Note: While I purchased the first pair of pants for this review, Western Rise sent me the next size down after seeing the photos and letting me know that I likely chose the wrong size. The review has been edited now that I have tested the correct size.
Western Rise has been in the technical clothing game for a while. They recently launched The Evolution Pant through Kickstarter and just this week launched them on their website. Built from a custom stretch nylon fabric, they claim the ability to dress up while still being rugged enough for outdoor activities. Given these claims and the opportunity to check out a new fabric, I picked up a pair through Kickstarter and have been wearing them for over a month now.
The fabric is a custom high-denier, air-texturized Supplex nylon twill with 4% elastane for stretch and a DWR treatment. Interestingly, the stretch feels similar in the hand to the Outlier Futureworks (our review), but doesn’t feel as free while wearing.
At 173 gsm the fabric is very lightweight (the lightest I have other than my Ferrosi Pants). While I can wear Futureworks even in the cold weather, I found these to be too light without a baselayer.
The way the fabric is woven gives the pants a nice texture and a cottony look. I previously noted that the fabric was a little noisy, but with the appropriate size, the noise seems to be gone. As far as the pilling I noted in my original pair, this pair looks fine and has showed no signs of pilling (Western Rise thought it was a defect in the fabric).
These pants are described as having a “flattering and slimming yet comfortable fit”, which I think is a good description. My first pair ended up being too big in the seat and stretched enough in the waist that I needed a belt. Once I received the correct size, they fit me like I expected. So a note here – if you are on the borderline of the size chart provided or are trying to decide between two sizes, size down.
As far as the color, I originally picked the khaki for something different. The color looked darker on the Kickstarter page than it ended up coming out in production, and I don’t love how light it came out. With my second pair, they were out of the kakhi, so I was able to give the navy a try. I much prefer the navy.
Finally, the claims of these pants being able to be dressed up for a meeting are spot on. I think they did a great job designing the fabric to keep it durable while looking sharp (the navy plays very well into making the pants more dressy). In the realm of pants I own, I’d place them right between my Futureworks (most dressy) and Outlier Slim Dungarees (our review) as far as “dress-up-ability”.
I think these pants will be excellent for hot weather. At an even lighter weight than my Futureworks and with much better looks than my Ferrosis, I can see these as a contender for someone in a hot climate. In a humid environment, I could see the cottony feel of the fabric keeping it from getting clammy against your skin. The breathability also seems excellent, as they were cut right through by cold wind.
As I mentioned above, the stretch, while there, doesn’t feel as free as I’d like. There is a gusset, but it doesn’t come down to the knee like the Futureworks, so that could be an additional explanation of the experiences I’ve had while wearing.
As far as travel features, these look like your standard five-pocket pant, but add a few niceties. The “coin” pocket on the right front is sized to fit your phone, for easy stowage and separation from what you might have in the main pocket. I find it to hold my iPhone XS securely and comfortably. There is also a hidden zippered passport compartment in the right rear pocket. This is the best one I’ve seen, as the zipper manages to be unnoticeable when otherwise using the pocket and when sitting.
The Western Rise The Evolution Pant is a new entry in a quite crowded market of five-pocket pants. I think they did a nice job of making the pants look normal while retaining good performance.
After getting the right size, I think these pants will become a go-to in warm weather over my Slim Dungarees. I haven’t come across pants that are this light while still looking good.