Prior to departing for an open-ended jaunt around the Europe, I realized that my backpack lacked a pair of pants suitable for my intended adventure.
With only three days until my departure, and only jeans (incredibly bulky and heavy) or convertible hiking pants (incredibly hideous and old-man-touristy) at my disposal, I frantically searched the interwebs for a solution.
I needed a pair of pants that was lightweight, quick-drying, wrinkle resistant, casual but dress-up-able, and most of all comfortable. Really, I just wanted the perfect pants (and I don't think that's asking for much). This is when I discovered Bluff Works.
So here's the deal: I spent nearly three months gallivanting around Europe with only these pants.
I brought one pair of cargo shorts for what I knew would be an intense hiking stint along the GR4, but 95% of the time (excluding the many times I opted to go pantsless) I was wearing my Bluff Works.
In other words: I tested the hell out of these things.
I wore them whilst walking, biking, hiking, hitch-hiking, car riding, food eating, beer drinking, and even sleeping. They withstood it all (washing took place occasionally although I only made the effort when it was incredibly convenient to do so).
- 100% technical, breathable quick-dry polyester, nylon pockets
- Zippered front hidden internal security pocket to deter pickpockets (large enough to hold your passport)
- Rear zippered pocket-sized for an oversized travel wallet
- Discrete side pocket phone storage to keep you from sitting on it
- Hidden loop to clip keys or a security badge inside your front pocket
- Nickle-free jean tack closure
- Interior pocket images made to inspire
- Designed and manufactured in New York City, of imported fabric from Taiwan
- Machine washable – line or tumble dry
- Waists: 28-42″
- Lengths: 28-40″
- Colors: Khaki, Brown, Grey, Charcoal
WHAT WE LIKE
THE FIT: I was skeptical – these pants seemed too good to be true. Experience dictated that the pants would either uncomfortable (in the bulge) or limit my range of motion (no squatting, high-kicking, or pliés); when I tried them on, I was pleased with the results. My ever-shifting waistline remained within the pants' circumference, the legs hung comfortably, and I retained my full range of motion (10/10, would try on again).
THE VERSATILITY: Not only are Bluff Works comfortable whilst being active, but they are also comfortable being boring and formal as well. Throw on some decent looking shoes, a collared shirt, and presto, you're ready for a day of slaving away at your 9-5 (or for a night of unsuccessful matchmaking at your local dive bar?). The dual nature of the pants makes Bluff Works an ideal choice for travellers (because less is more, people).
THE FEATURES: Bluff Works feature two zipper pockets (one in back, and one hidden inside of a front pocket) and a side pocket for storing your cellular telephone. All three excel at their jobs (excellent holders of things), and I have had zero problems with the zippers (fly included). The pants also feature seven, count 'em, seven, loops for holding up a belt to hold up the pants (“I don't know what's happening down there – who is the real hero?” -Mitch Hedberg).
THE WRINKLE-FREENESS: It is genuinely impossible to wrinkle these things. The fabric springs back into shape whether you leave it bundled up on the ground (the default position for most of my clothing) or stuffed into a backpack. I have yet to try ironing wrinkles into the pants, but I would venture to say that the pants are resilient enough to resist even this level of determination.
THE PACKABILITY: Bluff Works use some sort of magical wizard-enhanced fabric that not only fails to wrinkle, but that is also lightweight and extremely packable. In terms of packing, the addition of a pair of Bluff Works to your bag is on par with the addition of a pair of boxers or two (far superior to the task of packing a pair of jeans or cargo pants). And the weight? Only 14 ounces for a size 33/32 (for reference, a pair of jeans the same size weighed in at 26 ounces).
THE SMELL FACTOR: As alluded to before, I made no effort wash my pants (or any of my clothes for that matter) on a regular basis. Occasionally the time would come that I would need to do some washing (that time being when you are asked to leave somewhere due to your stink), but I can assure you that said time was never a result of my Bluff Works. Like any good pair of pants, they require minimal washing attention (and they don't smell).
WHAT'S JUST OKAY
THE PRICE: I would love to buy a pair of Bluff Works in every color (perhaps even two?), but at $88 for Charcoal/Grey and $93 for Khaki/Brown, the price tag is a bit steep. However, Bluff Works are manufactured in the US and can literally replace multiple pairs of your other (and inferior) bottom covering clothes.
WHAT WE NO LIKE
THE LIMITED COLORS: Although I have already expressed my willingness (but inability) to purchase pants in every color, I would be excited to see more colors introduced in the future. They could stay conservative and go with a navy (perhaps a pinstripe?), or maybe get a little edgy and throw some green or orange into the mix (orange pants are cool, right?). Regardless of the color, I'll buy them.
THE BOYS ONLY CLUB: Unfortunately, due to the small scale of Bluff Works, they currently only manufacture men's pants. Not being a lady, I don't know how exactly this transfers (do some women buy and wear men's pants? Is there a sizing conversion chart? Are they really all the same?), but for time being the Works of Bluff are limited to those wishing to sport the “casual male” look.
In case you haven't gotten the picture yet, I love these pants.
For anyone that needs a comfortable, lightweight, breathable, quick-drying, versatile pair of pants, Bluff Works are the solution. Hopefully once their operation grows they will have more to offer in terms of colors, styles, and gender options, but since I fit their current demographic, I will continue to invest in and wear their products.
To get yourself (or someone you really care about) a pair, check out the Bluff Works online shop.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this review are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to use any of these links to make a purchase. I personally use this gear, and I recommend (or don't recommend) it based on firsthand experience – not because a third-party has asked or paid me to promote their products. If you do decide to make a purchase, shoot me a message on Facebook or Twitter so that I can thank you personally!