User Review: TAD Force 10 Cargo Pants - NYCO Ripstop
Price Paid: $109
After much consideration I finally picked up a pair of the TAD NYCO cargo pants for 2011.
I'm not much on "tactical" gear as I don't expect to be fighting Nazis or terrorists on the trail, however sometimes "tactical" gear is so functional that it cannot be ignored: Enter the Force 10 NYCO cargo pants. The creators over at Triple Aught Design put a lot of thought into this pant with an appeal to a wide range of uses.
Material - The Cotton and Nylon rip stop is a tough but comfortable fabric and seems to be suited well to withstand the abuses of hiking/backpacking/camping without being heavy. Most cotton cargos come in sanded cotton which is a much softer material but is usually heavier and tears easily.
I went for a hike in full regalia on an unusually warm winter's day of about 75 degrees and didn't overheat, however I might opt for something purely nylon in desert hiking where temps climb above 100.
Look - Call me vain but I don't care how functional something is, if I look like a dork wearing it I won't buy it. These pants just plain look good and make you look like you're ready for Armageddon or a trip to the mall.
I would definitely wear these around town. I bought the ME brown which is similar to a British tan for those familiar and has kind of an olive tone to them. I like this color a lot over the traditional beige because even when these pants are dirty they don't look it.
Also, did I mention they look really cool? These have got to be the coolest looking cargo I've ever owned and I own many pairs of cargo pants.
Function - I'm really big on pockets and hidden compartments to store stuff and these pants have plenty of em'. The positions of the many pockets is perfect. There are eight total pockets that are placed so as not to get in the way when hiking even when filled. The side cargo pockets are bellowed on the bottom and rear but not the front making them very streamlined which compliment the profile of the pant.
I put my K & M matchcase and surefire flashlight in the compartments within the pockets and barely noticed them. The buttons on the rear and cargo pockets are easily fastened with one hand. I don't usually use the drawstring at the hem but it's nice having it in case I encountered snow or a stream crossing. I was a little afraid that the hem was tapered (which I hate) but thankfully they come in a straight leg.
The material was a little grippy on my skin when my legs heated up and caused a little friction which is one reason most hiking pants are made almost exclusively of nylon but I didn't mark the pants down for this as they are not exclusively a hiking pant.
Fit - The fit was my most important consideration, I'm 5'8" - 185 lbs. I called TAD first and was told sizing is true to form and I should order my regular size which is 36-30. They seemed too big until my first wash and they shrunk for a perfect fit.
They're baggy but not too baggy and never felt bulky when hiking in them. The knees are articulated which is neat feature. These pants are very comfortable and the relaxed fit make them a nice alternative to wearing chinos to work.
Overall, if you're a simple no frills kind of person maybe these aren't for you, but for the rest of us who love innovation and technology infused into everything we use then get these pants, they won't disappoint.