First Ascent Nail Driver Soft Shell Pants

I am 6’4″ and 220 lbs.  I have to buy tall clothing. There aren’t many vendors that sell quality outdoor gear in truly tall sizes.  First Ascent is one vendor that makes tall clothing true to size.  I recently received First Ascent’s Nail Driver Soft Shell Pants as a present from my wife.  These are great soft shell pants that fit tall people.  These pants were originally designed as cold-weather work wear. To me that entails a comfortable fit, heavy duty fabric Nail Driver Soft Shell Pantsand sturdy construction.  they did not disappoint.

The Fabric

The pants are made of abrasion-resistant, bonded.9 oz.  soft shell fabric (50% Nylon, 43% Polyester, 7% Spandex) which embodies a 4-way stretch.  The double fabric construction  consists of special fibers on the inside for rapid moisture transport and hard wearing polyamide on the outside.  StormRepel® durable water resistant (DWR) treatment of the fabric makes the pants moisture repellent in all but a hard rain.  The four-way stretch nylon provides good maneuverability.  A tight weave on outer fabric makes the pants  snag and abrasion resistant.  A brushed-fleece lining adds warmth and a ‘cozy’ feeling.  The end result are pants that are warm, breathable and durable.  These are not lightweight pants – the regular size pants weight  1 lb 11 oz. The weight of the fabric limits these pants to cold weather conditions; sub-freezing to the mid-50s at most.

The Fit

The large tall pants fit me perfect; they fit snug in the hips and butt and are loose fitting from the  thighs through the ankles, providing nice freedom of movement for snowshoeing.  The ankles have a foot-long zipper to accommodates changing over boots.

The Features

Pockets:  There are two large cargo pockets and two zipper-closure, hand pockets for secure storage. The cargo pockets have flaps and zippers and hold bulky items like gloves, and an inner elasticized inner pocket to secure smaller items such as cameras. the hand pockets are skewed such that they do not interfere with a hip belt from a backpack.  There is  one back pocket with flap and zipper and one back with flap only.

There is double material on the seat and over knees.  The knee pad has a small opening at the bottom through which you can insert a foam pad and unfold it for extra cushioning.

All belt loops are reinforced and accommodate a 1.5″ belt.

The pockets, extra layers and belt loops are all securely stitched on with triangle bar tacks.

The zippers are large and easily manipulated with gloves.

The ankle cuffs  have grommets to accommodate cordage going under your instep and holding down the pants.

Performance

I wore these pants on an overnight winter camping trip in the Catskill Mountains.  We snowshoed into our campsite wearing backpacks during windy conditions.  During the night I supplemented the pants with a pair of Capilene long underwear, but remained comfortable through-out.  I didn’t overheat on the snowshoe in or feel damp or cold hanging around the campsite.  The pants never wet through on the reinforced knees when I was kneeling to cut wood, set up my tent or dip water from a stream.