A few weeks ago, I posted about Nau’s new twill cargo pants calling them “covert cargos” as they featured the look of sleek chinos, but the functionality of EDC cargos. Folks in the forum showed some interest, so I contacted the company about getting a pair to review. They arrived at The Gear Journal world headquarters just a day before I set out on two major expeditions – a vintage car rally in Tennessee and an adventure in Hawaii.
Before arriving in Tennessee, I had no time to even try the pants on. I literally cut off the tags, slipped em (one leg at a time-ED), and hopped in a ’32 roadster headed for the Tennessee country side in the middle of a downpour. Buying pants online is a risk – you just never know how they are going to fit and the return process is such a hassle, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that these jobs fit the bill perfectly. I run the scale at about 210 pounds and have a 6’2″ frame. The inseam was ideal for me and the waist was true.
Even more surprising was the material of the pants. I expected a cotton like material similar to a chino you might buy at the Gap, but the Nau cargos are actually made of a cotton/spandex blend. As a result, the pants have a hint of stretch to them and this provides excellent comfortability and maneuverability. I absolutely love the feel of these pants.
Further, Nau didn’t skimp on the details. All of the buttons are mounted with what appears to be gutted paracord, providing extremely secure fastening and a bitchin’ look. Also, all of the seams are double stitched, straight, and clean. These are $95 pants and Nau went the extra mile to make sure the value was there.
The only real complaint that I have is the result of an unavoidable compromise. The covert cargo pockets are secured by the way of a high quality zipper with a very small pull. While the diminutive size of the zipper does completely conceal the pocket on the pants, I wouldn’t consider them easy to access. Aside from that, the pockets were sized well and items placed in them were very secure.
In any regard, there I was… Rain was pouring down inside the roadster and it was pretty damned cold to boot. The pants did a great job of keeping me warm (even at 85 mph in an open car), dried quickly, and performed flawlessly during the two day rally. And I really grew to love the small cargo pockets as they proved to be perfectly sized for rally maps, stop watches, and my venerable iPhone.
With the first test passed, it was time for what I consider the most important – wash performance. So often, I buy a pair pants and love them the first time I wear them only to be disappointed after the first wash. That was not the case with the Nau pants – the material remained true, the size didn’t change a bit, and all was still glorious. Second step, passed… Just in time for the tropics.
Hawaii is warm and humid this time of the year and typically, I don’t wear pants in those conditions. BUT, my wife and I decided to take a hike high above Hanalie Bay one steamy day and the pants were chosen as the proper attire. They resisted snags and tears while in the jungle, the spandex flexed as it should, but more importantly – the fabric breathed. Even in the 90-degree weather and thick humidity, I was comfortable and stick free. Again, passed.
After reading this review, it might seem like I’m glorifying things a bit. I’m not. I’ve found a pair of pants that I love. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided to buy another pair for myself. And my timing couldn’t be better… Nau is currently offering a special from now through October 31st. If you visit their website, you’ll find the “Changing Room,” where you can purchase select styles at half the price to test out yourself. Nau is convinced that once you try out their products, you’ll fall in love. And if you do, Nau will charge you for the second half of your Changing Room purchase in 30 days. However, if you’re not completely satisfied you can return the product within 30 days and get your money back, no questions asked.
No risk fellas… Get it on.