The world of “athleisure” is not one I had figured to be exploring, although there is no doubt that, as a general style category, it is a popular one.  Just take a look around next time you’re out and about, and take note of how many folks you see wearing clothing that you might otherwise think to be appropriate for working out or the gym.  I get it, workout gear is generally comfortable stuff, so folks want to keep on wearing it.  Still, it’s not been something I personally would do.  At least, until the Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead pants popped onto my radar.  

You might be wondering – who is Coalatree?  Not exactly a household name at this point, I can understand the question.  They’re guided by a MTN2CTY (mountain to city) aesthetic, creating clothing that works in the outdoors as well as it does in urban settings.  They’re also committed to being as eco-friendly as they can in their processes, and they use their left over materials to create blankets for the homeless in their hometown of Salt Lake City, UT – so they’re doing good in a variety of ways and manners, that’s for sure.

Now, if I were left to my own devices, I would not have necessarily called the Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants an “athleisure” item, but that’s what the marketing folks called it, so we’ll roll with it. If it were up to me, these simple seem like great camping/outdoors and travel pants.  For starters, they are super lightweight.  This is due to the thinner ripstop nylon used in the construction, which itself has a coating applied to make them water- and stain-resistant.  Now, if you’re thinking back to older nylon windbreakers, you’re thinking that might not be a super-comfortable material for pants.  That specific type may be, but that’s not the case here.

See, with the Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants, it’s an 88/12 mix, with the 12% being comprised of spandex.  Until I took a look at the ScotteVest pants earlier this year, I hadn’t experienced pants with stretch in them, but I have quickly become a fan.  While the SeV pants did it to keep things slim and still enable the carry system, here, it’s all about movement.  Well, and comfort.  With these pants, I was a bit concerned – out of the package, they felt a bit more form-fitting than I’m used to ( also why I ordered a size up, just for leg fit).  Once I had them on, and started moving around, though, that closer fit concern melted away.  The pants were not constricting in the least (between the stretch and the crotch gusset), and with the stretch, there wasn’t any issue of popping things into the deeper front pockets or flap rear pockets.  Sure, it’ll be obvious you’re carrying something in the pockets, but that’s the price of slim fit.  For those looking for a looser fit, there is a version in the works that should, I believe, be out later this year.

The brand bills the Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants as pants that work for the outdoors and the office, but I’m not so sure about that.  Partially due to the slimmer fit, but also due to the drawstrings at the waist and cuffs.  This does allow you to get a comfortable fit, but not office appropriate, at least for me.  What I do think it’s perfectly appropriate for is camping and hiking.  Worried about ticks?  Pull the legs down and cinch those drawstrings.  Going wading in the lake?  Well, pull those cuffs up and don’t worry about needing to roll them, they’ll stay in place.  In short, whatever you’re doing outside, these will move with you and not hold you back.  Then, at the end of the day, you’ll still be comfortable for lounging around the campfire, and be able to keep covered to keep the mosquitos out.

What’s that?  You say you’re not very outdoorsy?  Well, I think you can still find a use for something like the Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants.  In terms of travel pants, the comfort is definitely there, and not needing a belt is one less thing to deal with while going through security, no?  Or, say you want something as a backup or to change into in a pinch, with the pants being able to pack into their own front pocket, these would be easy to throw in a bag or backpack as a backup.  Or even as something to wear around the hotel or a house, in a scenario where might otherwise wear something considered pajama pants.  It would just in something that doesn’t scream out “hey, I’m in my jammies over here”.

So, while I myself wouldn’t be figuring on wearing the $89 Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants (available in blue or brown) to the office, I still think these are a good pant.  They are great for the outdoors (and I plan to put them to good use camping) and travel, and even if those aren’t things you do, you have to admit they’re a much better-looking option than a pair of sweatpants would ever be for heading out and about.  And, as I mentioned, if slim fit isn’t your thing, there is a looser-fit version of the Trailhead pants in the works.

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Coalatree Slim Fit Trailhead Pants
  • Price:  $89
  • Who’s it for? Let’s see – the outdoors person, the traveller, the person looking for something comfy around the house.  So, yeah, just about everyone
  • Would I wear them? Yes – these are a great, lightweight option for camping and hiking, and can see using them as such
  • What I would change:  It’s not a new idea, since the brand is already doing it, but a looser fit would be appreciated here.  As would be a functional zipper.
  • The best things about it:  The combination of lightweight and four-way stretch – super easy to move in, and very comfortable.
Tech Specs from Coalatree
  • Waterproof and breathable (via a DWR coating)
  • 4-way stretch
  • Tear-resistant ripstop nylon
    • 88% nylon / 12% spandex
    • Made from recycled materials
  • Packable into the front right pocket of the pants
  • Features
    • Adjustable elastic / drawstring waistband
    • Ankle drawstrings
    • Water- and stain-resistant
    • Antimicrobial
    • Breathable
    • Packable
    • Ergonomic crotch gusset
    • Bartacked stress points


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ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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