I’ve been around long enough to have been issued (yes, issued) the original Arc’teryx LEAF Combat Pant. When they came out almost 10 years ago to complement to the Combat Jacket, they were awesome; a very durable, sofshell pant in Black or Crocodile that had pockets where you needed them. But, over time, we all (including Arc’teryx) felt that the civilian-derived design was dated and they began to fall out of favor.
At SHOT Show 2014, Arc’teryx unveiled a completely redesigned Gen 2 Combat Pant. The don’t really look like a “Combat Pant” and some have criticized the name for that reason. But the name has legs, going back 10 years to when there weren’t a plethora of “combat pants” on the market. In fact, it’s only been in recent years that all weather models have come out to fill the void of the LEAF pant during the period it wasn’t available. This new Gen 2 Combat Pant doesn’t scream tactical and, like its predecessor definitely has it’s genesis in the mountains.
Last month, Arc’teryx LEAF invited me and a few of my fellow tactical writers to a media event in Chamonix, France. For several days we were immersed in all things Arc’teryx including an opportunity to try out several products for ourselves, while applying basic mountaineering skills on the Mer de Glace, a world famous glacier. One of those items was the new Combat Pant (Gen 2).
My experience was excellent. I am a warm person so I kind of expected to overheat in the high summer temps on the ice but my legs remained comfortable even though I was in a T-shirt for much of the movement. Once the gusty, rainy weather moved in and I put on an Alpha LT Jacket, the Combat Pant’s Tweave Durastretch helped me remain plenty warm, and dry, head to toe. I haven’t worn the pant in hot, humid weather yet but if you look at the photos you’ll notice that some guys were wearing Atom LTs while I was in a ventilated, short sleeve running shirt. Everyone wore what made them comfortable. One of the reasons I didn’t overheat may be that the interior of the pockets are half mesh which helps with ventilation as well as keeping the pockets from filling with sand and dirt.
Another advantage of the Durastretch fabric was its abrasion resistance. We climbed and scrambled over a variety of obstacles and despite a short fall right into the rock, knee first, not a scratch on the pants. They also held up very well to the crampons we wore, despite not having a reinforced section at the ankle. I appreciate the bungee at the ankle hem which allowed me to close the pant over the top of my mountaineering boots so that I didn’t need gaiters this trip.
Overall, the fit is comfortable. They almost seemed oversized when I first looked at them but the fit was great. The articulated design and gusseted crotch is better than the original model and I was able to move a lot better in them as we negotiated the frozen terrain. Don’t forget, the Durastretch fabric has some inherent mechanical stretch as well. If you don’t plan to layer and are on the edge size-wise, I’d round down.
These pants boast 10 pockets and they are situated so that you can wear a harness with the pants. In fact, we wore the E220 Riggers Harness with its removable leg loops. You may notice in the photos that we used the stowable flaps on the cargo pockets to retain the excess material of the leg loops while not in use.
Offered in Crocodile and Wolf Grey, sizes Small – XXLarge. Sizing is generous if anything, with room to layer.
I like them and recommend them to those that are looking for a high quality, all-weather tactical pant. They’ve definitely earned a place in my kit bag.
Comfortable, generous fit
Unobtrusive pocket layout
Haven’t tried them in humid weather yet
Need more colors!
I’m not going to get in the weeds over price. Yes, they are expensive. You get what you pay for and these are worth every penny. I know, I ended up buying a pair. Buy once, cry once!
To order yours, visit leaf.arcteryx.com.