We’ve said it before and we stand by it. We aren’t the best gear for anything, we are the best gear for everything. That means from our rucks to our apparel, when we design something it isn’t just for one part of your life but for you to use everywhere. Justin Parker took it upon himself to prove that the Simple Pants are not only great to use when you’re destroying your body but also strengthening your liver.
Check out his do everything review below.
“I received my Grey GORUCK Simple Pants last week and since GORUCK touts these as “do anything” pants I decided to take them through a full day of fun to see if they met the standard. So without further ado here we go.
Fit and looks:
My first thought when opening the box was “damn these things are light and thin”. They are definitely the thinnest pair of technical pants I have ever owned and I was immediately worried about durability to the point that if I was in REI or some other store and came across these I would never consider them for GORUCK events or any other type of hard wear activity. But since GORUCK felt pretty confident that they could take a Challenge I said “game on” and gave the benefit of the doubt. They are not shiny but do have a slight sheen that lets you know they are not just cotton pants. Upon close inspection they also have a slightly rough texture which I can best describe as a very light layer of rhino liner. There has been a lot of discussion on the fit of these pants and people are correct in that they are definitely tight. I would describe my build as medium in the legs (not a quadzilla but also not a thigh gap) guy. I bought my normal size, 32×32, and the pants fit in the waist, crotch, and seat like skinny jeans. Depending on your genetic factors, going commando in these might leave little to the imagination. They do loosen up a bit in the thigh and the knee expansion portion which I will talk about more later. They are VERY stretchy and while snug they didn’t feel restrictive as odd as that might sound. I decided to hold on to them at this size because:
One, it wasn’t too bad for my taste/style and
Two, I hate wearing belts during events and going up a size would likely require one.
I actually already own a pair of pants that fit almost exactly by Paige Denim called Normandies. So if you have a Nordstroms or something like that nearby and want to try before you buy these will give a good feel for what size you may want.
First Test: 6 mile Run
I was traveling for work this day so I got up extra early for a run before my flight. It was about 50 degrees and misty outside which felt perfect for a pair of light running pants. Along with the Simple Pants I threw on my running shoes, some compression shorts, and a long sleeve dri-fit. While I was worried about it I will say that I don’t think this look violated Rule #1. The pants have enough sheen to them that people won’t think you’re running around in khakis when paired with other running attire. I took them for a 6 mile run at about an 8:30 min pace. I personally feel that 5-6 miles is the perfect distance to test out running kit since anything that will rub or get soaked in sweat should be revealed by the end of this distance. Through the first 4 miles the pants were incredible to run in. The expanding knee I particularly liked in that it felt like it opened up for me automatically as I raised my leg. At around the 4 mile mark I had my first and only issue. My shins had gotten pretty sweaty at that point and as I ran I noticed the lower parts of the pants would stick to my legs as I moved. This wasn’t horrible or particularly debilitating more like slightly annoying. Not sure the problem would be solved with a larger lower leg opening but that might hurt the diversity effect of the pants. I was REALLY surprised that they didn’t chafe or rub particularly around the waist line since they are quite snug.
Final Verdict for Running: 9/10, shin sticking issue kept them from being perfect
Second Test: Turn around time and Traveling
When I finished my run I had about 2 hours before I had to leave for my flight. The pants were already pretty much dry and while they didn’t appear to stink I felt that it was best to put them in the wash before I sat next to other humans for several hours. After a quick 15 min wash I hung them up to dry in my bathroom and finished up getting ready to leave. After an hour and half the pants were bone dry and along with a hoodie, t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers I rolled to the airport with Rule #1 still intact. I think it’s important to note that these pants don’t look tactical in anyway. I have a lot of TAD pants and other than their jeans and to some extent their spartan pants wearing them makes you look like you are going to the range, hiking, or kicking down a door. Depending on your application the Simple Pants are a lot more inconspicuous but not as configurable as some other offerings that have hidden pockets, reinforced sections for knife carry, drop pockets, etc. While the pants pockets will stretch to accommodate items I, and assume others, had no problem seeing that I was carrying a wallet, phone and keys in my front pockets. Not important to me but I wanted to note it as others might care. Nothing in the pants popped on the body scanner (I actually have several pairs of pants that always seem to show something) so no need for a TSA approved groping which was nice. My flight was 4 hours and like all flights it experienced wild temperature swings and I was also lucky enough to get an older plane with those seats that are designed to create swamp ass. Through all this the pants performed wonderfully and I walked off the plane feeling fresh and comfortable.
Final verdict for turn around and travel: 9.5/10, fast drying, ridiculously comfortable, might not accommodate if you need to carry a lot of stuff in your pants.
Third Test: Short Urban Ruck
I was lucky enough to be staying in the downtown area of the city I was visiting. After checking into my hotel I put on a merino half zip, my GR0 with a 30lb plate, and a pair of Salomons and headed out to explore. The temperature was in the 40s and standing still the pants were definitely too lightweight for me. The wind didn’t cut through them but I definitely felt they provided little to zero insulation. I started moving at a 15-20 min rucking pace and as soon as my legs got warm I was fine but these definitely aren’t stand around in the cold pants.
Rucking was great, the expanding knees are by far my favorite feature on these bad boys. It kind of has to be felt to appreciate and its something that I’ve never really seen featured in any other pants but it makes putting one foot in front of the other feel effortless. At the end I went a little over 4 miles with zero issues. Ill definitely need to take them on a 12 mile plus ruck to definitively say these are the best rucking pants I’ve worn but there is no indications to say that they won’t be.
Final verdict for short ruck: 10/10, likely the best rucking pants I’ve worn to date
Fourth Test: Workout After finishing my Ruck
I went straight to the hotel gym. Like most hotel gyms there wasn’t a lot to work with but dumbbells so I settled on a 20 minute AMRAP of push ups, v-ups, alternating dumbbell lunges, and goblet squats. With the exception of the pushups I picked these movements to put some stress on the pants to see how they did. This section is pretty boring in that I really had no problems with the pants. I tried to stress the pants by really stepping out on the lunges and taking the squats extra deep. After all that I’m pretty confident that something in me would tear before the pants did.
Final verdict for workout: 10/10, unless it’s too hot/cold these should handle any WOD you can think of and ask for more
Final Test: Casual Dinner with coworkers
Back to my room and after stripping them off I observed the pants had absorbed a little sweat but were mostly dry when I hung them up before hopping in the shower. After finishing up the pants were dry and passed the smell test. I put them on with a light sweater and pair of dress shoes for a casual business dinner. I guess the only test here is did they “look dumb or inappropriate” for this application and I would definitely go with no. Everyone has different classifications for what you can wear out to these kind of things but for me and my industry these were just fine.
Final Verdict for Going out: 10/10, can get away with going out in public socially without looking like you just got done hiking or conducting SpecOps.
Overall initial verdict: 10/10
I’ll see how these pants hold up after continuous use and after a GR Challenge or two but right now I will say that GORUCK has met the standard of what these pants are supposed to be which is great for lots of different things. I can likely find a better pair of technical pants for a challenge or something nicer to wear for dinner but I’d be hard pressed to find something I feel could do both well and I am pretty sure that’s the point. Also this rating is for my body type and personal style. If you don’t like form fitting clothing or if you have a tank ass then these aren’t going to be for you. In a lot of ways pants are like shoes or packs, there is a never a perfect choice for everyone just a perfect choice for you and your current lifestyle.” – Justin Parker
So there you have it. The Simple Pant, it’s not the best pant for anything, it’s the best pant for everything. Get yours here.