I have long been looking at the Obsidian’s – they looked like a great option for a lightweight, breathable trousers. And, to be blunt, I love merino wool as a material.
Go the sheep.
Merino rocks. It’s light, it breathes, it drys quick, it doesn’t smell.
I smell. Apparently now more than ever. And, I tend to sweat a bit as well. I don’t know if this is a ‘middle-age’ thing – or a ‘eats mainly meat‘ thing – but for whatever reason – I was a bit more aware of my own ‘man musk’ this time out that I have ever been before. If we got a bit of a sweat on (normally tramping from point A to B rather than stalking) when I stopped, I noticed a bit of a smell. I am probably making this sound a lot worse than it was, btw.
Regardless, I was a little concerned that the odour was soaking into my clothing and was going to build up more and more of a stink over the days out. Nope. Not merino. Firstly – I dried out very quickly once I stopped sweating – the material wicking away and drying off quick – and secondly, it didn’t seem to hold a smell. Even when home, after a couple of days out – it wasn’t bad. I can’t say the same about some of my synthetic clothing.
Also – it really helped regulate the temperature. Long sleeve and pants and I didn’t really get too hot, or overly cold at any point. First thing in the morning, I would throw the puffer on just while I got the blood moving – but that came off before we left camp – and I didn’t need any other layer, on or off, until we got back to camp at the end of the day. Very happy with that!
Delicate? Not so much.
The one concern I did have, having read a few reviews online (I should know better!) was that the pants were great but too delicate for wearing in the bush.
Now, I didn’t plan on pushing through blackberries with them. But figured there would be a little bit of Tātaramoa (Bush Lawyer) and some pushing through things. In the end, I figured I would just put on gaiters to protect the area that would likely wear the worst of it, and just did my thing.
If you are stalking in these, you likely don’t want to make much noise, so you won’t be full-on committing to pushing through the worst of things – and they should be fine. I am happy to report mine survived their first outing!
Talking of stalking…
Man. These things are quiet! I was keeping an ear out to evaluate them, but was astounded. No sound. Compared to the brushed tricot/fleece that my hunting partner was wearing – they really made no sound. Which then just made each footfall on the cornflakes (dry leaves) even louder.
Fit, form, pockets.
The Obsidian Pants are super comfortable. Super light. Pockets took a bit of getting used too.
But then, I am comparing them to the ultimate – the UFPro Strikers and P40 Shorts. Which, to be blunt, are my favourites of all time (I am sitting wearing the shorts ATM – basically all I want to wear over summer).
However, after a couple of days in the bush, got comfortable with the setup (what to put where) and ended up quite happy with them.
However. Use while not in the bush is yet to be determined. I was hoping to wear these as an everyday pair of pants as well. So far – compared to the UFPro – the pockets are not up to the requirements I have (phone, wallet, tourniquet, first aid kit, etc.) – found myself carrying the phone and wallet in the hand instead of the pockets – which is not a good sign, to be blunt.
Because the material is so soft, I find the pockets (especially the thigh pockets) don’t hold the contents again the legs as well. I think it’s the weight in the material of the UF Pro pants (and the inner dividers in the cargo pockets) that means it carries weight so well. This is the same for the main pockets as well – keys jangle and make noise in the First Lites – no so in the UF Pro.
However, bush use – where I have a pack (front and back) on – fantastic.
What’s the verdict?
So. Am I happy with my purchase?
I know the review is a bit on the fence about this one.
The materials, the fit, awesome. For a pair of hunting trousers when you want to be the quietest you can. There is no question – these things are the go. While I am aware I might put the odd rip or tear into them – my outings so far have shown me that they are not going to just fall to bits like some reviewers seemed to think they did.
However, for day-to-day wear – the pockets are not going to work. I want a pair of trousers that work as well as the UF Pro offerings when it comes to EDC carry. However, the UFPro trousers I also have, scream tactical pretty loudly. However, there might be a solution on the horizon for my daily trousers as well! Which makes me think. Maybe I should have gotten the Obsidians in a camo colourway! 😉