Monday, October 11, 2010

Carhartt vs. Propper vs. 5.11 vs. Other Pants

If you are an active person and are rough on clothes in either work or play, you need pants that are useful and durable. I have searched for the best and most durable pair of pants. Here are the specs I look for:

For Industrial Work:
  • Heavy Natural Fiber Fabric. (for durability, and natural fibers do not melt like synthetics)
  • Bar Tacks or Rivets
  • Triple Stitched in Key Areas, and At Least Double Stitched Elsewhere
  • Deep Pockets
  • Double Front
  • Lots of Closable Pockets
For Outdoor Play:
  • Same As Above, With The Only Difference Being The Fabric. Cotton/Synthetic Mix Fabric. With Synthetic Being At Least 50% (Synthetic helps the fabric dry quicker, while cotton reduces noise and does not melt).
Carhartt beats military style pants for work. Carhartt double front dungarees have the thickest and most durable fabric of 12 oz. cotton duck. If a welding spark (or camp fire spark) goes through it, the fabric will not melt to skin. Triple stitched where it counts and double stitched else where. The side pockets are small but useful for tools; unfortunately they have no way to close. I add snaps to the side pockets so things don't fall out. Carhartts do not have a double seat like military pants and develop holes beneath the rear pockets.

For military BDU, ACU, and Improved pants I found that their fabrics do not hold up to industrial work. They get holes and rips much quicker than the Carhartts. Furthermore, the side pockets are usually only single stitched and I have had these stitches fail and everything fall out.

For outdoor play like backpacking, hiking, and potential survival situations. I have found that Airman Combat Uniforms (ACUs) are best. The large side pockets with interior pockets and the lower calve pockets give plenty of storage, and things do not fall out of them like the Carhartts. They have much more storage than Carhartt as well. They have double front and seat which aids in their longevity. They are made from 50/50 cotton/poly which gives the best of both worlds with the quick-drying anti-fading synthetic and the durable quiet cotton.

Carhartt for industrial work.
Military (ACU from Propper or equivalent) for outdoors and wilderness.

Using long lasting & practical clothing is an important part of Trivalism.

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