrub. This was quite an eye-opener for me, as I do a bit of outdoors work with the local Cub group, and often enjoy trips through the Central Plateau region either going up the mountain (Ruapehu) or wandering through the wilderness doing photography. Having something that gives my lower half such protection without the excessive padding of ski pants or at least two layers of denim is something highly desirable to me.
Comparing these with regular heavy-duty denim jeans which, at best, last 6 weeks before showing signs of wear - usually a hole forming just below my left front pocket where my wallet rubs against the steering wheel as I enter and exit my car - these should last for years without significant issues. What is reassuring is the amazing follow-up service from Cactus. I was fortunate enough to be at the Cactus stand at Fieldays when a chap turned up, presented one of their backpacks he had purchased 5 years earlier, and pointed out some damage caused by the bag "...being chewed on by some wild squirrels..." I fully expected to hear them say something along the lines of "Well, that's a bugger. So, you want to buy a new one?" but was stunned, and impressed, to hear them offer a very affordable repair option instead. After 5 years, and the level of damage, it would not have been unreasonable to push for a replacement, yet a repair option that was a tiny fraction of the cost of a very affordable bag was the first thing they came up with. Brilliant!
A couple of small critiques, which aren't so much a 'fault' as an 'inconvenience' - these pants don't come any larger than 3XL, but I don't know by what standard they hold their sizing, because I wear a 2XL jeans happily, while these were rather snug, and dug into place I won't discuss in a review. Suffice to say, if I wasn't careful how I sat down, windows, glassware and dogs' hearing in the vicinity was at risk of sonic shock. The other thing was that they are pre-manufactured and hemmed to suit the needs of the wearer, and the default design proportions appear to be for Greek Gods, so at 3XL these needed a good 15cm+ trimmed off the legs, putting the clever 'articulated knee joints' at mid-calf on me making them a tad strange to walk in. Again, not so much a fault as an irritation and a slight barrier to true comfort. A design variant that is more for the stocky breeds might improve the overall comfort for some wearers.
Overall, are these pants suitable for day to day use? Probably a bit overkill, in line with using a V8 Racer to pop 3 doors down to the dairy for milk and bread. However, if you are in a work environment where your pants are being brutalised, you would be hard pressed to find anything more suitable than a good pair of these. Available in a range of colours, there is bound to be a pair that suits you and your needs. If you are a 'great outdoors' type, then these are almost a uniform requirement, IMHO. As a Cub Scout leader, these are going to be my camping and hiking trip pants, despite the slight discomfort caused more by my shape than the pants. For the price, I would have to say that in the right environment these will more than pay for themselves within the year, and thus are a great wardrobe investment.
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