Basic Description of item:
A 100% merino wool rip stop, 315 gram woven hunting pant designed to wear in temperatures from 20 to 85 degrees.
Just the Facts:
To understand why the FIRST LITE KANAB HUNTING PANT is so effective it’s necessary to discuss what “Merino Wool” is. For years the fibers produced from Merino wool have proven to be some of the finest found anywhere in nature. It is the tiny diameter of the fibers that allows it to be worn directly next to your skin without causing any irritation or itch. Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, a breed that can only be found in specific natural environments. The wool growers of New Zealand and Australia have refined the wool sorting process to produce soft, durable wool for next to skin applications. Taking this quality a step further the First Lite Kanab pant has combined its 100% merino wool with rip stop to add durability and wear to a hunting pant. When compared to microfiber pants, merino wool displays superior breathability and resistance to brush, burrs, and most importantly has the ability to retain 80% of its warmth when soaking wet. An important feature of Merino wool is that after days out in the field the Kanab pant will not smell. Simply stated, the composition of merino wool makes it warm, water-repellent, odor-resistant, flame-retardant, durable, anti-static, and a UV protector. Keratin, a tough, insoluble, fibrous protein also found in hair, finger nails, horns, hooves and the outer layer of skin makes up 90% of wool. Incredibly, a wool fiber can be bent and twisted more than 20,000 times before it will break. This elasticity, as well as the microscopic diamestrand of wool creates a soft, comfortable, fabric that is perfect for hunters in all types of weather. With the Kanab hunting pant there are no Velcro or zippered pockets which help to reduce noise in the field. The pant may be worn with included suspenders or a belt that is not included. To clean Merino Wool all that is required is a machine wash before warm tumbling dry.
I’ve been a big fan of Merino Wool for years. Always on the look out for a well rounded hunting pant that I can use in different types of weather I had a friend ask me if I had tried the new Kanab Pant for 2011 manufactured by a couple of hunting nuts in Ketchum, Idaho? After some initial research I discovered that the Kanab pant is basically an improved version of First Lite’s 2010 Gila Pant. Taking the recommendation of customers First Lite completely revamped the fit and design to allow for more freedom of movement and comfort for individuals while hunting out on the mountain. I decided that the new Kanab Hunting pant would be a great choice for those brisk September mornings on the desert while chasing big rams when the day quickly turns hot by afternoon. I was also impressed with the ASAT camo color and quickly had a pair ordered to field test.
On several long backpack trips in hot weather I tested my new Kanab Pants on vertical climbs in the Tushar Mountains of southern Utah. I must say that I was impressed with how they performed. In temperatures close to 90 degrees I was very comfortable and had the protection of long pants covering my legs instead of shorts. One exceptional quality of Merino Wool is that it keeps you cool and doesn’t trap or retain the heat from your body. I felt that the Kanab pant was comfortable to wear as the Merino Wool stretched and moved with my legs. There was plenty of room and the pant didn’t feel tight on in my hips or in the legs, areas that I have to be able to move comfortably while climbing in rough terrain. My initial impression is that this pant will wear really well in the knees and seat, as First LIte has reinforced these two areas. From previous experience those two spots get a great deal of wear on hunting trips as I spend a lot of time on my butt glassing and will also crawl through rocks and brush while stalking an animal. I did feel that the sewing and gussets in the knees took me a while to get accustomed to. I would like to see them change the stitching in this area. Perhaps they could move it up a little higher so that the hunter doesn’t feel any type of binding in the knee area.
First Lite’s Kanab pant comes with a pair of elastic suspenders that many hunters like to wear when hauling a backpack on their hips. They are removable if you choose to go with a belt instead. First Lite has also sewn a button on the knee that can be attached to a strap that would hold your pant leg up while crossing a stream. The cargo pockets were nice but I would have liked to have seen them designed to be a little deeper. One other feature that I would like to see First Lite change is the pant pockets. The pockets were short, not deep enough to allow me to put items that I need into them without feeling that I was going to have the items fall out. Also, the camo material was not sewn far enough down into the pocket to cover up the lighter, pocket material.
I haven’t had an opportunity to try the Kanab Pants out in colder weather but feel that they would function well with a pair of quality long johns on underneath. Another plus with the Kanab pant’s 100% Merino Wool is that it will retain warmth even when wet and dries very quickly.
Although I ordered my Kanab pants in the ASAT camo color because of all the time I spend in desert type terrain you can also order the pants in Dry Earth, Mossy Oak Infinity and Realtree Max 1. These pants will cost you about $150 dollars so you should expect high performance and quality. I do recommend the purchase of First Lite’s Kanab pant and will be wearing them a lot this fall while out on the mountain.
What They Could Do Better
- Design a deeper cargo pocket
- Design deeper front pockets and fix the sewing so that the camo material extends deeper into the pocket.
- Change the sewing in the knee area so that it is a little higher on the leg.
FIRST LITE KANAB PANT Review