In the cooler months, I have a love affair with soft shell pants. I have a couple pairs, but the one thing I don’t like is the fact that all the pockets are zippered. Now this is great for someone who doesn't want to lose anything, but for me I just want to be able to stick my hands in my pockets without fumbling with a zipper or have it scratch me as I take my hand in and out.
Oddly enough, trying to find a pair of soft shell paints without zippered pockets wasn’t easy. I’m not sure if this issue was because I was looking for big sizes, but I honestly had trouble finding options. I ended up coming across the Adventure Tech (APCU Level V) softshell pants from ACU (www.acu.com). This is essentially part of a cold weather system used by the military, although it is no thicker or warmer than any other soft shell pants I own. Nowadays, the U.S. military gets some pretty good stuff based on quite a bit of solid science (although I don’t want to paint too broadly because many servicemen simply don’t get equipment adequate to perform under the conditions their leaders put them in).
Aside from the fact that pockets in these pants are accessible, the pants themselves are based on NanoSphere “self-cleaning” fabric promoted by Schoeller Dynamic. For those readers familiar with Schoeller Dynamic, you are likely aware that this brand of fabric represents the top end of industry performance and is usually only available in the most expensive options. Search Arcteryx and you’ll get an idea of how much pants and jackets with this fabric cost. NanoSphere technology is based on the principal of plants and the fact that plants never seem to be dirty. This is relevant if you consider the fact that plants are outside 24/7 and never seem muddy or soiled. The reason is because of their slick surface.
Fortunately, these pants were only $95 which I consider to be right in the middle between an inexpensive and expensive option. They aren’t the world’s greatest pants, as they are a little boxy, hand pockets aren’t very deep, and a couple extra belt loops would be nice, but they are a solid option especially for bigger folks.
For those of you who need clothing of a particular size that you're having a tough time finding, consider having your clothing custom constructed by Beyond Clothing (http://www.beyondclothing.com/). They offer some truly wonderful options for people that can’t find clothing off the shelf in sizes they need.