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[Editor’s Note: This story was updated on May 17, 2019 to include prAna, Agave Denim, Outerknown, Everlane, Wellen, Faherty, Bonobos, Todd Snyder, Rhone, J.Crew Factory, Perry Ellis, and Under Armour.]
In the sweltering heat of summer, finding a pair of pants that strikes the perfect balance of comfort, durability, and good looks is tricky. Jeans are hot (yes, even white ones); thin pants like linen that breathe feel great from the inside, but they wrinkle easily and can sweat through in humidity. And most can’t last beyond a single day without needing a wash. In an effort to find the ideal summer pants we tried two that claim to work well in everyday, outdoor situations.
No Sweat Pants from Vancouver’s DU/ER and 365 Pants from Flint & Tinder are designed to be worn during outdoor activities, and for multiple days straight, if necessary. Both aim to combine the look and comfort of chinos with the durability of jeans and the stretch and of “performance” pants. And both perform exactly as advertised.
No Sweat – DU/ER
The No Sweat Pants ($129 at Backcountry) use a proprietary fabric DU/ER calls Nature2X. It aims to mix the comfort of cotton, the versatility of polyester, and the flexibility of spandex by blending all those with Tencel, a naturally anti-bacterial fiber that’s derived from eucalyptus.
No Sweat pants absorb odor and dry quickly. After a month of rotating them through our wardrobe, we’re here to testify. We ordered ours in Slim, in black (there are nine shades to choose from). They fit snugly on the ankle and calf, but they’re cut generously cut through the thigh, with a gusset sewn into the crotch for even more room. They’re soft and comfortable, and while the fabric has definitely got a synthetic feel, they stretch and breathe extremely well.
And they snap right back into shape, even after hard wear. On a recent weekend getaway where we wore them on both legs of a three-hour flight and most of the time between, the No Sweat pants lived up to their name. After three days they never wrinkled, didn’t smell, and sagged only slightly. We’ve even put them through the occasional bartending shift, where they repel stains like nobody’s business and if they get wet, they dry in minutes. The fabric hides wear and tear beautifully and after multiple washings, they have yet to show any signs of fading. If you’re in the service or hospitality industries, DU/ER’s No Sweat pants should be your favorite work pants in no time.
Flint and Tinder’s 365 Pant (below, $98 at Huckberry) is made primarily with cotton, then reinforced with stretchy Lycra to offer some give when squatting, kneeling, or whatever maneuvering life requires of you. The made-in-the-USA 365s are also cut like jeans but lean more in the chino direction when it comes to feel.
365 pants are light, in both weight and thickness, so they breathe well. The cotton feels natural — a nice touch on the legs and butt compared to the synthetic slickness of the DU/ERs. The five-pocket Slim cut best suits the style, although it should be noted that guys who are a bit thicker down low should definitely go for the Straight cut.
365s are great for casual dress and mild outdoor activities like yard work or even skateboarding, but the slight stretch and high-density cotton blend isn’t going to allow for much room for anything more extreme than the occasional flip-kick.
Cut, sewn and garment-dyed in Los Angeles, Flint and Tinder’s 365s come in Slim or Straight cuts, and in fourteen earthy tones. They’re sold exclusively by Huckberry ($98). While they may not be quite as versatile as the DU/ERs, the 365s are a fantastic option for guys who like to wear their pants more than one day at a time.
Not a shorts guy? Here are more great summer pants that are breathable and cool all year long.
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