Note: Western Rise has sent me the next size down in these pants and I will post an update once I give them a good test. First thoughts; I definitely had the wrong size and I think my overall impression of the pants will become more positive.
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, however, the light “technical swoosh” while walking can give away the fact that these are technical pants. Also, there appear to be irregularities in the pattern that almost look like pilling. That is how the fabric came to me, and it was noticeable enough in a sunny environment that my wife asked if the pants were pilling already.
Fit & Style
These pants are described as having a “flattering and slimming yet comfortable fit”, which I think is a good description. Like many of our favorite brands, Western Rise provides garment measurements to help find the right size. When I first received the pants, they seemed like they fit well, however, as I’ve worn them, it seems like they’ve stretched out in the seat/front and waist. I don’t love how they look now that they’ve stretched out (as seen in the photos), and wonder if I maybe would have been better off with a size smaller.
As far as the color, I 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. Looking at the photos on the website, it looks like the charcoal came out almost black and the navy came out a nice mid-blue. I’d probably pick the navy as my favorite color by far.
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 (assuming you can get the fit right). 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.
From my personal experience, I’m not sure they will remain an everyday wear for me due to fit and the noise. Maybe I could get a better fit with a different size, but I didn’t love how they looked compared to my current favorite pants.
For those in hot climates, however, I think these pants could be top contenders. I haven’t come across pants that are this light while still looking good.