L.L.Bean Guide Pants
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Reviewers Paid: $100.00-$130.00
Excellent pants. Bought after reading some very positive reviews. I didn't think I would like the fitted cut, however, they stretch to accommodate any amount of flexing. Knees and seat are reinforced, gusseted crotch, zippers on legs, brushed interior for comfort. Not too heavy like some others. Great all-around pant.
Only negative and it's personal preference is the rise of the pant is longer than I prefer. Instead of wearing them up around my waist, I prefer pants to sit lower like most guys do. This makes the zipper bunch up somewhat. As I said, minor. I paid retail and had to wait because they were out of stock.
Fabric: schoeller extreme
Price Paid: $130
Great pants, that can handle quite a bit of abuse, though read below for limitations I've found. I have an older version than the one currently offered by LL Bean. The ones I have are a bit more minimalistic: no double fabric at knees and rear, no gusseted crotch, no buckle, etc.
I have to say that after putting it through a wide variety of activities (from bouldering and snowshoeing to bistro hopping), it's held up pretty well. The lack of gusseted crotch is beginning to show, as the crotch seam is starting to pop in a few places, which is a drag. The Schoeller material is superb and allows for such versatility that these pieces become instant favorites; good in just about all conditions.
I see Bean has made their new version of the Guide Pant a bit more rugged, which is a good thing; I've started to be careful on the uses of my pant so as to not open any unwanted vent holes in the crotch area! I'd also like to see a cargo pocket put on the side of these; such pockets are extremely valuable for objects that otherwise can poke, prod, and bruise your thigh under heavy movement like something in the deep front pockets sometimes do in this guide pant.
So, materials, A+, design around a B-/C.
Fabric: Schoeller Dryskin
Price Paid: around $100