Cactus Outdoor Trade Supertrousers – Superhero Pants!



Trade Supertrousers – the kind of pants Superman would wear, if he was doing some part-time work as a contractor on a worksite.

I wanted a pair of pants for bush-bashing – something that would take a beating, but also have a couple of additional pockets to carry my EDC along with additional gear that I like to have handy when out in the bush.

The Pants

The Trade Supertrousers are made out of canvas, specifically, a 12 oz. polyester/cotton canvas with an acrylic coating. Think heavy, old-school tarp or tent.

Designed for ‘the trade’ – they have a pile of pockets on them; your normal front and rear pockets, coin pocket in the front right pocket (fits the pocket-knife  lighter and torch perfectly), as well as a pocket with domed closure on your left thigh (fits an iPhone nicely) and double pockets on the right (wallet, small notepad and large folder). This is finished off with a hammer loop on the left leg – I have found this also holds a Golok against the leg nicely.


These are made heavy, with beefy stitching and reinforcing on the pockets. They will last.

They are also stiff to start with. I am still in the process of breaking my Supertrousers in and am going to treat them somewhat like unsanforised denim. In the meantime though, it feels a little bit like wearing a tent. Maybe not the best of choices in the middle of summer, but well, they also make shorts!

The Canvas

The word canvas comes from the 13th Century Anglo-French canevaz and old french canevas. It is also possible that they are both derivatives of cannapaceus, which in Latin means “made of hemp“. Duck Canvas (more tightly woven fabric) is derived from the Dutch word for cloth, doek.

The canvas they use is designed to be rain resistant – I did a bit of quick testing, which shows that it does bead water, instead of instantly wetting out. However, they are not rain pants – and it has been suggested that a little additional treatment can make them a lot more weather resistant. I will probably treat them at some stage with a spray or wax.


While there a million new miracle materials out there with highly breathable waterproof materials becoming the standard in the outdoors community, I would still be a little nervous taking my high end Gore-Tex over-pants out bush-bashing.  Or for that matter, near a fire. Sharp objects and fire – two things that require a material a little more hardy.

I guess the other argument would be to just toughen up, wear the stubbies out into the bush, and deal with the inevitable scratched legs that will result. But why?


The Company

The Trade Supertrousers are made by Cactus Outdoor  a Christchurch based company who have been making some bulletproof equipment for professionals for many, many years. They put a lot into their goods – selecting the best materials for the job, and designing and manufacturing everything here in NZ. They take a lot of pride in what they produce and it shows.

  • Internally bound seams for water resistance, added strength, and reduced wear on the seams
  • Reinforcing at high wear areas
  • High density webbing reduces buckle slippage
  • Fabrics selected for specific uses
  • YKK zips – still the best
  • Nylon duraflex buckles – light, strong, and durable
  • 1000 denier external edge binding – for strength and abrasion resistance
  • Quality woven labels
  • Reinforced eyelet construction to help stop eyelet failure
  • Double layer bases and reinforcing at the bottom of the harness on our bigger packs

Even down to the rivets they use – just check out the details on the trousers!


I am currently wearing them in, and plan on taking them out maintaining bait lines in the Waitakere Ranges – so I expect them to get a lot of use. I love the idea of purchasing goods that a going to last a long time, made locally, and made with a little more thought and care than many mass produced goods.

I also have an eye on several of their other pieces of gear, so expect more reviews soon!

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