Friday, July 1, 2011

REVIEW: Valken Fate Pants

        These pants are cool in about three pretty awesome ways. First is their affordability: Sitting at less than 40$ US, they make for a handy addition to your gear collection if for no other reason than they're great for when you can't use your regular load out and don't want to get the street clothes dirty.
        Second is they look great: it's a minimalist design for sure, given that these are Valken's entry level pants but sometimes less can be more. Aesthetics aside, these pants have a very modest design which still manages to cover all the bases in ways that don't jack up the price. Valken really puts a lot of work into the designs on their gear and the Fate pants are no different than the high end products. They have two pockets for stowing pocket things, they zippered though so if you want a pair I wouldn't keep valuable in them. They have padding in the knees which is comparable to that of the Sierra pants and there are two pockets on the sides for stashing a barrel swab. Nearly all the stitching to be found on the pants is double stitching ensuring the pants won't be falling apart at the seems quickly. The pants also have the same strange stretch panel in the crotch which the Sierra pants do. To top it all off, they have plenty of excess material so to encourage bounces and not breaks. Like all other pants made by Valken, they have a mechanism at the bottom of the leg for tightening the pant around your ankle and keeping that area from dragging in the dirt, the means by which it works on these pants is a thin length of velcro all the way around the ankle which can be adjusted the wearer's preference.
       The third way they're cool is that they literally can keep you cool. Living in a desert, I was skeptical when I made a bit of an impulse buy on these black(!) pants but they most certainly delivered. Like the Sierra pants, these ones lack any kind of significant ventilation on the backs of the legs. Unlike the Sierra pants, they're made a different material entirely which encourages air flow and discourages insulation on hot days. Sitting out in the sun today, even while not moving I felt pretty acclimated wearing these pants despite my fears that the color (or lack there of) would cause me to over heat quickly but they breathe very nicely.
       I am going to have to do an addendum review to these pants however. I've reffed in them, plan to do a lot of building and field work in them which usually involves scrambling about on my hands and knees anyway, will be moving the business to a new location in them soon, but I will not be playing in them. I'll run them through their paces a little longer and let you know how they hold up.
       By now do I even need to mention Valken's page (link) has additional pictures of all the features talked about? Check their page out after the jump.

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