Monday, January 11, 2010

Rail Riders VersaTac Pants

I have been using the RailRiders VersaTac pants now for well over a year. I have to say, that I have been VERY impressed!!

RailRiders gets it's name from yacht racing in which the crew "rode the rails" to increase speed. Well, RailRiders has expanded out to all outdoor adventures and there clothing can even be seen on security contractors and special operations personnel as well. In fact these pants were designed with spec ops in mind.

The first thing you'll most likely say is "whoa, that's too expensive for a pair of pants". I know that was my first impression, until I started wearing RailRiders gear, and specifically these pants.

I've been wearing both the mid and light weight styles of these two pants. I'll first speak on this aspect of the pants.

The pair of light weight pants I received came in sage green color. I've worn these comfortably in both the winter and summer, but are a bit cooler in both environments. The mid weight pair are comfortable in both environments but are a little warm in the summer time. They're quite a bit thicker, using 6.6oz canvas weave nylon than the light weights, which use 3oz Duralite nylon.

When it comes to materials used in each, they both have great water resistant properties. This not only helps in light rain, but also helps to repel stains. A few days after receiving the pants I got a nasty grass stain on one of the knees during some hiking in the Adirondacks. This stain set for a day or two before being washed and when washed it came right out with no residual hint. The weave of the heavier canvas material has a slight texture that hints at a ripstop type material, even though it is not.

The only difference in features between the 2 weights is that the mid-weight reinforcements on the knees/seat is made of the same material as the pants, and on the light-weight pants the reinforcements are "RailTex" Nylon...which seems slightly more abrasion resistant than the pant material.

For features, here they are:

- Reinforced seat and knees

- Both the cargo pockets and the back pockets have the option to close using either velcro or buttons. The buttons are held on in a unique fashion. Instead of directly sewing them on, a piece of web material is thread through the buttons and that material is what is sewn to the pants. I find this to be a much more durable design. The stitching has less stress on it than if the the buttons were sewn directly on.

- Side Cargo Pockets
* Bellowed to expand.
* These cargo pockets have a very unique feature. On the front of the cargo pocket there is a full length zipper. This allows entry to the pocket from the front when seated or kneeling. This is one of the best features of these pants in my opinion, aside from heir overall high quality. It's always been an issue with me both in the military, security, and civilian life. While seated, especially in a vehicle, the gear in your cargo pants is extremely difficult to get to. I've been wearing these pants for over a year and have never had these zippers unzip on their own and have not lost anything out of the cargo pockets. If the zipper does get pulled slightly open it opens from the top down, so there would be less chance of losing anything. I've actually had one left open (my own fault for not zipping it up) and the contents still did not fall out. A feature that should be on all cargo pants!!
* An internal pocket for pistol magazines (a tight fir for double stacked mags) or anything else of that size. I've used it for mid sized pocket knives, pens, a jump drive, and many other smaller items.
* These pockets even have their own reinforcement in a way. The pocket itself seems to have an additional layer of cloth underneath the pocket. So any strain put on the attachment seams s reinforced to prevent the pocket from ripping off.

- 2 back pockets with flaps.

- 2 hip pockets with reinforcements for pocket knife use. These reinforcements really save on damage to the material in this area when using clip on pocket knives. The only suggestion I have to make this feature better is to also reinforce the inner pocket area just opposite of where the knife would be. I have seen some wear in this area as can be seen in the picture. These pockets are nice and deep as well.

- Gussetted crotch provides better range of motion. This is something I've seen carry over from the martial arts uniforms that helps with strain on seams.

- Reinforcements at the back cuff. Being only 5'5" tall I find this to be another extremely good feature for myself. I always wear out the back of my pants due to them hanging low on my boots/shoes or from walking on the back of them when not wearing footwear. This is an area that takes a beating from everyday activities and these are the first pants I've worn that have included this feature.

- Wide belt loop opening accommodates most pant belts, including the military "rigger's" belt.

- Another awesome feature is that there is 5 inches of expansion in the waist. This provides a little give for a better range of motion, and also for that extra "winter weight". These pants are extremely comfortable, and I believe this elastic makes a world of difference. It is also good for "inside the waistband" carry of pistols. Most pants don't have this elastic and if you carry a firearm on a regular basis you need to choose between something that's your size or something that is a couple sizes bigger if you carry your pistol in your waist band.

The overall quality of these pants is excellent. I have had some of the stitching on the cargo pocket velcro of the mid weight pants come loose, but this didn't concern me and in my opinion isn't a strike against the quality of the pants. This cargo pocket is on my "weak" side, and I tend to use it more because I don't use my gun hand when getting things out of my cargo pocket. Something I've just grown to do in my lifestyle. So this cargo pocket gets a lot of use. This was a quick fix and I still will say these pants are AWESOME and great quality. I know they're a lot of money, but they're definitely worth it.

For features, great as well. I've used these pants for more than a year and haven't babied them, and they pretty much look like they did the day I got them. In fact I've worn them as much as possible. They've remained comfortable and they are a pair of pants that I will buy in the future as well!!

Mid-Weight: 25 oz
Light Weight: 15 oz

Mid-Weight: Dark Stone, Forest Green, Natural, Black
Light Weight: Khaki, Black, Sage Green

Sizes: Sm-XXL, Sm-XXL (30 in. inseam)

MSRP: $98.00

1 comment:

1PATRIOT (YouTube) said...

I have to say... When I started watching this video, I was thinking 'a video about pants... Really?'

But by about 6:30 I was thinking I gotta have these pants! Good vid. Thanks :)