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My Impressions of the Arc’teryx LEAF Combat Pant (Gen 2)

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.

Arc'teryx Gen 2 Cbt Pants

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.

14-Combat-Pant-Gen2-Crocodile14-Combat-Pant-Gen2-Wolf

Bottom Line
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.

Pro
Comfortable, generous fit
Extremely durable
Unobtrusive pocket layout

Con
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.

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25 Responses to “My Impressions of the Arc’teryx LEAF Combat Pant (Gen 2)”

  1. MRC says:

    Great review Eric! You can’t go wrong with ARC!

  2. Luke says:

    I can see why the name could throw some for a loop; “how can they be combat pants without the kneepad thingy?”

    I’m kinda surprised there is no multicam option.

  3. Chuck says:

    I just wish numerical sizing were offered. I love the idea of owning this pant. But, for the price, I’d like to have a more precise fit.

  4. Ghosteryx77 says:

    Its just a matter of time before I own these too, but like Chuck said…for that price you should really get a more precise fit. And, in terms of the colors, every picture and every item I own in the croc color looks different. Sometimes its green, sometimes more on the tan side of green and everything inbetween. Wish they would make the croc more consistent but also introduce a tan and maybe even a more traditional green.

    • Patrick says:

      It’s supposed to do that depending on how the light hits it. Or at least that is what I read when I bought a croc naga hoody.

    • Haji says:

      That’s very likely more a function of the photographer than the fabric.

    • SSD says:

      You lay two crocodile items side by side and they color match one another. Arc’teryx works hard at that. That color is very good at mimicking what’s around it. Lay it next to green, it looks greenish, next to brown, it’s more of a brown hue.

  5. Tetsuo says:

    Love mine. I own a Gen 1 pant in Croc from way back. I’d like to buy more, just not fond of the price. Make these same pants in say … the much cheaper Talos material and I’ll be all over them.

  6. B says:

    How do these compare to the Crye all weather?

    I have the all weather Crye combat pants and they are killer. Mine are the combat version which solves the problem of sizing, camo and knee pads which some are asking for and they’re cheaper. If your looking for something more discreet, the field pants come without the exposed knee pads.

    • SSD says:

      I was carrying a Khard 60. I have both but prefer the larger model. It has a better hip belt and padded shoulder straps. Additionally, it can be compressed to a smaller profile if you don’t need all of the space but when you do, it’s there.

  7. miles says:

    You must be in a different income bracket from most professional trigger pullers to buy $400+ pants. You might as well be reviewing Ferraris for all the relevance to soldiers.

    You do in general get what you pay for but there is also deminishing returns on the price/ perfomace scale. I’d say you maxed out on the performance $200 ago.

    • SSD says:

      If you’re the “professional trigger puller” you claim to be you’re either getting issued a pair (or two ) or on pro- deal. Either way, you’re not paying full retail for these.

  8. Will says:

    Nice to see SSD has good taste in helmets as well! Go Team Wendy!

  9. Husky says:

    too bad it’s not made in Canada. The Gen 1 is made in Canada. New ones made in El Salvador! Reasonable price when you get them on sale 25% off from their dealers. It will be too thick and too hot for hot summer. Talos pants probably better for summer. Do you guys know anything about price increase for 2014-2015? When the Combat jacket will be re-stock in their LEAF dealer? (no more made in Canada combat jacket! sad)

  10. 404953C says:

    I got a pair of these in April and even for Arc’teryx, these are special. I have never owned a pair of pants that moved with me and fit just right the way these do. By far my favorite pair of “Combat Pants” that I own.

  11. Stefan S. says:

    Regardless of the Pro deal one rip and you’re out a bunch of clams. Not saying they aren’t worth it. But El Salvador? No thanks.

  12. Husky says:

    Combat jacket Multicam ..$600 made in USA (no windflap) $450 made in Canada (dis-continued)..$529 made in El Salvador. Croc color combat jacket $350 made in Canada (dis-continued) $319 made in El Salvador. Sphnix same thing two versions..no more Canada. Even the first Talos…same why they moved from Canada to El Salvador? only $$$ knows!
    More profit I bet. If LEAF is not made in Canada then it’s no longer a LEAF in my mind. Who care the designs the promotion marketing all I want is MADE IN CANADA! (even I live in USA…)

    • SSD says:

      Even though a product is made in a different country, Arc’teryx isn’t going to put their name on something that doesn’t meet their standards.

      Perhaps they moved production to another country to increase profit, or, maybe they did it to lower costs. Considering the examples you’ve shown, that certainly seems to be the case. If profit were the prevailing factor, why is the El Salvador-sourced product less expensive?

      • Husky says:

        low labor cost/less benefit…actually they use different machines in Canada and El Salvador based on I exam the talos pants and combat jackets…I rather have Canada ones from LEAF. made in USA Multicam Combat is more $$$ and not as good as Canada one! I have both! Still better than El Salvador one!