Better than regular TRU's but with major deficiencies
These fix all the flaws of the regular TRU pants. They use a zip-fly instead of buttons, and the waist adjusters are elastic rather than (uncomfortable) metal buckles or (inconvenient) drawstrings.
The back pockets are bellowed and thus put much less stress on the velcro closures when you sit down. On my regular TRU’s, the velcro wears out after about a year, but I expect these to do better. This design also dispenses with the inferior lightweight fabric for the pocket lining, hopefully improving durability. The slash pockets similarly eschew the lighter weight pocket lining in favor of the same durable fabric.
The main cargo pockets no longer have the (in my opinion superfluous) shock cords. They do retain the internal pockets, which are perfect for wallets (much better than putting them in your back pocket and sitting on them). The cargo pockets themselves are roomy and easy to access either standing up or sitting down.
There are also additional zippered hidden pockets between the cargo pockets and the main pants fabric, but they’re hard to access unless you’re sitting. I have not yet found a good use for them. They might be OK for holding maps or other thin items that you don’t need to get to often. I also worry about the durability of the zippers. But the real problem is that this pocket creates a forward-facing pleat on the cargo pocket that gets snagged on brush (and cabinet door handles).
There are also some small internal pockets integrated into the slash pockets for pocket knives, flash lights, phones, change, keys, etc. Quite useful.
There are the obligatory knee pockets for holding foam pads, but covered with abrasion-resistant SuperFabric. Nice touch, but I haven’t yet worn through the knees on any regular pants. Your mileage may vary.
The ankle closures are somewhat unusual. Rather than drawstrings, they use an elastic band and button. You set the opening size by buttoning the band at whatever extension feels right. Zipper openings then allow you to don the pants without adjusting the leg opening size. You can also use these to vent the pants in hot weather (mesh fabric keeps bugs from getting in although the mesh is too big to stop mosquitos).
There is one major weak point. The calf pockets ride nearly three inches higher than on regular TRU’s. They’re almost knee pockets and they’re also set back more. In a crouched position, the pockets end up in the back of your knee, pressing against your thigh and anything inside them gets mangled. I’m assuming this placement was done to accommodate the leg zippers, but this was a poor trade-off. It would have been better to just put shock cord on the cuffs and keep the pockets where they ought to be.
My other gripe is the NYCO fabric. Much noisier than Poly-Cotton. People can always hear me coming in these.
PROS: Zipper fly, superior waist size adjustment, durable pocket linings, nice cargo pockets, clever ankle cuffs
CONS: Cargo pockets snag, Calf pockets in a bad place
Andreas - December 27, 2010
Just got a pair in Multicam. Very nice pants indeed. Great and roomy design. Like a hybrid between the 5.11 TDU pant and the original TRU...
Philip - November 24, 2010
I've been wearing these pants for a while now and they are awesome. Comfortable functionality and extremely well constructed. Thumbs Up!
Patrick - September 29, 2010
Great So Far
Just received my pair and so far they work great. Only thing is that the Thigh pocket seems to ride a little, but other than that they are just awesome.
Jesse - September 22, 2010